This week’s short blog is a call out to all 11 -18-year-olds who live or are connected to Camelon and Tamfourhill. I have begun having street conservations with groups of local young people and I have been encouraging them to complete the young peoples community safety survey: Lets Make Camelon and Tamfourhill a safer and happier place to live. The main issues in the survey, include being safe outdoors in parks, MUGAS and the street, Social Media, travelling about the area and asking what topics or issues would be most useful to learn about through further information sessions and workshops. There is a prize of 4 cinema tickets for a lucky person who has submitted a completed survey, it only takes 5 minutes, and it is the starting point for involving local young people with the new community safety strategy. The strategy through listening to local young people can facilitate new opportunities, services, and activities for young people . The core of this approach is to promote young people’s wellbeing and to empower them to develop and organises the activities that would be best suited to their needs and aspirations. Here is the link :
Please pass this link onto any young people you know and who would be prepared to fill in the survey and there will be further opportunities ,if they are interested, to get more involved with and help design some new local community safety projects.
Last weeks blog focussed on the long summer holidays and how that can be a risky time for our young people as they push their own and other peoples boundaries. My watchwords were “Look out for your mates” After the tragic loss of life in Scotland over the last weekend due to drowning I felt it was appropriate to repeat some of the campaign materials that I published last week, these were: https://www.fearless.org/campaigns/Scotland-summer
The good mental health and wellbeing of our local youth population are critical in making our wider community a safe and enjoyable place to live, so over the coming months I will be highlighting some specific youthful issues that are raised by local young people as they reflect upon their own local community and personal safety.
Summer is here and its holiday time for many and off course the long weeks of the school holidays with what used to feel like endless days of running wild outside and having a whale of a time with your mates. Fond memories and probably a bit over romanticised and there were occasions where you would fall foul of the anger of adults and even the odd meeting with the local police. I was a bit nostalgic when I was speaking to some young people at the Mariner Street MUGA last week, they were off to continue building their den , they had a spade to help dig out their foundations, but they still had time for a kick about and a chat with this old timer. Summer holidays can be a time for young people to be taking risks and later that day I spoke to some lads who were diving into Lock 16 without any care or consideration for their own safety. I did stop for a chat and the guys were respectful and understanding but they were having too much fun to listen to my concerns or the ramblings of this old Fuddy Duddy.
We can easily get over sensitive about some of the risks that our young people put themselves through and I am part of the narrative that complains about cotton wool kids and them spending to much time on computers and with other digital screens. The community is often the best facilitator of our young peoples safety and the Summer Camp being run at Tamfourhill Community Hub is a great example of providing youngsters with challenges and exciting creative activities that are facilitated safely within a supporting nurturing environment. Local people with the commitment , enthusiasm, and skills to support a great summer community programme and this is a great template for the types of youth opportunities that I would like to see supported and developed throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill as part of the wider community safety strategy.
Summer activity programmes and play-schemes have been a solid, safe and reliable aspect for many communities throughout Scotland , however the usual issues have worked against their continued universal delivery; reduced funding, increased bureaucracy and a lack of staff and volunteers. In order to fill some of the community safety gaps that these play-schemes traditionally covered Fearless Scotlandhttps://www.fearless.org/campaigns/Scotland-summer have launched a brand-new summer campaign in partnership with Network Rail It was launched to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holidays. The campaign focuses on empowering young people to stay safe whether they are at home, travelling or away for the day or on holiday. This campaign will run for six weeks and covers a whole host of community safety topics for young people and each specific topic has its own campaign video. Please pass these links onto any young people you know who are out and about in the community through their school summer holidays
For some children and young people, the summer holidays when schools are closed can be a particularly dangerous time for them. Home might not be a safe place – they might be physically hurt there or be neglected.
