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Hill of Towie Windfarm Community Benefit Fund open for applications & Coronavirus related applications

Deadline for applications Tuesday October 20th 2020

The Hill of Towie Windfarm Community Benefit Fund is now open for applications. Applicant groups in the fund area of benefit will be able to apply for grant funding to benefit the environment or social/community life in the area as usual.

For this round only, groups will also be able to apply for funding related to the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes funding for groups and organisations that are:

  • Providing support to people in the fund area that have been affected by Coronavirus and/or
  • Based in the area and in need of running costs (rent, utilities, insurance, staff or volunteer costs) because of the effects of Coronavirus and/or
  • Based in the area and in need of Coronavirus related equipment to allow them to safely resume or continue their activities e.g. disinfectant, PPE, Perspex screens

There is a separate, simple application form for those looking for Coronavirus related funding. See the Hill of Towie Community Benefit Grants webpage for details and a link to download the form. A map of the fund area of benefit is also available on the Grants page. If you have any questions, or are not sure if your group or idea is eligible, please contact REAP. You can leave a message on 01542 888070 or email info@reapscotland.org.uk and we will get back to you. The office is still closed to the public but we are working from home and available to provide support.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

It’s that time of year again, some energy providers have already opened up their WHD schemes and others are due to open shortly.  Take a look at the link below to see if you provider is a part of the scheme

https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/energy-suppliers

If your supplier hasn’t opened their 2020/21 scheme yet, you may still be able to register for a notification when it does open.

If you haven’t already heard of the WHD scheme, it is a one-off credit to your electricity bill of £140 to help with winter heating costs, and is usually applied direct to your account by 31st March the following year.

If you think you may be eligible, check if your supplier is part of the scheme, and what their eligibility criteria are. As of April 2019, any supplier with 200,000 customers must offer WHD, but some of the smaller suppliers also participate.

Those who are eligible for the Core Group should receive their WHD without having to apply, but if you are eligible as part of the Broader Group the sooner you apply the better, as applications are dealt with on a first-come first-serve basis

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Warm Home Discount Schemes are starting to open now! If you are on a low income/benefits, check if you can apply to your energy provider to receive a credit of £140 on your electricity bill. It’s first come, first served so don’t delay! EON’s scheme has opened now and Utilita opens next week, others usually open in August and September. You can find out more here https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/pages/warm-home-discount
If you receive the guarantee element of Pension Credit you should get this payment automatically – you are in the ‘Core Group’. If you didn’t get it last year, click the link to find out who you should contact.
If you receive other benefits, you are in the ‘Broader Group’ and need to apply each year. Each supplier sets their own rules about who can apply, and these rules might change from year to year. Click the link and you’ll find links to different energy suppliers. Only the bigger energy suppliers need to provide this discount.

Cooper Park Community Beds

There are fruit bushes, veg and herbs available at the beds near the old aviary in Cooper Park. Please help yourself to what you can use. Bear in mind it’s a public space so follow guidance about coronavirus – keep a distance if others are there, wear gloves and/or wash or disinfect your hands after harvesting and wash everything before eating. Here’s our latest update:

Chives are thriving amongst the herbs and blackcurrant bushes in the raised beds. The bees are very busy around them. I counted 10 buzzing around.  You can eat the flowers of these plants, add the petals to brighten up a leafy salad. For the leaves just snip at the bottom of the stem to harvest, wash them and use a scissors to cut them into small pieces. Add to some diced steamed new tatties, cooled with some mayonnaise mixed through for a tattie salad.

 

The gooseberries are coming on well this year along with the strawberries and herbs in the raised bed. Be careful when they are ready to harvest there are thorns on the stems. Won’t be long now till they turn red, that’s when you know these ones are ready, you can then take a few handfuls and make a lovely gooseberry coulis  to drizzle on some natural yoghurt.

We’ll layer some of the stems for propagating so we can share in the autumn. Some of the hardwood cuttings that were taken in March have rooted so they’ll be ready to share too.

 

 

New annual bed:

Two rows of salad tatties, cabbage, kale, turnip and onion all planted in the park.

Protected by willow hoops and jute twine.

You can just see the old aviary in the back ground. That has been filled with tomatoes, French beans, onions, courgette, cucumber, peppers and lots more.

Edintore Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – Coronavirus Grants

Grants of up to £500 are available to constituted groups and voluntary groups providing support to their communities during the Coronavirus pandemic. The fund is available to groups providing support within the fund area of benefit (see ‘Who can apply’ below). The deadline for applications is 31st May 2020.

Who can apply?
Applicants must be operating in the Edintore Coronavirus Fund Area of benefit, which covers Keith, Strathisla, Strathbogie, Dufftown & District, Cullen & Deskford, Buckie & District, Findochy and Portknockie. Applicants must be working to make life better for local people during the coronavirus outbreak, and working safely, following government advice.

Informal groups that do not have a constitution can apply, but need to provide details of 2 independent referees.

Eligible costs include e.g. buying essential supplies for households that are struggling financially, volunteer expenses, costs of leafleting or advertising the support you offer, equipment or materials you need to deliver support, befriending services, a contribution to running costs for this work etc. This is not an exhaustive list.

How to apply
Please email info@reapscotland.org.uk for an application form, giving the name of your group, where you are based and a brief outline of what support you are providing. Eligible applicants will be sent an short application form which can be completed and returned by email. The process is designed to be quick and simple and we aim to pay grants to successful applicants by bank transfer within a week. Groups can apply for costs already incurred from March 1st as well as for costs still to be paid.

