News update

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 3 February 2022

For this week’s blog, here’s an update on a few bits and pieces of relevance:

Community Choices

Voting is still open for the latest projects looking to get funding for the larger projects. You can vote for any projects listed in your area of residence, plus there are additional projects listed that serve the whole of Falkirk. You get 3 votes but they all carry equal weight. The council team do carry out post code checks to make their life a little easier, please do not vote for an area you don’t live in! Here’s the info and links relevant to our area:

Ward 6 (Camelon) Voting Link
Not many to choose from so when this comes around again, please come to us for any help you need to get an application in. The only projects listed here are Falkirk Golf Club (Access improvements for wheelchairs etc) and Bainsford Community Hall (Hall Refurbishment)

Ward 7 (Tamfourhill) Voting Link
Three projects to choose from here but the same comment applies about any projects who may be looking for funding later in the year. We’ll keep you posted when the council open this up for applications again. For now, the projects to choose from are: Tamfourhill Community Hub (Community Kitchen Project); Bantaskin Residents Association (New Community Area); and Ettrick Dockhart Community Hall (Hall upgrades).

The Falkirk-wide projects that you can also vote for if you wish, are: Friends of Forth Valley First Responders (Public Access Defibrillators across the area); and Barony Players (external works to the Theatre plus work to increase membership).

Voting is open until 5pm on Monday 14 February.

OPCT Development Worker Vacancy

As announced 2 weeks ago, I’m going to be leaving this role at the end of this month. I’m grateful to all those who have messaged me with their good wishes. Based on how the role has evolved over the last 2 years, the team have reworked the role slightly and, following approval from the National Lottery Community Fund, have now been able to get this advertised with the new name of Camelon Development Worker. This is a fixed term role for 14 months and has a closing date for applications of 18 February at 12pm, so don’t hang about if you’re going to apply. All the information, including Job Description and Application Form, is on the EVH recruitment website.

I’ve loved my time in this role and can highly recommend it to you. There will certainly never be a dull moment!

THRIVE to Keep Well

As mentioned in my previous blog, this programme is starting again at Camelon Community Centre in collaboration with Carmuirs Primary School. We had a good result from the pilot running of this last year, and are pleased that we’re able, at last, to have the final celebration day in a couple of weeks time (it was postponed before Christmas due to Covid concerns). If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this programme then do get in touch with Jackie who’s details are on the flyer below

And finally

No news report is complete without an ‘And finally’! I can give you a sneaky pre-announcement of some funding that is coming into the area as part of a consortium of local organisations. This will enable further local engagement and detailed development planning in respect of Easter Carmuirs Park, the area next to the Camelon Juniors car park, and Brown Street Park between now and the end of June. It won’t get any work done yet, but it will move us so much closer which is fantastic. But to work most effectively, it will need you to get on board especially if you live in or near to, or you use any of these spaces. Stay tuned for all the information that you need to know in the next couple of weeks.

There’s lots more going on but that’s the things that are most important to update you on for now. Until next time….

Dan Rous
Community Coach
07444 873151


What makes our streets safe for active travel  ?

A Manifesto for walking 2022

Signposting for safety on the streets

There may not be an absolute consensus in peoples responses to this question however the recent Manifesto for Walking 2022 collated by Living Streets Scotland is an excellent starting point. In this community safety blog, I am going to highlight this manifesto and request that local people and groups  write to the newspapers , share on social media and raise the main manifesto  issues with those candidates who will be standing for election to Falkirk Council in May 2022. Here is the link to the Living Streets website that will guide you through that process:

The four main assertions detailed below are relevant to local community safety projects, including: The pop up parks, the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods I have discussed in a previous blog, the need for new local play facilities and the development of a Community Climate Action Plan for Camelon and Tamfourhill.

The manifesto for walking 2022 is based on the four following assertions:

