Cairn strikes a chord with children’s music charity

An Inverness music charity has benefited from a funding boost allowing it to continue to support children in their early development through musical interactions.

Since its inception in 2019, the Merkinch Skill Share sessions from Rokzkool Academy have been offering the young people of Merkinch a safe, warm environment to build friendships, learn new skills and have fun over breakfast.

Thanks to a £1000 funding boost from Cairn Housing Association, Rokzkool has been given the opportunity to acquire a set of vibraphones which will come in handy for the charity’s orchestral performance at this year’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

Rokzkool Academy came into being in 2015, delivering workshops all over the Highlands, and achieved charity status in 2019.

Kay Ewen, co-founder of Rokzkool Academy (SCIO), said: “Being recognised by Cairn as a charity which succeeds in improving the lives of children in Inverness is a great achievement – we’re so grateful for the support they have given us.

“This donation has allowed us to expand our musical instrument collection and our range of sports equipment to develop the variety of activities we are able to offer.

“As well as providing children with a nearby safe space, we also take them on various trips to beaches and forests when we can. The reaction we get from the kids on these trips is so positive and heart-warming to see.”

Since Rokzkool operates on a purely voluntary basis, Kay acknowledged that a donation like this will not go unnoticed: “We at Rokzkool Academy know only too well that anything worth doing usually takes a lot of hard work and dedication but can only thrive with good people to support our cause, like those at Cairn.”

Neil Golightly, business services manager at Cairn Housing Association, said: “The work of Rokzkool has proven vital for children in the local community – whether that’s through making friends, learning fun skills, or even by easing pressures on their parents by giving them a safe space to socialise.

“At Cairn, we are immensely proud to support charities and organisations such as Rokzkool which may be looking for that extra little boost to spread their reach to help even more in need.

“Applications for the community fund are still open, so if you work within an organisation that improves the quality of life for many, make sure to submit your application for your chance to get an extra funding boost.”

During the summer, Rokzkool holds a popular three-week camp full of outings and activities in Beauly.

Any projects which enhance the quality of living in areas where Cairn tenants live are eligible for funding from Cairn’s Community Fund.

This can involve anything from environmental benefits to strengthened community cohesion to help improve the lives of local people.

Grants for up to £1,000 are available and can be spent on a number of things – from buying or hiring equipment, training courses and paying for venues to catering at community events.

Interested applicants need to present a detailed plan for their project and complete an application form, which can be found here.

Cairn has been operating its community fund since 2013 and over this time has injected £60,000 into areas local to its developments.

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