Guidance to Applicants for Funding

Each year Highland Cross receives requests for assistance that total more than it can support.

Therefore after great consideration it is clarifying its grant giving preferences.

Highland Cross wishes to concentrate its funding on charities and incorporated organisations, regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator that seek to work for the benefit of the people of Highland who are disadvantaged through medical or social causes.

Highland Cross regards “Highland” as being the geographical area administered by Highland Council.

Highland Cross will only fund capital items. Highland Cross will not consider applications for revenue costs such as running costs, expenses or staff costs.

National charities are welcome to apply to Highland Cross for funding for capital items for projects that are of direct benefit to people of Highland.  However the panel will wish to examine why the funding is required where a charity has a major national fundraising operation. They will also require assurances that the assets will continue to be applied to the benefit of people of Highland for the foreseeable future and that there is a sustainable plan for their use should the national charity cease operations in Highland.

Highland Cross will show preference to those charities who are the end user of the item(s) being funded.

Highland Cross will show less preference for charities who are raising funds for an item e.g. vehicle or building where that will be handed over to a third party that is not a charity especially if the third party is a statutory body.

Highland Cross will not fund minibuses or other vehicles for local authority schools.

Highland Cross is reluctant to donate to large collector funds where there is a long time scale to the realisation of a project. Highland Cross may contribute to such a project where they are being asked to fund the cost of a specific item to complete the project such as furnishings or equipment for a building.

The Application date

Applications must be with Highland Cross by 30 September 2018 (please note new deadline date).

The Commitment from Charities nominated as Major Beneficiaries

Major beneficiaries are expected to contribute to the successful organisation of the event by:  contributing £1,000 towards the costs AND providing 20 appropriate people to act as marshals.  

Applications for smaller amounts of assistance

Applications for smaller amounts of assistance should also be made by 30 September 2018, and if surplus funds are available from the 2018 event, a distribution may be made thereafter. The smallest grant ever given was for just under £60.

Applicants for smaller sums are not required to pledge finance but Highland Cross will look to beneficiaries that receive larger sums from the “small” grants to support a future Highland Cross with “hands on” assistance on the day to help with marshalling duties.

Application process

Whether charities are looking for a small grant,  or to be a major beneficiary, applications must be made on the funding application form.

The charity application form can be downloaded here.

The completed form should be sent ideally by email to info@highlandcross.co.uk with the required supporting documents to arrive by 30 September 2018.   If sending by post, please send form and documents to Highland Cross Organisers, Redwood, 19 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AA.

Please   ensure   that   you   use   the   current   form.  Applications   made   on   previous versions of the form will have to be rejected.

Charity Selection Process

All applications undergo an initial screening to ensure that they meet the basic eligibility criteria.  If successful at that stage, applications go to an Independent Selection Panel. The Organising Committee do not select the charities as a number of the Organisers are professionally involved with charity work in the Highlands.

Major Beneficiaries

Charities are chosen by an Independent Charity Selection Panel of three members who are quite   separate   from   the   Organising   Committee.     Highland Cross will have four or five major beneficiaries each year.  The   Charity   Selection   Panel normally selects up to 6 potential major beneficiaries for interview which will take place in November or early December 2018 in Inverness. The Panel will then inform the Organisers of the nominated causes. 

The Independent Charity Selection Panel takes a number of criteria into consideration. A copy of the Panel Guidance can be obtained here.

Smaller Grants

Grants for smaller amounts are assessed on the basis of the application form. Where they consider it necessary the Independent Charity Selection Panel may seek additional information from applicants.



The following are statements from charities benefiting from Highland Cross 2017 fundraising


Abbeyfield Ballachulish Society
Abbeyfield Ballachulish is an integrated care scheme serving as a “hub” for older people in the communities of South Lochaber. We work in partnership with NHS Highland to deliver services shaped by current strategies within a constrained financial environment, which focus on care in the community through Care at Home, increasingly supported by self-directive payments. With an increasing older population community care services are overstretched and our voluntary sector contribution is vital in supporting our statutory partners to deliver: our Day Care services reduce the pressure on their services while supporting carers and people living with dementia at home, some form of daily support or respite.

The Abbeyfield bus is key in assisting to deliver this support to older people in the community, transporting individuals in need to and from our community hub. Your financial support would fund a replacement bus, which will allow our vital services to carry on uninterrupted. Our current bus is very close to reaching the end of its practical life – it has become increasingly expensive to run, an important consideration for an independent charity. The need in South Lochaber for our day care and lunch club continues to grow, with individuals coming from increasingly remote locations. A new bus will assist us to sustain and expand services, especially since we need to increase the hours of the Day Care service, to include both evening and weekends, supporting carers working full time who will be able to access the service at times appropriate for their employment.

