camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill, training

Falling over

Show me someone who has never made a mistake in their lives and I’ll show you someone who isn’t telling the full story! Not one of us can honestly say we’ve never messed up at something either in education, work or just life in general. Okay, there is a scale of mistake but even the smallest one has the power to trip you up or allow others to try to trip you up. Why is that? Because we often see those mistakes as failure.

There was a joke years ago referring to people having letters after their name for qualifications they’ve earned, and someone said he had 7 letters after his name: F-A-I-L-U-R-E. It was tongue in cheek but the reality is that there are people out there – maybe even you as you read this – that have been labelled, or labelled themselves, as a failure because of something that didn’t go right earlier in their life.

In the video below, Simon Sinek (yes, I’m back to his wisdom again!), tries to help us to move on from this way of thinking, especially by dropping the use of the word ‘failure’ and using the word ‘falling’ instead. This gives a natural thought journey that if someone falls, you help them up. You don’t leave them there. Sinek says:

The language of “falling” vs “failure” matters because it changes our mindset. Falling happens naturally. As leaders, we have to encourage our teams to take risks and help them get up when they fall – not instill fear that they could lose their job.

This is a hugely important not just in business, but in community life as well. People around us will fall in many ways. It is up to those around them to pick them up, dust them off, and set them going again in whatever form of action that takes. I’m a huge fan of this suggestion and it forms a large part of what I have the opportunity to do as a Community Coach. This also comes back to what I spoke about in this blog a couple of weeks ago, about finding the gold in this community. That ‘gold’ could be stored within someone who is known as a failure. My job – my privilege – is to help that person stand up again and continue to be what they were designed to be and not leave them as society has labelled them.

Thomas Edison, described as America’s greatest inventor, is best known for inventing the lightbulb but also invented an electronic voting recorder, the phonograph, talking dolls and tattoo guns. His most famous quote was the cover image for this week’s blog, but he also said this:

Failure is not just falling down, it is refusing to get up. Failure is not a dead-end street, it is just a detour. Failure is not a tattoo, it is just a bruise. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.

So who do you know who needs a hand up? Maybe it’s you? Why not give me a shout and see how I can help.

Dan Rous, Community Coach
communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or 07444 873151

camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, Support, training

GOLD!

For this week’s blog, I want to return to the idea behind my role – to coach people to be the best they can be. One source of information for me that I have referenced a lot lately, is the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho. This idea of mining – or looking – for gold is exactly what my role can do. Sadly not actual gold (although that would be nice!), but the talents, skills, passions, dreams, desires and abilities that currently lie hidden and unused within people in the community. The leaders of the future that don’t know it yet.

Gold is rare and has great value. It costs a lot to mine it and refine it to a usable condition. The same is true when we look for leaders or those with hidden skills. There is a human cost to stepping out from the comfort of where you are and putting your head above the parapet to reveal and develop whatever you have kept hidden.

Some facts about Gold:

Of gold usage globally, 80% is used in the making of jewellery. Gold bars are held by large banks as reserves to guarantee their ability to repay depositors and trading partners. Gold is also used in coinage, medicine, dentistry, computers and even aerospace applications. And, of course, gold is used in making the highest Olympic medal. Gold is a universally accepted substance of the highest value.

Tom Camacho

Gold is beautiful. It is pure. It is soft. It is rare. Did you know that all the gold on the planet could fit into a cubed space the size of a tennis court!

Those 4 characteristics – beautiful, pure, soft and rare – can also be applied to great community leaders. We have many in our community already, some of whom have been pure gold for many years. But I know there are many more still to be found. Those who either don’t realise what they could achieve, have told themselves they’re not able to do anything, or worse still, they’ve been told by others that they can’t do it. Let’s get rid of all those thoughts. There is gold here in Camelon and Tamfourhill and it lies within you!

Camacho, in his book, starts and finishes by taking the letters of Gold and applying meaning to each. So, allow me to take those thoughts for us to apply here:

G is simply for Gold. It is everywhere. It could well be within you. Take some time to think about how this could be true for you. Think through those dreams that lie within you.

O is for Open your eyes to see it. Chat to a trusted friend. Or chat to me if you want. But chat to someone who can help you see what it is that is hidden within you.

