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The MaidSafe Foundation celebrates after receiving £4685 of National Lottery funding to help local communities to develop skills and experience within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M)

Our Ayrshire charity – the MaidSafe Foundation – is celebrating today after being awarded almost £5000 in National Lottery funding. This will allow the Foundation to support it’s work in developing community members using the knowledge and experiments within the STEM guidelines. The group – who are based in Ochiltree, East Ayrshire – will use the money to run more activities for local community organisations and to provide further support sessions for any group or individual wanting to learn.

The Foundation has been running since 2011 and is staffed by 2 part time staff and 11 volunteers. It was founded by David Irvine after he realised that the only way to spread the knowledge and allow everyone to reach their potential was to set up the Foundation.

The group runs sessions as and when required, within primary schools in East and South Ayrshire. This has been greatly appreciated by almost 300 primary school pupils and staff to date. The pupils undertake STEM activities such as coding, natural dyeing, experiments on wind turbines, papermaking etc. The sessions introduce pupils to the STEM world while learning new skills and having fun. The pupils gain confidence, self-belief and important collaboration skills.

The Foundation have also developed a STEM pack which will give the teachers within  primary schools, confidence and resources to teach STEM modules. The plan is to obtain approval and support to enable them to roll out the packs to schools and communities throughout Scotland.

The National Lottery Community Fund – which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK – has provided the funding to allow the Foundation to develop a 16 foot STEM trailer which will allow us to take STEM directly into communities within Ayrshire.

At the same time, the group will be able to create plans to introduce support sessions for all community members. These will help them to build relationships with other experienced STEM users to enable them to develop their own STEM support communities.

John Irvine – Chair of the Trust for the MaidSafe Foundation stated, “We are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to develop and implement our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to local community members of all ages”.

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. 

As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk   

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