Veterans Charity Benefits from Ball

Edinburgh based veterans charity Back Out There has received a generous donation of £2,000 from the Royal Caledonian Ball. The presentation was made on Thursday 14 November at a lunch hosted by this year’s Chairman of the Ball, Mrs Houston Morris, at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh.

Back Out There is a social enterprise established by Scottish serving personnel to provide vulnerable veterans with a new purpose and the support necessary to complete the difficult transition into civilian life. Back Out There differs from other military organisations in that its aim is to support the longer term development of veterans’ employment skills while at the same time supporting causes within the communities in which they live.

In East Lothian, for example, they are working with the countryside ranger to organise a community clean up of Yellowcraigs beach, an area of scientific interest and part of Scottish Heritage.

Back Out There’s founder, Alex Freeborn commented, “The generous donation from the Royal Caledonian Ball will support a number of Back Out There’s current projects. This includes our veteran led environmental beach project in East Lothian and a WW1 commemorative garden at Gardening Scotland 2014. Not only are these projects intended to have a positive impact on the local people but they aim to build veterans’ skills and confidence in project planning and management within a close support network.”

From its initiation in the 1840s the Royal Caledonian Ball has been a subscription dance for the purpose of collecting funds for Scottish charities, having started as a private gathering given by the Duke and Duchess of Atholl for their Scottish friends who resided in London.Records show that the Ball has been held annually from the 1840s to the present day, cancellations only occurring due to events beyond the committee’s control such as the Boer War, the death of Edward VII and during the First and Second World Wars. Over the past 165 years it has grown into a hugely popular event and it is possibly the oldest charity ball in the world.

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