camelon, community, funding, tamfourhill

Vote Vote Vote (part one)

You may remember promotion a few months back regarding some new funding available through Falkirk Council called Community Choices. This is where the council have taken a percentage of their budget and opened it up to communities to apply for things in their area, and then to vote on what gets the money.

Well, some local groups have been busy, we’ve been supporting them as needed, and now the first opportunity to vote has now arrived! This is for the small grants section of the fund which is for projects or activities up to a maximum of £1,500. Voting is per local authority ward (so Camelon is in Ward 6 and Tamfourhill is in Ward 7) and your vote will only count if you live in the specific area (this will be verified by your postcode). Everything is being done online, but if anyone doesn’t have access to a device, they can contact us to be referred to get a paper ballot or record their vote via telephone.  Voting is open until 18 June and then it will be the turn of the larger capital fund projects, but I’ll be back with info on those at the appropriate time.

For now, here’s information on the projects seeking your vote right here in our area (in alphabetical order). There are others listed in each ward as the boundaries extend beyond our area, but I have just highlighted the ones either in Camelon or Tamfourhill for obvious reasons. You can vote for up to 3 projects and, with an allocation of money per area, the projects with the most votes will get the cash or a portion of it depending on how the results end up. The link you need is further down the page.

Ward 6 (Camelon)

Camelon Community Centre – Exercise for all – £1,500
Funding will enable local people to access exercise or sports activity in the Centre without worrying about not being able to afford to attend.

Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy Clean and Green – Pop up Parks – £1,500
Funding will enable local volunteers to turn as many unloved rough grassy patches as possible into super-green, clean, safe and colourful mini-parks with plants and seating, for a fortnight or more at a time.

Let’s talk Table Tennis – Bringing back Table Tennis – £832
Funding will allow for the safe return of Table Tennis for the over 50s at Camelon Community Centre.

Ward 7 (Tamfourhill)

Stirlingshire & Midland Counties Table Tennis Association – New Community Table Tennis Sessions – £1,370
Funding would enable the launch of new Table Tennis sessions based at Tamfourhill Community Hub.

Other Options

As I said, there are some other options in each area that might attract your vote and would still benefit this area. Here’s some info on a couple of them:

  • Ward 6 – Falkirk Fury Basketball Club – £1,500 – Funding would support their ongoing program in delivering basketball to primary schools.
  • Ward 7 – Cyrenians – £1,400 – Funding would support a project called “Growing Plants, Growing People” at Dollar Park.

To vote, go to www.falkirk.gov.uk/ccvote and follow the links and instructions there. Again, if you have any difficulties or know someone without digital access, please get in touch so we can make sure everyone’s vote can still be registered. There’s also more information on this flyer

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

Want some free money?!

Well if that headline hasn’t grabbed your attention I don’t know what will!

When I’ve put up blogs about funding before, they’ve been mainly directed at organisations and admittedly not relevant to everyone, but this one is different and is worth reading on – I promise!

Falkirk Council have released over £3m of funding that is available for local communities to apply for to bring about the changes that can make a difference in their community. There are different allocations for each local authority ward and ultimately, you, the council tax paying public, will get to vote on which projects get the money. It is released under the banner of “Community Choices” and all the information is on the council website but I’ll summarise the main points for you here.

Before I get into the funding specifics, let me remind you about how the Council Wards are structured. Our work actually covers two Wards, with the Forth and Clyde canal essentially being the dividing line: Camelon is in Ward 6 (Falkirk North) that also includes Langlees, Bainsford, Bankside, Middlefield, Merchiston, West Mains and Grahamston. Tamfourhill is in Ward 7 (Falkirk South) that also includes Bantaskine, Summerford, Arnothill, Woodlands, Callendar Park, Glen Village, Lionthorn and Hallglen. I list all these areas to let you know what you’re up against as every area will feel it deserves its fair share of the funding and will undoubtedly have worthy projects to put forward.

So, do you have an idea that will improve the quality of life in our community? Do you have a proposal that will make a positive and lasting difference to our area? I know of quite a few options and this fund could be the way to make it happen. Essentially, here at OPCT, we will support you as much as possible to help make your application as strong and relevant as it can be. You don’t have to come through us but if you do need assistance, we can help with application wording, background information, or anything else you need. Importantly, we may also know of a project that is similar to what you are thinking about and so could provide relevant advice and, if appropriate, we could link you up to double the strength of your application.

So, who can apply?

Clubs, organisations, community groups and even individuals can apply for funding to make these changes happen. Applicants do not need to have a formal constitution but if you’re an individual or group of friends/residents considering putting a bid in for something, the Community Choices team will aim to link you up with a recognised organisation that could hold the funds for the project.

What can you apply for?

Firstly, let me say that this funding will not solve everything we’d want to do locally and is unlikely to help with large projects – but it’s a start. The public vote system will at least bring visibility to what you want to do which might even attract others to join in with you.