  • 1. To end pedestrian deaths and injuries on our road: The benefits of walking for our physical and mental well being are well documented and widely acknowledged. Through the pandemic communities have realised the benefits of walking, however there has also been a number of notable challenges for people out walking: including, narrow cluttered, uneven pavements, crossings that prioritise cars rather than people, and speeding vehicles and in response the manifesto for walking asks that councils and other statutory services:
  • Set Vision Zero targets of significant reductions in people killed and seriously injured on all roads, leading to zero deaths.
  • Introduce default 20mph speed limits in built-up areas across Scotland and introduce measures to significantly slow traffic on rural roads on the approach to dwellings, schools and visitor sites.
  • Improve our crossings and junctions, making sure there is a pedestrian crossing at every signalled junction.
  • Create walkable 20-minute urban neighbourhoods and cut traffic levels by 20%
  • 2. Make school streets and neighbourhoods safe: This manifesto assertion has particular local resonance with the ongoing problems and concerns at Easter Carmuirs Primary School and I am certain there will be similar concerns around all of the local schools and early years’ centres. There is no doubt that more families will choose to walk to school if they believe the streets to be safer and it therefore is desirable that we transform the routes we travel to school so they are safer, cleaner and less congested. Importantly walking to or cycling or wheeling to school sets healthy habits for life. The manifesto asks our councils and statutory services to:
  • Invest in walk to school programmes targeting areas with poor health outcomes.
  • Create and grow traffic free school streets programmes in every town area and build upon the successful programmes in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • Improve routes to school by making all urban neighbourhood streets 20mph, not just outside school gates and invest in better crossings and more green spaces.
Stopping illegal parking next to schools is a local community safety priority
  • 3. Cut the clutter and make walking easier for everyone: The challenge of getting more people out walking and wheeling will be overcome if our streets are not an obstacle course of objects and mess. The more car free and the greater we invest in our green spaces the more likely people are to go out and walk from location to location and to move about their neighbourhoods on foot or wheels. The following commitments are therefore being asked of our prospective councillors:
  • Implement the ban on pavement parking before the end of 2023, put in place large scale publicity and adequate enforcement measures.
  • Cut pavement clutter to increase space for walking, via dedicated programmes and budgets to tidy up streets.
  • Alongside investing in new cycle infrastructure upgrade walking networks
  • Create more car-free areas for recreation and culture through closing roads through historic streets, parklands, riversides and waterfronts.
  • Invest more in engaging people with disabilities to understand and address the barriers they face.
  • 4. Tackle air pollution and climate change: I am very pleased to announce that Camelon and Tamfourhill will be producing our own Community Climate Action Plan and that this process will begin in the next few weeks. Along with the work of the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group other community growing projects are to expand at Tamfourhill and in the Carmuirs area and this is a great opportunity to bring the community together to plan for the future and prepare the community for some of the challenges of climate change. I will look at the Climate Action Plan in greater detail and explain how you can get involved in a future community safety blog.  What is absolutely clear is that we need all our towns and cities to be places where people can move about and can breathe and that we need to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2045. If we are to address the climate emergency, we need our councils to improve access to public transport and ensure the cost of driving reflects its true economic and social costs. The walking manifesto is asking candidates to commit to the following:
  • Introduce low emission zones which focus on reducing traffic and help people choose walking and cycling especially besides schools and within communities that face multiple health challenges.
  • Remove and reallocate parking spaces to other uses like pop up parks, cycle hangers and create other community assets.
  • Reduce air pollution by educating drivers about the health problems caused by idling vehicles.
  • Create more green corridors, and increase biodiversity, with pop up parks and linear parks along routes where people can walk and cycle.
Pop up parks can make our community healthier and greener

Living streets Scotland invites us all to write to any or all of the candidates that are standing for election in the wards 6 and 7 for Falkirk Council on 6th May 2022 and to the local newspapers and other media outlets. This manifesto asks questions and seeks strategic solutions which will make our streets safer and easier to use and will increase the benefits of using the local green space for our health and wellbeing whilst also directly addressing climate change. I will return to these 4 manifesto assertions as I announce in the next few weeks a number of new exciting community safety developments for Camelon and Tamfourhill.

community, Mental Health, Support, training

THRIVE is back!

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 30 January 2022

You may remember that we piloted the NHS THRIVE to Keep Well programme at the end of last year. This went well and produced some great results with most of the participants. We’ll publish a report once it has been finalised from all the relevant authorities, but the positive change reported and clearly seen in many of the participants was a joy to be a part of. So, I’m so pleased to say that that programme is back, this time in collaboration with Carmuirs Primary School and to be held at Camelon Community Centre. (I’m only sorry that I won’t be around to be a part of it.)

To remind you, the THRIVE to Keep Well programme supports adults who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health and wellbeing challenges. Participants are brought together in individual male and female adult groups within their local communities. The programme was developed to assist individuals to rebuild their lives by increasing their skills, knowledge and awareness of their own personal health and wellbeing, and aims to support participants to feel more integrated into their community by helping build positive social networks, improve personal development, and support participants to develop their own social and economic lives.  It is a life-changing programme for participants that attend, helping them to feel empowered with skills, insights, confidence and tools in order to take control of their life; it brings out the very best of them to embark on a new journey to making a change.

