CHARITIES and good causes across Craven have received an early Christmas present thanks to Skipton Building Society's community giving scheme.

The building society launched the scheme in September, pledging to donate £82,000 to charities and community groups across the UK, with £4,000 going to groups in Craven.

Each of its branches nominated three groups to receive a share of £1,000 with the amount each group receiving decided by the members vote cast in branch.

In Craven, those receiving grants include The Aire Rivers Trust, Skipton Step into Action, domestic abuse charity, IDAS, The Place in Settle, and Skipton Baptist Church.

Stacey Dickens, head of sustainability at Skipton Building Society, said: “Today’s economic climate means that community groups, charities and good causes continue to see an increase in demand for their services. They are often pillars in our community run by dedicated volunteers giving their time and support to local people facing challenging times. And it’s very likely many of these groups – if not all – are seeing a strain on their finances.

“As a member-owned organisation, founded over 170 years ago to help people in local communities own their homes and have savings for the future, it’s important to us that our members in those same communities decide where this money is best used. I’d like to thank all our customers in Craven for coming to visit our branches and supporting local good causes.”

The Settle branch gave £500 to Settle College PE Department, to improve facilities offered to students such as their multi-gym and extra-curricular activities; £300 to The Place in Settle, which hosts a range of health and wellness services; and £200 to Friends of the Dales, to help with its vision to be the leading voice campaigning for a sustainable future for the Dales.

The Silsden branch awarded £500 to Cruse Bereavement Support Craven and District, a charity dedicated to providing crucial support to individuals struggling with grief ; £300 went to Aireworth Dogs in Need, a volunteer-run charity which rescues and rehomes dogs in the area, and has helped more than 1,000 dogs since 2014, and £200 to Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) which supports anyone who has been subjected to domestic abuse or sexual violence in Craven and Harrogate.

The Skipton branch awarded £500 to The Aire Rivers Trust, which aims to improve and care for the River Aire, supporting volunteers to report pollution, remove litter and care for wildlife; £300 to Skipton Step into Action, where the funding will be used to continue delivering the charities Nurturing Growth Project - offering a range of engaging and inclusive activities for adults, and £200 to Skipton Baptist Church to supporting the running of its Renew Wellbeing Café, which welcomes people to have a coffee, piece of cake and just ‘be’.