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Thank you National Lottery Community Led Fund

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Dingwall community cafe to open in time for Christmas thanks to The National Lottery

Sheila's Community Cafe in Dingwall received a National Lottery Grant. A Highland town’s wish has come true as a new community cafe where everyone is welcome will open in time for Christmas Day. Sheila’s Community Cafe in Dingwall is one of 246 community projects across the country today sharing in £8,162,502 of National Lottery funding for activities that will bring people together both at the Festive period and all year round. Thanks to a National Lottery award of £73,354 to Community Support and Information Ross-shire, Sheila’s Community Cafe will open its doors in time for Christmas Day to welcome those who may be spending the day alone. Pay what you can afford The new space will become a safe haven and a place to come for hot food and company for local people who may feel isolated or who may be affected by the impacts of the cost of living crisis. The National Lottery has funded Sheila’s Cafe in Dingwall. The cafe will operate on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis with a pay-it-forward scheme also in operation where the town’s residents can buy someone a hot drink, bowl of soup or a plate of stovies. On Friday evenings, the cafe will open up to young people as a digital cafe meaning that young people from outlying areas can join in and meet up with their friends. Mary Foley, 70, from Dingwall has been heavily involved in creating the space as well as donating items such as kitchen equipment and plates and cups. She said: “A lot of hard work has been done to make the building a warm and clean space after it being uninhabited for a number of years. “This will help the community in so many ways such as helping to combat social isolation and helping people and families struggling to make ends meet by providing a warm and welcoming space and organising events for all ages. “I can’t wait to use the cafe when it’s finally open.” ‘Delighted’ to be awarded funding Shona Street, chief officer, Community Support and Information Ross-shire, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded funding for our Community Cafe and Event space. “It’s wonderful that we can make our dream a reality and one which will help address the issues of poverty and isolation in a practical and fundamental way. Our community has been behind us all the way and have bought into the pay-it-forward ethos with full collection tins ready to be used. “This project has been fuelled by the enthusiasm and time of many local people and shows just what can be achieved when all sectors of a community come together.” Announcing the funding, Kate Still, Scotland chairwoman, The National Lottery Community Fund said: “It’s fantastic to see this latest round of funding go to charity and community groups who are helping people in communities across Scotland come together. “This sense of real community spirit is embodied by the people of Dingwall who have already embraced the ethos behind Sheila’s Community Cafe, a place where local people of all ages can meet and make new friends. “National Lottery players can be proud that they are supporting this vital work, not only during the Festive Season but all year round.”

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