Scheme making a difference to worthwhile causes in Midlothian

This week we take at look at two more local good causes providing poverty relief to communities, which have received a welcome cash boost.

Cala Homes, Food Facts Friends Project, Volunteers and service users with Mark Wells (centre).
Cala Homes, Food Facts Friends Project, Volunteers and service users with Mark Wells (centre).

The CALA Homes Bursary, in partnership with the Midlothian Advertiser, was awarded to local groups last month.

After careful consideration from a selection panel, consisting of CALA staff from different areas of the business and Janet Bee, editor of the Midlothian Advertiser, the two groups, along with 11 other successful recipients, have been awarded a share of £10,000.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

From foodbanks to life-saving groups, this year’s scheme has awarded grants to a variety of good causes around the region. The two worthy causes this week highlight just how much of an impact their work is having on communities within Midlothian and how CALA’s donation will be put to good use.

Pictured: Paulina Farrer and June Horne, Sweet dignity clothing library CALA Homes (East) to present cheques to successful applicants of the Midlothian Bursary at Mayburn Park, Straiton.

The Food Facts Friends project is the only foodbank serving Penicuik and the surrounding area and it now supports 620 people who face food poverty and struggle to afford meals for their families. 

Mark Wells set up the foodbank after working with Edinburgh City Mission, as he realised there was great need for a similar organisation in Midlothian. 

The group meets at St Mungo’s Church Hall 10.30-1pm on Mondays and Fridays. Last year the group distributed three and a half tonnes of food, much of which it needs to purchase.

Food Facts Friends has been awarded £1000 from the CALA Community Bursary. Mark said: “The stark reality is that the numbers of people facing food poverty in Midlothian is increasing – and we want to help more of those people. 

“To do that we need many things, but being able to purchase more food goes a long way to help that. 

“We actively call for more volunteers and donations, and this funding will really help a huge number of people who face very difficult decisions.”

Set up last December by Penicuik woman June Horne, the Sweet Dignity Clothing Library has also been awarded a grant of £1,000 as part of the CALA Homes Community Bursary Scheme.

The library, which officially launched on May 23 this year in Penicuik Town Hall, provides a range of clothing and essential items free of charge to those in financial difficulty.

June said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded the sum of £1,000 as part of the CALA Homes Bursary Scheme.

“We set up the Sweet Dignity Clothing Library just before Christmas with the aim of supporting those in financial crisis.

“We are thrilled by the support we have received so far in getting it off the ground.

“This is the first grant that we have been given. All the money spent so far in setting up the library has come out of our own pocket or from kind donations from friends.

“The funding will enable us to invest in sturdy rails and storage, as well as provide essential items for families such as clothing, home-starter kits and baby crisis packs. We also hope to work more closely with local schools.

“To be awarded the funding from CALA Homes is the icing on the cake, and made our launch even more of an occasion to celebrate.”