L is for Learn the skills to draw it out. Coaching is a great way to do this so that you can be guided and supported to uncover the skills you believe are within you.

D is for Develop continuously. You can’t just identify the skills and hope they will just grow within you. You need to work at them continually and even when you’ve got to the point that you’re living out those skills, you still need to develop them.

So will you join me in searching for GOLD in Camelon and Tamfourhill? I know it’s out there. It could be in you! Give me a call on 07444 873151 or email communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk to start the digging!

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

Looking Back to Move Forwards

This blog marks 6 months since John and I started in our posts and Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill was reborn. For my part, as a local resident as well, I came with hopes and plans as to the things I could bring to this new and exciting role as Community Coach. However, starting a new job during a national pandemic and lockdown really threw most of those plans up in the air! But, undeterred, I have pushed on as much as possible through mainly online contact and phone calls and have been grateful to the willingness of local groups to get on board with what I can bring – especially those who came to me for help. That has been especially helpful during these restrictions as I don’t necessarily know what help is needed unless people tell me.

There is still a lot of work to do and I’ve in no way been able to give all the groups what they need or even make significant contact with some. That does not mean I won’t keep trying though! Contact with individuals has also been hard as I can’t get out to meet you! But I’m working on how I can do this through the restrictions we face just now and would just again encourage anyone who wants any support with training and personal development to do as some have already and give me a shout. Even if you’re not sure what you need – often chatting it through with someone else can be a big help. My contact details are below.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has got on board with what we’re trying to achieve here. Those who have supported me, shared our social media posts and blogs, informed others about what we’re doing and basically cheered us on. Sincerely – thank you.

For now, this seemed a good chance to review what I’ve been able to do so far. I record this not to show off in any way – that’s not my style. But simply to try to show how Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill, and especially my role as a Community Coach, can be of benefit in this amazing community.

  • 26 Local Organisations have been supported with information, guidance or training on:
    • Funding
    • Governance
    • Marketing
    • Local Contacts
    • Covid Guidance
    • Development
    • Project Related
    • General Chat
  • 4 Individuals have been supported with:
    • Access to training
    • Idea development
    • Relevant Contacts
  • 34 External Organisations have been linked up with for:
    • Information and Support for Local Organisations
    • Networking
    • Training
    • General Links and Wider Support
    • Information and Guidance
    • Collaboration Opportunities
    • Project Support
  • 6 Organisations and 2 Individuals have been identified for delivering Free or Low Cost Training:
    • I am combining my search for various courses together with working to find out the kinds of courses people are needing.
    • The list is too long to put on this blog, and really is endless depending on what you, the people and organisations of this area, actually want and need.
    • Courses include Personal Development, Employability, Organisational Development and Skills Based subjects.
    • I have been building my own skills to enable me to deliver this training online as it looks like it might be a little while before we can have groups together for this.
  • I have taken part in 11 Training Sessions or Courses:
    • Managing Change
    • Rebuilding Income Streams
    • Wellbeing Economy
    • Asset Transfer
    • Community Right to Buy
    • Community Wealth Building
    • Asset Based Community Development
    • Digital Champion
    • Taking your Training Online
    • Delivering Effective Online Learning
    • Human Centred Design
  • Working on Developing 6 Projects in the area:
    • Creative Communities Fund – Behind the Labels Project
      • Collaborative funding application unsuccessful but working with groups involved to discuss alternative options.
    • Cycle Repair Pop Up Workshops
      • Thanks to work with Cycling UK, these are happening over the next 2 weeks.
    • Easter Carmuirs Park
      • Early work on planning for Phase 2 consultation which will include forming a new group of local people to help the process.
    • Community Growing/Gardening
      • Formation and support of new group to develop growing sites across the area.
    • Cycling Events
      • Potential partnership with Cycling Scotland and Falkirk Active Travel Hub to include the area in some events.
    • Coaching
      • I am developing a programme of 1-1 coaching for individuals to enable personal and organisational growth.

It’s been quite a fun and rewarding process putting this list together and I’m sure there’s things I’ve missed and there’s more in the pipeline as well. In any area of development – whether that is personal or organisational – it’s good to look back on where you’ve come from as, no matter how low we may feel on the odd occasion, recognising achievements to date is a real boost. This process can really help you move forwards. I hope to be able to help others do the same locally as we go through the next 6 months and beyond.

