The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the charitable organisation behind Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has launched its 2024 Community Fund and is now accepting applications from registered charities and community interest companies (CICs) in the Highland Perthshire area.
The Fund was set up by The Enchanted Forest Community Trust in 2015 to redistribute the proceeds from the annual event to the local community in Pitlochry and the wider Highland Perthshire area. Since that time The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has reinvested over £325,200 back into the region, making a lasting positive impact by benefitting more than 150 local community groups, projects, and charities.
This year the fund is open to registered charities and community interest companies (CICs) only, who can apply for up to £10,000 from the fund to finance projects within Highland Perthshire, via an application form available on The Enchanted Forest website. The Enchanted Forest Community Trust will especially welcome applications from projects that are focused on helping people in need with the cost of living crisis in the Highland Perthshire area, help with battling child poverty and focus on child welfare and increase inclusion, enablement, independence, mental health and wellbeing. The Trust will also be looking for projects which increase access to employment, volunteering, learning, culture, sport, and leisure opportunities and aim to improve infrastructure which benefits the community and promotes sustainability through best practices.
Gareth Ruddock, Chief Executive at CheckIN Works and Giraffe Trading, received funding from the Enchanted Forest Community Fund in 2023, which had a specific focus on applications that helped tackle poverty in the region and addressed cost of living challenges. Gareth commented: “The funding from the Enchanted Forest Community Trust has allowed us to continue to support people in Highland Perthshire through making and distributing healthy, home-made style meals for free to households in need. These meals are made by our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities to learn essential life skills and socialisation.”
Another charity that the Enchanted Forest Community Fund has supported is SiMBA, a charity which exists to respond to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby. This is done through the delivery of core services, providing support to families in a way that is meaningful for them and reaches wherever they are on their journey after the loss of their baby. The money has helped SiMBA to continue to give bereaved parents in Perth and Kinross memory boxes, which help them to remember their child who has died.
Vanessa Rhazali, Head of Fundraising and Communications at SiMBA commented: “The funding we received from the Enchanted Forest Community Fund enabled us to gift 50 bereaved families a precious Memory Box after a devastating loss so they had precious memories of their baby. In the aftermath of their loss, the whole family gains comfort and strength by sharing and discussing the contents of their baby’s Memory Box, which includes hand and footprints, a wisp of baby’s hair, a tealight candle, a birth acknowledgement, a pair of tiny, knitted teddies and blankets, a supportive letter from another bereaved parent and a children’s book to read to the baby and later to baby’s siblings. They are meticulously put together by our dedicated volunteers with care and compassion. We are so grateful to the Enchanted Forest Community Fund for believing in our work and their support in directly comforting bereaved parents in this unique way. Thank you!”
Nela Popovic, Executive Director of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be able to give back to the local Highland Perthshire community every year through the Enchanted Forest Community Fund, all made possible because of the continued success of The Enchanted Forest show. The support of the local community who recognise the importance of the event to the region is invaluable.
“Our desire is that the Enchanted Forest Community Fund is a force for good, creating a lasting positive impact and legacy within the community in which the event has called its home for the last twenty-plus years. It’s fantastic to see this vision come to life through the many charities and community groups we have supported over the years. Essentially it’s our way of saying a big thank you to those who have so graciously supported the event from day one. We look forward to receiving applications for the 2024 Enchanted Forest Community Fund.”
Successful applicants will be asked to provide a report to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust on how they have used the money in relation to their request.
To download an application form, please visit: www.enchantedforest.org.uk. Completed application forms should be returned no later than 31 March 2024.