One of Scotland’s leading family firms has given almost £130,000 to charities and other deserving causes since launching its charitable trust a year ago.
Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust (AVCT) was launched by Gerry Facenna, owner of Allied Vehicles in Glasgow, in February 2022 to give £10,000 every month to charities, primarily close to its Possilpark headquarters, but also further afield.
By the end of last February, the Trust had donated a total of £128,300, with youth causes attracting £48,350 of funding, followed by disability (£16,250) and food poverty (£15,400).
One of the first beneficiaries of AVCT funding was a new community food initiative The Courtyard Pantry, which has now expanded into a standalone charity The Courtyard Pantry Enterprise.
Managing Director Dale Todd said: “The donation of £5000 from the Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust meant a great deal to us.
“Firstly, the fact that we were nominated by workers from the local community was important. Secondly, to be part of the first round of donations was hugely significant and gave our organisation a huge boost as well as providing much needed financial support to help us distribute more food to our members.
“Since opening the pantry in March 2021 we have distributed over 200,000 meal portions, totalling around 90 tonnes of food, which is worth approximately £300,000.
“We would not be able to do our work without the support from organisations like the Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust.
“Since setting up as a new charitable entity we have hired four new members of staff, won the Glasgow Times ‘Community Champion of the Year’ award for Team of the Year and have just opened a new community cafe, Toshie’s, based on Garscube Road in the west end.
“Congratulations to AVCT for the work they do in the local community.”
Among the benefits brought to youngsters through AVCT funding were school trips, playground equipment, donations to children’s homes, hospices and sporting initiatives – including £12,500 to Winning Scotland for their project promoting the benefits of sport, exercise and health in eight primary schools across north Glasgow.
One of those, Miltonbank PS, which said the programme had been very positive for one of their pupils, Meerab: “Her gross motor skills have massively developed, resulting in increased confidence and being more settled and focused in class, with a noticeable improvement in educational attainment.
“Perhaps, the most significant and pleasing development with Meerab is she’s interacting more with her peers at playtime.”
DriveAbility Scotland became the latest driving assessment centre in the Driving Mobility charity network, thanks to a £7,500 donation from AVCT.
Disabled drivers in Scotland who required an assessment of their ability to drive could not previously access the nearest centres in the north of England because of NHS commissioning rules and the Department for Transport (DfT) having no jurisdiction here. The centre has a fleet of dual-controlled cars with specialist driving and control adaptations so drivers and passengers can be assessed and given recommendations.
Edward Trewhella, CEO, of Driving Mobility, said: “DriveAbility Scotland represents an exciting expansion of our driving assessments and a first for the charity … We strive to ensure freedom, inclusivity and safety for all with restricted mobility – now possible in Scotland.”
Contributing to the community where he was brought up and where Allied still has its headquarters was a prime driver for Allied co-founder and Chairman Gerry Facenna when he set up AVCT to channel charitable giving from the company and its 600-strong workforce.
He said he was delighted that the Trust had helped thousands of people in its first year.
“This was always about giving something back to the community where Allied was born and grew into the company it is today,” he said.
“The Trust’s first year has been a great success with donations ranging from a few hundred pounds to thousands, as well as from our own people who’ve been taking part in sponsored activities for various charities.
“And being based in one of Glasgow’s poorest areas means there’s likely to be no let-up in demand as this year continues.”