As we approach the Easter holidays, and we anticipate the easing of the COVID restrictions I want to use this week’s community safety blog to highlight a programme of Community safety activities that are scheduled for the next few weeks. The Forth and Clyde Canal from Lock 16 to the Falkirk Wheel will be the focus of two full days of Canal clear up and conservation work and also happening is a series of COVID proofed community litter picks which will all take place as a part of our local Tidy, Clean and Green Campaign.
Firstly, through funding that has been awarded by the Falkirk Great Place Project and with the support of Scottish Canals, The Conservation Voluneers and Falkirk Council Waste Services we will be launching the Canal Clear up and conservation Project. Initially this will involve local young people working on the canal over the school holidays, and this will include a water based clear up and a land-based conservation project. The young people will also take part in a workshop on the theme of keeping the community tidy, clean, and green and taking pride in Falkirk. Every participating young person will have their volunteering rewarded with a Saltire Challenge Award and also by receiving a certificate of achievement from all the organising partner organisations. Central to this Project is to instil a sense of awareness with the young people about the importance of looking after our green spaces and through their own significant contribution to their conservation and improving the litter problems. This will be carried out in a challenging and enjoyable way. New skills will be learnt in watercraft and using paddle boards which will enable all the participants to gain their Paddle Start Award. This has really been a collaboration of a Project and it will continue to run on a monthly basis from May through to August. I will be encouraging local people of all ages and experiences to come and join us for a day’s environmental work on the canal, places will be available for each month and I will advise the local community of how to get involved and book their place by the end of April, so please keep an eye out for this on the Our Place social media and other local forums. Everybody who takes part will have an opportunity to gain certificates for volunteering and several accreditations, they will learn new skills whilst making a positive contribution to their local community.
There will be three community litter picks taking place over the holidays and hopefully local people will be able to see a significant improvement to the chosen target areas. I know one of the challenges is keeping areas clean and tidy after they have been cleared, however there are plans to convert some of these bad grot spots into pop up parks and wildflower meadows and this will provide another opportunity for local activity as we move into spring and summer. I am incredibly pleased to welcome the Addictions, Support and Counselling services Recovery community and the Cyrenians Navigator project who will be leading on two of the community litter picks which is a welcome development and I believe the beginning of a long-term community safety partnership. The third litter pick has been organised by local volunteers and I look forward to supporting them to clear a a particularly bad problem area in Camelon. I would want to point out that these litter picks all comply with COVID guidelines and will be carried out in pairs and will be fully physically distanced, and for these reasons I am unable to involve any additional people to these activities, however come May and onwards I hope that we are able to have a big community litter pick and outdoor activity at least once every calendar month.
The final action that I want to highlight is the new posters and signage that will be going up around the Camelon and Tamfourhill areas, it has a truly clear message and to remind everyone here is the competition wining drawing from Jaimee who is a Primary 7 pupil at Carmuirs Primary School, please keep an eye out for this character appearing on a rubbish bin near you.