Fri 26 Jul 19
Local fundraising organisation The Hamish Foundation has had an active first half to 2019 with a series of fundraising activities underway and a number of projects in the pipeline focused on delivering initiatives that will enhance facilities in St Andrews for both local residents and visitors.
The charitable organisation was set up in 2014 by three friends who are residents of St Andrews and who have a love of the town. They felt that it would be suitable to raise funds in the name of Hamish McHamish - the ginger cat who was well loved by locals and visitors alike – to deliver projects for the good of the town.
The charity has raised money for a variety of projects in St Andrews and has donated funds to Home Start, TCCL, Santa's Grotto, Family App Trails and St Andrews in Bloom. The foundation supported the Kelpie Maquettes installation over the summer season of 2017 and, during 2018, campaigned to raise funds for the St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs on the West Sands beach. This was a key project to support the focus on delivering an “Accessible St Andrews” and to ensure that everyone may enjoy their visit to the Royal Burgh. The St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs project has been highly successful and the foundation has continued to support the purchase of chairs and the ongoing operations of this beach service this year also.
However, 2019 has seen no let-up for the founders – Debbie MacCallum, Linda-Anne Beaulier and Maggie Picken – with a recent agreement in principal received for funding from Fife Environment Trust for the creation of a new accessible beach viewing platform and pathway, and also a soft sand and beach walkers walkway funded by the Community Trust.
The viewing platform will complement the beach wheelchairs service on the West Sands and offer accessible facilities and ease of access to the viewing platform for any beach visitors who choose to sit and enjoy the stunning St Andrews sea view.
Debbie MacCallum said: “We’ve had an incredible year so far and there are so many people to thank for their day-to-day support and fundraising activities. Jerry Beaulier, for instance, volunteers his time to providing an excellent service to those using the beach wheelchairs and undertakes his job with passion and vigour throughout our changeable Scottish summer climate. The Tailend Restaurant only a matter of weeks ago donated £740 from their Food Safari event in conjunction with The Adamson, Hotel du Vin and Luvians. All the creative ideas are wonderful and the funds are used on projects that enhance the town for locals and visitors alike.
“We have a very exciting fundraiser planned for the end of the year where in partnership with Tayport Distillery and the Old Course Hotel, we are hosting a series of Hamish Gin blending sessions with the judged best gin winner having their blend bottled and labelled in limited edition as “Hamish Gin” with the sale proceeds going to the charity to support projects in 2020. There will also be a series of 4 Hamish children’s story books published next year for fundraising.”
Jessica Spink of The Tailend Restaurant said:”This was the second year that we have hosted a fundraising food safari with Eden Mill and once again it was a roaring success. This year we chose The Hamish Foundation as we wanted to give back to the local community and to help in a way that allowed those with different accessibility needs to enjoy our beautiful town of St Andrews. The event included the hosting of a walking tour with attendees stopping off at various local venues to eat and drink on the way including The Adamson, Hotel du Vin and Luvians.
“The Hamish Foundation was the ideal choice to benefit from this year’s fundraising event. We raised an amazing £740 which included generous donations from the local businesses involved. The guests that attended – who were both locals and tourists – learnt about the story of Hamish the Cat and also the great work that the charity does for the town”.
Linda-Anne Beaulier, trustee of The Hamish Foundation, said: “Any fundraising activity needs to be kept fresh and interesting and St Andrews has certainly demonstrated its creative thinking over recent years to support the Hamish Projects. I’m sure the Hamish Gin will be a memorable experience for anyone taking part in the blending sessions and I’m confident that a bottle of the limited series will be indeed be a collector’s item!”