Generous Banks grant provides new boiler for miners’ charity

March 9, 2016 | Community News

Members of a West Lothian charitable society and social club have replaced their old, defective boiler with the help of a £3,000 grant awarded from the Banks Community Fund established to support community projects in the area around the Banks Mining Rusha surface coal mine.

The former boiler at Loganlea Miners Welfare Charitable Society & Social Club had been unreliable and not fit for purpose, with concerns raised due to the malfunctioning heating and the cold temperature of the premises.

Now, thanks to the timely donation, a new floor standing boiler complete with plumbing station has been installed, allowing the club to continue its vital role as a hub for the community.

Staff and members of Loganlea Miners are delighted with the backing, which they say is benefiting the entire community – with the hall being used as a hub to provide a wide variety of facilities and support services, including a biweekly job club, baby and toddler groups, children’s groups, a ladies over 50’s group, a community café and a gym.

The charity and attached social club also employs a number of local residents and provides volunteering opportunities for members of the local community looking to gain experience with a view to securing future employment.

Eileen Stewart, finance and admin officer at Loganlea Miners Welfare Charitable Society & Social Club, said: “The charity is an integral part of the local community and has been for over 60 years now.

“The grant has made a huge difference as we previously had an ongoing issue with the heating and it was difficult to encourage people into the building, particularly during the winter as we cater for the very young and very old.

“The replacement of the boiler has improved the quality of people’s experience with us, which is very important as we run a number of services, particularly concerning employment and financial inclusion and we did not want the heating issues to have a negative impact on their visits.

“It really is essential to the local community and we are delighted with the help and support we have received from Banks Mining.”

The Loganlea Miners Welfare Charitable Society & Social Club is made up of a management committee, 11 full and part time members of staff and six volunteers and currently has over 500 members.

It provides affordable facilities in an area where there are few community amenities and high unemployment.

Greg McCarra, Local Ward Councillor (SNP) and chair of the Rusha surface coal mine liaison committee, said: “Clubs such as the Loganlea Miners Welfare play an essential role in the local community, and it is so important that they continue to operate to the maximum benefit of members.

“A grant to pay for a problematic boiler allows funds to be spent on the services and facilities that the club provides, so I am personally delighted to see funding through the Banks Community Fund go to such valuable use – benefiting the everyday lives of local people.”

Cathy Muldoon, Local Ward Councillor (Labour), said: “The Loganlea Miners Club is especially well known and loved in our area, for the valuable role it plays.

“It is a real community hub, helping locals to keep fit, socialise and even help with career advice.

“I am delighted to hear that it has been able to fund essential repairs with this grant from the Banks Community Fund, freeing up money to spend elsewhere.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “We’re delighted to help the Loganlea Miners Charitable Society with the grant to replace the boiler. It’s very obvious that the hall is not just used by the group but by the entire community.

“We aim to deliver long term positive benefits to the local communities that host our developments and in this part of West Lothian we are pleased to have supported improving facilities to promote a better quality of community life.”

The Banks Rusha Community Fund is a fund set up by family-owned Banks Mining, to support community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental projects in the vicinity of its Rusha surface mine, south of Breich, West Lothian.

Banks has permission to undertake operations at Rusha for a seven-year period. Once coaling is complete the 154-hectare site will be fully restored and landscaped to a mixture of woodland and agriculture.

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