Taxi service for army veterans wins in National Lottery
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.