£120,000 has been raised in Stirling at the RHASS Presidential Initiative’s gala dinner.

The money raised is funding a unique collaboration between Aberlour Children’s Charity, Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), and RHET Forth Valley – to provide opportunities in agriculture and farming for young people supported by Aberlour.

Working with RHET Forth Valley, a group of young people from Aberlour are being given a unique programme of experiences through a series of farm visits over the spring period.

The visits and activities aim to improve life chances of disadvantaged teenagers by introducing them to farming and food production including career and employment opportunities in the rural sector.

Activities range from learning about Shetland ponies and horsemanship, making butter on a dairy farm to visiting a farm shop and butchery.

The Chief executive, Aberlour Children’s Charity, SallyAnn Kelly OBE, said: “Representatives of Aberlour were honoured to attend the RHASS Presidential Dinner 2024 on Saturday as one of their chosen charities. What an incredible sum raised! The partnership is giving Aberlour’s young people opportunities to engage with the agricultural industry, which they are thoroughly enjoying. Our heartfelt thanks to RHASS President Robin Gray and his superb presidential team, sponsors, auction lot/prize donations, attending guests and everyone involved.”

In addition to this initiative, £20,000 is being donated to support four local agricultural shows; Stirling, Doune and Dunblane, Drymen and Gargunnock.

RHASS president, Robin Gray, added; “We were overwhelmed by the support and generosity exhibited by attendees of our fundraising event, exceeding our fundraising target by almost double.

We’re delighted to be able to donate the funds to RHET and Aberlour Children’s Charity to enrich the lives of children and young adults in Stirlingshire and beyond.”