This community asset-based programme reaches parents and adults aged 16+ within their own community, to encourage social connectedness and increase peoples control over their health and lives

The programme is delivered over 16 weeks through one session of 4½ hours per week within a community setting using a three-stage model that has been designed and developed with structured learning outcome sessions which has enabled the integrity and continuity of its delivery. During the sessions, participants learn about stress, anxiety and how to make positive changes through a variety of group and self-reflection activities. Participants also take part in relaxation, creative, health, safety, and community awareness sessions.

The THRIVE to Keep Well programme uses the acronym THRIVE to demonstrate a participant will have the opportunity to be Transformational in their journey to making positive Health and wellbeing changes, by being a Responsive Individual, to feeling Valued and Empowered by improving knowledge, skills and opportunities in a variety of ways to move towards a positive destination.

The programme aims to improve participant’s:

  • knowledge and management of day to day stress and anxiety.
  • self-esteem and confidence through self-development and reflection techniques.
  • motivational goal setting techniques to enable health behaviour change.
  • awareness of the NHS Keep Well programme and promote higher uptake of the health assessment.
  • confidence and motivation to improve on life skills to further learning, volunteering and employment.
  • role as a parent to further develop the skills and confidence that will improve family relationships, support children’s learning, behaviour and attainment and enhance wider wellbeing.

So, for the next running of this programme, have a look at the poster below, that gives all the information about when and where the programme is running, and who to get in touch with to get involved. I really hope that this programme will continue to grow and provide more fantastic support to local people.


Your Watch Your Way

I am aware of ongoing problems and serious community safety concerns at Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts and that this has been reflected within recent articles published in the Falkirk Herald. These matters have also been raised with me through the Safer Streets roadshow held back in October and since then I have met with other stakeholders and been in contact with the  elected members for that Ward. One of the partners in the Safer Streets Initiative are Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and I have through discussions with them now raised the prospect of establishing a Watch in the first instance specifically for both these Courts. This of course is dependent upon the willingness and commitment of local tenants and the relevant partner agencies and organisations and from my recent meetings and discussions this has received a positive response. I thought therefore it was  worthwhile focusing this week’s blog upon some of  the key facets of the new modern Neighbourhood Watch in Scotland. People can then consider if this would be an appropriate means to address some of the issues and concerns  experienced by the tenants at this location.

Signage around the community is a key part of any Neighbourhood Watch

Getting involved with Neighbourhood Watch (NW) in your area can be a great way to help keep your community safe. It’s not all about crime these days; it’s about safety, there are perhaps some negative perceptions of what a Watch is for and how it operates, the days of the curtain twitchers and local bissy bodies are no longer in any way relevant .A scheme can generally be of any size.  It can be a whole street, one side of the street, one half of the street, a cul-de-sac, a few cottages, a whole block of flats.  The scheme should be of a size that is easy to manage.  It’s often best to start smaller and then expand.  

The ethos of the modern Watch is about looking out for each other and therefore working together in a positive neighbourly way. The ongoing COVID pandemic illustrated, especially back in the full lockdown, how communities could come together to help and support each other, to look out for each other and protect the most vulnerable within our communities. This is the spirit and the approach of the modern NW, and this approach could be a significant positive step for tenants in Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts feeling safer and better supported.  The Watch then is about values and not structures, it doesn’t need to operate with a structured committee or be formalised with monthly meetings, rather it can be informal , online  or using social media in fact their strap line of Your Watch Your Way is about setting something  up that works effectively for the people involved and not about a one size fits all template. A key outcome of the local community safety strategy was to establish a community safety forum for Camelon and Tamfourhill , however it could be that a local Neighbourhood watch and such a forum could be one in the same thing and operate towards the same aims and purposes. Having your own very localised Neighbourhood Watch can give a community a collective voice, it can be much better than individuals being upset and isolated and  perhaps complaining about things but never getting an effective response. To the contrary  a group of empowered people can be much better able to take effective collective action and without fear or worry about consequences and your collective voice greatly improves the likelihood of being listened too. When the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour see collective action being taken and consequences arising from their behaviour then there is likely to be a reduction in these negative events and the power of the community becomes far more significant and a positive force for change and good.

It is important that the people who are part of a Neighbourhood Watch understand what it is about and what role they are expected to play. It’s best if this is clear from the outset. It’s also great if you can involve everyone in deciding how the NW will work and what its purpose is. My plan therefore is to set up an initial partners meeting in the next few weeks, and I will invite the national NW Co-ordinator along with the Community Police, elected members, Fire Service, officers from Falkirk Council ,some of the local voluntary organisations and those tenants and local people who have already expressed an interest with getting involved with this initiative. All these partners bring expertise and experiences to the table,  and they also have the capacity to respond to the tenants community safety priorities and work together to make effective joined up responses. However, the key to this is the local tenants in these two courts and this is about their NW.  I will hold an open public meeting shortly after the initial partners meeting so we can ascertain the level of support and confirm that this would be an appropriate and supported course of action for Glenfuir and Greenbank Courts. There is a key set of questions that local tenants will need to answer:

Why do we wish to set up a NW scheme in the area?