It is important that if you have any concerns about someone you SPEAK UP. This can be to a trusted adult like your parent/carer, a social worker or youth worker or contact police directly. If you are worried about being at home or if you are being hurt, please call Childline on 0800 1111 or talk to an adult you trust. Or use this link: https://www.fearless.org/give-info
We have two busy railway lines going though Camelon and Tamfourhill, railway tracks, embankments and land around the railway track are common areas for young people to mischievously stray onto when they are playing, and not necessarily to do any harm as this clip illustrates: https://youtu.be/wk19PbCokHk
And finally, those long summer holidays and light nights are often when young people might start experimenting with alcohol and substances and we should not underestimate the pressure that inexperienced youngsters can be put under
Let’s not get matters out of proportion , summer holidays are the best, memories may be fading but they remain positive and to be cherished , lets support our young people to make the most of their local environment, enjoy their holidays and encourage the positive social learning that can be facilitated through running wild in our parks and open green spaces.
IF YOU NEED HELP:
Police Scotland can be contacted 24/7 – for non-emergencies call 101 or in an emergency call 999
If you are on a train and want to report a non-emergency incident you can text BTP on 61016 and tell them what has happened.
Childline can help you if you are worried or feeling low. You can call them on 0800 1111 or visit their website childline.org.uk
Whatever you are doing this summer, stay safe and remember to look outfor your mates.
I want to pick up from last week’s blog review to focus upon some aspects of the community safety strategy that will be implemented over the next few weeks. I have begun going walkabout around the local area and although this is a fit and healthy pursuit at any time it does have a real purpose with some extremely specific aims. I am implementing a period of detached youth work along with volunteers from Tamfourhill Community Hub and this work is intended to be a good and effective way of getting to know some of the local young people whilst also gaining insight and an understanding of their perspectives and issues. This will be achieved through face-to-face contact on the streets and in the local parks. I have begun with a mapping and getting to know the area approach and in the last couple of weeks I have been accompanying a colleague from Falkirk Councils Community Housing Estates Team to show me around the community and understand their remit in terms of identifying and dealing with litter, fly tipping, dog pooh mess and anti-social behaviour. This builds on some sessions I had carried out after the first lockdown back in October and November last year. The main focus of this streetwork will be to establish contact with young people, get to know them and then listen to their views, perspectives, and issues around community safety. I have spent many previous years with managing detached and outreach youth work projects and that experience should prove beneficial to establishing some creditable and trusting relationships with the young people of this manor. This is not a quick fix approach, and it will take several weeks to establish some trust and rapport. The next stage will be to then begin to look at some of their main issues which the community safety plan can address whilst also facilitating new opportunities for our local young people to play a positive and constructive role with the wider development of their own community. Although my streetwork sessions will have a young person focusI also want to speak and listen to any local people , young , old and everything in-between who want to discuss community safety or any community issues that the feel are especially relevant. Please come and have a chat, I might not always have all the answers, but I should know where to get the information you require or who the best contact might be. I will initially be targeting the following locations: Easter Carmuirs Park and the Mariner Street MUGA, Towpath at the Forth & Clyde Canal, Carpark, and the surrounding streets at CJFC, Nailer park and Telford Square and Tamfourhill. My first priority will be in and around Easter Carmuirs Park so please come and say hello and there are specific projects that will be getting progressed and they include the provision of improved play facilities and a young people’s MUGA with associated youth facilities and asking if providing organised sports sessions based within the park would be a worthwhile and welcomed development.
Street A Week:
Some people may recall back in 2019, before my time, the street a week initiative that was operational in Camelon and Tamfourhill. It has been suggested to me that this would be a good type of Project to replicate or at least deliver some of the more successful aspects of the previous scheme. This would see the key agencies, including the Police, Falkirk Council, The Fire Service, local Drugs agencies and voluntary organisations coming into a few streets over a week to listen to local people’s concerns, issues, and priorities. This would be more than a listening exercise and as all the main agencies will be directly involved, we would therefore hope that effective and quick responses could be made to current or ongoing community safety matters and at a very localised level. I am currently meeting with the main partner agencies, but I would also welcome community input from the outset. The Key Outcomes that I hope to be able to move forward are: The community having an improved sense of security and reassurance about their homes and property, facilitate greater confidence in the local agencies and to improve partnership working between the community and the different agencies .Through this Project I am looking to establish a local community safety forum which would meet regularly, would involve all the key local agencies and which would be focused on problem solving and delivering positive change for the community. The current timeline is to try and start delivering this Project in the Autumn of this year.
