September 01, 2008

Kelso's Primetime bid aired

Did you know that twenty eight pence from every £1 lottery ticket bought by a member of the public goes to good causes? The Big Lottery Fund received 149 applications from groups around the country hoping for a share of the £3,000,000 available for the winners of BBC Scotland's Primetime programme. After assessment eighteen of these were selected. Those which made it through the selection are competing in groups of three in a public vote where viewers decide which projects should receive the funding. Tonight three groups from Ayrshire and the South of Scotland got the chance to persuade the viewing public to vote for them.

The Border Curling Development Group's project, which I described before here, was up against bids from Enable Scotland to provide support for those who have had to care for a relative for many years, and Girvan's Community Garden project.

The information in a programme like this comes at you thick and fast. The Kelso bid was well presented, and certainly the sport was shown in an excellent light! It was a case of spotting many well kent faces. Presenter Dougie Vipond even got a curling lesson! Peter Bowyer said at one point, "We believe we have a very special sport." And so say all of us.

£370,162 was the exact figure asked for. How would it be spent? The programme summarised this as the purchase of a minibus, purchase of ice preparation equipment, and free coaching provision. The Border Ice Rink's own website (here) hosts a more detailed description: 'The bid is for a grant of £370,000 over a 5 year period. The funding would be used for the improvement of health and well-being of the over 50 age group with the main expenditure being hire of ice facilities at Border Ice Rink, transport from the rural and local towns to Kelso, coaching of the target group, equipment to be used by the group, mini-bus for group use and the wider community, ice making eqiupment to cater for the group, health monitoring checks by the NHS Borders.'

I've said already that I have reservations about the whole concept of this series of programmes. Watching tonight just highlighted the difficulties I have with it. I am well aware of the work of Enable, and I have to be honest and say that their bid was the one which moved me the most. What a dilemma. Working in the sport of curling as I do, I feel the pressure on me to vote for Time to Curl. Yet my heart tells me that I should vote for Lifelong Carers. What should I do?

I have until 11.00 on Wednesday to decide. And so do you. If you want to watch the programme on iPlayer you can follow the link from here.

Democracy in action! I never had this difficulty in deciding what to do at a general election.

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