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Salmond pledges support for North East Trust

Alex Salmond MP, has pledged continuing support for a North East of Scotland charity, formed when he became First Minister of Scotland in 2007.

The Mary Salmond Trust was established in the name of his late mother and, reflecting her lifelong interest in guiding, works to support community and youth organisations in the North East of Scotland. The Trust has received funding in the years when Mr Salmond has served in both Westminster and Holyrood, following a promise he made to benefit from only one parliamentary salary.

Over the years Mr Salmond has contributed his parliamentary and other income to the Trust which has awarded 292 grants to organisations and individuals to the tune of £117,505.

Since standing down as an MSP this year, Mr Salmond now only serves in one Parliament and thus his commitment has been redeemed. However, now he has pledged to continue to support the charity in 2015/16 by guaranteeing the further sum of £10,000.

 Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

“Since 2007, the Mary Salmond Trust has contributed enormously to communities throughout the North East, helping many great causes and organisations. I want that effort to progress and I am in a position to offer this further support.

“I would like to thank all the Trustees who over the years have worked for no payment whatsoever and encourage community and youth groups to continue to apply for support. I have only ever given them one pointer and that is to smile on applications from the Girl Guides - after all my Mum is watching!"

“These voluntary organisations are the heart of the North East of Scotland and merit attention and encouragement.”

Chairman of the Trustees Roddy McColl said:

“This is excellent news and allows us to go forward with our next round of grants. I never cease to be amazed and humbled by the range and quality of voluntary work which we are able to encourage and help. We are approaching our tenth anniversary as a Trust and our 300th grant. Thanks to Alex's support we intend to continue this valuable work"

Among the recent recipients of grants have been the Sunrise Partnership who offer a free, confidential support service to children and young people affected by loss and bereavement.

The Manager, Eileen Wheeler commented:

“The support from the Mary Salmond Trust was crucial in helping us to work with children in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who are coping with the loss of a significant person from their lives.  We are very grateful for the support we received and I am delighted that more organisations like ourselves will now be able to benefit from its work.”

Another was the 33rd Aberdeen Brownies, who used their grant to help take their group on a field trip.

Shona Mutch, Unit Leader of the 33rd Aberdeen Brownies said:

“The Mary Salmond Trust gave the Brownies a fantastic weekend which would not have been possible without our grant. The girls learned so many new skills from making their beds, cooking, setting the table to repacking their bags. We also had fun baking, making pizza, doing crafts, playing on the climbing frame and going for a walk through the forest. Some of the girls had never stayed in the country before and were amazed by the wildlife and the fact it was dark because they had no street lights.”



Notes to Editors:

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The Trustees

Roddy McColl: Trust Chairman

Mr McColl has been Chair of the MST since its establishment in 2007. He specialised in the provision of company secretarial & management services, as well as being legal adviser, to a range of fishing related organisations.

"A great deal of exceptionally good work is being assisted by the grants we have been able to make thanks to Alex's donations.”

Elizabeth Wallace: Trustee

Ms Wallace is Chief Executive of Avenue, a family mediation and counselling service.

"It is always gratifying to see the response and the amount of good work by community and youth organisations from a relatively modest amount of financial support. We have great people doing great things at grassroots level in the North East.  The MST gives them a helping hand."

Stewart Spence: Trustee

Hotelier Mr Spence was made a Trustee this year.

"I consider it an honour to be asked to serve as a Trustee on the MTS. It has helped a large number of key organisations and demonstrated that a little financial support can go a long way in doing good work when there are so many fine people working in our voluntary sector in the North East. I particularly welcome the focus on youth organisations which do such great work."

Grace Burns: Trustee

Ms Burns is a chartered accountant and was made a Trustee in 2010.

"The Trust is currently well endowed with funds, but we are always looking for ways to increase our financial resources. In addition to direct support from Alex Salmond, we benefited from the proceeds of charity auctions organised by Mr Salmond and we would like to thank all those whose donations and auction bids made that support possible.”