The Canal Clear up:
As you will be aware the canal clear ups have been remarkably successful, and this project has been made possible though funding that was provided by Great Places Falkirk Project through funding provided the Heritage Lottery Fund. There are 2 summer holiday sessions operating , one is for young people on the 21st of July, there are only a few places available for this, but we also have a family session scheduled for Saturday 14th August , this is the weekend before the schools return and it would be a really groovy[JH1] , interesting and special family day to finish of the school holiday . If you are interested in the concluding canal clear up sessions, then please get in touch with myself directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me on 07391524528
I want to use this week’s community safety blog to provide an update of where we are in terms of delivering the recently agreed strategy and in terms of developing and supporting local community safety projects. Needles to say as lockdown restrictions ease the more, I have been able to get out and about and engage directly with the local community and various groups.
#tidycleangreen has been active throughout lockdown and the monthly community litter picks have been an especially useful way to get out and get some exercise and fresh air and indeed socialise with other folks. It has been very heartening to have worked closely with both local primary schools and Camelon Early learning and Childcare centre, all the young volunteers took part in community litter picks and in different workshops where they learnt about the importance of looking after the environment and keeping the local community tidy, clean, and green. We also worked jointly with the Discovering Antoine Wall Heritage Lottery Project on a historical themed litter pick and joined up with Forth Environment Link and Dan the Community Coach with the Veg Your ledge Workshops at the Brown Street and Nailer parks. The Canal Clear ups have made a significant difference to the water quality and the tow path, again we facilitated various learning sessions to accompany the paddle pick-ups and the funding provided by Great Place Falkirk has had an impact on the local environment and allowed local community groups and the schools to engage and learn about the importance of the canal to the local communities social history and industrial past. Future plans include the siting and construction of Pop -up Parks at some of our local notorious grot spots and to this end local volunteers have submitted a proposal to the community choices fund, and we positively await the outcome of the recent vote. The Tidy, Clean and Green Campaign will be constituted as a local community group who will then take the project, including the community growing, anti-littering and Pop-up Park facets of the campaign forward as a sustainable new local project. An important role for the Group will be liaising with services within Falkirk Council and other agencies with the view to making and keeping the local area much cleaner and to speak on behalf of the wider community on relevant issues. I am pleased to announce that this approach will see the introduction of bin sensors to the street bins around Camelon and Tamfourhill, and this should enable Cleansing to better schedule when they should be uplifted, identify the best and most effective locations for them to be placed and provide important details about what is causing problems at particular bin locations, e.g. why are particular bins being filled so quickly to overflowing, these sensors over time should contribute to keeping the local streets litter free and generally cleaner.
The Tamfourhill Recovery Community Drop-in and environmental programme: It was a pleasure to attend the recent launch of the Forth Valley Recovery Communities opening of their drop in facility based at Tamfourhill Community Hub. This initiative is a partnership which developed from the agreed local community safety priority of providing community-based responses to some of the difficulties and problems arising from substance and alcohol misuse. There was a visible gap in local provisions around recovery from addictions and dependencies and this is the first stage in beginning to address that situation. A key success to date has been the Recovery communities involvement with local clear ups and litter picks and this visibility has been highly praised by local tenants. An important part of their approach has been the positivise peer support which has encouraged members to get actively involved with their own local community. The environmental programme that operates from the Hub will be supported through the community safety strategy and the intention will be to develop this provision in partnership as we move forward. The drop-in is on every Monday from 10am, with the café facility opening at 1pm, everybody is very welcome so please either contact myself directly or speak to Forth Valley Recovery Community
Community Safety Projects at the Camelon Juniors Car Park area: I have really enjoyed being able to get out and meet with local people face to face and the engagement process at this location has been generally positive with lots of constructive suggestions as to how this space can be better used for community benefit and made to feel much safer. I have been working closely with Mark Bleakley of Camelon Arts who is also working on an All Games Allowed project which will contribute to the overall community safety themes that will be implemented around the car park. This Project will be about partnership at every level, and I hope to be able to coordinate several creative and landscaping inputs for the areas development involving several local community groups and organisations. We recently had a great mornings discussions when we attended the Love Falkirk Food Pantry inside the football ground, there were lots of positive engagements and a real willingness from local people to get involved with projects as they get confirmed, agreed, and developed. I would want to emphasise that there will be no developments at this location without the support of the local community and the tenants who live in the immediate vicinity of the car park and its surrounding area, and the long-term success of this project will be absolutely reliant on community support and involvement.
