Thursday, 18 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Thursday, 18 July 2024

Enchanted Forest: Lighting the Way for Highland Perthshire Charities in 2023

In the run-up to UK Charity Week, the Enchanted Forest Community Trust reflects on the donations that have been given to charities within Perth & Kinross in 2023, all made possible through the success of Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest.

This year, thanks to the incredible success of the 2022 Enchanted Forest event, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has been able to give back £55,200 to registered charities and community interest companies operating within Highland Perthshire through the Enchanted Forest Community Fund. This includes £5,450 of discretionary donations to 13 organisations and groups who are not registered charities.

This year applications were specifically sought that helped tackle poverty in the region and addressed cost of living challenges. CheckIN Works and Giraffe Trading is one of 17 charities awarded the grant funding. The charity exists to improve accessibility to job opportunities for adults experiencing a diverse range of disabilities, mental ill-health, homelessness, and other barriers to sustaining meaningful employment. The funding is being put towards food, packaging, and prep costs for the community kitchen the charity also runs, to support the trainees and wider community.

Gareth Ruddock, Chief Executive at CheckIN Works and Giraffe Trading said:

“The funding from the Enchanted Forest Community Trust will allow us to continue to support people in Highland Perthshire through making and distributing healthy, homemade style meals for free to households in need. These meals are made by our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities to learn essential life skills and socialisation.”

Another charity that the Enchanted Forest Community Fund has supported is SiMBA, a charity which exists to respond to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby. This is done through the delivery of core services, providing support to families in a way that is meaningful for them and reaches wherever they are on their journey after the loss of their baby. The money has helped SiMBA to continue to give bereaved parents in Perth and Kinross memory boxes, which help them to remember their child who has passed away.

The Scottish Youth Film Foundation which exists to educate young people about a career in the film industry also benefited from money from the Enchanted Forest Community Fund. The £2,000 donation has enabled the charity to continue its outreach work in Perthshire.

Scott Mackay, executive director and co-founder of the Scottish Youth Film Foundation, said:

“We’ve allocated money to two schools in Breadalbane and Grandtully, it has allowed us to send tutors to work with the teachers there, bringing them an introduction to the film industry. We are still looking for corporate sponsors, but the £2,000 is a sizable chunk of what we’d spend on education.”

Other local charities awarded grant funding, include the Vale of Atholl Pipers Association to fund tuition and uniforms to allow members to perform at events; Breadalbane and Strathtay Youth FC to help provide subsidised football sessions to children during the school holidays, and Pitlochry Festival Theatre to finance a new amphitheatre and bandstand for the community.

Nela Popovic, Executive Director of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said:

“Thanks to the incredible success of the 2022 Enchanted Forest event we’ve been able to give back nearly £50,000 to registered charities operating in the Highland Perthshire region. Essentially, it’s our way of saying thank you to those who have very graciously supported the event from the very beginning; we know that the show would not be the success that it is without the support of the local Highland Perthshire community.

“Our desire is that the Enchanted Forest Community Fund is a force for good, creating a lasting positive impact and legacy within the community. Given the current cost of living crisis, we were particularly keen to support projects which were focused on helping people affected.”

The Enchanted Forest Community Fund was set up in 2015 to redistribute proceeds from the event to the local community in Highland Perthshire and is administered by the Enchanted Forest Community Trust. Applications open in January every year.

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