The Scotsman

Taxi ser­vice for army vet­er­ans wins in Na­tional Lot­tery

- By EMMA O’NEILL news­deskts@scots­ Society · Lottery · Gambling · Morocco · Faroe Islands · Nigeria · Yemen · North Yorkshire · Community Chest · Barrhead

A taxi ser­vice for army vet­er­ans is among al­most 260 com­mu­nity groups that will share £5.5 mil­lion in Na­tional Lot­tery grants.

The Na­tional Lot­ter y Com­mu­nity Fund has an­nounced 257 groups will re­ceive fundi n g , t h e ma j o r i t y o f wh i c h are aimed at sup­port­ing peo­ple through the Covid-19 pan­demic.

The grants fo cus on com­mu­nit y groups that sup­port iso­lated and vul­ner­a­ble peo - ple, with fund­ing also go­ing t o c o m m u n i t y t r a n s p o r t projects, to al­low p eo­ple to take part in lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

G l a s g o w - b a s e d c h a r i t y Fares4free helps vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies with trans­port.

The charit y only owns t wo ve­hi­cles, but also works with a net work of lo­cal taxi firms and vol­un­teer driv­ers.

The char­ity group has been awarded £70,000 to con­tinue its work, in­cludi ng help­ing vet­er­ans like 37-year-old David Martin from Bar­rhead.

Mr Mar tin said: “I left the army with a brain in­jury and I to­tally un­der­stand just how im­por­tant char­i­ties like Fares4Free are to peo­ple like me as they have helped give me my free­dom and in­de­pen­dence back.

“Ove r t h e p a s t f o u r ye a r s , they have given me so much sup­port, tak­ing me to med­i­cal ap­point­ments and even as far as the Help for He­roes Re­cov­ery Cen­tre in North York­shire s o I c o u l d r e - c o n n e c t w i t h friends and col­leagues from the Armed forces fam­ily.”

D av i d G i b s o n , f o u n d e r o f Fares4free, said: “It means so much to re­ceive this sup­port f r o m t h e Na t i o n a l L o t t e r y Com­mu­nity Fund. They were the very first fun­der to sup­port us back in 2016.”

Tay Va l l e y T i me b a n k i s a com­mu­nity trans­port project h e l p i n g t o c o n n e c t p e o p l e across High­land Perthshire.

A £59,430 grant will help it pro­vide transp or t for 2,500 p e o p l e ove r t h e n ex t t h r e e years.

Sadie Fraser, 88, from Aberf e l dy, s t r u g g l e s g e t t i n g o u t and about since her mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion meant she could no longer use the bus.

She said: “I am so de­lighted to have the op­por­tu­nity to use this com­mu­nity lifts ser­vice.

“Now I’ll be able to get to the doc­tor’s and the op­ti­cian for ap­point­ments and hope­fully back to my ex­er­cise class when it starts up again.”

Kate Still, chair­woman of the Na­tional Lot­tery Com­mu­nity Fund Scot­land, said the funds would help lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties re­spond to the im­pact of coron­avirus.

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