Look back to learn how to look forward

Joe Girard

If you want to know more about how I can support you or your organisation, please get in touch either by email to communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or call 07444 873151.

coach, community, development, resilience, Support, training

Passion, Wiring and Fruit

Last week I wrote about finding your strengths and suggested ways to identify yours if you didn’t know.  Check back on last week’s blog if you need a memory jog here.

For this week’s blog, I wanted to build on that a little, as I look to work alongside local residents to help them achieve what they were designed to be and do.  After Christmas we’ll be able to do this through coaching sessions (probably online to start with unfortunately) but this blog will help a little for now with getting a better understanding.  For reference, some of the content here is influenced by the book Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho.

You don’t need me to tell you that everyone is different.  If ever there was a sentence that stated the obvious, that is a strong contender!  But it’s something we often forget especially when people don’t see things as we do.  If you’ve ever been in a discussion, on or offline (but usually on Facebook!), where someone completely went against your point of view, in the main they didn’t do so just to annoy you or to start an argument, but they simply saw the subject differently because of the way they are designed.  Where strength comes in a community is when people of different viewpoints, skills and abilities can come together, harness their unique differences, and work towards a common goal.  That doesn’t mean being something we are not – it simply means recognising who we are as individuals, allowing others to do the same, and using the mix of skills to achieve whatever is needed.  I know that is far from easy – but it can be done.

We all have what is often called a ‘sweet spot’.  It is the key to being who you were designed to be and will show up when quite simply, everything you do reaches a point of success.  It’s a bit like what is often called the Midas touch – when everything we do, or get involved in, turns to gold (not literally – sadly!!).  There are three parts to this:

  1. Our Passion – what really drives you.  What do you absolutely love doing that means however tired you are, you’ll always find that extra energy to get it done? What activity or issue really strikes a chord with you and gives you determination to tackle it head on?
  2. Our Wiring – how your mind works.  Some of us excel at numbers, some at words, some at getting their hands dirty.  But what is it that just comes naturally to you so that whatever you do around this is successful and effective? 
  3. Our Fruit, or our Positive Output if you prefer.  What do you do that brings the greatest impact around you for the least amount of effort?  What do you do that people near to you say is really helpful?  That may be an activity you’re involved in, or something you do in your street, or something you do to help out?

If we take the time and effort to deeply understand how we are wired, what we are passionate about and what we do naturally that helps others, we are discovering our sweet spot.

Doing this is not a quick or easy process and takes effort, but can be incredibly rewarding for you and those around you.  It also doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy! There is always going to be something to do where you really have to push yourself to do it.  The problem comes when that is taking up the majority of your life – that is when you start to feel pressed down all the time because you are trapped working outside how you are designed.  Some have even said it feels like a punishment.  Believe me, I’ve had to lead personnel meetings or budget reviews (to name just 2 examples) that have made me want to run for the hills – but they were a necessary part of what I had to do at the time.  Where I’m happiest is when I’m coming alongside people to make a difference either for them or with them for the benefit of others.  Happily, that is a huge part of this job!

Coaches often talk about the 80/20 principle, where people will thrive when they spend 80% of their time working in what is their sweet spot.  That means they are doing what they do best for the majority of the time.  Work is no longer a chore but brings real excitement and success.  To get to this point takes hard work though and might mean stopping doing some of the things that aren’t within our sweet spot.  (Sorry, housework and ironing are exempt from this!!)  The 20% section is often called the challenge spot.  Some things just can’t be avoided at home or work and might mean learning some new skills, but when your life is taken up with more than 20% of challenging things, it becomes an uphill struggle.  And that is where coaching can help.  What amongst those challenging things could you let go of, or what do you need training on? 

A key part of working within your sweet spot is when you realise you have the power to make the changes that can make a positive difference in your life. You are not trapped in this life and where you live certainly does not define your future.

The short (3 mins) video below takes this a bit further by looking at our individual character strengths.  This is a great place to start by first understanding your inner self which then helps to move on to identify your passion, wiring and fruit/output.  I’d love to work with you more on this.  If you want to as well, then give me a shout.

Dan Rous, Community Coach 07444 873151 communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

What are your strengths?

