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The latest stories from Inspiring Scotland and our partner charities.

Saltcoats Link Up ‘Wins’ The Lottery

The National Lottery Community Fund announced today that Inspiring Scotland’s Link Up project in Saltcoats will benefit from an additional two-year funding of £95,400.

“Our success in securing this new funding through National Lottery’s Community-led Fund will be critical in helping us to enable local people to drive the change they want for Saltcoats.” Brian Keenan, Project Manager

Saltcoats Link Up is a partnership between Inspiring Scotland, The Ayrshire Community Trust and the Argyle Community Association. The project operates out of the Argyle Centre and is one of nine across Scotland. Its aim is to tackle disadvantage by empowering local people to influence and drive positive change.

Our Link Up Team in Saltcoats achieve this by harnessing people’s strengths to establish activities they want (cooking, crafts, gardening, table tennis and a range of wellbeing support groups amongst others). The supportive relationships, confidence and self-esteem people develop because of their participation in the groups inspires them to create a better future for themselves, family and the wider Saltcoats community.

Since its launch in 2015, the project has engaged over 600 residents including almost 150 people in a volunteering capacity. More significantly, it is the spark for many people to self-manage improvements in their health and wellbeing, and to begin building a brighter financial future through re-engagement with employment, skills training and education. Over the past 3 years, the project’s unique way of working has encouraged many participants to become active citizens looking out for the welfare of others in their community.

As a vital part of community life, Saltcoats Link Up also played a central role in supporting the community through the worst of the pandemic. At the height of the first lock-down, our local team with the support of North Ayrshire Council, responded at speed, ensuring vulnerable individuals and families (over 135 people every week) had the essentials they needed to cope and stay well.

These successes position Saltcoats Link Up on the cusp of embedding new ways of working in which local people are front and centre in delivering the changes they want for their town. “It is this opportunity to initiate real and lasting change that makes National Lottery Community Fund’s support so important”, explained Brian.

“This includes four key priorities over the next two years: 1) improving the quality and amenity of the space and buildings in the town centre; 2) developing new and improving existing green spaces across the town; 3) improving understanding and support mechanisms for people struggling with suicide; and, 4) enhancing support for people in financial crisis through the creation of Saltcoats’ first community shop”.

When Saltcoats Link Up first started, the people of Saltcoats were only beginning to imagine a new and better future for their community. Today that future is clearer, and people – many more than before – are directing the path to it. With National Lottery Community Fund and the support of our key partners, the project can help the community to take the next critical steps on their journey; steps that for the first time, put local people in control of delivering the future they want for Saltcoats.

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