Safer streets and active travel at Easter Carmuirs Primary School: I have been working closely with the school’s Parent Council and there are positive developments happening with the SUSTRANS Pocket Places Programme and I hope to be able to announce some incredibly good news about new innovative community safety projects which will hopefully be created around the streets and entrance to the school.
Youth engagement and giving local young people a voice in community safety: I am beginning the process of getting to know some of the local young people who are using the local parks and in particular the MUGA on Mariner Avenue and I want to involve them with various community development projects. This week I will be about Easter Carmuirs Park with a colleague form the Councils Estates Team and I am hoping to speak to park users about their aspirations for the park and their thoughts about the next phase of the parks development. I will also be about the Canal tow path and around Nailer Park so please if you see at any of these locations please do not hesitate to come over for a chat as I am very eager to hear first-hand what local people think and want to see in their community that can contribute to making the area a safer and happier place to live and play.
The Street a Week Scheme Some people may recall back in 2019, before my time, the street a week initiative that was operational in Camelon and Tamfourhill. It has been suggested to me that this would be a good type of Project to replicate or at least deliver some of the more successful aspects of the previous scheme. This would see the key agencies, including the Police, Falkirk Council, The Fire Service, local Drugs agencies and voluntary organisations coming into a few streets over a week to listen to local peoples concerns, issues and priorities This would be more than a listening exercise and as all the main agencies were actively involved, we would hope that effective and quick responses could be made to current or ongoing community safety matters and at a very localised level. I will keep the community updated with this initiative, currently I am meeting with the main partner agencies, but I would welcome community input from the outset, and I will therefore focus on this particular project in much greater detail in a future Community Safety Blog.
Community Safety Question of the Month: To end this week could you please take a minute to answer this months poll about whether the bins on Clarinda Street should stay or go: Click on the link to have your say. Full results will be published on the Our Place Social Media Platform
Although my primary focus is local and community based it is also useful and important to be aware of national developments, trends and ongoing research and insights, I often ask the question: how do we as a community fit with wider national concerns and issues?
A major piece of community safety research was published last month, carried out by Mainstreet Consulting, and commissioned by SCSN. There are 4 separate but overlapping research projects which have now been concluded and it was Project (2) that I felt was of most interest: What makes a community safe? And related to that mapping out how the relationships across the partners can support safer communities.
Community safety is complex and involves an extensive array of interconnected factors, some local some national and in this high-tech age some are virtual and online. These factors all interact with each other, and it is therefore a massive challenge to identify absolute certainties or present any type of template for making our community safer.
The research involved focus groups, a questionnaire, and the direct involvement of members of the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) it was therefore national and detailed. A safer community was found to be based upon the principle of personal safety and safety within the public realm. This is explained as a person being at risk of harm due to the risks they encounter within the community where they live, it is about their personal relationships, their personal circumstances, their behaviour, and stage of life. A safer community will then have to deal with these micro issues and localised concerns, these can even be online. Community safety was found to be complex and was impacted by national, local, and specific neighbourhood-based factors.
The research confirmed that safety means different things to different people but there was three generally identifiable components:
Seen to be safe: – quality of the environment is a big factor, this is about the appearance of local areas: in particular; dark streets, graffiti, dog fouling, derelict property and neglected green spaces, these are especially important factors for making people feel safe. When applying this to our own local community safety strategy that fits well with our Keeping Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy, clean, and Green. #tidycleangreen
Felt to be safe: This is about the fear of crime and the need for reassurance, it’s very difficult to make people feel safer by explaining the actual nature of the risks when that is being negated by the mass media and social media amplifying particular issues like crime and public disorder. Our local strategy highlights the community having an improved sense of security and reassurance.
