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Many people may have heard of the Arran Society of Glasgow and may have wondered what the organisation is about.
The society was formed in 1843, under the original name of The Arran Friendly Society, by a group of Arranites residing in Glasgow.
The society’s original role was essentially a benevolent one, supporting Arran people in need through financial and other assistance.
The society continues with this role, and over the last five years has supported 139 individuals and organisations who have applied, offering a total support of almost £40,000.
With the current Covid-19 implications, the society is well aware that there may be many individuals and groups who might benefit from support.
Anyone on Arran can apply for small yet meaningful support, whether that be for benevolent, cultural or educational purposes.
Recently, the society has gone digital in terms of membership, and all communications are now done electronically.
If anyone would like to join the Arran Society of Glasgow, for the princely sum of just £10 for life membership, it can also do this on the society’s website too.
Whilst all applications are treated confidentially, here are a couple of examples of support offered recently, and where the recipients were happy to share their stories:
Iona Summer from Lamlash applied for funding to support her course at the Academy of Music and Sound, with the purchase of a new guitar. The neck had broken on her original, which was her mum’s.
The guitar was an essential part of her coursework, to be used for recording as well as singing and song-writing.
Iona said: ‘I have finally bought a guitar. I am so thankful for the money you (the society) have given me. I value the guitar more than anything. I am so happy with it and haven’t stopped playing it since I bought it.’
Wallace Currie from Bridge Farm in Shiskine also applied for support: ‘The society gave me a big boost in my Masters year.
‘I was working full time at the post office and running a log-selling business (both on Arran) while studying full time with presentation, essays and projects all going on.
‘So that required me being in university often which entailed upwards of 20 boat trips a month.
‘The money from the society went a long way towards helping me with that and was much appreciated.
‘The fact I was chosen to be assisted gave me a nice confidence boost which helped me mentally with the course as well so more benefit than solely financially.
‘All in all I want to thank the ASG and I would advise anyone to apply; it has helped me as part of my journey to where I am today, in a dream job as a lecturer.’
Wallace is now a lecturer in agriculture, teaching practical and theory at SRUC.
Anyone can apply for funding – the society is aware that the current pandemic has resulted in many islanders struggling, for a variety of reasons.
The directors consider all applications individually, and all are treated with the utmost respect.
Support received is not made public unless applicants are happy to do so, and obviously any assistance offered is dependant on funds available and the number of applications received.
If anyone feels that the Arran Society of Glasgow could help them, please find out more or apply for funding on the website: www.arransocietyofglasgow.org.