Local children and adults will benefit from £4,500 that has been awarded to Interest Link Borders. The money is coming from Corra Foundation and is the group’s eighth award since 1998.
Interest Link Borders works with children, young people and adults who have learning disabilities to enable them to get involved with social and leisure activities. This is done by matching people with volunteers who provide one to one or group support. Andrew Findlay, the project co-ordinator, said: “Many people with learning disabilities find themselves isolated as it is hard for them to get involved in activities most of us take for granted such as shopping, swimming or even just going out for a coffee. The whole point of what we do is to improve day to day life for people by giving them the support they need to do things they enjoy and which make their lives better.
“In the past few years we’ve started a service for children which lets them take part in the same out of school activities as any other children. This has really taken off now and not only gets them mixing with other children out of school but also helps make their lives as normal as possible which is so important. Our volunteers do a great job, but of course someone has to co-ordinate all this work and like most charities we often struggle to raise the money to cover these costs so this funding is very welcome.”
Over 300 people a year use these services which are available across the Scottish Borders through branches in Roxburgh, Tweeddale, Central Borders and Berwickshire. As well as helping people do everyday things, this support also gives their carers a break.
Mary Craig OBE, Chief Executive of Corra Foundation, said: “Many charities rely on volunteers to help deliver their services, and that is the case for Interest Link Borders. This is a great way of getting people in the local community involved but it does need to be well managed. Volunteers need training and the work has to be well planned and managed, so we’re delighted to be able to play a part in allowing that to happen. Many of our awards go to help pay for basic costs such as salaries, and of the eight awards we’ve made to Interest Link Borders over the years five of these have been for salary costs.”
The Foundation is interested in hearing from other charities in the area that work to make life better for people who are disadvantaged, and the next closing date for applications is 15th July.