Caberfeidh Horizons 
Caberfeidh Horizons was established in 2003 to address the needs of young people and adults with learning difficulties, mental health problems and the long term unemployed who felt marginalised, stigmatised and misunderstood.  There was a gap in provision and we are still the only organisation offering such support in this area. We run a “First Class Second-hand Bookshop” and a “Charity Shop” in Kingussie High Street to bring our clients into the community.  We offer training and work experience, independent living skills and a range of experiences including health & fitness, community projects and personal development. This is only possible through more than 40 volunteers and the support of the wider community.

We suffer from a lack of suitable accessible transport across Badenoch and Strathspey. We need transport for small groups including wheelchair users. A versatile multi passenger vehicle will accommodate driver, wheelchair passenger and four seated passengers. This will allow Caberfeidh Horizons to sustain the existing opportunities and activities which it offers.  It will immediately allow many more clients to access our services.  It will ensure that no potential trainee will be disadvantaged by a disability. It will also release transport capacity for other organisations. We can guarantee that a vehicle gifted by Highland Cross would be appreciated and properly maintained.

Caberfeidh Horizons continues to develop new initiatives. A recent funding application success will allow us to increase our staffing to launch a new venture with both our senior schools.  This immediately increases our urgent need for a suitable vehicle.

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team
DMRT covers a large area of the north Highlands: 9% of Scotland’s land area, much of it remote mountain and moorland, including some 40 Munros and 75 other hills of note, plus many well-known straths and glens, including most of Glen Affric.   To cover this area we have bases in Dundonnell, Ullapool and Dingwall with vehicles at each of these plus another at Gairloch. One of our two Navarra 4x4s will be 12 years old in 2017. We are anxious to have a replacement for it by autumn 2017 and very much hope that your strenuous fundraising efforts for Highland Cross 2017 will enable that to happen.

We plan to replace vehicles cyclically, the oldest first. This is an essential resource commitment for the team as we must be able to move personnel and bulky gear over roads and rough tracks. A new vehicle will reduce “aged vehicle” liability and the risk of breakdown on callouts. Fuel efficiency will improve; maintenance and CO2 emissions will reduce.  Besides assisting those who are out on the hills for their own pleasure we also search for missing persons who are on the hills for work; we also help to find vulnerable folk; such searches tend to be locally high profile and our efforts are genuinely appreciated by the community.

We also help to underpin economic activity in the tourist sector, the lynchpin of many communities. Mountain tourism brings annual spend of over £500m and supports 24,000 jobs; 13% of employment in the region, so it is very significant (and growing). Fewer visitors would come here if there was no rescue service.

Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness
Merkinch Community Centre is a thriving facility in the heart of Merkinch. The centre boasts of 40,000 visits per year and also manages a community minibus. We are a local charity and raise funds ourselves to maintain operation of the centre.

The centre has 31 community groups and 41 drivers registered with our minibus, which is out on the road most days of the week. Many of our users have mobility challenges, so having an accessible vehicle is crucial to diminishing social isolation for many of our centre users.  Our bus is used by all ages and stages of people, providing a service for a very diverse population locally and also across the city of Inverness. The existing minibus is now eight years old and is costing the centre a large amount on maintenance and repairs.  If we received a minibus from Highland Cross, this would benefit all of our community users immediately and also have a significant impact on reducing loneliness to the elderly, outings for those with mental health issues and also those with learning disabilities, enabling people to attend our groups and also enjoy outings of interest.

We have the capacity and infrastructure to deliver a quality service to these groups through our well established administration systems. Our centre caretaker has responsibility for ensuring the bus is regularly maintained and serviced.

Shopmobility Highland SCIO
Shopmobility Highland SCIO was set up in 1994 to provide mobility aids to persons with long and short term mobility problems. We now operate from a base in Inverness and Dingwall.  A large part of our charity however has become the minibus service we operate in both Dingwall and Inverness. We take our members from their homes to Inverness or Dingwall where they are provided with mobility aids and a shopping assistant, if required, to assist with their shopping. They are then taken back home.   The minibuses are also used by other charitable organisations and Care homes allowing them to function without having the burden of managing their own transport or who simply cannot afford to operate their own transport. 

Our application is for the replacement of the Dingwall minibus. The current minibus is now eight years old and has 120,000 miles recorded with reliability becoming a concern along with the increasing service and repair costs. This minibus serves the communities of Dingwall, Black Isle, Easter Ross, Nairn and Drumnadrochit areas taking vulnerable persons shopping. Due to the group we cater for, reliability of our transport is a major concern. As our minibuses are fully accessible this is the only opportunity some of our members get to venture away from their homes. We aim to make our service available and affordable for any person who seeks to use our minibus service.

One of the biggest challenges our charity encounters is sourcing the funds for minibus replacement to maintain our service but Highland Cross has been a saviour over the years.