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Children in Need grant

A Burra Bear knitted by Wendy Inkster in Children in Need colours for last year's auction. Photo BBC Radio Shetland

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland has netted a £108,000 grant from the BBC Children in Need appeal to help fund its befriending service for young people with learning disabilities.

The scheme matches young people with volunteers, ensuring they too can have fun, while increasing confidence levels and promoting social inclusion.

The new grant means that the organisation can continue to employ an additional support needs development worker, who will recruit and train volunteer befrienders, whilst also assessing matches to ensure they deliver positive results.

Voluntary Action Shetland project co-ordinator Lynn Tulloch

Voluntary Action Shetland project co-ordinator Lynn Tulloch said the befriending scheme had already shown real benefits to young people.

“Our development worker works closely with each individual to understand their specific needs, which means we can deliver strong results and reduce isolation in Shetland,” she said.

To date, VAS has been granted over £343,000 from BBC Children in Need, supporting a range of projects.

National head of BBC Children in Need in Scotland Mary Duffy added: “With this money Voluntary Action Shetland will work with some of the local children and young people who need it most.

“This round saw the most intense competition for funds to date, with some tough decisions about which projects to fund, so we are more grateful than ever for the great public support. Thank you all.”

Every year well in excess of £20,000 is raised locally during the annual appeal broadcast live from the local BBC studio at Pitt Lane.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021