If you are not sure if you are eligible or your costs are eligible please email info@reapscotland.org.uk or call 01542 888070 for an informal discussion (or leave a message and we will call you back).

Growing tatties in a bag

You can grow tatties in a bag anywhere, minimum mess and a lovely harvest. Use a compost bag, sturdy old shopper or any other strong bag you have. Kids love digging for buried treasure when harvest time comes. Now is a good time to get planting. Gardeners’ World has a short step-by-step guide here.

You can ‘chit’ your tatties to get a faster and better crop – this means leaving them somewhere cool and light for a few weeks to start sprouting. Gardeners’ World has more information here. You can grow them without chitting though, so if you’ve run out of time, it’s still worth planting them.

Covid Energy advice

REAP are still here to help

As the situation around COVID-19 keeps developing, we’d like to reassure you that we’re still here to help with energy advice and worries. Our team is working from home and we’re not offering home visits for the time being, but we can still help with free and impartial advice about managing fuel bills, keeping warm and referring people to other help locally where we can.

Contacting us for help

If you or anyone you know is worried about their energy bills or struggling to stay warm at home, please continue to refer them to us as normal. We won’t be able to offer them a home visit, but can respond if you phone us or email. Please be aware this may take a day or two during the week and longer at weekends or on Fridays:

Ring our land line 01542 88 8070. If we can’t answer your call, please leave a message with your phone number clearly stated in the message and we’ll get back to you. We will call you back from staff mobile phones, not from the landline.

Email info@reapscotland.org.uk. Emails will be forwarded to our energy advice staff for attention – we’ll email you back unless you give us a phone number to call if that is preferable to you.

Home Energy Scotland are still running their free advice line too – call 0808 808 2282

See our Coronavirus info page for information on

  • Support for people on pre-payment meters
  • Saving energy when you’re stuck at home
  • General Coronavirus advice
  • Coronavirus scams and fraud

Take care and keep warm, best wishes REAP

Cooper Park Bi-monthly 14th March 10.30am-12.30pm

We’ll be tending to the edible beds in Cooper Park behind the tennis courts, beside the play park, this Saturday. Feel free to drop in any time to see what’s going on and find out more about the beds, or lend a hand and learn some practical gardening skills. All are welcome.

We run these sessions every other month so please keep an eye on our Events calendar or Facebook to see when the next one is and what else is going on. Events are free to attend.

Hill of Towie Community Benefit Funding applications

The latest round of funding is now open, thanks to Hill of Towie wind farm developer, RES. 

Applications from constituted groups in the fund area of benefit are welcome and the next closing date is Thursday 12th March. Applicants must meet at least one of the fund aims, which are:

  • to improve the social and community life within of the area of benefit
  • to safeguard and improve the natural environment and promote its proper use

If you’ve never applied for funding before and need some help, or if you just want to check your plans or projects are eligible, please contact REAP for an informal chat. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the application process or how to fill in forms. You’ll find all the paperwork you need on the downloads page and paper copies are also available, just ask. 

Area of benefit map

The Hill of Towie Community Benefit Fund Area of Benefit

The area of benefit encompasses the parishes of Botriphnie (around Drummuir), Boharm (around Mulben) and Keith and Newmill. 

Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund generates more local grant funds

The Hill of Towie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund has awarded almost £50,000 of funding for local projects and groups in the Keith area. The latest round of funding saw 10 local organisations boosted by grant awards totalling £44,585.02

Applications must benefit community/social life or the natural environment of Boharm, Botriphnie, or Keith and as usual, applications covered diverse projects and plans. This round featured funding for a defibrillator, health & wellbeing sessions, Christmas lights and summer flowers, as well as other improvements to community spaces.

One of the beneficiaries of this funding round is the Loft Youth Project in Keith, who received money for sessional youth worker time. Their application made a strong case for the social benefit of investing in young people

Project Manager Sharon Duncan said, “We are over the moon to receive this much needed additional funding. The services we provide are in greater demand than ever. They range from running small groups for young people who need some intensive support, to transition groups that have proved to be very effective in helping primary seven pupils with the move to secondary school. Being able to fund extra staff hours will help us meet all these needs and continue to invest in our local young people.”

Beneficiaries for this round of funding were:
Mulben Picnic Committee – £7,920 to remove a derelict building from the playpark site
Keith 50+ Group – £500 for health and wellbeing outings and activities
Drummuir & Botriphnie Community Trust – £17,428.38 to level and resurface the hall car park and £900 towards plants and additional planters for ‘Drummuir in Bloom’
Rrrrallye Team – £344.00 towards venue hire for their annual Fun Day and Car Show
Keith in Flower – £3,700.00 for additional planters for ‘Keeping Keith in Flower’
Boharm Public Hall – £1,866.99 for a 24/7 public access defibrillator at the hall
Keith Golf Club – £3,750.00 for a rough cutting roller mower
The Loft Youth Project – £6,012.51 for additional sessional staff
Keith Community Council Christmas Lights Committee – £2,163.14 to refurbish lights

The Hill of Towie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund was set up by RES, operator of the 21-turbine site near Drummuir, to support groups and projects that benefit Boharm, Botriphnie and Keith. Since it was established in 2012, the fund has awarded 148 grants totalling £ 637,395.

The deadline for the next round of funding is Thursday 12th March. The Decision Making Panel is always keen to hear from new applicants. You can talk through ideas and check eligibility, with the friendly staff at REAP. Get in touch by calling 01542 888 070 or emailing info@reapscotland.org.uk. Fund application forms and guidance notes are available for download on the REAP website and paper copies are available on request.