Successful Projects

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance

Year Completed: 

In 2014 the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund approved funding for £2000.00 towards the cost of providing a long term sustainable air ambulance capability in Scotland.  Since they started the SCAA have been called to Duns 3 times. 

Below is a report of there progress todate.


  • SCAA has completed 15.5 months of successful operations since launching on 22nd May 2013, where it has saved many lives and improved patients’ quality of life by moving them to hospitals rapidly.
  • Helimed 76 has been called upon 400 times and there has also been 22 road responses by the paramedics to local emergencies using the Rapid Response Vehicle.
  • Since its launch SCAA has contributed to more emergency calls being met by air ambulances, patients being reached quicker and transport times to hospital by helicopter being reduced.
  • At the start of the second year the public’s reaction to SCAA is more positive than ever.
  • The number of volunteers is ever-increasing and now stands at over 50 and is rising.
  • Individuals, groups and organisations fundraising for SCAA is also on the increase.
  • SCAA has been nominated as ‘charity of the year’ by significantly more companies than last year.
  • Aircraft tasking continues to follow seasonal norms and has shown an increase during school holidays and with more tourists in Scotland.
  • A significant partnership with Clydesdale Bank was announced at SCAA’s 1st Anniversary Event on 19th May 2014.
  • An initiative was launched with NFU Scotland – ‘Saving Time’ - to help farmers pin point their location if they need to make a 999 call and there is further interest from landowners, forestry and gamekeepers.
  • SCAA’s social media coverage is proving to be very popular and is also increasing.


  • SCAA’s Vision is to provide a long-term sustainable and scalable air ambulance capability to complement statutory resources across Scotland.  
  • SCAA’s Charitable Purpose is the emergency relief of serious sickness and injury and the protection of human life across Scotland by the provision of a sustainable air ambulance capability based in East Central Scotland, in order to save life, preserve life, increase survival rates and assist the speed of recovery in time critical medical emergencies.
  • SCAA is a Scottish Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.
  • SCAA was approved by the Scottish Government in November 2012 following a recommendation from the Scottish Ambulance Service Board and a Business Case being developed by a Joint Reference Group comprising NHS Scotland, SAS, police, trauma consultant, NHS Tayside and SCAA.
  • SCAA launched on 22nd May 2013 with a Bolkow 105 twin-engine helicopter air ambulance based at Perth Airport.
  • SCAA operates across Scotland alongside the SAS helicopters based at Glasgow and Inverness and is integrated with SAS tasking, reporting, clinical and aviation procedures
  • The aircraft, pilots, engineers, spares and back-up aircraft are provided by Bond Air Services.  The paramedics are provided by SAS and meet the same standard as their other air paramedics in Scotland.  SCAA raises charitable funds to meet all of the costs, including paramedic services, which amount to £1.5M per year.
  • Funding has been forthcoming from trusts and foundations, corporates, groups and organisations and members of the public.  There is no Government funding.




  • Two pilots and five paramedics are employed to provide a crew of a pilot and two paramedics 10 hour a day, seven days a week.
  • The crew are regularly the only medical resource available at the scene of an emergency, but often work together with ambulance crews, trauma teams, first responders, GPs and the emergency services.
  • SCAA has responded to incidents in all Scottish Health Board mainland areas.
  • The largest proportion (66%) of missions has been to provide care to trauma cases.
  • Just over half of our patients have been flown to Ninewells, Dundee.  Others have been flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Belford Hospital, Crosshouse Hospital Kilmarnock, Dumfries Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Forth Valley Royal, Lorne & Isles Hospital, Perth Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital Inverness, Royal Alexandria Hospital, Southern General Hospital, Golden Jubilee Hospital, Western Infirmary and Borders Hospital.
  • The crew have responded to every mission within the KPI of being airborne within 5 minutes of receiving the call.




  • Lives have been saved and patients’ quality of life improved by transporting patients to hospitals rapidly by helicopter.
  • The use of a helicopter often eliminates the need for a secondary transfer from a rural hospital by road as the helicopter has the flexibility and speed to fly directly and quickly to a specialist unit.  This also avoids these cases from stretching rural hospitals beyond their capability.
  • Transport by helicopter reduces the time taken to get patients to hospital markedly over road transport in rural areas: 3 hours by road has been reduced to 25 minutes by air in some cases.
  • The integrated charity/statutory air ambulance model is a good example of the Government and the Third Sector working in partnership in Scotland to add value and capacity to existing services.  It is unique to Scotland and is innovative: it is seen by many as a model of best practice.
  • The relationship between SAS and SCAA is working well.
  • The service has been well received across all aspects of the health service which we work alongside.  There has been a similar response from the emergency services.


