A GROUP of Dunblane musicians who are helping making handbell ringing chime with people of all ages have received funding from Ross and Liddell’s Community Bursary scheme.
The Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers are recipients of the property management company’s fifth funding programme, which provides support to organisations all over Scotland.
Set up in 1977 by Lysbeth Wilson, the group provides practice and tuition in handbell ringing to people of all ages.
The funding received from Ross and Liddell will be used to buy sheet music and equipment for the group.
Group secretary Lysbeth said playing handbells exercises the brain and body and helps develop skills in co-ordination, listening and teamworking.
“Our aim is to make the group inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background and income.
“Handbell ringing equips learners with a lot of transferrable skills and gives people of all ages and abilities the chance to take part and learn together. It’s fantastic to see our intergenerational groups contribute to local events and community activities.
“Buying new music and equipment will help us develop our already very strong group and recruit new members.
“We would like to say a big thank you to Ross and Liddell for the support.”
Lysbeth started out as a tower bell ringer, and after practicing at home on a loaned set of handbells, she realised other people may be interested in learning the instrument and decided to set up a group.
Her son Malcolm, also a founder member, took over from Lysbeth as musical director in 1987 and continues to lead the group to this day.
Now, almost 40 years on, the group has 45 ringers, ranging in age from eight to 79.
In rehearsals and performances, musicians play in different groups and get the chance to play other instruments. Lysbeth and the team also host seminars for members of other handbell ringing groups across the UK.
Ross and Liddell specialises in property management and maintenance, as well as providing a comprehensive range of residential and commercial services, including sales, lettings, surveying and insurance.
Now in its fifth year, the Community Bursary Scheme was launched to provide support to organisations that make a vital difference in their community.
Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers is one of 31 groups to receive funding in this bursary year.
Irene Devenny, managing director of Ross and Liddell, said:
“The bursary has really gone from strength to strength and the number of entries that we received for the 2015 scheme was fantastic.
“It’s so important that organisations like Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers have access to funding sources to give people of all ages access to a musical activity that’s good for exercising both brain and body.
“We are thrilled to offer our support and know that the funding will be put to good use.”
To find out more about Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers, you can follow the group on Twitter via @DCHandbells