What are the aims of our NW scheme?

What are our local concerns?

What can we do to address these concerns?

Who will we need to work with/what help do we need?

How can we all contribute to making our community safer?

Going through this process in a public open meeting will enable an agreed vision for the NW to be confirmed  and most importantly reach an agreement on local concerns and priorities and identify the required activities to address these concerns and priorities.

Finally, I want to highlight one particular aspect to the modern NW, that is their Neighbourhood alerts system. This operates in any way that works for local people and you don’t need to be  a member of a Watch to get this very localised information service.  The alert system can be targeted at a row of houses, a street, a few floors in  a high rise flat and can pass on relevant credible information about a particular incident or community safety situations being made aware to all the registered tenants. This could for example alert people to scams and doorstep fraudsters operating in their street, to incidents of vandalism happening in your Court and to any public health concerns or issues communicated directly to you on your mobile phone. You can find out more about this directly from this link:

When I read this message yesterday, I got up and looked out of my window and I could imagine others doing the same, all over our area. It made me feel part of the community. Then when the 2nd message arrived, I was really happy, and felt that I’d been part of something really great. I think this initiative is a powerful tool for good and many people will be blessed by it. Keep up the good work, and thank you! (Local person who uses the NW alert system)

I will off course keep everybody updated with progress and developments on this website and through the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill social media platforms. The Neighbourhood Watch Scotland website can be found here:

coach, community

New Year New Start

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 13 January 2022

Welcome to the first Community Coach blog of 2022. Another year working in this role with restrictions still hanging around us, but another year of opportunity for me to work alongside you, the lovely people of Camelon and Tamfourhill.

I know this blog is coming out almost 2 weeks in to the new year, but how are you feeling as we enter 2022? Is it still “same old same old” as far as you’re concerned? Same stuff just another day? Or are you looking to make a positive change this year however small that may be?

If we’re to believe the hype, moving into a new year is a the time of reinventing yourself and living by mantras such as “new year, new me.” You may have set some new years resolutions or made a conscious move to do something new or stop doing something. You might choose to get fit(ter) or healthier? You might choose to take up something new or to give up something that isn’t doing you any good.

But what if, instead of completely changing our ways and trying to be someone we aren’t and possibly won’t ever be – which quite often ends in failure – we simply rebuild the foundations within us that may have lost their strength a little bit recently?

All these things that tell us that we should suddenly live a completely new (and demanding) lifestyle the minute the clock strikes midnight on Hogmanay are not sustainable for our mental health. Neither is setting long-term goals without any structure or progress markers. You want to get fitter but how, by when, and to what extent? Getting fitter could be anywhere from going for a short walk a couple of times a week to running a marathon. You need a structure and you need points to celebrate along the way.

I don’t know about you, but my social media timelines are full of ads for January fitness challenges: run this far for this charity this month; do so many miles for this charity; give this up this month. I’m not saying anything bad about the charities involved here, but if you’ve not engaged in physical activity like this before, this is probably one of the worst months to do so with the miserable weather and dark nights. This, I believe, is part of the reason why new years resolutions – especially those to do with fitness – are unsustainable and completely counter productive. Very quickly in the new year we reach a point of failure and if your mental health isn’t strong enough, you can easily be dragged down – potentially even to lower than you were before.

So, may I suggest that instead of completely reinventing ourselves, how about we just take small and trackable steps towards a new way that will bring benefit to us? The best way to do this is simply to slowly and consciously build new habits and routines into our life, and allow plenty of time to rest and recover too. This is more than about starting or stopping something. This is about you taking control of you.

The graphic below, courtesy of, shares some really helpful and important strategies to help you to reclaim your power in 2022. Stripping away the jargon here, what that really means is putting things in place that will make the most of all your communication, standards, and most importantly, your mental wellbeing.

Of course, just because we’ve come into a New Year doesn’t not necessarily mean that you have to change anything. It also isn’t the only time that you can make changes. Power and control of ourselves can drop at any given moment but crucially, you can reclaim it at any given time too. But sometimes, just the idea of a fresh beginning, whenever in the year that might be, can just give us the motivation we need to actually take action.

