Prestwick and Villages communities secure fresh funding through public vote

25 community groups are celebrating after landing fresh funding to help support their work. Around 100 people turned out to take part in the 'Prestwick and Villages 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 £15,000 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 21 of the groups up to £750, with 4 runners-up being awarded £155 each.

Among the projects to benefit: Lingo Flamingo will run a 10 week language project for care home residents living with Alzheimer's, their carer's, friends and family; Little Voices Big Sound choir will be able to buy new equipment, members of the Kyle Stroke Group members will benefit from art, exercise, and relaxation classes, The Way Forward will run classes to help people living with depression, more young people will get involved with the Outdoor Learning Group, while the Food Train group will work with older people to eat well, live well and age well. The money was made available from the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, the Scottish Government and South Ayrshire Council.

Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Integration Joint Board and South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, said the new events were proving to be a big success, "Every single one of the groups involved are passionate about putting something back into their communities and I'd like to thank all of them for taking the time to get involved.

"By giving people the power to prioritise the projects that they want to see developed the new participatory budget approach is already helping to make a real difference across South Ayrshire.

"In the last five months more than 100 different groups have benefitted from funding secured through community backing, while the evens have also helped to grow local networks which could help to shape joint projects in future."

Special thanks goes to Abercromby Vending, Batleys, TCS Construction Consultants, Lyreco, Richard Healey Removals Ltd, James Frew and Paper Shredding Services Ltd and Grants of Prestwick.

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