Understood to be safe. the importance of basic information about safety within communities was noted frequently and it was found that communities valued knowing where to go to get support and advice and knowing that something will get done. This is a great fit with the local strategies key outcome of Local people having greater confidence in the agencies that deliver relevant services and in particular the local intention to re-establish the successful street a week multi-agency project.
Other significant factors that were found to impact upon a community’s safety is its sense of place, where a positive sense of identify and pride in the area were massive factors, this relates well with our own Key Outcome of Improving community cohesion and a theme crossing several of these outcomes is to support various community development projects which will facilitate further local ownership and improved responsibility and pride in our local areas, parks, and community facilities.
The final factor highlighted by some of the respondents was poverty and inequality and how this can badly damage a community’s sense of safety through exasperating local criminality and anti-social behaviour and undermining mental health and wellbeing. This is a social structural challenge and requires macro political interventions however we should also be aware of strategies and projects that tackle poverty as being necessary and absolutely fundamental to improving the sense of safety and wellbeing within a community.
Finally, this research project looked at how best to engage with communities, there was an acknowledgment that this was a basic and necessary part of any community safety strategy, but there were clear warning signs articulated about the dangerous and destructive tendency of tokenism, it is well worth quoting directly from the summary report:
There is the danger of community consultation’ being tokenistic, the risk of giving attention to
those that shout the loudest rather than those in the greatest
need, lack of the resources required to involve communities
using the imaginative and sustained approaches required to
achieve the greatest success and relatively low levels of
confidence and experience in digital communication as a
tool to support community engagement
I hope and believe that our own strategy has avoided this pitfall and is inclusive and representative of the actual circumstances in Camelon and Tamfourhill, the success of our approach will be through participation and local people taking ownership of the projects and initiatives. I believe we are moving in the right direction and the underpinning of the community safety strategy is empowerment and local ownership.
I was absolutely delighted to attend todays celebratory launch of the Tamfourhill Recovery Drop-in and its new environmental programme. This initiative has evolved through the local community safety strategy and is also intrinsically linked with our Tidy, Clean and Green campaign. Tamfourhill Community Hub provided a top quality buffet and I would like to thank Louise for providing the catering and everyone at Tamfourhill Community Hub for welcoming both the guests and the members of the Recovery Community. Narek Bido the Chief Executive of Addictions Support Counselling was on hand to answer any questions about his organisation and Stephen Feighan a Recovery Development Support Worker who has been working specifically with establishing the environmental programme was able to highlight the different aspects of the programme and its implementation in the local area. Tracy Fullerton from the NHS Forth valley Health and Social Care Partnership was focused upon her work of creating an informative film and documentary about the unique approach that is being developed at Tamfourhill and highlighting how this community engagement approach with its environmental underpinning will be able to facilitate positive recovery through embracing the mental and physical wellbeing of working in the outdoors. This approach can certainly be replicated and in that respect local representatives from the Denny Community were in attendance to consider how a similar approach to supporting community and environmental based recovery provisions can be developed for their community.
Establishing this new programme from Tamfourhill is very much consistent with several of the key outcomes of the community safety strategy and is also well aligned with the ethos and priorities of the Community Hub. The FVRC have already carried our several litter picks and this has been acknowledged and applauded by the local community , this has been noticed and already they have made a positive difference and improvement to several open spaces and streets in the community. This is an initial activity and along with the groups regular rambles and guided walks they will slowly but surely expand their environmental activities. They are scheduled to take part in a canal clear up later in the month and there are several potential opportunities’ to develop local conservation projects and link these to accreditations and a variety of community learning programmes. The community safety strategy has highlighted the need for greater community cohesion and this programme is an excellent example of how disparate or often stigmatised groups can come and work together and contribute to the development of their local community and facilitate mutual respect and learning through that process.
An enjoyable launch day could not be dampened through watching Scotland’s opening match in the Euro finals, it was despite the result good to share some footballing memories and realise how shared community and mutual support can facilitate positive outcomes and help us overcome difficult challenges.
