Castle MacLellan’s Supports Local Community with Over £37,000 

Castle MacLellan has announced its support for local charity initiatives with a substantial donation exceeding £37,000. This significant contribution underscores Castle MacLellan’s continued commitment to supporting its local community. 

This year beneficiaries are three outstanding local charities: Stepping Stones Community Larder, Queen of the South Community Food Hub, and The Mane. Each organization was carefully selected by our dedicated team for their exceptional efforts in combating food poverty, enhancing community well-being, and providing inclusive, empowering activities.

The three charities were nominated and selected by the Castle MacLellan team for their incredible work and commitment to the local community from providing warm meals to those experience food poverty, too providing essential service to enhance well-being with inclusive activities.

Sam Warren, Site Operations Manager at Castle MacLellan commented “We’re very proud to fund this important work and look forward to seeing the positive impact these donations will have on our local community.”

We’re owned by Kavli Trust, a charitable foundation which means that profits from the sale of our products support good causes in Dumfries and Galloway and worldwide.

Continue reading to learn more about the good cause that will benefit from the donation and the difference it will make to their local community.

Stepping Stones Community Larder and Foodbank: Redefining Support, Restoring Dignity

Team Members from Stepping Stones Community Larder Castle MacLellan's Charity Committee

Three years ago, amidst the onset of the Covid pandemic, Stepping Stones foodbank emerged as a beacon, aiming to assist those in need. As the cost-of-living crisis persisted, their unwavering support endured, despite a decline in funding. Stepping Stones transitioned into an independent foodbank offering essential food parcels to those most in need.

In March 2023, the team at Stepping Stones embarked on a journey, exploring innovative food pantry models. The discoveries were remarkable, revealing models that fostered personal empowerment and created a safe haven—a welcoming social space where individuals could visit, shop, and be treated with dignity and equality.

Transitioning away from conventional food deliveries, Stepping Stones introduced the transformative “Community Larder & Foodbank” model, purposefully designed to eradicate the unjust stigma attached to those utilizing foodbanks. The inclusive model welcomed not just familiar faces but also twenty new individuals on its very first day—a testament to its immediate impact as a community resource.

Leanne, Project Manager at Stepping Stones Community Larder, commented, “Rural communities often have hidden poverty compared to inner cities. It’s tucked away and out of sight; often, people in these communities are very proud, which is why we must ensure there is no stigma with our operating model.

“We support people right across the board. Many of our members are families – People you may think don’t need help are struggling, including working families. Even families holding down two jobs struggle to put enough food on the table. So, if they can access even a little support to ensure their children don’t go to bed hungry, that’s worth doing.”

 “The first six months have been very challenging, but the donation from Castle MacLellan will transform what we can do over the next twelve months. We’re now not just thinking where we can get the next £50 to ensure we have food on the shelves, but instead, we’re looking at how we can make this a more sustainable and effective project over the long-term.”

Stepping Stones continues to heavily rely on public generosity. The tireless volunteers, a backbone of the operation, comprise a diverse group—mostly retirees, some with additional support needs and others driven by a desire to contribute meaningfully to their local community. Drawing from personal experiences, some volunteers intimately understand the emotional, mental, and social toll experienced by those relying on foodbanks, providing a nurturing, judgment-free environment for those seeking assistance.

The donation of £21,000 by Castle MacLellan is vial funding for Stepping Stones. This contribution will enable the foodbank to acquire essential resources—a glass-fronted refrigerator, freezer, necessary office equipment, FareShare memberships. The donation will not only bolster their operational capacity but also facilitate the provision of food and essential hampers to those in need to strengthen the incredible work Stepping Stones offers to the community.

Queen of the South Community Trust: Powering Community Support Together

Queen of the South Community Trust has been pivotal in addressing food insecurity through its Community Food Hub. The Trust’s tireless efforts to provide warm meals, food hampers, and a sense of community to over 10,300 individuals will be further bolstered by Castle MacLellan’s contribution of £5,350. This support ensures the continuation and expansion of critical services to those facing food poverty.

Daniel Armstrong, Queens of The South Community Trustee explains “The cost-of-living crisis has impacted everyone, forcing some community, including young families, to choose between meals and heating. The generous contributions from Castle MacLellan and Kavli Trust will play a huge part in supporting our food hub initiative and providing help to families and individuals most in need.”

The Food Hub team prioritises ensuring access to food while fostering kitchen skills and cost-effective meal preparation through volunteer-developed recipes. This donation enables the Queens of the South Community Food Hub to collaborate with local services, expanding their support across the community.

We have incredible support from our fan base but Food banks face challenges, especially in February and March due to lower donation levels. Daniel encourages locals to contribute food or learn more about their services.


The Mane: Pioneering Equine-Assisted Empowerment

Situated just outside Gatehouse of Fleet, The Mane stands is an equestrian centre renowned for its dedication to equine-assisted learning and activities. As an accredited ASDAN centre, their primary goal revolves around enhancing mental, physical, and emotional well-being through meaningful animal interactions.

At the core of The Mane’s philosophy lie three fundamental pillars: promoting healthy lifestyle choices, fostering community-mindedness, and emphasizing education and career success.

Their programs are designed to nurture essential life skills among young individuals, facilitating improvements in self-esteem, confidence, leadership qualities, empathy, and tolerance. Additionally, they underscore the significance of education, enabling youths to become resilient, adaptable, and responsible citizens, preparing them effectively for the future.

Castle MacLellan’s donation of £11,000 will directly aid The Mane in acquiring crucial equipment to continue to deliver this much needed service. This includes new riding hats, body protectors, harnesses, and two specialised fun bug carriages designed to facilitate enjoyable horse rides for individuals with varying abilities.

This contribution will not only enhance the safety and accessibility of their programs but also expand the opportunities for less-abled users to engage with horses. By providing essential resources, Castle MacLellan’s donation empowers The Mane to continue their invaluable services, fostering personal growth and empowerment through equine interactions.