There are two separate funds on offer. The first is a small grants programme with a maximum of £1,500 per proposal. There is around £10,000 for each Council Ward in year 1. The second fund is a Capital programme where £3m is available over two years. Proposals for this fund must be for a minimum of £5,000, and can be used for building something new, improving an asset, and purchasing equipment. Remember that £3m is across all 9 Wards so even though there is no upper limit on application, large projects are unlikely to be successful. However, the Community Choices team will also aim to provide additional support including signposting to other suitable funding if possible.

What do we need to do?

At this stage, the council just require an Expression of Interest form to be completed. This is not a full application and needs a couple of hundred words to explain what the project is, who it would benefit and who would be involved in making it happen. It does not require full financial information but a broad indication of costs would be helpful. The form is on the website.

The important thing to note is that Expressions of Interest are due by Friday 5 March with final applications due by 9 April. This is a very tight timeline but that’s what we have to work with and, with the right support, the right applications can be submitted. The final stage is a public vote that will take place between 26 April and 14 May. We will keep you posted as we hear how that vote will operate.

So, over to you?

What do you think could be applied for? Can I help you get that application in? Get in touch with me (Dan) in the usual way via email to communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk, call on 07444 873151, or message via social media. Let’s make this happen!

camelon, community, development, funding, gardening, growing, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Funding – Community Climate Action Fund

We are delighted to be able to officially tell you that we have received some funding to help develop our Community Growing projects in the area. Here’s the official bit…

Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill are tackling climate change and contributing to a green recovery thanks to Community Tool Sheds and raised beds which will be helping the Camelon and Tamfourhill communities to reduce local carbon emissions through development of community growing spaces that are localised and accessible to all. The Community Tool Sheds and raised beds are funded through the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF) with Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill (via Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association) awarded a CCAF grant totalling £3,358.44 in January 2021. The CCAF is Scottish Government fund, administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, and it was announced on 8 January 2021 that 279 community-based organisations from across Scotland had been awarded more than £3.2 million of funding to tackle climate change.

That’s the official speak done. What is means is that we will set up 2 Community Gardening Tool Sheds – one in each of Camelon and Tamfourhill. These will contain basic hand tools to be used on local community growing projects. We then also have some funding for a few raised beds to be constructed.

This is a really exciting boost for our fledgling project. We’ll give you more information when we progress this funding and let you know how the tool sheds can be accessed, but for now would like to thank The Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful for approving this funding for us. You can read their full official press release, and see the full list of awardees, at https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/news/jan-2021/delivering-scotland-s-green-recovery/

To keep up to date with all our Growing activities, to sign up to receive news straight to your inbox, or to get involved, head to our dedicated Growing page.

#CCAFScot

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

How you can make a difference

Hi. Welcome to my second Community Coach blog. This week, to further highlight why my role exists, I’m going to talk about how I can help you or your organisation to make a positive difference in the area. Before I say more, please take 3 minutes to watch this TED talk from musician and entrepreneur, Derek Sivers.

I love this video because it shows how simple it can be to get a group of people together to work towards a common goal. Okay, the people in this video are just dancing on a hillside (nothing wrong in that of course!) but as the speaker points out, it teaches us some important lessons about how groups of people work. This can really help us as we look to bring more positive change to Camelon and Tamfourhill. So, which type of person described in the video are you? Or which would you like to be but don’t know where to start? Let’s explore further.

Leader
The person running the group or cause – the maverick – the lone nut – the one with the vision – the one who can’t sit back and do nothing – the one who’s often frustrated at the lack of action – the one needing others to get involved but not knowing where to find them.

Is this you? Are you running something that’s going pretty well but needs a fresh injection of life? Are you plodding away with something that’s been going a while but just seem to go over the same ground all the time? Are you trying to get something started but can’t get others to join you? Or do you simply have a dream of something that could be, but don’t know where to start?

How can I help you to make your dream a reality? What do you need? People – funding – general guidance – a venue – visibility – training? I can help you with all of this so just get in touch.

First Follower
Often just one person joining in on the journey can make life easier. Are you that person? You saw in the video how just one person joining in slowly started a flood of helpers. Is there a cause that you want to get involved with and you’ve either seen/heard of someone wanting to do something about it but don’t know how to make the first move? Or are you passionate about something like the leader above, but would rather not be the one to lead it? Maybe you want to be that first follower but don’t think you’ve got the necessary skills or abilities to do so. I can help! You may be the key that unlocks the potential of someone’s dream!

The Crowd
Are you waiting for the momentum to get going on something before you jump on board? Will you jump once you’ve seen positive results? That’s all fair enough but you need to be ready to jump at some point! What do you need to help you do that? Self-confidence – skills based training – more information – networking skills – signposting? Again, I can help! Don’t be the one who sits back and just lets others jump forwards to help. The only barrier to you getting involved and being included in order to bring positive change, is you!

