08 April
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Nine successful projects are set to receive a share of the £25,000 funding pot with each initiative looking at ways to positively impact the health and wellbeing of the local community in Blackburn.

Over 200 local residents voted in the process to decide which local projects received a funding allocation.

Voting took place over a four-week period with anyone who living in Blackburn aged 8 and over eligible to take part.

Residents were able to cast their vote online or via a telephone hotline which was made available for those with restricted access to digital devices.

The projects that will receive funding are:

  • Blackburn Galaday - Food and music events

A programme of three social events that will take place over twelve months in the Blackburn Partnership Centre. The programme is aimed at older members of the Blackburn community who live on their own, that suffer from the effects of social isolation, and, experience food poverty. The three sessions will be themed; A Song and a Supper - live music with a 'supper' from the local chip shop; Afternoon Toe Tapping Tea - live entertainment with Afternoon Tea with added homemade soup for a 'full meal' affect: Burns Supper - for the last session we will host a Burns Supper with live Scottish Themed entertainment

  • Blackburn Young at Heart - Paracise Class

A project to deliver a new weekly 45 minute physical activity session called 'Paracise'. The sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of groups members, take place over 34 weeks and be delivered by a qualified Xcite coach.

  • Blackburn Family Centre - Outdoor Improvements

A project to enhance the children's experience of the outdoors by improving their outdoor area to provide a welcoming, fun and stimulating educational environment. To do this the centre will use their award to purchase new play equipment, planting equipment and new garden furniture.

  • Change in Blackburn Group - Mental Health and Wellbeing Event

A project to deliver a mental health event targeting pupils from all local primary and secondary schools as well as their parents and carers and the general community recognising that mental health is a community wide issue. This will help address mental health and wellbeing issues, and to promote local organisations that can provide advice and information and support to the residents of Blackburn.

  • Blackburn and Seafield Church - Singing Well

A project which would give local people the opportunity to come together to take part in singing activity and enjoy a healthy meal. It is aimed at individuals with dementia, their families and carers, those with mental health issues, individuals who live on their own and those who would just like to participate and benefit from singing and sharing lunch with others.

  • Blackburn Friday Club - STEM activities

A project to help local school children develop an interest and understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics and activities. The Friday After School Club and Community Action Blackburn will use their award to purchase the resources needed to deliver a STEM club for up to 30 children in Blackburn. This will enable them to participate in activities over a school year in the hope that they will pursue them in upper primary school classes and eventually inspire their subject choices when they enter secondary school.

  • Screen Memories - The Blackburn Oscars

A project about film, film starts and cinema aimed at older residents especially those who are living with dementia or other memory problems, those who are lonely or socially isolated and those who may have long-term medical conditions as well as school pupils living in the Blackburn area interested in getting to know their older neighbours and the issues that they face. The project will work with older people and school students in Blackburn over a period of time to cumulate in a Gala Event in the Partnership Centre where local people can celebrate the work that was done by staging Blackburn's own Night At The Oscars.

  • West Lothian Youth Action Project - Comfy Spaces

A project aimed at young people aged between 10 and 21 years and their parents, grandparents and/or carers that live in the Blackburn area. The project aims to provide a safe place where local people can go to discuss their worries and concerns, get support, advice and information, where they will be listened to sympathetically and without being judged and where they can go to take part in relaxing activities, wellbeing sessions and holistic therapies.

  • Blackburn Bulldogs - Kits and things (partially funded)

Blackburn Bulldogs is a basketball /sports club aimed at young people aged 11 to 21 years which enables them to take part in physical activities that benefit both their physical and mental health. The funding will be used to provide a nutritious meal for participants and pay for transport to take the young people to games.

More information on the projects can be found on the West Lothian Community Choices webpage.

Lynn Martin from Blackburn Children's Galaday said: "When the opportunity arose to make an application for funding, we wanted to consider the elderly in our community. After all the Galaday and the events that are put on are for everyone. However, we felt that maybe it was time to look at the older generation who might not be comfortable coming out into the clubs and pubs, so we thought if we were able to put on events for this age group. To reduce social isolation and food deprivation we are looking at delivering three entertainment sessions for the older community members over a 12-month period which would consist of food and entertainment. These figures are based on 50 people attending each session, and we would obviously follow government guidelines at that particular time. We are grateful that we have been selected to receive this funding to allow us especially now, to provide these sessions."

Elizabeth Connelly from Blackburn Young at Heart said: "It is much needed good news for our members, who are looking forward to our new adventure."