Local project benefits from Co-operative Society support

A new progressive initiative in Angus has received funding from the Co-operative Society.

Gary Malone, manager of Volunteer Centre Angus, popped along to the Co-op store in the Square, Kirriemuir, to accept a cheque for £1950 from Margaret Leighton, manager of the Co-operative store in the Square, and Garry Lyall, manager of the Co-operative store in the Roods.

The PRAXIS Life Skills Centre is an innovative volunteering project which helps tackle major issues faced by people in society today.

The PRAXIS project is run by volunteering effort, with volunteer mentors supporting people who have significant barriers to volunteering, education and employment to achieve their full potential.

The project also organises groups of unemployed young volunteers to carry out activities in the community such as environmental improvements and under take tasks for older or disabled people within our communities. The funding from is part of the Co-operative Awards nationally for voluntary and charity organisations.

“I really appreciate getting the funding from the Co-operative Society,” explains Gary Malone.

“The values of the Co-op make it like no other food store or food chain and are indeed similar to the values of volunteering.

“Increasingly in difficult times of welfare reforms and global warming and cuts it is important that resources are available to develop volunteering opportunities to keep people involved and improve their health and well being and also undertake activities in the outdoor environment.

“As we know the Co-operative is the leader in supporting community and volunteering projects around the environment such as the Green Schools Initiative and this is consistent with the work that we are trying to do throughout Angus.”

The PRAXIS Life Skills Centre opened a year ago and has already had more than 200 people who have improved their well being or employment and education prospects through being involved.

In addition to the PRAXIS Life Skills Centre, which is based in Arbroath and is open to all, they also have a one-acre vegetable and fruit farm at the House of Dun which is in partnership with National Trust for Scotland.

Anyone interested in volunteering or supporting the work of the project should contact morag@volunteerangus.org.uk.

PRAXIS is unique to Angus and has already been viewed as a success story which is to be replicated in other areas.

Top government officials and politicians, including the Home Secretary Theresa May, have visited the PRAXIS Life Skills Centre.

Most of the funding that goes into the PRAXIS Life Skills Centre is through donations by the public or grants and trusts.

“We require the support of local grants and trusts and people to help and develop this important initiative,” adds Gary Malone.

“Everyone’s a winner under the PRAXIS centre those who participate will definitely increase their wellbeing and employment opportunities and the other beneficiaries are the communities and the elderly people.

“ I stress again that it is really important that people work together to support people in communities and make our communities a better place to live. We can indeed be very proud of the high levels of participation of volunteering in Angus and the PRAXIS Centre is another example of the initiative and excellent work getting done by the people of Angus.”