While I was away, I spent time reflecting on what I’m doing both in and out of work, although to be honest, the line is often a bit blurred between the two settings! We’re coming up to 6 months of being in post for Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill so it seemed as good a time as any to reflect.

It is said that you will know that your job is your ‘calling’ when you do what you love, and love what you do. Philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie said:

‘The average person puts only 25% of their energy and ability into their work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% and stands on its head for those few and far-between souls who devote 100%.’ 

He obviously never knew candidates for “The Apprentice” who routinely say they give 110% or more!

You may be totally set on what your strengths are and may also be in the enviable position of living them out in what you do.  That’s brilliant.  But you may also be at the other end of the scale where you haven’t got a clue what you want to do or even what you could do.

To me help in this, I took a strengths test at www.high5test.com which helps you discover what you are naturally good at.  I’d really recommend this test that will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.  You’ll be shown a list of statements describing a certain behaviour and all you have to do is move the slider along the scale from 0% on the left to 100% on the right.  Research shows that when we use our strengths, we’re happier, more engaged and more likely to achieve our goals.  This doesn’t just benefit you, but also people, groups, teams and organisations that you’re around and involved with.  Stats back this up too, as an average of 74% of people who have a chance to use their strengths are more engaged.

So what were my High 5 strengths?  Well, I was quite pleased with the results as it backs up why I thought doing this job would be a good idea! Of course, these questionnaire things can sometimes be a bit subjective and our answers can be determined by our current situation, but I tried to answer as honestly as possible.  My strengths, together with the headline description (there’s more background in the results you’ll get) are:

  1. Coach
    • My objective is to develop people’s potential;
  2. Believer
    • My objective is to believe and to do the ‘right thing’;
  3. Problem Solver
    • My objective is to solve problems;
  4. Catalyst
    • My objective is to act and to initiate action;
  5. Strategist
    • My objective is to see the big picture.

I’m not sharing this to show off or anything like that at all.  This is purely showing you what is possible from these kind of questionnaires.  Whether you’re just starting out with looking for work, getting going again now the kids are sorted, or have been forced to rethink following a lockdown redundancy, finding your strengths is a great place to start.  Stop focusing on what you can’t do and discover what you can do.  The short video below explains that further.

When you believe that what you do makes a difference, you have a different feeling about what you do.  I am certainly beginning to see my work make a difference and if I can help any of you along that journey too, even to guide you through this strengths process, then that would be great.  Give me a shout and let’s make it happen. You’ll get me (Dan Rous) at communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk or on 07444 873151.

coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, training

Where are we going?

I’m away this week and as well as switching off and enjoying family time, I will be spending some time thinking over where I’m going and where the work I do is going. None of us probably get anywhere near enough time to think about stuff like that. Life happens and we react – even more so in current times. We can sometimes see the destination or have an idea of where we want to go, but the route we take is not always the one we would want. However, having a clear idea of where we are going is important always.

That’s called ‘vision’ and its really important to have this personally and with any work you’re involved in. You could say that the tag line of “Empowering local people & organisations to bring about positive, lasting change” is the vision of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill. But what does that look like and how do we get there?

I’m not going to answer those questions. In time, you are! That’s not me passing the buck. For sure, I have an idea where I can see Our Place going and of what it can be with the community alongside, guiding its route. But this is about the destination that the community want and need. My job is to walk with you and help you get there.

I’ve quoted Simon Sinek before in this blog and he may seem a bit deep at times – sorry about that. But he speaks a lot of sense. To finish this week I’ll share a short video (less than 2 minutes) of him talking about vision and how that develops. An even shorter summary of the talk is this: “Vision is the ability to see that which does not yet exist.  As we slowly bring that vision to life, more people will start to recognise the work we’re doing and join our crusade.  But, like an iceberg, there will always be much more waiting to be revealed underneath the surface.”

I love that and it might help you understand a little of how my mind works!

Yes, John and I are starting to make progress with the vision of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill and people are starting to see that. But as more people jump on board, there is so much more to come. I look forward to that journey with you.

camelon, coach, community, development, Support, tamfourhill, training

What do you want?

