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Fundraising at the 2019 Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards will help support the work of four local organisations.

The proceeds from an online auction and raffle and tombola on the night will go towards Birchwood Highland; Friends of Autism Highland; Dream, Believe, Achieve Highland; and the Elsie Normington Foundation Haven Centre Appeal.

At our 30th event this year, we reached the milestone of £100,000 raised for worthwhile causes, with all the money staying in the Highlands and Islands.  As all fundraising is done on the night, the total has been raised in the equivalent of two-and-a-half days.

Birchwood Highland Established as a charity in 1987, Birchwood Highland supports people experiencing mental ill health.  Employing more than 120 people within Highland, and operating across the Inverness, Easter Ross, Lochaber and Caithness areas, Birchwood Highland supports people to build self-confidence and adopt lifestyles that improve their health and well-being. Through housing support, care at home and tailored support packages to suit individuals’ needs, Birchwood Highland enables and empowers people to work towards achieving personal goals; promoting independence, inclusion and recovery.  

Birchwood Highland also owns and operates Scotland’s first and only residential mental health Recovery Centre in Inverness.

Friends of Autism Highland  A registered charity since December 2013, Friends of Autism Highland currently helps to support more than 400 families across the Highlands affected by autism. The charity organises a wide range of events and activities and also provides a means for parents to ask for advice and provide them with support and information through its closed Facebook page. The events and Facebook page aim to help and support families affected by autism by offering opportunities for them to get together and share experiences. The success of the group is down to proactive parents all working towards the same goal; to provide the very best help and support for the families of children in the Highlands who are diagnosed with autism or going through the diagnosis process.

Dream, Believe, Achieve Highland This new charity provides grants for children with disabilities and additional needs in the Highlands to access specialised therapies. The charity was set up by Inverness parents Steph and Kris Douglas following the support they have received for their son Sam, who suffers from complex health conditions including Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy.  Fundraising has enabled him to undertake therapies which are not available on the NHS and these have very much helped his developmental progression. The family have seen the difference this has made to Sam and want to help other children on a similar path.

Elsie Normington Foundation Haven Centre Appeal The Elsie Normington Foundation (ENF) plans to build the first integrated facility of its kind in Scotland for children and young people with multiple and complex needs. The Haven Centre will be built on the site of the former Culloden Court Nursing Home at Murray Road, Smithton, Inverness, and will create an inclusive community featuring a play centre (indoor and outdoor), community coffee shop, three respite flats, and a community garden.  The total cost will be £4million.


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