Leading 3rd Sector organisation is looking ‘to connect’

Over the last 6 years, one of Stirling’s leading social enterprises involved in delivering events in the city has embraced the challenge of pursuing its social aim by setting up a new Scottish charity.

Ceangail CIC [formally FVSE] Founder, Matt McGrandles, set up the social enterprise in 2012 with the simple aim of providing practical training experiences to young people that needed to develop their core skills. In 2013 he took ownership of Stirling Highland Games and immediately aligned it with the social enterprise so he could provide an engaging learning environment for young people.

With the support of the Board and a core volunteer group, the event has now attracted over 25,000 visitors to Stirling since 2014, generating an economic impact of almost £1.7million whilst providing practical learning opportunities for up to 150 young people and over 300 volunteers.

However, following a feasibility study surrounding securing grants the Board decided that if they wished continued success of supporting young people then a new charity, fully focused on being part of a young person’s journey, should be set up. In September of this year, Ceangail Training Academy SCIO was approved by OSCR, The Scottish Charity Regulator and the social enterprise renamed itself as Ceangail CIC.

“It was an interesting year,” explained Matt. “With the Board keen to expand our training programmes elsewhere in Scotland but evidence of very little interest from grant funders as a CIC, we decided that the best route was to set up a charitable training academy. We believe our delivery model will work well throughout Scotland as well as the UK bringing communities together through our event delivery, volunteers and young people engagement.”

Ceangail is the Scots Gaelic meaning ‘to connect’ and is of paramount importance in all that it means to both the social enterprise as well as the charity. The new charity will be looking to appoint a Training Academy Manager by the end of March 2020 to take lead point on its vision and the social enterprise is looking to secure another major event contract with any profits at the end of the year being donated to the Ceangail Training Academy.

“We have a number of ideas we wish to deliver including a mass participation event as well as building on our food and drink festival experience. We have been in talks with potential backers to see how we move these ideas into reality.” Matt continued, “we are of course open to suggestions on projects as the team brings over 20 years of event experience to the table so if there are any businesses looking to bolster their social responsibility agendas locally or nationally, then we are more than happy to connect with them.”

Ceangail CIC will be delivering the Stirling Highland Games event in 2020, its 150-year anniversary, with the organisers already securing the British 16lb Hammer Championship event through the Scottish Highland Games Association as well as introducing a new Heavyweight event, The Bruce Challenge.

Stirling Highland Games will be held on Saturday 15th August 2020 at Stirling Sports Village. Further details and early bird tickets will be available from December 16th via the event website at www.stirlinghighlandgames.com

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