Part of my role as Community Coach is to bring various training to you both as individuals and organisations. But what training would you like to have? What skills do you think you would like to develop? What learning have you always wanted to develop but never had the opportunity? What gaps are there in your knowledge? Practical, educational, skills-based – right now the list is pretty much endless of what could be delivered. But it needs to be what you actually want! So, to give a helpful steer to my planning, please select as many of the following options as appropriate to you. It’s completely anonymous, but if there’s anything you can think of that’s not in the list (and I’m sure you can), please let me know and we’ll see what we can do. To start with we will need to run some courses online, but ideally we’ll get you back together in a room – remember how we used to be able to do that! Thanks for helping shape the support that is actually needed in this area.

camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, gardening, growing, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Digging the Dirt

A couple of weeks ago I introduced Community Gardening/Growing to you and we’ve had a great response. So this week for something a bit different, I’m going to take you on a video tour of some of the sites that have been highlighted to us. If you don’t want to watch the video, the text is written out below. Plus, if you want to keep up to date with this new Gardening/Growing group, click the link immediately below the video to register your details. We’ll call a meeting very soon.

Click here to register your interest in Community Gardening/Growing

Thanks for your interest in getting involved in your community. More from me next week!

Transcript of Video (without the ‘ums’ and ‘ers’!)

Introduction
Hiya.  Its Dan here, your Community Coach.  As John teased in his blog on Tuesday, I want to expand a little bit more about the Community Gardening/Growing options in this area as part of our Tidy Clean and Green campaign.  But rather than just write about it, I thought it would be a lot better to go and take a walk around the area and look at some of the sites that have been identified to us by interested locals.  There’s a lot of chat to be had and planning to be done about what’s most appropriate for each of these sites.  It may be seed bombing, meadow creation, formal planting, community food growing, even allotment space.  The key is that it’s what YOU the local people want to see and get involved with as well.  Our job here at Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill is to support you in that, whether that’s for accessing funding, supplies, promotion and whatever else might be needed.  I’ll even lend a hand with the digging too!  Plus we’ll be working with the relevant people at the council to make sure this is all done right and in line with their “Dig In” strategy.  It’s all potentially very exciting so, as the sun is shining really brightly just now, lets go and have a look at some of the sites.

Rowan Crescent
We’ve come up to Tamfourhill and we’re just off Rowan Crescent, so let’s have a little look at the site up here.  So, this lovely little site has been identified as a potential one for doing something in. Our problem is it’s quite wet! Water doesn’t seem to be draining away anywhere. Just up the back you have the railway line.  It has some stones and it’s kind of stuck here in between the houses.  It would be good to see something in here  – who knows what.  What do you fancy?

Tamfourhill Community Hub
Our next site is up here at Tamfourhill Community Hub.  We’ve got a wee potting shed in here, and there’s potential for some raised bed growing to build on the amazing veg on the ledge kits. Brilliant stuff that we can replicate in some way.  That’s another option for developing this bit here from the potting shed at Tamfourhill Community Hub.

Camelon Public Park
For our next site, we’ve come down to Camelon and just off the main street this is Camelon Public Park.  The lighter area has been grown as a meadow/wildflower area which is something we can develop and locals are interested in keeping as part of this beautiful park that looks absolutely amazing – of course it’s always sunny in Camelon!  Camelon Public Park – one of the other areas being shown to us.

Telford Square / Nailer Park
Next up we’re down here at Telford Square, next to Nailer Park and this gives you an idea of something that can be achieved when people come together.  This has been developed by the community over the last couple of years with support from CATCA.  Various different bits of veg and fruit growing in these homemade containers made out of leftover bits of wood, shows the potential of what can be achieved.

Carmuirs Park / Fairlie Drive
Next on our tour we’ve come to the back of Carmuirs Park and this area that we’ve mentioned quite a bit over the last couple of weeks that was a huge area for anti-social behaviour – a shooting gallery and all sorts of things.  We’re just down from the Forth and Clyde Canal.  Now with thanks to Falkirk Council Environment Services this has been cleared up.  The hiding areas have gone and now it’s a chance to turn this into something beautiful.  Had a few suggestions already.  What can this bit be at Carmuirs Park?

Brown Street Park
Next up on our whirlwind tour around the area is this patch of land that is between Brown Street (Hamilton Street section) through to Wall Street at the other end.  It used to be a park ages ago and has been identified to us by a few people now as having great potential for various kinds of growing.  What kind of thing would that be? Would you like to get involved? So that’s the Brown Street Park.

