Funding for Childcare and Well Being

Funding Success for Childcare and Community Well Being Projects

Although our office has been closed for the last year, the staff at Mull and Iona Community Trust have been working hard in the background developing projects to address the lack of formal childcare on the islands and also to improve well-being.  We have just been rewarded with three funding successes!

In consultation for all the Community Development Plans we have produced, residents of all ages and backgrounds told us in surveys and face to face group meetings how much they appreciate the islands’ natural environment and that it contributes significantly to quality of life. 

The need for improving access to outdoor services, more opportunities for social integration, and improving childcare options on the island emerged as key priorities from our consultation work. These needs have been amplified under the Covid 19 lockdown, limiting indoor social interaction and the few childcare services that are available.

MICT has had ambitions to set up new childcare services for a number of years, and we now have the opportunity to run a 12 month Rural Out of School Care Pilot to provide regular and reliable childcare for school aged children with a focus on the outdoors and mobile service options with a view to providing a sustainable service beyond the trial period.  The project aims to provide breakfast, after school and holiday clubs in addition to looking into home based care services to address the different demands in a rural community.  The pilot will create an Out of School Care Co-ordinators post and two Practitioners/Play Leaders posts and is being funded by the Scottish Government, as part of its wider aims to improve out of school care. 

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said, “We know that the last year has been challenging for many children and families, in part due to limited access to childcare. I am pleased we can provide funding to test different approaches to providing childcare – like this project in partnership with the Mull and Iona Community Trust.  School age childcare services play a vital role in providing children with opportunities to play and socialise, while also helping parents and carers to access work and training opportunities.  This pilot with the Mull and Iona Community Trust will work in partnership with third sector organisations, childcare settings and childminders to explore creative solutions that will address the barriers to childcare that exist in rural and island communities.”

With many indoor playgroups and toddler groups not currently running, MICT has also been able to secure funding from Outdoor and Woodlands Learning Scotland for 10 weekly Outdoor Playschemes for children aged 0-3 and their parents/carers, led by our Mull and Iona Ranger Service.  The playschemes will help to alleviate isolation for our youngest island children and their parents, and in particular help toddlers socialise in preparation for pre-school. 

Alongside these, a new 2 year Community Well Being Project funded by The National Community Lottery Fund will provide outdoor activities benefitting the whole community.  The aim of the project is to improve well-being for islanders and help people recover from the social impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, by providing new opportunities to work together, feel less isolated, improve mental health and nurture new skills and increase confidence. 

A new Community Well Being Officer role will be created to oversee the project and develop the activities which will include skills training and team building for high school children, outdoor, therapeutic, nature based social activities for vulnerable groups within our community.  This award also allows us to provide environmentally sensitive welfare facilities at our Ardura Community Forest to accommodate these activities.

Moray Finch, General Manager at MICT said, “These awards really will make a difference to our communities as we move slowly out of lockdown, and will I hope build a platform for us to support provision of more and more options for families seeking supervised activities for children and eventually maybe even expanding to a more formal childcare provision.”

Ulva Ferry Visitor Survey

heng Fund.  For more information, please go to Ulva Ferry Housing Funding News under Our Projects.
We are working with Ulva School Community Association (USCA) and the local community to develop new visitor facilities at Ulva Ferry as part of a wider project to help sustain the Ulva Ferry area.
The plan is to develop a small building (60m2) at the head of the Ulva Ferry pontoon to provide facilities for all visitors to the Ulva Ferry and Loch na Keal National Scenic Area, as well as for the local community.
If you have visited Ulva Ferry in 2020, or in the past few years, or live or work in the area, please could you spend a few minutes and fill in the short questionnaire below.
Please note that in 2020, the Local Authority toilets have not been open. For further information contact Cally Fleming tel: 01680 812 900.
Thank you, your feedback is important!

Investment Opportunity

An Opportunity to Invest in the Sustainable Future of Mull

We are offering the opportunity to directly support a
community development which will facilitate economic growth for our community.

Tobermory Light Industrial Park was first conceived when MICT was approached in 2007 by a local businessman who needed more storage for his business. He quickly gathered the details of 12 other individuals and
businesses who required more storage or dedicated small business premises.

MICT purchased the 0.8-hectare site near Tobermory in March 2016 and has secured funding for phase 1 development of the site. However, as demand for small business premises has increased, we are already progressing with phase 2 to provide a further four 60m2 business units at a cost of £180,000. We have exhausted grant funding sources for this type of development to progress phase 1. Before finalising loan finance from a
commercial lender, we would like to offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to make a long term investment in phase 2, thereby retaining the profit with those living on the island or with strong links to it. Of
course, we would also welcome philanthropic donations or offers of interest free loans.

With a minimum long term investment of £1000, you will be supporting a development which will:
• help retain young people on the island and reverse the ageing population
• increase business networking by clustering – leading to greater economic opportunities
• create local employment during the construction phase
• create new employment opportunities in a remote rural area
• create the opportunity for business start-up or expansion
• support the long-term sustainability of indigenous businesses
• enable bulk purchasing through provision of secure storage
• provide storage and leisure opportunities for community use
In return, you will receive a competitive interest rate for the duration of your investment and the knowledge that you are supporting a local social enterprise and charity to progress this development for the benefit of new and expanding Mull-based businesses and our communities.

Please get in touch to find out more:

Mairi Greig
Tel: 01680 812 918

Moray Finch
Tel: 01680 812 905


Volunteer Assistant Ranger

We are looking for a volunteer assistant ranger for 3 months full time beginning early June. This is a great opportunity to develop skills and experience in nature conservation and rangering. The role involves assisting with varied tasks over a number of island sites, including wildlife survey work, delivery of education projects and public events programme, providing information to visitors, practical maintenance tasks. Accommodation and some travel costs will be covered.

You must show enthusiasm for wildlife and the great outdoors. Some knowledge/experience in the relevant field would be useful but more important is flexibility, good communication skills, an ability to work under your own initiative, and a desire to learn. You will need to be willing and able to work outside or inside in all weathers, including some lone working in rugged coastal terrain. Some weekend/evening hours will be required.

Please contact Emily Wilkins for more information and an application form (no CVs please).   01681 700659   07717581405

Closing date: 9am on Monday 8th April

Interview date: week of 29th April