Allsorts Childcare Centre Ltd

Year Completed: 

Allsorts Childcare Centre Ltd would like to thank the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for their very generous donation of £7,500. It has helped the centre considerably allowing us to update and renew resources for the children who use the centre. It has helped the centre get back on its feet and provide fun and educational play experiences for the children. To date we have spent the money on numerous items including new TV and DVD’s, dressing up costumes, wooden musical instruments, play kitchen and baking equipment, footballs and rugby balls.  We are awaiting a secure storage shed and when we have this we will be buying new bikes and helmets.  We are still going strong hoping to continue growing as the years go on.  So from all the children, staff and parents we thank you again.



Photo Gallery: 


Year Completed: 

Berwickshire Recreation Education Sports Trust is a registered charity

Scottish Charity Number SCO26564

Duns Swimming Pool is a small, community pool in Duns, a rural town in Berwickshire. It has a 25m pool, sauna and dryside facilities. It was refurbished in 2010 and has since benefited from the support of the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund.

BREST, the trust which runs the pool is a charity which operates on a shoestring budget.  Swimming pools are very expensive to run in both energy and maintenance and without the help of organisations such as Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund it would be almost impossible to maintain the high standard of the facilities in Duns.

In the last few years the fund has assisted BREST to purchase teaching equipment for First Aid at Work, Lifeguard Training and Swimming Lessons, air conditioning for the Guy Roberts room, acoustic panels for the same room, changing room cubicle curtains, changing room fan and other smaller items. In particular the air conditioning and acoustic panels have made a huge improvement to the environment in the Guy Roberts Room. This is now used by even more groups which benefits the community and
generates additional income for BREST to use in the provision of more activities.

The other items are also much appreciated as BREST has very restricted funds available for additional equipment and improvments but without which the service offered to the community would suffer.

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!

Photo Gallery: 

Duns Christmas Lights

Year Completed: 


Report to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund

Following receipt of the very generous donation of £10,000 from Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund we spent quite a bit of time looking at the lights on offer.  The money arrived just in time for us to instruct the Council and order lights for Christmas 2013.

We elected to renovate the cross-street features at the Post Office (Nativity Scene) and the Banks in the entrance to the Square.  We also traded-in four features at North Street (outside Plough Inn), South Street (outside Duns News Plus), Murray Street (outside Fortes) and Black Bull Street (outside Black Bull Inn) for new features.  We also bought spare bulbs and additional motifs which were fixed to the Toll House (JD Clark and Allan and Duns Dental Practice).

The replacement lights are all LEDs and use a fraction of the electricity that we used previously. 

We were able to instruct Scottish Borders Council to proceed with the installation of the new power supplies to replace the original supplies that they had cut off (vandalised).  We were obliged to pay 50% of the cost of this.  The terminals installed by the Council are very sensitive, however, and trip at the least little thing.  Consequently our team are regularly seen up ladders at all hours resetting MCBs.  We are talking to the Council about this.

Finally we instructed our honorary electrician, Bob Markby, to build and install 6 No junction boxes for the display which allowed us to plug in the features and the garlands.

In the year 1 Oct 2013 to 30 Sep 2014 we paid the following:

Blachere (lights)                     £ 6,130.73

Delivery Charges                    £    140.00

Bob Markby                            £    586.48

Scottish Borders Council         £ 4,176.65

TOTAL EXPENDITURE              £11,033.86


Our income included donations from private individuals and donations through the Cracker in the Square and this allowed us to run a switch-on evening, purchase additional lights and pay for the collection and delivery of the features.  We still have a small reserve for next years spares.

Without the generous donation from the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund we would not have been able to erect the cross street features, string garlands around the Square and run the very popular switching on of the lights by the Wynsome Mayde.  The display would have been restricted to the lights on the tree and Duns town centre would have been the poorer for it.

On behalf of the Erection Section and all who have enjoyed the display of Christmas Lights in Duns we would like to thank the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund Trustees for their generous award.


J Andrew Lester

(Meant to be retired Chairman)