Easter Carmuirs Park
Next part of our tour has brought us to Easter Carmuirs Park where obviously there was some work done last year. There were some meadow areas planted up in the distance behind the goalposts and just the other side of the railings.  There’s scope for things up towards the Ochiltree (Camelon Community Hub) and around the rest of the park.  People have spoken to us about different options even all the way around the corner towards Ochiltree Terrace.  So another bit – what would you like to see here at Easter Carmuirs Park.

Summary
Well I hope you enjoyed your little walk around Camelon and Tamfourhill looking at some of the sites that have been shown to us, potentially for growing or gardening.  There’ll be loads more, I’m sure, and even some of the sites that we’ve shown you today might have confused you as to what could be done there.  Best thing to do is get involved.  If you follow the link, it’ll take you to a little Survey Monkey thing that simply is getting your details so you’ll be on a mailing list specifically for gardening and growing.  We won’t bombard you with other stuff.  Follow that link, fill in your details, and we’ll set a meeting up, probably by Zoom because we can’t meet each other unfortunately.  We’ll do that meeting just to get an idea of where your skills are, what kind of interests there are, what the potential is, and where we can take this project.  Hope that’s been fun. Have a good rest of day and we’ll see you soon.  Bye!

camelon, coach, community, development, funding, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

Community Funding Support

Getting funding for projects can be a nightmare! Where do you look? When can you apply? What can you apply for? How do you write the application? Just some of the many questions that will go through people’s minds when thinking about getting funding. But whilst it is true that there are so many different options it can be a very confusing landscape, at the same time there is a lot of help and support available for people whether looking to get funding for something completely new, or to continue/develop something that is already happening. I am part of that pipeline of help for you and am here to give you confidence in your own abilities as you learn how best to navigate the world of funding, and to support you in completing applications according to need.

I often share posts on our social media about funds that are available – and there are many! So for this week’s blog, I thought it would handy to group some of the recent posts together in one place for you. There are countless more funders out there – these are literally just some of the recent ones we’ve shared news on. For more, you can get information in a various different ways but we will highlight:


Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme

https://scvo.scot/support/coronavirus/funding/scottish-government/community-recovery

This is a new programme from the Scottish Government that aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. As well as providing ongoing crisis support, they will be planning and implementing changes to adapt and thrive in a very different social and economic climate.

It has two strands to the programme:

  • Adapt and Thrive: This part is more about support to adapt rather than just funding your project. It offers tailored, specialist advice, but can also provide grants and loans. It is delivered in partnership by Firstport, Corra Foundation, SCVO, Just Enterprise, Community Enterprise and Social Investment Scotland.
  • Communities Recovery Fund: This is funding to implement changes to reintroduce the delivery of existing services and activities that have been suspended or severely reduced because of COVID-19 and/or deliver new services identified as a priority by the community as a result of COVID-19.  The funding will consider grants for individual organisation applications between £5,000 – £25,000 to implement changes to facilities, services and activities. It will also consider grants for partnership applications up to £75,000. There will be a 21 day turnaround for a response to your application which is really welcome.

This programme just opened this week and will be open until March 2021 when any funding should be spent. However, as this fund was prepared ahead of the latest restrictions, I can see changes being made to this in time. As always though, the sooner an application is submitted, the better. If you need support, guidance, or just another pair of eyes to read over something, then please get in touch.


The National Lottery Community Fund

https://www.cvsfalkirk.org.uk/tnl-community-fund-scotland-funding-programmes-update/

Nothing new here from this stream of funding, but because of Covid-19, they have lifted their plans to pause and redevelop their funding as they reached the end of its 5 year cycle. Instead, all current funding programmes will remain open for an extra 18 – 24 months, though they will be adapted as needed. By remaining open for applications, they hope they can better support the third sector through COVID-19 and recovery.

There is more information in the link above that will take you to CVS Falkirk’s website, but the headlines for now are:

  • the National Lottery Awards for All and Young Start funds will remain open and unchanged
  • the Improving Lives grants remain open, but will be shorter, quicker to access, and will fund a wider range of work focused on recovery from COVID-19
    • from Thursday 1st October, the maximum grant will be £200,000, from on year up to 3 years, with a single stage application.
  • Community-Led Activity grants remain open; the team are reviewing these now to make sure they are relevant to the current situation, and will make any changes before the end of 2020.
  • COVID-19 responses are still prioritised across all funds, but they remain open to non-COVID-19 related work too.

