Submitted to C & B News for consideration for May 2019 issue

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From generous donations from the public locally, together with support from Rotary International, Currie Balerno Rotary Club is able to offer financial support both locally and internationally.

Internationally we have contributed this year to ShelterBox and Aquabox to provide assistance in disaster areas, we have supported Ann Gloag’s Freedom from Fistula project in Sierra Leone and we have continued our long established support for the Turing Trust’s educational work in Ghana and Malawi.

Within the local community our headline activity is the Community Chest which we introduced in 2016 and now administer alongside the Balerno Village Trust (BVT).

The Community Chest has an annual budget of £6000 funded jointly and equally by the Rotary Club, BVT and CALA Homes. Applications are considered in May and December each year. It offers to local organisations grants of up to £500 towards modest projects offering benefit to the local community.

Our budget is fully taken up each year and we would welcome additional funding.  If any company or organisation would be prepared to make an annual contribution to the fund, of whatever amount, we could support even more local community projects. We shall continue to publicise the scheme – it was commended in a recent Holyrood debate – and we shall continue to report on the projects it has supported.

The Club has so far in the current Rotary year supported such projects locally as the Pentlands Book Festival, the Gorgie City Farm, the Nether Currie Primary School’s participation in the Rotary Shoebox Scheme – providing gift boxes for deprived families in Eastern Europe - and we have offered support once again to international climber Louise Flockhart from Balerno High School.

The support we give to Louise has led to our introducing Individual Youth Grants of up to £250 to support young people and help them develop their leadership and educational skills. It is available for young people performing at national or international level in eg sporting or cultural disciplines, who seek support towards training and travel costs. Information has been sent to local secondary schools and is available on our Club website.

Finally we must pay tribute to 2 Rotary Club members who have made personal contributions. Duncan Law’s nest boxes and planter barrows have raised a further £1800 for MS Society and Richard Basker’s watercolour of the 3 bridges has continued to sell and will assist us in making a donation of £1,000 to End Polio.

If you want to know more about Currie Balerno Rotary Club go to our website .