Children & the young
One Scottish child in every four is classified as vulnerable by the time they reach primary school, defined as being poor in social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive ability or physical health and wellbeing. Just as many children in Scotland - that is one in four - were living in poverty between 2019 and 2022. To ensure these young people get the best possible start in life, children's charities have been one of the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust's main areas of giving for decades - harking back to the Royal Caledonian Ball's roots of raising funds for the Caledonian Asylum, which provided a home and education for the children of Scottish soldiers who had been orphaned.
Borders Children's Charity
The Borders Children's Charity provides support for children (birth to 18 years of age) living in extreme poverty, distress or mental illness in the Scottish Borders. Health, social and educational professionals can apply on behalf of children for items such as beds, bedding, carpeting for a child’s bedroom, assistance with school trips, specialised wheelchairs, payment for activities which can help a child’s mental health, and swimming lessons. The charity receives around 14 requests a month on average.
Run entirely by a committee of volunteers, BCC has been helping local kids for over 50 years - but the need for their support is greater than ever. The Royal Caledonian Charities Trust is pleased to have been able to contribute to their excellent work for several years.
Dumfries & Galloway Befriending
Providing one-to-one support for young people (aged 8-18) who are referred to them by relevant professionals, Dumfries & Galloway Befriending is an early intervention service which promotes the wellbeing of vulnerable young people by encouraging successful transitions at difficult periods in their lives, building social networks and offering a range of coping strategies. The Project relies on the skills, enthusiasm and commitment of adult volunteers who are prepared to give up time to work with very challenging youngsters. Many of the service users have additional support needs and befriending enhances their life-long learning opportunities. Many are isolated, socially and/or geographically, and all are set individual goals. Grants from the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust have helped the young people gain increased independence, confidence, resilience and feelings of self-worth., as well as learn new skills.
Islay & Jura Sick Children's Fund
The Islay & Jura Sick Children’s Fund makes grants, donations, loans, gifts or pensions to individuals needing relief for reasons of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage. This is particularly important in Argyll & Bute, which contains a large number of people with a lack of access to things like healthcare simply because of the area’s rural nature - including on the Hebridean islands, including Islay and Jura, which between them are home to about 3,200 people.
Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers
Looking after a family member who requires care is always tough, but especially when you're only a child yourself. The Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers was established in 2000 to provide support and respite to young carers from across the region. They support more than 65 individuals each week, offering after school groups, activities, 1-on-1 support, snacks, and most importantly a break from caring and a chance to simply be a young person for a little while. All of their services are provided free of charge.
The Royal Caledonian Charities Trust has supported the charity's respite trips, which are usually held over the school holidays and provide young carers with crucial time away from their responsibilities, for several years now.