camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, lottery, Our Place, resilience, safety, Support, tamfourhill

Busting the Myths

Since John and I started in post, we have tried to make clear why we’re hear and what our role is. But there are still some people who don’t know about us, don’t quite get what we’re doing, or think we are something that we’re not! Some of this is understandable with the current restrictions and our limitation to mostly online communication, but there is still some misinterpretation or misinformation around. So today, let me try to put right some myths that are out there about our roles, and try to get us all on the same page. To save you just scrolling through, here’s a list of the questions or comments made. Click any one to get my take on it:

Are you from Falkirk Council?
Are you just going to gather information and do little or nothing with it?
You’re part of Tamfourhill TRA so you’re not there for all of us.
Our Place hasn’t done anything for us yet, what’s different now?
This place will never change!
The problems are just too big
Why should I get involved?
How do I get involved?

Are you from Falkirk Council?
With all due respect to the Council, NO WE ARE NOT!! We are locally employed and will work only for the interests of local people. We will liaise with Falkirk Council and local councillors as needed, and we are doing that already, but we are completely independent of them, sitting within the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill project hosted by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation.

Are you just going to gather information and do little or nothing with it?
Absolutely NOT! Yes we will need to gather fresh information, as John has already done with the Community Safety Survey, but this is because it’s been a little while since relevant information was gathered and we want to be working with as up to date knowledge as possible. We will then use any information to inform positive action or developments and can promise you that it will not just sit in a file and gather dust. We are not researchers. We are people of action (where’s my cape!)

You’re part of Tamfourhill TRA so you’re not there for all of us.
Yes, the funding for the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Project is hosted by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association. That is true and was done that way as they were deemed by The National Lottery Community Fund to be best placed to host two employees and oversee the project. BUT…… that DOES NOT mean that we are only here for their benefit. We are here to work for the whole of Camelon and Tamfourhill – for all groups and individuals – for all positive and negative things. There are people needing coaching support across the whole area. There are organisations needing a bit of advice or guidance as they work across the whole area. There are community safety issues everywhere. Sometimes we will work with a specific group or location and other times we will work for the benefit of the whole area. It’s project dependant but ultimately and quite simply, we are HERE FOR EVERYONE.

Our Place hasn’t done anything for us yet, what’s different now?
There’s something a bit Monty Python about this question/comment (what have the Romans ever done for us…. look it up in YouTube!!) The Our Place programme first ran from 2014 to 2019. During that time, support was officially here for a couple of days a month and enabled a direct link to The National Lottery Community Fund (Big Lottery as it was then) through the support staff. This brought in £1.5m of funding directly to projects in the area – find out more here – and supported additional applications, particularly to Awards for All, in the region of £150,000. That wasn’t shouted about much so you’ll be forgiven for thinking there was no local benefit, but there WAS and STILL IS! The previous programme also identified key areas of concern and so it earmarked further funding for longer term direct support in the form of the jobs that John and I are privileged to be in for the next 3 years, along with a small pot of operational funding around that. What that means is that we are both here 35 hours a week until at least April 2023 to work with local people and organisations and bring genuine help and development. We will not just float in and out again, creating something that might or might not last. We are in this for the long haul and for me especially, I’m here to ensure people have the skills, support and connections necessary to be able to do things themselves so that they don’t need external help – to encourage, motivate and develop you as needed, walking with you every step of the way. John is determined to enable positive change to the variety of Community Safety issues with your engagement. Hopefully in April 2023 (or ideally before) you’ll be able to say with confidence exactly what Our Place has done for you.

This place will never change!
With all due respect, if we think like that then no it won’t. But if we take some time to work together and plan properly, then YES IT CAN! It is true that statistically we have various levels of deprivation in the area. But we have a shed load of assets – THE PEOPLE! Deprivation stats are only good for getting funding. The skills and passions of local people are perfect for effecting positive change. A couple of years ago a resident described this as the land that time forgot. Lack of development, investment, support etc. Carry on like that and yes it will change, but for the worse. John and I, together with many others (including hopefully you), are determined to reverse this trend, build on the £1.5m invested in the last 5 years, and bring more funding, development, support and positive COMMUNITY LED change.

The problems are just too big
True. There are big issues to tackle. But THEY CAN BE TACKLED. As a whole it can look too huge. But, broken down into individual issues, we can work out some themes, trends and causes. That will enable us to develop ways to tackle the issue and engage with local people and support bodies. John and I can’t do this on our own and even with your involvement this still might be difficult. But ignoring the issues, or just accepting them, is not the answer. Nor is invoking mob rule! So, include us. Inform us. Allow us to work with you. It will take time but we can bring an end to many of these problems that we face today.

So, how can we do this? Two more questions to consider…

Why should I get involved?
Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill is here for people living in, or organisations working for the benefit of, LOCAL PEOPLE. This is all about helping you to be a part of creating a positive change for this area and for yourselves. This is not about doing things for you or to you any more. This is about either doing things with you, or putting you in a position so you can do it yourselves. So if you want to make and be a part of a positive future for Camelon and Tamfourhill – you should get involved. If you want to make a better future for yourself and your friends/family – you should get involved. We can’t and won’t force you – what would be the point in that? You are free to carry on as you are and enjoy whatever development happens around you. But where’s the fun in that? Getting involved, at whatever level works for you – behind the scenes or upfront – will really help to bring communities closer together and truly show people what Camelon and Tamfourhill are made of. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

How do I get involved?
Ah – this is a joy to our hearts when someone asks this question. There are MANY WAYS to get involved and at VARIOUS LEVELS. One group is the Kemlin Kin group that is made up of local residents and organisations working in the area who are passionate about bringing positive development to Camelon and Tamfourhill and improving local Community Safety. This is a great way in to finding out what is going on and meeting other people. It will also introduce you to other groups that might be good for you to get more involved with. But don’t worry, I know that not everyone wants to be on a committee but they would be more than happy to get their hands dirty with practical work. So if a group of this nature isn’t for you then there are plenty of other more practical ways you can get involved too. Really, the best thing to do is to stick your head above the parapet and get in touch with us. We can then discuss the options with you and also see what support you might need to get involved.


Hopefully this has helped. But if you have any further concerns, questions or comments, please give me a shout and I’ll happily discuss this further with you.

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