HIGHLAND CROSS - the unique coast to coast midsummer charity duathlon




Guidance to Applicants for Funding

Each year Highland Cross receives requests for assistance that total more than it can support  Therefore after great consideration, it is clarifying its grant giving preferences.


Highland Cross

  • wishes to concentrate its funding on charities and incorporated organisations, regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator that seek to work for the benefit of the people of Highland who are disadvantaged through medical or social causes.

  • regards “Highland” as being the geographical area administered by Highland Council.

  • will only fund capital items.

  • will not consider applications for revenue costs such as running costs, expenses or staff costs.

  • will not consider applications for retrospective funding.

  • prefers not to fund second hand vehicles or equipment.  An applicant would have to have exceptionally strong reasons for such a purchase.

National charities are welcome to apply to Highland Cross for funding for capital items for projects that are of direct benefit to people of Highland.  However the panel will wish to examine why the funding is required where a charity has a major national fundraising operation. They will also require assurances that the assets will continue to be applied to the benefit of people of Highland for the foreseeable future and that there is a sustainable plan for their use in Highland should the national charity cease operations in Highland.


Highland Cross

  • will show preference to those charities who are the end user of the item(s) being funded.

  • will show less preference for charities who are raising funds for an item e.g. vehicle or building where that will be handed over to a third party that is not a charity especially if the third party is a statutory body.

  • will not fund minibuses or other vehicles for local authority schools.

  • is reluctant to donate to large collector funds where there is a long time scale to the realisation of a project. Highland Cross may contribute to such a project where they are being asked to fund the cost of a specific item to complete the project such as furnishings or equipment for a building.


The Application date

Applications must be with Highland Cross by 30 September each year.  


The Commitment from Charities nominated as Major Beneficiaries

Major beneficiaries are expected to contribute to the successful organisation of the event by contributing £1,000 towards the costs and providing 20 appropriate people to act as marshals.  


Applications for smaller amounts of assistance

Applications for smaller amounts of assistance should also be made by 30 September each year, and if surplus funds are available from that year's event, a distribution may be made thereafter. The smallest grant ever given was for just under £60.  Applicants for smaller sums are not required to pledge finance but Highland Cross will look to beneficiaries that receive larger sums from the “small” grants to support a future Highland Cross with “hands on” assistance on the day to help with marshalling duties.


Application process

Whether charities are looking for a small grant,  or to be a major beneficiary, applications must be made on the funding application form.

The charity application form can be downloaded here.


The completed form should be sent ideally by email to info@highlandcross.co.uk with the required supporting documents to arrive by 30 September.   If sending by post, please send form and documents to Highland Cross Organisers, Redwood, 19 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AA.


Please ensure that you use the current form.  Applications made on previous versions of the form will have to be rejected.


Charity Selection Process

All applications undergo an initial screening to ensure that they meet the basic eligibility criteria.  If successful at that stage, applications go to an Independent Selection Panel. The Organising Committee do not select the charities as a number of the Organisers are professionally involved with charity work in the Highlands.


Major Beneficiaries

Charities are chosen by an Independent Charity Selection Panel of three members who are quite   separate   from   the   Organising   Committee. Highland Cross will have four or five major beneficiaries each year.  The   Charity   Selection   Panel normally selects up to 6 potential major beneficiaries for interview which will take place in November or early December each year in Inverness. The Panel will then inform the Organisers of the nominated causes. 


The Independent Charity Selection Panel takes a number of criteria into consideration. A copy of the Panel Guidance can be obtained here.


Smaller Grants

Grants for smaller amounts are assessed on the basis of the application form. Where they consider it necessary the Independent Charity Selection Panel may seek additional information from applicants.


The following are statements from the charities that are to benefit from Highland Cross 2023




Àban offers positive outdoor adventures for children and families in need. We are a stable presence where many traditional community institutions have been eroded. Our doors are open to all without the need for prior experience or booking online.

We aim to:

  • Improve confidence as youngsters get ready for the world of work

  • Integrate healthy outdoor activities as part of daily life

  • Help the next generation to enjoy and protect our natural world

Our work is focussed in Merkinch and South Kessock. Our approach is local, simple and cost-effective. In less than 2 years we have established:

  • Scotland’s only independent open Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group, incl. 10 full scholarships

  • An outdoor group for Young Adult Carers run in partnership with Connecting Carers

  • An “Adventure Nurture” programme run with the Guidance Department at Inverness High School, supporting 12 of their most vulnerable S1 pupils

  • A free kit library for those who want to get outdoors but lack the necessary equipment.

We are a charity which stands on our own two feet as well as seeking grant funding. We generate revenue through our holiday camps, climbing programmes and the Kessock Ferry Swim. This event has its own Community Partner Programme, spreading the benefit of the event throughout our community.