So if you want to make a change, however small, how can you do that? Simply, set some goals. That’s it! But make them specific and easily measured. Moving aside of the stereotypical healthy stuff, maybe you want to attend a new group. What kind of thing is that about? Where is it and how often will you go? Maybe you want to take on some new learning? What about? How will you do that – online or in person? What will that lead to? You see the thing I’m getting at here? For both of those things there are points you can celebrate. Signing up for the group or course – celebrate. Attending a first session or lesson – celebrate. Going back for the second part – celebrate. And so on. Reward yourself at each milestone and if you slip up, simply go back to the previous milestone and rebuild from there. That’s okay. And crucially, it’s not about starting right from the beginning again which can be so demoralising.

People much cleverer than me, tell me that when setting goals, the Greek Philosopher Aristotle believed that it doesn’t even matter if we achieve them or not. He believed that the active pursuit of a goal or virtue is the very definition of happiness, not the end state.

There is some debate about this statement as probably, most of us set goals that we want actually want to make happen and for that reason, motivation is critical which is where the milestone celebrations come back into play. As long as you know what you want, my advice is to set goals whenever you like. Set them the right way, by exploring your own powerful why, and make sure they speak to your values. According to the experts (people like you and me), that’s what matters most.

If you want to explore any of this further, or need some help in setting and being held accountable to your goals, then I’d love to walk this journey with you. Give me a shout and we’ll chat through your options so that I can help you to find your way to reach your potential in 2022.

Until next time….

Dan Rous
Community Coach
07444 873151


Community Artist required for new Tidy, Clean and Green creative sign making project.

I am pleased to be bringing in the new year with news of a fantastic new Tidy, Clean and Green  community Arts project. Thanks to funding provided by the Falkirk Council Environmental Improvement Fund , local primary schools and Youth Groups will be involved with the Tidy, Clean and Green Creative messaging Project. A long title for a very practical but also creative approach to getting positive environmental messages out into the local community. The plan is to give our local young people a voice and an important role as stakeholders with improving the outdoor  environment throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill.  

A groovy wall mural beside the Forth and Clyde Canal, would a similar creation improve the outdoor environment around Camelon and Tamfourhill ?

Some people might remember the Tidy, Clean and Green poster competition that we ran in conjunction with Keep Scotland Beautiful  back in 2020  and the winner, a primary 7 pupil from Carmuirs Primary school had their entry used as a poster which appeared on rubbish bins and public places throughout the Camelon and Tamfourhill areas. This new project is based on that approach , of encouraging the creative energies of our young people to come up with designs, murals, posters, or anything creative that will encourage the wider community to look after and fully enjoy our open green spaces. Here is a description of the Project which appears on the recently advertised community artists brief :

Following initial engagement sessions with the local community, we now would like an artist to offer children and young people participatory workshops and a participatory programme to create visible, accessible, and engaging anti littering signage and portable decorative boards designed with and by young people. The project also has the potential to contribute towards ideas for a permanent wall mural at a notorious local grot spot, plyboard creations for portable and fixed local display with distinct local anti-littering messaging and various creative projects all focused on the theme of keeping our community tidy, clean and Green.

The winning poster from the competition held in 2020

This then builds upon the previous nudge activities used in the poster competition but on a far larger scale and will result in the creation of high profile permanent and semi-permanent art works appearing at key locations which will all promote the idea of keeping Camelon and Tamfourfhill Tidy, Clean and Green. It is great that Carmuirs, Easter Carmuirs and Bantaskin Primary schools and the Youth Groups at Tamfourhill Community Hub have already signed up to this programme. The Project is scheduled to run from February with a completion date of 31st March 2022. The Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group along with Our Place and Artlink Central are currently looking to recruit an experienced community artist to implement this project and facilitate the creative workshops with the different school and youth groups. It would be marvellous if a local person was able to apply for this commission, there is  a closing date of 17th January and here is the link to the advertised commission with details of the application process.

 If anybody is interested about this commission and requires additional information or just wants to have a chat about the Project, please in the first instance get in touch with myself : John R Hosie Community Safety Engager on 07391524528 or at

Happy New Year


Christmas, community, Mental Health, resilience

Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 16 December 2021

I love Christmas. But not everyone does. Infact, a YouGov survey in 2019 revealed that 1 in 7 people don’t like Christmas. And to be honest, I’ve probably had a love/hate relationship with it at different times in my life too.

