The National Juvenile Pipe Band Fund will be administered by the RSPBA. It follows a detailed proposal put to the Association’s Board of Directors by Robert Wallace, the Editor of Pipe Band Magazine, and has been generously supported in the first instance by Mr James Cameron Stuart, a former piper with the Vale of Atholl and Kilsyth Pipe Bands.
A substantial cheque from Mr Stuart for the NJPBF has been lodged with the RSPBA’s bank and will be audited separately from the Association’s mainstream funding.
Applications for financial assistance will be open from October 1. An application form is available on the RSPBA website. Applications will be considered by a committee led by Mr Kenny Crothers, RSPBA Finance Convenor.
Chairman Gordon Hamill said: ‘The Board of Directors unanimously approved the proposal from Mr Wallace and we are extremely grateful to Mr Stuart for his very substantial donation which helps the fund get off to a good start.
‘We anticipate the fund will be used to help our registered Novice and Juvenile bands with the cost of buses to competitions and for the provision of learning materials and other overheads as appropriate.
‘Each application will be assessed on its merits and will go to the NJPBF committee for initial scrutiny before final approval.’
Robert Wallace said: ‘There seems to be a lot of money around for some sections of the piping and pipe band world, but there is scant provision for our competing juvenile bands. These bands are the future. They nurture and train the pipers and drummers who will sustain the piping and pipe band movement in the years ahead.
‘Many of these bands have financial difficulties and have to think carefully before travelling to some of the major championships. There is a lot of pressure on parents to provide the resources from family budgets and this is not always possible.
‘As someone who came up through the RSPBA system and was lucky enough to benefit from training in a juvenile band, I know the good work that is done by many dozens of teachers within the association, often for no recompense at all other than the satisfaction of seeing their young learners improve. I hope this fund will help, even in a small way, with the cost of that teaching and assist these bands with their travel costs. We would welcome any support, financial or otherwise, and fundraising ideas from bands or individuals.’
James Cameron Stuart said: ‘When the proposal was put to me I had no hesitation in supporting it. ‘I played in pipe bands for many years after coming to piping late in life. I have derived untold pleasure from the experience and want as many young folk as possible to share in that experience.’
If anyone, or any band, would like to contribute to the fund they can do so via the RSPBA website where there is a PayPal donate facility. It is hoped that bands will support the fund and applications may be made using a form downloadable from www.rspba.org.