£85k lottery funding for GRACE project

The innovative local Group Recovery Aftercare Community Enterprise (GRACE) has been awarded almost £84,000 in National Lottery funding

The cash will go towards supporting its work with vulnerable adults in the Hillhead and Auchinairn areas.

The group, based in Kirkintilloch, intends to run more support activities for 
local people requiring support from life challenges and social isolation.

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GRACE has been in existence since 2012 and is staffed predominately by volunteers.

It was founded by local man Robert Smith. The group now runs five sessions a week, attended by 50 local adults, where they join in with activities such as arts and crafts, drama classes, confidence building and digital learning.

The sessions help the vulnerable in our community to make friends, while learning new skills and having fun.

Part of the funding will see the expansion of help for people at Auchinairn to four days a week – meaning support for up to 80 people.

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At the same time, the group will be able to press on with plans to continue the support sessions for the social isolated in the Hillhead area. These will help them to build relationships with others experiencing the same challenges and hopefully enable them to develop their own support network.

Robert said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. We will be able to press on with our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to the communities most in need in East Dunbartonshire. This is important because it helps not only the individual but the community to build relationships with others facing similar challenges and to create their own supportive circles of friends and peers.”

Liz McVey, volunteer, said: “We are grateful to the lottery for understanding the need for GRACE in our community. The funding will make such a difference to my life in so many positive ways and will give so many opportunities not just to me but all the people around me within GRACE.”