I spent most of my life as part of the Salvation Army, including playing in the band. This of course meant copious amounts of playing of Christmas Carols on cold street corners or occasionally we got to go indoors. It was always fun at the start of the month but slowly waned as the month went on! One highlight back home in Canterbury though was the Christmas Eve Community Carol Singing in the town centre which, on a good night, would have around 5000 people in attendance. However I’d felt over the rest of the month, I always got lifted by this event. A little part of me still misses this workload – but I soon get over it!

In later life, I was running a Furniture ReUse Project linked to a Homeless Resettlement Unit. It was my privilege to give the team a couple of weeks off at Christmas. However, it became clear that whilst this seemed a great gesture, it was not well received. This project was a lifeline for my team and what I was sending them off to was usually 2 weeks of solitude. I felt bad that it never crossed my mind. So before long, I organised that if they wanted, they could go into the warehouse and do some cleaning and basic maintenance work. Christmas had become a negative time for them – reminding them often of what they had lost in their lives. They needed to keep busy and not be left to wallow in their own company.

During this time, my view of Christmas changed considerably. While understanding more about the team I was supporting, I also got married and became a dad. I had two opposite extremes of the season. Avoiding loneliness versus childhood amazement.

So, to quote from the carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, do you experience “tidings of comfort and joy” this Christmastime? Or do you take more inspiration from Charles Dickens’ creation of Ebeneezer Scrooge with a touch of Bah Humbug? Or maybe you’re just wavering somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are, it’s important to recognise that not everyone is in the same place as you.

I’ve mentioned Camerados in this blog before and for this week’s blog, I’m actually handing the rest of the space over to them. Their CEO Maff Potts, a former colleague of mine in Salvation Army homelessness work, has just written a fantastic blog entitled (in his usual mildly eccentric way) “Why we all need to be a little alien this Christmas”. Maff describes his “complicated relationship with Christmas”. He says “it’s a time of year when I remember witnessing the very best feeling of belonging – and yet all the noise, the Christmas fanfare everywhere you look, is rarely about that magic.” The blog is a fantastic read that focuses on the pressures on all our Mental Health this Christmas time and how we can get through it together by simply being more human. Please take the time to read what Maff has to say – I promise you won’t regret it. You can get to his blog by clicking on the image below.

Until next time…..

Dan Rous
Community Coach
07444 873151


Safer Streets Initiative and  twilight sports coming to Camelon and Tamfourhill in the  new year

The Twilight Sports Pilot Project:

This year is rapidly coming to  a conclusion so I thought I would highlight two community safety projects which will be delivered in early 2022.  Some of the details are still to be confirmed but I felt it was important to look ahead positively and provide people with a heads up about a couple of Projects which will provide new opportunities for local young people and further engagement for the entire community with local services and organisations.    

Twilight sports coming to Camelon and Tamfourhill in the new year

The Twilight Sports Pilot Project is scheduled to start in late February 2022 and will run for 16 weeks at four different locations throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill. I am grateful to the Camelon Community Sports Hub for providing the grant funding to support this initial pilot programme. The idea is to  provide sporting and wellbeing activities on Friday evenings at times when young people might be vulnerable to risk taking or being drawn into anti-social behaviour or other community safety concerns.  As I have highlighted in recent blogs, I spent some time over the summer months engaging with young people in the community, at local parks on the streets or at Lock 16, in fact anywhere they were meeting up. I carried out a detailed youth survey and I also spoke in some detail with them about their experiences of community safety and listened to some of their aspirations for improving the community. Here is an extract from one of the streetwork session recordings:  We had a lengthy and detailed chat with a younger group at the stairs down  from the Mariner Street shops, they wanted to take part in organised activities, and  this included: football, bikes and their repairs, there are safety issues at the Scrammy which was mainly about bullying , broken glass and fires/fireworks spoiling their enjoyment of den building and playing about the hill, they also said they are pushed of the MUGA by the bigger ones. We suggested there could in the future be organised football session involving adults and coaching and this suggestion was well received and would be taken up  by this particular group (Streetwork recording 1st September 2021) It seems fairly clear then that young people would enjoy and benefit from having structured and supervised activities at key locations where they already meet up within the  community. The twilight session will involve quality sports coaching and participation, an outdoor learning input from our colleagues at TCV and each week there will be a community safety partner taking part, including: The Police, Fire Service, Youth Information services and my own community safety workshop inputs. At this stage I am not able to give exact details, but I would hope that the sports will include Rugby, Basketball, football, and wheel sports and along with the Outdoor learning activities  and the community safety  inputs this should be an excellent new opportunity for the young people in the  community. There will be volunteering opportunities and training can be made available to support local people gain coaching certificates in all of the sports that are to be delivered, so if you have an interest in any sport please get in touch as I would really like to involve you with this Pilot project. My Streetwork engagement and survey work has also indicated that young people do not have access to reliable information, advice, or support around a whole raft of community safety issues. I will therefore be making sure that there is plenty of youth information and advice resources available at each of the twilight sessions and I have a couple of young volunteers who will be helping with that aspect of the programme. As always, I will be looking for opportunities to involve young people with the programme as a learning or volunteering experience and where appropriate I will ensure that they are able to use their involvement to gain accreditation and volunteering certificates like their Saltire Awards.   