The Drop-in and environmental programme will run every Monday from 10am at Tamfourhill Community Hub , you can find more information through either contacting myself at email@example.com or emailing directly to firstname.lastname@example.org you will always be made very welcome by popping into the Hub on and Monday. Further information about Forth Valley Recovery Community (FVRC) | ASC
This week’s community safety blog is dedicated to our young volunteers and citizens of Camelon and Tamfourhill. A big thank you to the group of young canal clear up volunteers who spent Wednesday 19th May on the canal removing a wide array of rubbish and mess form the waterway. The Group also spent time in a learning workshop where the problems associated with plastic pollution were highlighted. The Group then considered ways which they as individuals, the local community and businesses and how local and national governments could contribute to reducing the harm being caused through single use plastics. A certificate of achievement is on its way to the pupils to acknowledge their positive contributions to keeping the canal #tidycleangreen and off course the new canoeing skills which they learnt through the instruction they received from Mathew Skilling of Scottish Canals. A big round of applause to: Zach, Cody, Owen, Catherine, Aiden and Scott and supported and encouraged by their class room assistant Scott. I would also like to thank Russell and Carol form Scottish Canals for their support and encouragement to the day’s activities.
Friday 21st May was a day of 2 halves, the first half took place at Brown Street Park where the Primary 3 class from Carmuirs Primary school cleared the park of its considerable litter and mess and also took part in the veg your ledge workshop facilitated by Forth Environment Link. My colleague Dan is supporting a new community growing project form this park and its heartening to see it now being transformed form a vacant empty space into a new community resource. This was the first stage in this conversion and the youngsters carried out a Keep Scotland Beautiful Eco schools litter survey.
The pupils were helped to plant their own boxes and they took the 9 boxes back to their class to watch their vegetables grow, hopefully some lettuces will be ready for picking before the end of the school’s summer term. I am sure Dan will be welcoming them and their peers back in the new term to work on some of the community growing activities which will be getting developed from the Park. We received a visit from our two local community police officer’s PC Hill and Muir who came and joined in with the morning’s activities and also a thankyou to the adult volunteers of Chris, Gordon and Nicholla who assisted with the litter pick.
The second half kicked off at 2pm in the car park at Camelon Juniors Football Club. This activity was called All Games Allowed, and this title was to contrast the usual no games allowed signs that we see far too often throughout our local communities. The aim was to look at how the Primary 3 pupils might make use of the space for safe paly and to encourage them to invent their own games based on the traditional street and pavement games that go back generations. We started with Mark form Camelon Arts inviting us all to try an ancient Viking game called: Kubb and this was great fun, extremely competitive, it involved knocking out skittles and eventually the game would be won through somebody knocking out the king which happened on several occasions.
Primary 3 came up with their own chalked out assault course which involved different challenges as you worked your wat through the chalked-out course on the ground. The class were divided into teams of three and were timed as they worked their way through all the different tasks and skills they were instructed to undertake. The game finished with a slow-motion crab race where the winner was the person who managed to go so slowly that they were last, congratulations to Ms Paterson the class teacher who won this race by a few pincers. I would intend to include some sort of street games and safe play areas for local children as we go forward with the community safety strategy and the session at the Juniors Car Park was extremely helpful with illustrating how existing community spaces could be better used and adapted for wider community benefit. Thanks to Mark form the Camelon Arts Project for his comparing of these street games, I enjoyed this session very much and again Primary3 pupils were a credit to their school and their local community.
You are cordially invited to make a site visit to the Camelon Juniors Car park Area and to imagine this space as being safer, more enjoyable and for the benefit of the local community: This location has a long-standing negative reputation for anti-social behaviour and is somewhere that is often described as being unsafe. We therefore want to hear about your ideas and opinions as to how this space could be positively transformed for the benefit of the community.
Friday 21st May I will be on site with colleagues from Camelon Arts and other partners to ask local people and pupils from Carmuirs Primary school some key questions:
• What could be done to make this location safer?
• How could you make the green spaces more appealing?
