Bursary grants set to make a difference

Jean Bassindale, Jo Anderson & Andrea Bassindale from the first responders
Jean Bassindale, Jo Anderson & Andrea Bassindale from the first responders

Over the coming weeks we will showcase the amazing work being carried out by the groups who received a CALA Homes Midlothian Bursary.

From food banks to youth volunteers, this year’s scheme, in

Linda Magurie and Terry Harkins Dalkieth Midlothian kinship carers '.

Linda Magurie and Terry Harkins Dalkieth Midlothian kinship carers '.

partnership with the Advertiser, has awarded grants to a variety of good causes throughout the region.

Dalkeith Midlothian Kinship Carers was awarded £1000 from the CALA Community Bursary. Terry Harkins, a front-line kinship carer, said: “Children can find themselves needing to rely on kinship carers through neglect, abuse, parental substance abuse or bereavement, and it can be a huge strain on the extended family. A grandparent can go from having a quiet life, to say taking on the upbringing of four kids.

“Some of the children may have suffered difficult experiences and need psychological support and trauma/bereavement counselling as a result.”

Terry added: “Through just word of mouth the charity has grown considerably in a short space of time. To date we have supported 59 carers and around 90 kids – helping with small things, such as local day trips, supermarket shopping vouchers and warm clothing at Christmas time. 

“Funding like this is just so important for us to support what we do.

“The reality is that the number of local children in kinship care in Midlothian keeps increasing - and we want to try to help more people in the future.”

Roslin and Bilston Community First Responders received £500 from the CALA Community Bursary. This will help to purchase two new Laerdal Q-CPR meters, which are used to measure the depth and rhythm of the CPR performed on a patient, and will ensure it is of the best quality.

Jo Anderson from the group said: “The way in which our first responders group has grown is amazing and we’re delighted to have such a network now in the local area, however we always need new volunteers.

“We are always looking at ways to grow and improve with superb support from the Scottish Ambulance Service. The Q-CPR technology in these meters really does have the potential to save lives. And having new meters also means that we can use our existing ones, which are now out of date, for further high-quality training. 

“We are very thankful to CALA Homes for the Bursary Award.”

To date the group has trained more than 100 people in the community in basic lifesaving skills and free courses are held frequently.