Safer Streets Roadshow:

After the very wet trial of the  safer street’s roadshow back in October the Partner groups and agencies will be returning for a regular weekly roadshow through April into May 2022. This will involve various Falkirk Council services, local voluntary organisations, community groups and other statutory agencies like the Police and fire service all coming to different locations throughout the community. This provides local people with a one stop shop to ask questions, bring concerns or problems, or suggest new ideas and community initiatives to all of the main local agencies and services in the one place at the one time. Some people may remember the Street a Week initiative that operated locally in 2019 and this approach is similar in taking agencies out to the community, but the other feature is to try and encourage new community activities in a positive and constructive way. Where there is  a gap in community safety services or local opportunities, I would really like to see  people come forward and start having that discussion with all the agencies and groups relevant to the local area. For example, from the Pilot roadshow back in October we have had a request from a few local people to start a Neighbourhood watch and people have also expressed an interest in seeing a local community council established.

The Partners in October 2021

I will return to both of these community safety project nearer the time of their implementation, and there will be significant publicity to promote them, in both the local press, through flyers and posters and on social media platforms. If you would like more information or are keen to get involved I would be very happy to hear from you at any point from now!

camelon, collaboration, community, tamfourhill

Your Community Calendar is here

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 9 December 2021

Over recent months, we’ve been working with Camelon Arts on a new exciting project that I’ve wanted to do for ages. With the help of local people, we’re bringing a Camelon and Tamfourhill Community Calendar to the market!

So what is this all about?

Regular readers will know how I love to celebrate our area – both the scenery and the people. There are many ways to do this – lots of which have been impacted by Covid of course. But a calendar has been on my mind for a while as a great way to showcase our area throughout a whole year and involve local people too. Thankfully, our friends at Camelon Arts agreed!

So a little while ago, a shout went out for you to submit photos of a location, view, group or anything else from Camelon or Tamfourhill. To be honest, we didn’t get a huge amount which is a little disappointing, however we’d already decided that everyone who sent photos in would get one of their entries included in the calendar. What we did get though was a brilliant selection of images and they fill the year really nicely with more than one for each month. A sincere thank you to the people and organisations that submitted photos for this project. (You’ll have all had an email from Aniela at Camelon Arts regarding the launch.)

A really special touch for the calendar is that one of the first entries submitted came from Joe Bruce (aka Joe fae Kemlin) who sadly passed away recently. Joe was very well known in the area and latterly ran the Camelon in Pictures and Memories Facebook group. So his entry is included with the addition of his life dates, and his relative is coming along to the launch to accept a copy of the calendar in his memory. For me, this makes this even more special.

To make things even better for a local project (is that even possible – yes, yes it is!), Camelon Arts discovered a recently graduated, Camelon based, Graphic Designer by the name of Jakub Bieganski who was brought in to pull this project together. I’ve seen a preview and it looks great. I can’t wait for you to see it.

So when can we get it, I hear you cry! Well, let me tell you!

It is being launched this coming Saturday – 11 December – with a mini tour across the area, followed by some local sale points. Camelon Arts have coordinated this and have also got some free hot chocolate for you, to soften the blow of having to do all this outdoors! Here’s the details:

We will launch the calendar in the car park of Camelon Community Centre between 11:30am and 12:30pm, then move to Camelon Juniors Social Club main entrance between 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Finally, we’ll be outside Tamfourhill Community Hub between 4pm and 5pm.

The calendar costs just £5 and for ease on the day, we ask you to bring cash only please. All profits will go towards a new community fund that we will manage, to support local groups in the future. All the info on that will come in the new year. But that really immerses this project into the local community as it’s designed by a local person with input from local people to be sold in the local area to benefit local projects. (Did I say local enough there?!)

If you can’t make it to any of the launch locations on Saturday, the calendar will also be available to purchase from Saturday until early January (or earlier if they sell out!) at:

  • Graeme Pharmacy, 275 Main Street
  • The Falkirk Wheel, Visitor Centre Gift Shop

Thank you to these locations for taking this local calendar into their stores to widen the reach. But if you can’t get there either, do message me so we can help you get a copy.

