Community Fund donates over £9K to Scottish organisations

Home Start Lorn

RENEWABLE energy leader Drax Group has announced the support it will provide to community organisations local to its operations though its new Community Fund, launched in 2023.

The donations of £500 to £2,000 are for community-led projects which support STEM education and skills, enhance green spaces or improve communities local to its operations.

It has announced funding to five organisations in Argyll and Bute where Drax owns and operates Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage hydro facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. Drax announced last year plans to build a new c.£500m underground pumped storage hydro plant at the site, that with the right support from the UK Government would create 1,000 jobs during construction. Additionally, Drax has donated to The Catherine McEwan Foundation in Glasgow, which helps people living with Crohn’s and Colitis access better treatment.

Ian Kinnaird, Director of Scottish Assets, Drax Group, said: “Since the acquisition of Cruachan by Drax in 2019, our business has supported a range of initiatives and created apprenticeship opportunities for the local area. Linking us even closer with the communities we operate in and that many of our colleagues live within.

“Our new Community Fund has provided support to local primary schools, Oban Community Council and The Catherine McEwan Foundation. These donations will provide pupils with the latest technology, help with refurbishing buildings and contribute to school trips, all furthering our commitment to advancing STEM education in our local areas.”

The projects in Cruachan and Glasgow that will receive donations worth a total of £9,050, from Drax Community Fund, include:

  • The Catherine McEwan Foundation: Expanding opportunities for young people in the senior phase of secondary school living with Crohn’s disease or Colitis. 
  • Lochnell Primary School: Purchasing DASH Robot, STEM equipment and additional ipads.
  • Oban Community Council: Funding local planning efforts around community engagement activities.
  • Home-Start Lorn: Helping to refurbish buildings and creating a family centre in Oban.
  • Oban High School: Funding a school rugby trip for the girls team to France.

Derek McEwan, Founder, The Catherine McEwan Foundation, said: “The Catherine McEwan Foundation is delighted to receive this support from Drax. Our scholarship is a unique initiative with incredible positive outcomes. To have this support means we can continue to support the education of young people living with Crohn’s & Colitis.”

Murray Hamilton, Principal Teacher of PE and HWB, Oban High School, commented: “We were delighted when we heard the support from Drax, it is a major boost to the girls’ fundraising. This is the first trip of its kind for a girls’ sports team at Oban High School; we are really proud of our girls and can’t wait to go to France and provide them with this opportunity. The support from Drax will help make it a truly memorable experience.”

Emma Rossiter, Primary 7 Principal Teacher, Lochnell Primary School, said: “The funding from Drax is game changing for us at Lochnell Primary School. We have been developing STEM opportunities within our curriculum. The Lego Spike Kits and iPads allow us to explore and develop our engineering and coding skills along with critical problem-solving skills and teamwork. Thank you Drax for making this possible.”

To find out more about the Drax Community Fund and how to apply for funding, go to the website.

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