Huge windfall from unique charity shop project

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REPRESENTATIVES of Carnoustie’s good causes were out in force last week for a massive charity donation ceremony.

After less than a year of operation, the For Carnoustie Shop made its first charitable presentations on Thursday evening at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel which totalled nearly £20,000.

Over 100 people gathered at the hotel to see the 14 local causes receive cheques to help them continue their work.

The shop opened in January of this year and has been a roaring success with the community rallying to support the project which aims to give funding to Carnoustie causes.

Brian Hodgson, chairman of the For Carnoustie Board of Trustees, was delighted to see the scheme produce results.

He said: “We’re just overwhelmed with the support of the community, who have all pulled together and the local councillors are behind us.

“It’s just fantastic the way it’s worked out. We didn’t even imagine how much support we were going to get. It was good to hand out that money.”

There were 14 charities, organisations and other worthy causes at the event to receive a share of nearly £20,000 generated by the For Carnoustie Shop.

All the money donated on Thursday came from the proceeds of the sale of goods donated to the shop by Carnoustie people.

The following groups received funding from For Carnoustie: Carnoustie Community Council; Burnside Parent Council; 1st Carnoustie Boys’ Brigade; Carnoustie Scout Group; Dream Catchers; Carnoustie Canine Capers; First Responders; Carnoustie Panmure Youth AFC; Carnoustie Befrienders Group; Margaret Cumming’s Music Therapy; Carnoustie Skatepark Project; Carnoustie Panmure Youth Academy; Carnoustie Community Helpline and finally the Alison Gentles School of Scottish Dance in memory of Dave and Margaret Murray.

Brian attributed the success of For Carnoustie to the volunteer staff who make the shop a warm and welcoming place to pop in for a browse, a chat and a cup of tea.

He said: “We’d like to thank the volunteers, who have been outstanding. They do it for nothing.

“It’s just a nice warm feeling shop. It’s got a real community feel about it. It goes further than just being a shop, it’s a place to drop in to have a cuppie.”

According to Brian the feedback from the event has been very positive. He said: “We’ve had a few ‘thank you’ letters and going along the High Street on Saturday everybody was talking about it and how good it was for the town.”

Independent Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd was present at the awards ceremony and was heartened by the success of For Carnoustie.

He said: “Though unfortunately Carnoustie has no Common Good Fund this is very similar and I like to call it our ‘Common Wealth Fund’.

“Congratulations must go to the family team of Babs, Dave and Brian along with all the other volunteers and trustees who made this such a success for Carnoustie and in such a short time.

“With over 120 people turning up to the event to see nearly £20,000 being handed out proves that our town is most certainly full of community spirit.

“I really hope this worthwhile charity goes from strength to strength.”

The For Carnoustie Shop also spawned a Hallowe’en offshoot recently with a costume shop opening up on Queen Street for a limited time.

According to the chairman it was a very successful one-off ‘pop up’ shop. Brian said: “That raised over £1,000, that was donated from Bill Bowles. He had a fancy dress shop and when he opened his greengrocers he gave us all his old stock.”

The For Carnoustie team this week got back to the business of raising money and planning fund-raising schemes with the aim of making more donations as soon as possible.

Brian said: “We’ll just continue with the shop. We are looking to do some fund-raising opportunities in the near future.

“We did the Gala but we are looking to do a few other fund-raisers. It’s all in the pipeline and so we’ll keep the shop going.”

Asked to distill For Carnoustie’s ethos into a few words Brian replied: “We’re like the wind, it’s easier with us behind you.”