Spring is on the way
It has been a remarkably busy April going into May with a range of community safety projects and local engagement events so here are the main highlights with some accompanying photographs:
The twilight sports sessions got under way with 2 taster sessions in April with the full programme roll out starting on Friday 22nd April at the MUGA on Carradale Avenue in Tamfourhill. The lead was taken by the Falkirk Wheelers who provided excellent coaching and encouragement as the young people and often their parents joined in with the various inline skating sports on offer. TCV provided some tasty outdoor cooking activities and den building tasks. I would like to offer a special thanks to our local community Police Officers and the Fire and Rescue service from Larbert and Falkirk who turned up and got straight into the activities on offer and have built a positive relationship with the participating young people, these visits have become a highlight of the evening and are eagerly anticipated each Friday. The Twilight sports move onto Easter Carmuirs Park for the 20th & 27th May and 3rd & 10th of June where football will be the lead sport along with a bike ramps and obstacle course provided by the Falkirk Active Travel Hub and a variety of environmental learning opportunities will be provided by TCV.
The Safer Streets roadshows have often been cold and wet but local people have raised several issues and this improved collaboration between the different community safety partners should facilitate new and improved service delivery locally and potentially establish some new initiatives. I continue to encourage people to attend and raise issues and ideas and I would again stress that the Services and agencies are there to listen and explain what their roles are within the community. The Safer Streets Roadshow is at The Juniors Car Park on Thursday 12th May from 4pm-8pm, the Mariner Road Shops on Thursday 19th May from 10am to 2pm and this roadshow finishes on Thursday 26th May at Tamfourhill Community Hub from 4pm-8pm.
As part of the Safer Streets approach, I have also been hosting a community safety drop-in on a fortnightly basis, this is an opportunity to meet with me and discuss any issues relating to community safety. My timetable for the next month is Wednesday 11th& 25th May 10am -12 noon at Love Falkirk beside Ochiltree and 1pm-3pm in Camelon Education Centre and Thursday 12th& 26th May from 1pm-3pm and 10am -12 noon respectively in Tamfourhill Community Hub, please pop along for a coffee and a chat.
Sunday 3rd April was a massive success for the Tamfourhill Community Fun Day, and I was there to support Kerry Reid our Community Education students Keep Scotland Beautiful spring clean-up. This went very well with all ages taking part in the litter pick and completing the climate change survey. Kerry’s seed bomb making stall was also very popular and will encourage biodiversity with lots of local gardens and green spaces hopefully seeing wildflowers and lots of insects over the spring and summer months. Thanks to Kerry for organising and coordinating this activity in partnership with Tidy, Clean and Green.
The Community Climate Action Plan will be taking shape when the core group meet for the introduction and imagination session on Thursday 12th May, a programme of group sessions and wider community engagement events are planned for May and June and there will therefore be opportunities for as many local people who are in any way interested to contribute to the Plan. There are several issues that the Plan will be focused upon, including: energy efficiency for our community and public buildings, reducing the negative impacts locally of climate change, encouraging further community growing and planting of trees and orchards and ensuring Camelon and Tamfourhill has a shared plan of action which will mitigate the worst impacts of the climate emergency. The Core group are made up of members from: Tidy, Clean and Gren, Tamfourhill Community Hub, Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation, Forth Valley Sensory Centre, pupils from Falkirk High School and the Forth valley Recovery Community. If you would like to be part of the Core Group, please contact me ASAP.
The Tidy, Clean and Green Creative Messaging Project has now reached its conclusion, and I would like to thank Sarah Diver Lang for her professionalism, creativity, and commitment to this Project. I know some people will have a T-Shirt and or a drinks bottle with the new logo adorned on it however the main signage is still at the printers so I will highlight these constructions in a future blog prior to their permanent public display at several locations. This Project really engaged the young people at Carmuirs and Easter Carmuirs Primary schools and the Tamfourhill Youth Groups and the theme of Theirs, Ours, Mine was a clever and creative way of depicting how young people understood how we look after our local green spaces and who should take ownership for the quality of the natural environment around Camelon and Tamfourhill.
The Easter Carmuirs Park safe play consultation has been ongoing throughout April and early May and has been led by Liz Thomas a landscaping architect who has been commissioned by The Green Action Trust. This work is closely aligned to the local community safety strategy especially in relation to young people having opportunities to be involved in positive activities at key locations. I have therefore been working closely with Liz and there have been rewarding and insightful sessions with groups from Easter Carmuirs Primary School and most recently at the event held in the Easter Carmuirs Park last Sunday 8th May. The sun shone down, and young people and families took part in a consultation exercise around their aspirations for improving the park and an extensive and thorough clean-up of the Scrammy also took place led by Tidy, Clean and Green. A dominant theme has been wheel sports and the need for a structured facility for bikes, scooters, and skateboards, including pump tracks and half pipes. At the event, the Forth Environment Links Active Travel Hub provided a bike course with obstacles which proved extremely popular and clearly demonstrated the need for a wheel-based sports facility within the Park. I will report fully on Liz’s work and recommendations when this phase of the project is concluded.
It was a pleasurable couple of days during the school Easter holidays that I spent on the canal with the Tamfourhill Youth Groups, who as always went about the paddle pick up and tow path litter picks with enthusiasm, good humour, and a total commitment. Forth Environment Link kindly supported the Groups littering picking work by providing an E-Cargo bike and cyclist who made a big difference to the workload by transporting the collected rubbish from both the canoes and the tow path back to the Falkirk Wheel. This was eco-friendly transportation and community conservation work at its best. There will be further news about the use of the E-Cargo bike with a new project being supported and developed by Tidy, Clean and Green which I will write about in next month’s community safety bulletin. The additional aspect to this year’s canal clear- up programme has been the introduction of the John Muir Discovery Award and I would like to thank Emma at TCV, and Anna form the Councils biodiversity team who supported and facilitated conservation activities to fit with the Award. We spent an afternoon tree and bulb planting in Easter Carmuirs Park and had a fun time playing group nature games and making up nature cards the following week. I am really pleased to be supporting these young people undertake their John Muir Awards.
And finally: All Games Allowed is a creative initiative run by artist Mark Bleakley and Camelon Arts with support from myself that has grown out of workshops with residents on the theme of play. Come down to the MUGA on Mariner Street on Friday 27th of May from 4.30 – 7.30pm (drop-in) to play and make the final piece! The workshop will involve painting so remember to wear clothes that can get messy just in case. These workshops were enjoyed by the attending young people when they were run by Mark at the Community safety gather and play day held at the Juniors car park last October.