Successful Projects

Duns Youth Cafe

Year Completed: 

      Duns Youth Cafe Project 2014

The grant from Blackhill Windfarm Community fund has enabled us to make the necessary changes to Duns Youth Centre (Connect Headquarters) for the organisation to continue to develop and it has had a huge impact. There have been two key areas that we have been able to develop.


The cafe bar area used to be upstairs on the mezzanine floor but is now downstairs in the main hall area. The bar area is larger now, with new double sinks a new cooker and hob (which we didn’t have before) and an up-cycled fitted kitchen which was donated by Countryside Kitchens. Staff and young people have told us that they think that the improvements have been ‘amazing.’

The new cafe area has also greatly benefitted ‘Open Doors’ weekly coffee morning which is run by a group of elderly volunteers. The old routine involved many trips up and down the stairs to fetch and carry crockery, boiling water and washing up. The new routine is much better and a lot safer as there is no need to go up and down the stairs. All the volunteers agree that the improvements have had a massive impact.

Connect ‘HQ’

Upstairs, on the mezzanine floor there is now an office space that did not exist before the refurbishment. Before, there were two computers on top of a long cupboard and staff used to sit on bar stools to do their work.

The new office space provides space for three members of staff to have access to a desk and computer and sufficient access to space in filing cabinets etc. This has been especially helpful as our staff team has grown and the demands on our resources have increased. We have created a ‘hub’ for the organisation both upstairs and downstairs.

The Future

Once the refurbishments were complete we applied to Comic Relief for funding for a Cafe worker to develop the cafe activities. The funding bid was successful and we started the cafe project in October 2014. The youth cafe is open every day at lunchtime and three evenings a week as well as the weekly Open Doors coffee morning.

We are also developing employability and inter-generational projects which will use the cafe area for social enterprise initiatives and work experience.

We expect to be using the facilities that this grant provided for many years to come


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Duns Players

Year Completed: 

The Duns Players applied to you for funding last year to finance some sound and lighting equipment and you kindly gave us.  We listed a number of items we wanted and agreed we would be contributing some of the money ourselves.   We also promised to share this equipment with other local groups.

To date we have spent £2,938 on much better lighting, carrying cases for all the equipment and a range of smaller items like the microphones.

Your grant has enabled us to improve the quality of our own shows.  We have put on Glen Garry Glen Ross an serious American Drama in September last year, Dads Army for armistice day. An Alan Bennett evening toured the village halls this spring and they will be used for our annual comedy shows this spring. 

We have also lent them to the Duns and District Opera for the annual pantomime and for Me and My Girl and Gavinton pantomime in January.  Berwickshire Housing Association borrowed them for their star awards event and they were also put to use a large childrens party.

We are thrilled with what we are now able to do with a much higher specification of equipment and not having to hire it on a regular basis so we want to thank the Fund for enabling this .

Yours Sincerely
Helen Forsyth Secretary Duns Players

Duns Senior Citizens Club

Year Completed: 

Duns Senior Citizens Club holds its social meetings fortnightly in Turnbull Court. There is a syllabus for the session and we have talks, demonstrations etc., also outings and special lunches, all of which are very well attended.

We applied to the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for a Grant to help towards funding two of our events, and fortunately we were successful. Needless to say we were delighted. The Grant was very much appreciated, and it enabled members to have ‘that wee bit extra’ something on both these occasions.

  1. The Club’s Christmas Lunch -
    This was held on 13 December 2013, when delicious traditional fayre was provided by a local caterer and served by the Committee (volunteers). The Committee had made up some beautiful Christmas hampers from donations from our members, which were raffled. Then this was followed by entertainment from some Duns Primary School pupils and their teachers. As always the whole afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, it brought both young and old together in fun and laughter.
  2. The Club’s Outing –
    This was held on 16 May 2014. Members were taken out for the day on a bus (local operator used), usually it’s to somewhere they can’t easily get to (as some of our members are not so mobile now). This year we went to Dobbie’s, Straiton and then back to Eyemouth Golf Club for our tea, delicious. There was ‘a right buzz throughout’, a change of scenery had given everyone a good lift, so we all went home feeling rather weary, but we all had had a lovely day.

On behalf of the Club, I would again convey our thanks to your Board of Directors, for their positive decision and generosity.

Madge Cran
On behalf of May Kinghorn

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Duns Football Club

Year Completed: 

Duns Football Club

The generous grant Duns Football Club received from the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund made up part of the overall funding package the club required for the ground works on our new playing surface at New Hawthorn Park in Duns.

It also helped erect our new perimeter fence which at that point completed stage one of our overall long term project.

Without this funding we would have been unable to complete on time. We opened our new ground last July on a sunny summers evening against a team from the reigning English champions Manchester City with the whole site looking splendid and over 500 people in the new ground.

So many people have, and will, benefit from what has been achieved with this generous grant and Duns Football Club would again like to thank Blackhill for their generous grant.

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Duns Amateur Swimming Club

Year Completed: 

Duns Amateur Swimming Club

Despite its size Duns Amateur Swimming Club has a history of producing fabulous swimmers with famous names such as Dan Wallace starting their careers with us. Membership had dipped over the years and funds from the Wind Farm were vital in securing our survival in 2012/13 and allowing Berwickshire swimmers at all levels to continue to train and compete.

Since our application our membership has doubled and we have a strong coaching structure in place. Duns has become one of the top clubs in the Borders once again.  In 2014 five swimmers competed at the Scottish National Age Groups, 4 swimmers competed in the Scottish Open Junior Championships at Tollcross in Glasgow, with Toby Douglas winning silver. 

The Borders BEST team was one of the top 10 teams in Scotland this year qualifying for the Scottish National Team Championships.  Successful seniors give our junior swimmers aspiration and our coaches are giving senior swimmers a path to reach their potential. 

As a result our club is much stronger and we can offer more and more children in the Berwickshire area access to swimming and coaching of a great standard.  New members always welcome!

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