Community groups well above ‘par’

Groups celebrate with their cheques.
Groups celebrate with their cheques.

Five delighted groups who had won the votes of the North Carrick Community at the recent PAR Decision Day, gathered in Maybole recently to be presented with their well won awards.

The PAR North Carrick Project, which had been funded by the Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund and awarded to the North Carrick Community Benefits Company (NCCBC), in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership, Carrick Academy and The Carrick Centre, was one of the largest sums issued to an organisation from the fund.

Mark Fletcher, Chair of the NCCBC, presented the cheques totalling £80,000 to the successful groups: Carrick Sensory, Dunure Community Council & Harbour Committee, Maybole Pipe Band, Minishant Primary School and North Carrick Community Sport Hub.

Mark said: “This was a great project and it was a pleasure to be involved. It was excellent to see the engagement from across North Carrick and across the age spectrum and to see money going to such worthy causes that can really make a difference in our communities.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to expand participatory budgeting and funding in general and we wish all the groups every success in taking their projects forward.”

After the presentation of cheques, each of the groups was asked what being involved in the project and receiving the award meant to them.

Minishant Primary School, who received an award for their Community Kitchen project, said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this money which wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunity provided by the PAR North Carrick Project. This money will make a huge difference to the whole of the Minishant community, providing a much needed resource for everyone to access. We are looking forward to getting our project underway so the community can begin to reap the benefits.”

Alex Kelly, representing North Carrick Community Sport Hub, said, “This funding will enable us to move forward with our plans to develop the facilities at the Glebe Park, Maybole. Our plan is to make it accessible to all community groups as well as local sports clubs and schools.”

Many of the pitches at the event in Maybole Town Hall in March had involved young members of the community. Emily Gibson, a young member of the team pitching on behalf of Dunure Community Council & Harbour Committee which had been successful in receiving a contribution towards their project to create a Rowing & Kayaking Club said, “We really enjoyed being involved in the project and the day. The money means the world to the community and we can’t wait to get on the water.”

Maybole Pipe Band is a highly respected organisation within the community, who also offer teaching provision at no cost to the learner. They, also, were one of the successful groups and this was the first time they had participated in this type of event. They commented, “This opportunity will enable Maybole Pipe Band to renew our uniforms and help us to continue to provide a traditional pipe and drum band that North Carrick can be proud of. We are all excited to get our new uniforms and wear them with pride.”

Carrick Sensory, a new group who will be offering sensory play and recreation sessions for children with additional needs at The Carrick Centre, Maybole have had an amazing response since the event.

Andrea Hutchison, representing the group said, “Since being successful at the PAR North Carrick Decision Day, the feedback and response within the community has been immense. We knew there was a need, but it is even bigger than we initially believed.

“People are delighted that this type of facility is now being made available and we are constantly being told we need you to start now!

“Being involved in this style of funding (participatory budgeting) is quite emotional as actually getting the votes from your community means so much and reinforces that you are involved in something very worthwhile. Participating in every stage of the project has already assisted in raising the awareness of the group and its plans.”

Carrick Sensory plans to offer their service from Monday, May 1 and more information will be available in newspapers and social media in the coming weeks.

With the cheques firmly in hand, the delighted groups left to get their projects underway and you will be able to find information about their progress which will be updated on the North Carrick Community Benefits Company website www.nccbc.org.