• What would make you come here and spend more time in this area?
• What needs to be provided here to encourage people to make use of the area?
The site visit is being split into 3 sections:
2pm -3pm: This section is called “all games allowed” and we will be welcoming the Primary 3 class from Carmuirs Primary school to take part in an ancient Viking game and then we will ask the class to split up and invent their own group games. These games could become part of the new landscape of that location, and we can consider if the car park could become a Play area at certain times of the week or day or during school holidays.
3pm -4pm: This section is for adult community members. Local tenants and member of local community groups, and this is where the above questions will be used as prompts for wider discussions targeted at 5 key spaces that we have identified from within the wider car park area. These are illustrated in the photographs
4pm -5pm: This section is targeted at young people and local youth workers and the process and questions used will be the same however this will be facilitated from a young person’s perspective and with an emphasis upon their safety within the community and developing these spaces responsibly for the benefit of themselves and the wider community.
The community safety strategy first key outcome states that: The Community will have greater capacity to address the negative impacts of Anti-Social Behaviour. The approach will be to utilise, support and develop the skills and assets that already exist within Camelon and Tamfourhill and to do this in a way that facilitates solutions and positive outcomes to current local community safety priorities.
The afternoon sessions will be risk assessed and COVID compliant and we will be very happy for people to take part but in order to assist with our COVID management of the site could you please get in touch with myself to confirm that you plan to come along.
A key outcome of the local Community safety strategy is: There will be an increase in the provision of recovery and support opportunities for individuals and families who have been impacted by substance use and the criminal justice system and intricately linked are the outcomes concerned with improving community cohesion and lowering the level of local anxiety that exists in relation to substance use. This Strategy most importantly is a framework for community action and agency collaboration and there are proposed projects and various programmes of activities that should enable the community and its partners to successfully work towards achieving these agreed outcomes.
The period of community consultation and survey work had highlighted a considerable level of local concerns about substance use and a range of associated negative behaviours, criminal activity, and anti-social behaviour. This then was going to present a particularly challenging community safety priority, but I was reassured that a positive path could be navigated through some of my early involvement with the proposed Creative Communities Project which was intending to adopt a Look Behind the Labels approach. Although this inter agency collaboration bid to Inspiring Scotland was unsuccessful, the dialogue and thinking involved in working up the bid provided a strong indication as to how a local community-based and empathetic approach to working with individuals and families involved with problematic substance use might be the most effective way to move forward. This ethos and approach has enabled an important partnership to develop within the last few months with Addictions, Support Counselling: Forth Valley Recovery Community (FVRC) where the Our Place Project has been able to facilitate a community-based approach to providing local activities and opportunities for members of that Recovery Community. This has been welcomed by the FVRC and the wider community have acknowledged their increased positive visibility and their valued contribution to the wider wellbeing and improvement of the local community. This has been especially noted as the FVRC have recently been involved in local community clear ups and three massively successful litter picks and are now regular participants with the #tidycleangreen campaign.
In my initial meetings with local drugs agencies and through some peer interviews conducted by FVRC I was made acutely aware of some of the social challenges that confront individuals who are ready or are beginning to approach their recovery journey. I was provided with a number of testimonials form local people and clearly the need for support and positive reinforcement from the local community are critically important factors in any local person’s start of a recovery lifestyle. I have been impressed with how FVRC are providing strong role models through involving individuals with lived experience within their local community and how that can illustrate and provide hope for others and facilitate a realisation that there are community-based support structures in place so that you can make that first step to getting better. This approach is a means that enables individuals to reengage with their local community without being permanently stigmatised and marginalised from the people and support networks which can be nurtured and developed around them.
