Local Aberdeensire Grants 2011
Our initial intention had been to give two separate donations, with the Jo Walters Trust pledging to match the amount the individual or organisation raise, up to a maximum amount of £2,000 per project.
We quickly realised that whittling it down to just the two was nigh on impossible! So instead we have chosen, we're sure you will agree, four fantastic projects to support. This has been made possible by the fantastic fundraising that has been carried out to date, and we're really grateful for the support shown to the trust in its fledgling year.
The grants were awarded to
- The Gordon Skiers
- Ski Team Grampain
- Pitcaple Environmental Project
- The Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust
We know that all of these projects would have been thoroughly supported by Jo, who passionately loved the countryside in which she grew up and always did everything she could to support causes, especially the lesser known and publicised.
We want to make very special thanks to all those that applied and if you were unsuccessful please don’t be put off, we are hoping to make this an annual award, so there is always another chance in 2012.
Thank you all for your support and please let us know your thoughts on these Grants and any ideas you have for how the JWT can improve the work it’s doing …. For more information on the local grants please get in touch!
The Gordon Skiers are a local alpine ski race club who are dedicated to introducing local youngsters to the sport and helping them reach their full potential. They came to the JWT asking for help to fund replacement ski gear for both coaches and trainees alike. These team colours are so important in providing the club with their identity as a whole and giving the club members a sense of pride and belonging. The number of kits available had diminished and several were well beyond the point of no-return, with items missing and falling to pieces. Jo spent such happy times in her youth wiping unsuspecting skiers out on the dry ski slope in Alford and supporting our local ski club is something she would be behind all the way. We’ll be posting some slick snaps of them in action soon!
Secondly, Ski Team Grampian, which is part of Special Olympics Grampian, provide a performance pathway for Athletes with a Learning Disability to ski in South Grampian. They were looking for funding to support four skiers and three support staff to attend the British Special Olympics GB Winter Games in Italy, January 2012. Their aim is to help the athletes to have the thrill of competition within a sport, which with sensitive coaching and hard work, gives them the same opportunities as the able-bodied. ‘The project is a journey without end; it will never be completed. We encourage our athletes to follow the Special Olympic Oath “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”.’ We wish them the very best in this endeavour. Ski Team Grampain, have since sent us an update on what has been happening since the summer.
The third project we are proud to be associated with is the Pitcaple Environmental Project. Based near Inverurie, it is a self- sufficient and sustainable gardening project based on organic principles, environmental best practice and production, and use of renewable energy. PEP was originally designed to provide voluntary and paid work for adults with learning disabilities and special needs, however over the years have gone from strength to strength, now being recognised as an Industrial Provident Society with over 150 members. PEP are currently developing their site to include an Interpretation Centre for Renewable Technologies, including a carbon neutral log cabin, and the grant from the JWT will go someway towards funding the outdoor composting toilet. Ultimately they aim to become a national demonstrator project for renewable technologies inspiring people to cut carbons. This kind of project ultimately has an impact well beyond the local community and is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s society.
For our final grant, we have selected the The Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust. Their mission statement: "to protect, conserve and rehabilitate salmon, sea trout & trout and to protect the natural beauty of the rivers, conserve their fragile ecologies and enhance their bio-diversity through practical, direct action." Their hope is to engage with 35 primary schools within the Deveron catchment, offering primary schools salmon eggs and small refrigerated aquaria in which to rear the eggs and explain the life cycle of salmon. We love this project for it’s creative, hands on approach to getting children interested in the sustainability needs of fishing, respect for our rivers, and not least of all, discovering the excitements held by the great outdoors. The Trust have since sent us an update of how the project is progressing - click here to read more.