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 Tennis Club

Year Completed: 

Duns Tennis Club

The courts were resurfaced in July 2014 and painted September 2014 at a total cost of £35,000.

This now brings them up to a first class playing standard to the benefit of all members adults and juniors alike, also for our local community to use.

Thanks again for the Blackhill contribution to this project.

Photo Gallery: 

Gavinton Village Hall

Year Completed: 

Community Cinema Gavinton

Because of the generosity and commitment to the promotion of Community endeavours in our region by Blackhill Windfarm and Awards for All Scotland, the Community Cinema Gavinton was able to open its doors in April this year. In order to demonstrate the ‘state of the art’ equipment that the funding had allowed, as well as to introduce the team of volunteers, an Open Day  was held, with an enthusiastically received screening of the popular Children’s (and Adult’s) film, ‘Frozen’! Amateur film footage, by two local teenagers, who are part of the group of volunteers, was also shown  and  proved particularly thought provoking and well received!

There was lots of interest shown from different sectors of the community, and as a result it was decided that one family Matinee, and one evening screening per month would be the format. The feedback also informed the  subsequent programme of films from 24th May to 16th August.

Community Cinema Gavinton (CCG) is in the fortunate position of having a refurbished Village Hall as its venue, which is both  comfortable and accessible,  allowing members of the community, who might otherwise be marginalized, to enjoy the cinema experience too. One wheelchair user, and partner, commented enthusiastically that they would both ‘definitely be coming back!’

When the Lego Movie was screened in June, the Cinema was fortunate enough to be able to show an amateur film ‘Lego Halloween’ by a young budding filmmaker from the village of Gavinton. This was a superb piece of footage and something that the group is very keen to promote as part of a future venture into amateur film making. Needless to say, the audience was greatly impressed!

Despite the vagaries of the Scottish weather, and holiday commitments, the community has responded very positively to this emerging facility, with lots of ideas for further development.  Still in its infancy, it is being propelled by a very enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers, who are making great efforts to promote and enhance this facility for the future.  CCG is a member of BFFS (Cinema for All), as well as (being on the cusp of) membership to Film Hub Scotland. Shared experience has been gained from other Community Cinemas and Society groups, which has proved extremely useful. 

Publicity for the project has taken many forms (a few of which are attached):

  • Advertising boards on the roadside,
  • Three monthly programme posters,
  • Monthly posters,
  • Leaflets into schools, Libraries, Shops, Local Businesses, Swimming Pool throughout the surrounding towns and villages,
  • Website (shared at present with Gavinton Village Hall, but soon to be a CCG dedicated one.)
  • Radio Borders,
  • Berwickshire News Entertainments section,
  • ‘What’s On’ publication,
  • BAVS newsletter.

Having spoken recently to someone who has done exactly what the group is aiming to do, it was impressed upon the volunteers that there is a fluctuating level of success in this kind of venture, and that it will take time to become  integrated as part of the community’s  social calendar. As the group has enthusiasm, perseverance and fortitude, hearing this was both a challenge and, paradoxically, reassuring!