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Homeaid Caithness To Expand With New Funding

23rd January 2010

A Caithness and Sutherland charity which helps hundreds of local people every year who are facing hardship is expanding its services.

Homeaid, which redistributes donated household items to the elderly and low income residents, is planning to buy a shop in Wick and extend its warehouse in Thurso.

The forward thinking social enterprise, which has developed its own growth plan working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has secured grant and loan funding from the Scottish Investment Fund.

Homeaid�s general manager is Michele Whibley. She commented: "We are delighted, particularly in the current economic climate, that we have secured funding and are moving forward. Our wide ranging services are needed more than ever. Rather than sending perfectly useable items to landfill sites we can ensure that the people who need them most don't have to live without them.

"HomeAid provides a vital service to the community, and we are very grateful to everyone who donates. There are many people who may find themselves in need. We help set up houses for the homeless, we help families on low incomes, we even provide emergency food boxes to those in crisis.

"We are always delighted to have local support either through volunteering or donations. We have a list of vital items that people are looking for � white goods like cookers and fridges are always very welcome."

The charity covers a huge patch - with re-cycling provision in Kinlochbervie and Lochinver available every month.

Alastair Davis, Investment Director from Social Investment Scotland commented: "We are delighted to be providing this finance to such an ambitious organisation to help them achieve their growth aims. The Scottish Investment Fund is all about creating a 'step change' and we are absolutely confident that with the purchase of this new unit this will be delivered."

HIE's Charles Findlay is impressed with the innovative ways in which the charity tries to keep its costs down.

"The cost of fuel is a large expense for the charity and they are looking at ways to create bio-diesel from fat to try to cut costs. All the money raised from their income streams goes into supporting the services offered. It is an excellent example of why social enterprises exist, with the community at the centre of it - staffing it, supporting it and benefiting from it."


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