A cash bonanza will be shared across the north and north-east to fund a multi-cultural Burns Night, dance parties for lonely pensioners, a scheme to help Syrian refugees and a Highlands-based American football team.
The Big Lottery Fund has today announced the string of grants which are aimed at improving life for hundreds of people across the area.
The Aberdeen Multicultural Centre has secured £10,000 to stage an event celebrating the mother language of the city’s international residents and a diverse Burns Night.
Organiser, Narayan Shrestha, said the gathering in honour of Scotland’s Bard would teach people from various backgrounds about the country’s traditions.
He said: “We want to share traditional Scottish culture, such as the Address to the Haggis, and make people feel a part of their new homeland by getting involved in its customs.”
The Mother Language Day will take place at Aberdeen Arts Centre on Sunday, February 24, and will have about 30 different languages represented across hundreds of performances.
Elsewhere in the city, the Community Food Initiatives North East (Cfine) has been given £7,780 to encourage people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
And Danestone Community Centre will use its £4,060 award to stage monthly “tea and tunes” parties for older people who have dementia or suffer from loneliness.
The Because Everyone Counts charity was granted £9,981 to open a new softplay premises in Inverurie which will be suitable for children with additional needs.
Midmar Public Hall was awarded £7,800 to fix its roof and the Miltonduff pre-school group in Moray received £2,784 to revamp the classroom and buy new toys.
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The Amal Project was handed £9,934 to help Syrian refugee families integrate in Aberdeenshire.
The money will pay for the training and equipment needed to set up a small media unit which will be used to share the stories of those who have settled in the region via social media, podcasts and film presentations.
Aberdeenshire East MSP, Gillian Martin, welcomed the grant last night.
She said: “Syrian refugees who have been forced to leave their country because of war have the right to come and settle here in Scotland and we welcome them with open arms.
It is vital we have charity work to support them in the place they now call home so that they can share their stories and experiences.”
The Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival, in Oban, was granted £7,000 to expand the event by adding a “mini festival” alongside the main event.
The Highland Wildcats squad, which is based in Inverness, will run training camps aimed at enticing more young people into playing American football.
The Fetlar Community Association, in Shetland, was given £10,000 to hire a design team to help redevelop a community hall, and £5,000 will go towards restoring an “unusable” playpark in Evie on Orkney.