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.

No event was held in 2021.


The Application date

Applications must be with Highland Cross by 30 September 2022.   There will be no selection process taking place in 2021.  The charities selected to benefit from the 2020 event will be carried forward to 2022.


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 2022, and if surplus funds are available from the 2022 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 2022   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 2021 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 2022


CCAST Highland

CCAST Highland is a small independent Christian charity based in Tain serving the Ross-shire and Sutherland areas of Highland. We are grateful to the Highland Cross organisers for choosing us as beneficiaries for this year’s race. Our successful application is for a people carrier to help us with our work with vulnerable people within many of the remotest of Highland areas.

CCAST Highland works with the most vulnerable, marginalised, and isolated members of the community and we provide the following programmes for people to access.

Housing Support – covering

  • Benefit and budgeting advice

  • An advocacy service

  • Befriending - This includes accompanying clients to meetings and assisting clients with transportation to and from meetings especially those that live in more rural parts of the community.

Addiction Recovery Groups
We have an evening recovery group, and we collect people from their homes and take them to the group and take them back home again after.

Schools Work
S1 – S6 over 400 Academy school pupils to receive addiction awareness sessions in PSE classes – however, this work is currently on hold due to COVID restrictions. The people carrier will be used to transport notice boards and informational literature etc.

Employability Service / Work club
Free laptop and Internet use – Transport assistance to and from the DWP Job Centres, interviews and employment.

The Hub

Five years ago, CCAST Highland took over an old retail outlet on the Mansfield Estate and converted it into a Community Hub. The Mansfield Estate is an area of high deprivation, long term unemployment and high anti-social behaviour resulting in imprisonment and eviction.  We employed a support worker who works closely with the Residents Association to identify and address needs on the estate.

Food Bank
Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for food bank sessions in CCAST offices. Referrals issued from many agencies in Tain including Highland Council Service Point, Social Work Office, School, Police, Youth Café, GP Surgery and people can also self-refer. CCAST now supplies EFB (Emergency Food Box provision) to partner agencies in Golspie, for local distribution but can go further afield to more remote areas. e.g Golspie to Durness.

Boxes made up in CCAST Highland by volunteers are then transported via a network of contacts.  Food is donated by local communities – Tain, Dornoch etc – schools, churches, supermarkets, and individuals. This food will be collected using the people carrier.  During the pandemic we increased our number of food distribution centres and we provided emergency food box provision to these centres on a weekly basis. This is only made possible with a designated vehicle.

Hannah House Project
A new and exciting development in our work is our new ‘Women’s Project’ which will start later in 2022. Hannah House is a supported Housing project for vulnerable women who find themselves homeless for whatever reason. Once settled into Hannah House the women will be supported in secure and safe accommodation until they get their own tenancies. We anticipate our new ‘Highland Cross’ vehicle will be vital in the support and work with these vulnerable women.

Lastly .... we have asked for a people carrier as it has the flexibility to either carry people or larger goods. Once again, our grateful thanks to all concerned and we look forward to being part of the team and seeing all the runners and riders on the day.



The Glenurquhart Care Project

The Glenurquhart Care Project encompasses our Day Care Centre for the older people in our community offering day care, domestic support, befriending, in-house and home based respite, laundry services, a handyperson service, drop in lunches and telecare volunteers. Our recently developed Housing Project provides twelve purpose built homes for the elderly, situated beside our Day Care Centre in Drumnadrochit.

Our current minibus, generously donated by Highland Cross in 2012 has provided a very stellar service of 100,000 miles. As with all good things, it’s coming to the end of an extremely helpful life and has become dilapidated. Requiring regular repairs absorbs heavily into our monetary resources, money which could be more valuably spent in other crucial areas of need.


Covering an extremely vast, rural area we live by our ethos of ‘Enabling people to stay close to their community’, this is why it is so integral to our service that we can pick up and drop off our Service Users. Without this the majority of people would not be able to attend our Day Care Centre. According to Age Scotland, “100,000 older people in Scotland feel lonely all or most of the time. 200,000 will go half a week without a visit or call from anyone.”  We are all too aware of the harrowing truth in this statement and how lonely many of the people we help are. This is why a minibus is so indispensable to our organisation.




Reach4Reality works with over 40 young people and young adults with autism from across the Highlands involving them in a range of outdoor activity breaks tailored to their individual needs. These range from short 1:1 activities locally, through small group, evening sessions, half day/day activities, to overnight stays, weekend camps and two 5 day camps per year: we run most of these activities ourselves, for example using our own bikes and canoes, but for residential activities we stay at local outdoor activity centres. The young people get the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities, such as coasteering, weaselling, indoor and outdoor climbing, canoeing, skiing and archery. We also run the Duke of Edinburgh Award for some of our young people.


Supported on activities by skilled and dedicated staff and volunteers, the young people grow in confidence, become less socially isolated as they make new friends, improve their physical and communication skills, fitness, resilience and independence but most importantly have fun!

The families and carers of the young people benefit enormously from the much-needed respite from their demanding caring role.


Our application is for a 9-seater vehicle. To date, we’ve relied on staff and volunteer cars to transport the young people but this is not sustainable especially when towing our loaded canoe or bike trailer. A Highland Cross vehicle would provide comfortable, reliable transport, and be clearly identifiable by our young people as “their vehicle” whether it be taking them on camps, group activities or a DofE expedition.



The Oxygen Works

In 2022, The Oxygen Works celebrates 30 years of providing practical, social and emotional support to people from across the north of Scotland. In that time, we have grown from being an organisation created by a small group of local people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to an organisation that provides support to a diverse and growing community spread across a sprawling geography. We have recognised the need to continually evolve and adapt to ensure we are well positioned to build the capacity of individuals and communities to have real impact and create a lasting difference.

The Oxygen Works exists to provide Oxygen Therapy and personalised support to people living in the Highlands & Islands with a wide range of medical conditions and for them to improve their health and well-being. In 2019 we provided access to over 5,000 sessions in our chamber.

We have applied to the Highland Cross to support us with the purchase and installation of oxygen generation equipment. We currently purchase oxygen in cylinders at a cost of over £12k per year. The opportunity to generate oxygen on site will allow us to not only produce oxygen on demand (growing with the needs of our community), it will allow us to reduce costs, improve our long term sustainability as a charity and our environmental impact.


We entered 2021 looking for creative ways we could provide the much-needed support to our community following the impact of Covid-19 when we were hit with a devastating fl ood. The fl ood caused signifi cant damage to large parts of the centre, with many of the ceilings collapsing; contents destroyed, and signifi cant reinstatement work required closing our centre for over 9 months.

Reopening fully in October 2021 we have seen a huge increase in demand for our services, particularly oxygen therapy. Funding for this Oxygen generator will permit more people to benefit from this safe and effective therapy.


We remain committed to improving the lives of people living with long-term and complex health conditions; particularly neurological conditions which are broad ranging, intricate and where statutory support is often severely lacking.