We now plan to expand our youth programmes. Whilst we start with adventures close to home, our participants soon want to spread their wings. With funding from the Highland Cross we can use a vehicle to access adventures further from home.



Cameron House


Cameron House is a residential Care Home for up to 30 people who are living with Dementia. The application for Highland Cross funding is to replace the existing minibus – originally gifted by Highland Cross in 2008.
Primarily, the minibus is a means of enabling our residents to leave the unit for outings. This will involve many of the following:

  • Going out for runs/picnics where we can look for new lambs or dolphins

  • Going out shopping and for coffee

  • Ensuring that residents are able to stay in touch with former community contact they had prior to admission

  • Enabling residents to attend faith events such as services, Mass, Social events in the Church communities etc.

  • Facilitating trips home where that is appropriate

  • Enabling residents to attend events that they would have enjoyed prior to admission and that were important to them in the past

  • Allowing us to attend events that are run in the local schools/nurseries where we have contact.

  • Enabling us to attend a Dementia Singing Group run in a local hotel.

  • Enabling us to take part in the Seagull Trust boat trips.

  • Providing the opportunity for our Men to spend time away from the unit which is predominantly female.

  • Supporting family members to to be part of the resident’s life by attending events with them.

In addition to the more recreational purposes listed above, the minibus has also been invaluable in enabling residents to attend appointments as wheelchair access taxis are not always available especially for morning or afternoon appointments.


Highland Hospice


As the only hospice serving adults across the Highlands, our palliative and end of life care services have been a vital source of comfort and support for our patients, their families and our communities since 1987.

Our care increases quality of life by reducing pain and suffering, enabling our patients and their families to make the most of the precious time they have left together. Our rehabilitation and wellbeing team offers tailored support to meet the unique needs of those with progressive, life-shortening conditions.

Working with our communities, we provide home care in a number of locations, allowing people to live at home for longer; our befriending team tackles the loneliness and isolation which often accompanies deteriorating health; and our social work and bereavement services help children and adults to cope both during their loved one’s illness and following their death.

Our services are offered freely to everyone who needs them but they are also costly to deliver. We’re hugely grateful to receive an annual grant from the NHS, but we must still raise more than 75% of our income, mostly through fundraising and retail, to continue delivering our care.

The grant from the Highland Cross would have a considerable impact on our retail provision. By replacing our current van, we can continue to transport donated goods between our shops to ensure that each shop has a high level of quality stock. This maximises profitability and increases net income to support the delivery of vital Hospice services.



Caberfeidh Horizons


Caberfeidh Horizons was set up to address the needs of adults challenged by learning difficulties. Seventeen years later, we now support a wider population, meeting the needs of social isolation in a rural area where adult services are scarce.

We employ 2 trainers, 3 staff members, have 11 trainees and 50+ volunteers who help run our Community Hub and our retail shops selling second-hand goods. These shops provide our income. The resale of goods helps people in our community who are facing hardship and promotes recycling. We also have a foodshare/foodwaste operation.

As an additional vehicle, a van with five passenger seats and cargo space would bring many benefits including increasing the number of people we can transport and the activities we offer. All our trainees could be transported to the same activity or, more importantly, they could choose their activity - something which they may never have had. The van space would allow us to pick up/ deliver larger pieces of furniture which can be upcycled in our trainee-led workshop and help with collecting donations and house clearances.

We work in the community offering a warm space to meet, hot lunches and Cosy Boxes (warm clothing, hot water bottles etc) for those facing increasing financial difficulty. The van would allow us to deliver food and goods and enable the housebound to access our services.

We will continue to help as many people as possible with the resources available. This vehicle would enable us to do even more.


Partnerships for Wellbeing

We are delighted to be one of the nominated charities for this year’s Highland Cross event. The Cross has been an important part of the evolution of our community transport Service since we were established in 2004. Twice before the efforts of participants and the generosity of those who donate have allowed us to purchase cars that enable our volunteers to take elderly and vulnerable adults to health care and day care appointments across the city. We’re much more than a taxi service, because our volunteer drivers take the time to ensure that their passengers get safely from their homes to their destinations and back again. Many of our clients lack the confidence to or mobility to use regular public transport and our service allows them a degree of independence and the ability to the help they need to remain living in their own homes and communities many years before they might otherwise have to move into long term residential or nursing care.

This year, we hope to replace our ageing cars so that our entire three vehicles can accommodate wheelchair users. We know there is a dearth of such transport and have been told there are just nine wheelchair accessible taxis in the city. As a result, many elderly people feel as if they have remained in lockdown long after the rest of us were able to begin enjoying the post Covid freedoms we used to take for granted.

The support of Highland Cross will, hopefully, enable us to replace one of our ageing cars with a brand new vehicle which will be in service for many years to come.”