This fund is always a popular source for people searching for funding and as our own project is funded by them, we have a good relationship with them so can be an extra strong source of support for you as a result.


Aviva Community Fund

https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/start-crowdfunding

This fund is always very busy but rather than just giving direct funding, this is a form of CrowdFunding but as well as wider public funding possibilities, Aviva employees will be able to view projects and between them will share out £250,000 of funding.

The current round of applications, for fresh ideas looking to secure up to £50,000, is open until 13 October. Those approved to go forward will have crowdfunding pages created for them that will be live from 11 November to 10 December and can be shared as widely as you wish.

So this could be as much about raising awareness of your project as well as generating funding. And as before, if you want some guidance on submitting an application here then get in touch.


The Robertson Trust

http://www.therobertsontrust.org.uk/news/strategy-update-what-to-expect-from-our-funds

At the point of writing, Scotland is eagerly awaiting the new funding strategy from this well respected funder. The link above gives some insight from their Head of Giving as to what we can expect from the new look strategy which is due to be launched any day now. They have extensively consulted on what organisations required, and then extended that consultation once we were hit by Covid-19 to see how they can respond to that. So, the main points we can expect to see are:

  • More core, unrestricted and longer-term funding
  • Less emphasis on match-funding
  • Less emphasis on financial independence post-grant
  • More shared learning
  • To continue funding a breadth of topics – although their top focus remains on tackling the causes of, and solutions to, poverty and trauma.

All these headline points are very welcome news but will undoubtedly mean the funds could be even more competitive, so we need to ensure applications are as strong as possible. Whilst I will keep you updated and will of course be here to support any application you choose to make, at the bottom of the page linked above is a chance to sign up to the mailing list for the Trust so you can get information first hand.


I want everyone to feel special and valued and they will see what they can aspire to.

Ethel Robertson, Co-Founder of The Robertson Trust

I love these words from one of the Robertson sisters which sum up why I do this job, so it is a fitting place to end this week. And if helping you understand and navigate the world of grant funding is part of that journey for you, then please get in touch.

Dan Rous, Community Coach, 07444 873151, communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

camelon, collaboration, community, development, gardening, growing, litter, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Community Growing

For my blog this week, I’m mainly speaking to those of you out there who have an interest in gardening, although the rest of you can read on as well if you wish!

My colleague John is gaining good traction in community litter picking as part of the campaign to Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy Clean and Green. His blog on Tuesday highlighted one group of litter pickers, and we’ve seen and heard of other such groups or individuals cropping up around the area too. This is great as people are taking a pride in their area.

On the back of that activity, we now wish to look at how we can turn some local sites – either local litter hotspots or just unused areas – into something beautiful. We can do this by undertaking community gardening that may be as simple as “seed bombing” or spreading some wildflower seeds, but could be as involved as growing food that could ultimately benefit local food pantry’s as well. We may just develop a very small area, or work on a larger plot over a longer period of time. Basically, the opportunities are endless and hopefully will give a fresh outlet for all those of you who developed green fingers during lockdown in your own garden or balcony, or took part in the ‘veg on a ledge’ scheme, as well as those for whom this kind of thing is second nature.

We have identified a few possible sites and have opened discussions with Falkirk Council and also the local Community Food Consortium to ensure we do things right but also feed into local planning, support and maybe even some funding.

So if this is of interest to you, please take 2 minutes of your time to complete the information on the link below. I’ll then set up a meeting for those who are interested to discuss options. Due to current restrictions this will be an online meeting, but if you know of anyone who is not online who may be interested, please let them know and help them keep informed until we can actually physically get together again.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TBZQ9SG

We’ll aim to start this as simply as possible by allowing you to do what you want to do – gardening! In time, this may evolve into a formal organisation but not until we have the right skills around. All that will come in time. For now, lets focus on the plants! I look forward to supporting you in making this happen. Any questions, comments, suggestions or need for help – give me a shout.

Dan Rous, Community Coach. 07444 873151 or communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk