Wild Things! is a Scottish Environmental Education Charity based on the Moray Firth. The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation has been pleased to support this successful initiative since its inception in 2003. Since then, over 7,000 children, young people and adults have been given the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by their local natural environment.
The Keith and Dufftown Railway is an eleven mile line linking the World’s Malt Whisky Capital, Dufftown, to the market town of Keith. An enthusiastic group of volunteers help with manning the train, maintenance, catering and restoration work … a worthwhile day trip for locals and visitors alike!
PIPING AT FORRES
This annual piping event in the heart of Forres is one of the largest outdoor events in the North of Scotland. The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation provided targeted support to aid educational activities and work with children and young people.
ELGIN YOUTH CAFE
‘Deltaforce’ is an exciting project within Elgin Youth Cafe where young people aged 11 to 24 volunteer their time to help with tasks within the community, including working with organisations such as the Scottish Dolphin Centre, Wildthings, Trees for Life, plus smaller projects within the Elgin area..
AN TALLA SOLAIS
An Talla Solais is Ullapool’s popular visual arts centre which hosts a wide range of innovative exhibitions of contemporary art. The charity also runs classes, courses and events with studios offering space for plenty of community involvement. Funding from the Foundation brought the opportunity for 8 new art school graduates from across Scotland to exhibit their work in the An Talla Solais gallery over a 6 week period last Spring. A programme of workshops for school children, walking tours by artists and visits to local care homes allowed the art graduates to interact closely with the surrounding community as well as visitors to the area.
THE SAND BOTHY
The former Beach Ranger Hut at Balmedie Country Park, north of Aberdeen, is receiving a much-needed makeover by a group of hard-working volunteers who want to provide local facilities for educational classes, workshops and small events. Funding is to create an interesting exhibition area within the Bothy, highlighting the natural and social heritage, flora and fauna of the area. The overall design is being created by a local artist with the help of some keen amateur photographers from the area. The group has achieved a great deal in a short time and they continue to develop their ideas to provide a sustainable community initiative.
Cantraybridge delivers rural skills training to young adults with disabilities and autism alongside independent living skills development.
This hidden treasure, which has been helping young people for nearly 20 years, is tucked away in the beautiful countryside at Croy, not far from Inverness. Valuable work is being undertaken there to champion the rights of young people with disabilities by creating opportunities to learn and grow. Funding will support the proposed community classroom which will include a wildlife diversity garden and pond learning zone for educational visits from across the region. If you are in the area, the café is definitely worth a visit … not to mention a walk round their exotic birds sanctuary.
RSPB DUNNET HEAD
Dunnet Head is a site of natural, cultural and historic significance. 17.5 hectares have been secured by RSBP to establish a community driven project to work towards educational programmes, conservation and environmental matters as well as natural and archaeological heritage. Funding has been awarded towards providing literature to promote the site and provide educational information packs for schools and visitors to the area.
THE FOCHABERS INSTITUTE
In a major milestone for The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation, as well as the wider community in Fochabers, we have decided to throw our full support behind a local regeneration project in the Baxter family’s hometown. The project was awarded £60,000.
By far the largest award from the Foundation to date has been made to the Fochabers Village Association towards a comprehensive renovation programme being undertaken to give the local community hall a much-needed overhaul. Every attempt is being made to keep the wonderful character of this village landmark, while returning the venue to its original glory. An eco-friendly approach has been prioritised for the upgrade works and this efficiency will benefit everyone using the facility in the long term. The hall has been host to many happy events and exhibitions involving the wider Baxter family for almost a century. Funding is being targeted for provision of an excellent community kitchen facility.