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Community groups in Ayr North secure fresh funding through public vote

21 community groups are celebrating after landing fresh funding to help support their work.

Around 90 people turned out to take part in the 'Ayr North Decides' event, which is part of a new way of encouraging people to get actively involved in local decision making known as 'Participatory Budgeting'.

A fund of up to £10,000 was available at the event, with community groups pitching to an audience of local people about their proposal and how it will benefit the community.

Anyone over the age of 12 could vote. After all the pitches were heard, the audience voted to fully fund 18 of the groups up to £500, with three runners-up being awarded £373 each.*

Among the projects to benefit: a refurbished therapy room for people living with cancer, activity to help families dealing with challenging addiction issues, summer day care during the school holidays, walking netball for pensioners, helping Syrian refugees settling in South Ayrshire to contact their families back home via the internet, and special classes where young people teach the older generation about using new technology.

The money was made available from the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the Scottish Government. The aim is let communities decide which local projects get funding.

Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Integration Joint Board and South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, said the event helped to respond to local priorities, "We're committed to working with our communities to make life better and this new approach has already proved to be popular.

"The broad range of projects funded demonstrates how varied local need can be and I am sure this money will help to make a real difference to the groups that were awarded funding.

"Participatory Budgeting gives communities a direct say on what happens in their local areas and these events play a valuable role in helping to make that happen, with everyone aged 12 and up being given the chance to vote."


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