So there you have it. Our first Camelon and Tamfourhill Community Calendar. Hopefully not the last either, so get taking more photos ready to submit for the 2023 edition! I look forward to seeing some of you this Saturday.

Until next time….

Dan Rous
Community Coach
07444 873151


Community Safety and Creativity

I want to touch briefly in this week’s Blog upon how we can collaborate with arts and creativity to make our communities safer and a more interesting place to live. I have been working  with Camelon Arts to plan how creativity can contribute to making camelon and Tamfourhill a safer, happier, and more attractive place to live.( And in this respect, there will be further collaboration and project developments in early 2022 which focus upon environmental improvement, community empowerment and encouraging greater community cohesion.

Rainbow railings painted by the community at Nailer Road Park

 I am going  to highlight some distinct ways that Arts Projects can contribute to improving our local communities, and also demonstrate how aspects  of our local community safety projects are aligned to these key features:

  • Bringing communities together in public places:

Dr. Felton Earls, a Harvard professor of public health, conducted an extensive, fifteen-year study in neighbourhoods across Chicago. His research found that the single-most important factor differentiating levels of health from one neighbourhood to the next was what he called “collective efficacy.” He was surprised to find that it wasn’t wealth, access to healthcare, crime, or some more tangible factor that topped the list. A more elusive ingredient–the capacity of people to act together on matters of common interest–made a greater difference in the health and well-being of individuals and neighbourhoods.

This is an important feature of the recent activities at the CJFC car park and its surrounding area , not only are we interested in changing the reputation of that location and making it more of a community asset we are also wanting to bring people together to share experiences, fun and aspirations. We want to create an atmosphere of a positive community where we are  coming together in common cause to develop  and enjoy our public spaces. The pop-up park and gather and play programme were all examples of bringing a community together in a public place.

The community coming together in a public space
  • Increasing community participation :

An essential part of the proposed community mural at the Juniors Ground perimeter wall will be ensuring there is community ownership and full involvement in the planning , developing the themes and the implementation of the mural. There are various stakeholders that will be required to have control and ownership of the process and the product, including : The football club, CJFC social club , local tenants, young people  and various community groups and organisations. The success of this venture will be reliant upon facilitating collective involvement and ownership and creating  a forum where everybody feels able to take part and make their contribution.

  • Engage Youth in the Community:

Including young people as meaningful contributors in the social and economic aspects of community development must not be overlookedand we should acknowledge the potential contributions they can make by their own actions and creativity in making our local community a safer place to live.

There are distinct community benefits of engaging young people especially those that are more marginalised and disconnected from  the wider community with creativity and giving them a voice through artistic expression and participation. There is evidence that through involving young people  with community arts projects that this process often brings adults into the picture. The voices of young people can have a significant impact upon  the behaviours and attitude  of adults within the community. The Tidy, Clean & Green group were recently successful in securing funds from Falkirk Councils Environmental Improvement Fund. This will involve another close collaboration with the arts and the commissioning of community artists to work in the main with local schools, early years centres and youth groups and support them to create positive messaging that will encourage the wider community to  reduce the incidence of littering ,fly-tipping and dog pooh. This is about creating nudge activities that will change behaviour and is to be led by the children and young people of Camelon and Tamfourhill. The hope is that their parents, family, and carers will acknowledge their creations around the community and will therefore take ownership of the messages and various creations  and that this will change behaviour in a positive way and reinforce the message that we should keep Camelon and Tamfourhill: Tidy, Clean and Green,

Creating messages that encourage positive behaviour change
  • Promote the Power and Preservation of Place:

In relation to both the community  mural and the planned Tidy, Clean & Green  messaging and design projects It will be important that everybody feels that they can contribute as much or as little as is practically possible for that individual or group to both the process and the product, underpinning all of this  is the notion of collective ownership and responsibility. The creativity must begin at where the community is at and what their experiences and aspirations of the place they live actually are, the process will flow and evolve from that starting point. When people become involved in the design, creation, and upkeep of places, they develop a vested interest in using and maintaining these spaces. When they have a true sense of “ownership” or connection to the places they frequent, the community becomes a better place to live, work, and visit. The residents’ feelings of respect and responsibility for the place bonds them to that place and to each other. (5 ways arts projects can improve struggling communities Tom Borrup)

There will be various opportunities to get involved with these community safety projects which are being supported and developed by the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group and I will keep the website and our social media updated. I hope to be able to bring some more detailed information about a further community safety engagement day at CJFC car park area scheduled for Sunday 30th January 2022 and which will also involve some outdoor activities for families and the launch of the creative messaging project early in the new year