The notion of visibility is a core part of this particular community safety partnership and we are therefore incredibly happy to announce that we will be launching a Forth Valley Recovery Drop-in session every Monday and operating out of Tamfourhill Community Hub. This drop-in will provide a plethora of support services and activities for its members and it will similarly be welcoming to family and friends of individuals who are dealing with or moving into recovery from substance dependency. This new drop-in provision meets the key outcomes as described in the introduction of this article and it is the beginning of a community development process that I will be supporting in an ongoing basis. There is an environmental programme attached to this drop-in so expect to see further regular litter picks carried out by members of the recovery community, participation in the canal clear up programme, rambles round the scenic spots of Camelon and Tamfourhill and in the longer term some conservation projects. The drop-in provision is scheduled to open towards the end of this month and there will be a launch event where other partners and guests will be cordially invited to attend. For further information about FVRC please go to this link:
The first anniversary celebration of the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Project was a great success, there was positivity , enthusiasm and good news and virtual celebration about the first year of the Projects work in the community. There will be recordings of the evenings highlights available soon so keep an eye out on our social media if you want to catch up with the presentations and different inputs as we reflected back on a bizarre year, showcased our successes and looked forward to what was planned ahead. The evening provided an ideal platform for myself to launch the new community safety strategy for Camelon and Tamfourhill.
Although the local strategy and priorities are a community led plan and they represent the voice of local people, I also have to acknowledge the wider national context that we operate within and be aware of the central driving forces and priorities of the main partners that we will be working with in the coming months. Falkirk Council: The Falkirk Plan, Locality Plans and strategic property reviews, community planning partnership, criminal justice system, Scottish Government social policy & economic development, emerging drugs policies and a movement away from a punitive approach through criminalisation and the courts towards regulation, harm reduction and health focussed approaches. This is the context the local strategy sits within and these are some of the wider agendas that most align with our own local activities.
In a recent blog I discussed the Scottish Community Safety Networks election manifesto for 2021 and in particular I emphasised this section: The SCSN believes that communities will be safer if there is more involvement of people in communities in the planning, delivery, and development of the services that they use, they go onto stress the fundamental importance of youth work and Community Learning & Development and an emphasise upon working together through creating local partnerships which keep communities safe. This then will be the guiding principle of our local community safety strategy, it will promote community development and capacity building facilitating the local ownership and delivery of new projects and initiatives, especially with young people and the development of new local youth work opportunities. There is the assertion within the manifesto that there must be more involvement of people in communities in the planning, delivery and development of services that they use, or often what is referred to as co-production. This ethos has been taken forward on confirming the local community safety strategy.
The local methodology and process of consultation, included: the community identifying its local priorities and the areas that were felt to require action, activity, and development. The process deployed included: surveys, 1-1 interviews, focus groups, meeting stakeholders and partners.
We have 12 key outcomes , and a raft of activities and plans that will enable us to reach these outcomes successfully, it is dependent on agencies contributing to that process and buying into this strategy , some activities, actions and Projects will meet several of the outcomes, however the indicators or contributions of these activities will be measured with different criteria and we will look at different indicators derived from the activity depending upon the key outcome, so working with young people in the community will contribute to the key outcome around ASB but it will also make a significant contributions to other key outcomes like the improvement to our open green spaces , the strategy is therefore cross fertilised and interconnected where activities and community projects will be serving to meet several key outcomes concurrently.
The full strategy document is now available , so please get in touch with myself if you require a copy : email@example.com or Mob: 07391524548, here is a summary of the 12 key outcomes of the strategy:
The overarching aim:
Camelon & Tamfourhill will be a safer, happier, and more attractive place to live
The Community will have greater capacity to address the negative impacts of ASB.
Young people will have increased opportunities to have their voices heard about the issues that affect their safety within the community
There will be an increase in the number of Young people involved with projects and activities that address community safety and reduce risk taking.
There will be an increase in the provision of recovery and support opportunities for individuals and families who have been impacted by substance use and the criminal justice system.
There will be improved Community cohesion.
The level of community anxiety about local substance use will be reduced.
Local people will have greater confidence in the agencies that deliver relevant community safety services.
There will be improved partnership working and greater collaboration between the community and agencies.
The quality of the local green environment and open public spaces will improve through a reduction in the quantity of littering, fly-tipping, and dog waste.
Public spaces and the green environment will have an increase in the amount and diversity of use by local groups and individuals.
There will be greater road safety with an increase in the level of Active Travel.
The community will have an improved sense of security and reassurance about their homes, property, and assets.