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Funding boost for Caithness groups working to tackle poverty

12th February 2014

Ormlie Community Association in Thurso and Pulteneytown People�s Project in Wick have both been given a funding boost from The Highland Council�s Deprived Area Fund which will help them to continue providing and developing services to tackle poverty.

In November the Council re-launched its Deprived Area Fund to help create employment opportunities and tackle poverty, with �100,000 of funding available for parts of Caithness on an annual basis over the next three years.

Ormlie Community Association�s Young Mum�s project has been awarded �13,000 for their Young Mum�s project which aims to build the confidence of young mothers and encourages them to get involved in their local community. The Association works in partnership with health visitors, NHS staff and social workers to make sure the most vulnerable families receive the support they need. There are 40 registered users of the service with 30 regularly attending a range of events geared towards getting young mums involved at nursery�s and schools and working towards paid employment. Part of the funding will be used to develop IT support and on-line access to the services.

�87k has been awarded to Pulteneytown People�s Project which will be used to provide a wide range of services to local people through their activity programme which includes advice about staying on and leaving school, re-training and housing issues as well as providing a Job Club which currently has over 35 attendees every week. SVQ courses in social care, administration and childcare, computer classes and arts and crafts activities are also available with all Deprived Aread Fund sessions including childcare support for anyone who needs it.

Members of the Caithness and Sutherland Committee were advised yesterday that 5 applications were received totaling �177,549. A commitment was given for the Council to work with Caithness CAB, Wick�Ed and the Shirlie Project to look at other sources of funding they may be able to tap into

Area Convener Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: �The Deprived Area Fund has distributed �1.248m to deprived areas across the Highlands over the last few years to specifically assist community led projects which focus their activities on helping people learn new skills and get into the jobs market.

�Both the Ormlie project and the PPP work hard to improve the quality of life for local people so I am sure this funding boost will allow them to continue having a positive impact on lives with the potential for more people to benefit from the services they offer.

�The unsuccessful projects all have merit and the groups are already on the ground doing great work so I welcome the decision to work with them to explore other sources of funding. There is no doubt that the Fund is over-subscribed so at the Area Committee we have decided to set up a group to work closely with the District Partnership to get an in-depth picture of how voluntary groups are funded and review their operations with a view of distributing the fund more fairly between organisations. It will also ensure we get the best value for money and provide people with the targeted services they need.

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