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An Lanntair arts centre’s Stepping Stones outreach project is being boosted by Bank of Scotland Foundation grant.

An Lanntair says it is delighted to announce that it has secured a two-year funding grant from Bank of Scotland Foundation.

They describe it as "a substantial sum of money that will help fund the arts charity’s beneficial Stepping Stones outreach project with activities in An Lanntair and a variety of community spaces across Lewis and Harris."

The Bank of Scotland Foundation website states that the grant amounts to £176,176.

An Lanntair says this will cover costs "such as our Arts Workers fees, community venue hires, materials and travel."

Such funds are imperative to the sustainability of An Lanntair charity, as Moira Macdonald, An Lanntair Head of Education and Outreach said: “This grant from Bank of Scotland Foundation will enable An Lanntair to continue to bring high quality creative opportunities to rural communities throughout Lewis and Harris.

"Our team of Arts Workers will be able to provide free music, movement and visual arts projects, supporting young people to develop vital creative skills, and enabling families to access the arts together.”

The Stepping Stones project aims to support disadvantaged families and young people living on the islands.

The project delivers essential, priceless services for several different groups of young people; from pre-school, school-aged children, to young adults and young parents, offering free access to creative workshops, available in a variety of community venues across Lewis and Harris.

These workshop programmes include weekly Family Music and Creative Play for under 5’s, Mini Makes and Movement & Dance for pre-school children and families, as well as Art Labs for older primary school and secondary school children. An Lanntair also works closely with partner organisations including Action for Children and CNES Community Learning and Development in supporting disadvantaged families to access the arts.

Encouraging artistic endeavour, whilst providing regular creative workshops for both young people and young parents in the community, is at the heart of what the arts centre is trying to achieve with this programme, as Moira continued: “Having opportunities to be creative is vital for wellbeing at all ages, and there are added benefits when families take part in the arts together. Our Education programme enable all of our audiences to engage with and enjoy An Lanntair’s programmes, to develop skills; enhance their communication; and grow involvement in the community.”

Not only does this Bank of Scotland Foundation grant help provide essential workshops for young people, but it also supports An Lanntair as a charity, and builds the sense of community by connecting several venues throughout Lewis and Harris.

The impact of the Stepping Stones outreach project has been clear with the positive feedback received and the ever-growing popularity of the funded workshops. Moira added: “Currently our team of four Arts Workers run 21 Stepping Stones workshops every week. Additional workshops are run with Pointers mums and tots, Smath sinn Beag, and PEF supported pupils at the Nicolson Institute.”

Donald MacKechnie, Chair of the Bank of Scotland Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Insurance & Wealth Transformation and Strategy Director, Lloyds Banking Group said: “Due to the significant impact Covid-19 has had on charities, our Change grants programme for 2021 had a strong focus on Helping Scotland Recover.

"The programme extends a lifeline to charities allowing them to apply for whatever is their greatest priority and area of need – whether that be capital costs, project work or unrestricted core costs.

“We were delighted to award An Lanntair this funding at the end of 2021, enabling them to enter a new year with greater flexibility over how they use their resources.”

To find out more about the Stepping Stones workshops, visit