Why bother?
Its a fair point. You may have lived here for a huge part of your life and just see the same old things happening with the same results. You may be new into the area and finding it difficult to integrate or worried even that what you suggest has been tried before and failed – but has anyone asked why it failed?! Or you may be somewhere in the middle but still don’t know what to do, where to go, or even why to do it.

As people, we are made to live and work with others in a positive community where we can thrive. We are social beings that have evolved to exist within communities. American politician Paul Ryan said “every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.” To grow and develop, we need to create a working team around us that is not necessarily all in agreement all the time, but that will work together for a common goal. Stephanie Caldow says in her article ’10 Traits That Make a Good Community’ that: “Involvement in a positive and encouraging community has a tangible impact on individual self-awareness and fulfilment. Positive experiences with communities allow individuals to feel more connected to their environment and the people in it. This form of connection also provides a support system for people when they are in need of encouragement or sympathy. Strong feelings of connection to the group also work to combat any mental illness that can arise from alienation in the form of anxiety and depression. Positive community experiences provide members with a sense of belonging and the feeling of being able to express themselves without feeling judged. Communities that excel at promoting this feeling of belonging encourage members to speak up about their ideas and opinions, which, in turn, leads to members considering their positions from a deeper perspective.” *

I see so much great stuff that is being done already but there is still so much more that can be done. Some ideas start well and then fall down very quickly or just drag along – often because people don’t get involved, but also because people do get involved and are not fully embraced or included by the leaders or even by the first followers, so they drift away again. Let’s work together to continue making Camelon and Tamfourhill a thriving, positive and encouraging community for all people that live here and not just those that are visible.

Summary
I’ll leave you with some quotes from the video that started this piece off, but before I do, let me reiterate that I am here to coach you – to work with you. This is not like previous support activity when people do everything for you but equally you will not be left to struggle on your own. Let me work with you to support, train, encourage, guide or whatever! And so to these final words from Derek Sivers, taken from his video above:

“If you are the type [of person] that is standing alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals so it’s clearly about the [cause], not you.”

“Leadership is over glorified. Yes [someone has to be] first and they’ll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader.”

“If you really care about starting [something], have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find the lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.”

* Stephanie Caldow quote taken from https://positivepsychology.com/10-traits-positive-community/

camelon, coach, collaboration, community, development, funding, lottery, Our Place, resilience, safety, tamfourhill

Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill begins next stage of support

“Our Place” was a place-based initiative from the Big Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Community Fund) that aimed to build stronger connections and relationships in communities, empowering local people and organisations to bring about positive and lasting changes in their neighbourhood.  The Camelon/Tamfourhill area of Falkirk was one of 7 areas in Scotland and the community has been working together on this vision since 2014.  Various projects were developed, funded and delivered through the scheme with £1.2m being distributed locally. 

The final successful application was for the Kemlin Kin project, established to support the community to create a legacy for the work that had taken place.  The project aimed to engage two development workers to lead two separate but linked workstreams, one around capacity-building to ensure that community groups in Camelon and Tamfourhill continue to flourish past the end of the Our Place programme, and one around the theme of Community Safety, which has been repeatedly highlighted as a local priority.

These two workers have now commenced in post with John Hosie taking on the role of Community Safety Engager and Dan Rous becoming the Community Coach.  They are employed and managed by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation and the organisation will work closely with a  steering group made up of local people and organisations to enhance community empowerment and ensure local people have a voice within the local area.

Quote from John

My Post will ensure that Community Safety is put firmly onto the local agenda and my overarching aim will be to support the development of a community led strategy. The intended outcomes will be to achieve a community that feels safe, keeps safe and one which builds mutual respect and greater community cohesion.  The initial phase of this project will be concerned with highlighting and promoting both myself and my remit and to engage with  an active listening exercise, where the local community will be supported and encouraged to share their experiences and  views  about Community Safety.   Priorities require to be identified and agreed, which are relevant and appropriate to all interests within the community. This approach will necessitate implementing a multi-faceted approach and a consultation process that is inclusive and dynamic.

Quote from Dan

My post will ensure that people working with or for the communities of Camelon and Tamfourhill can be supported, developed and encouraged to make them stronger and resilient for the future.  I will be providing training and support for things that will help them in their roles, including how and where to access funding, operational issues, property matters, marketing, development and much more.  It’s an interesting time to start a new role but I will be using this time of lockdown to collate peoples needs and develop a programme of support that will be both individual and collective.  Through this project we aim to ensure that all local support will continue and grow in the future as well as encouraging new activities to take place as well.  This is a great area with so much potential and I am eager to do my part to harness and develop the potential within.

Quote from Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation

The Tamfourhill tenants and residents are delighted to be managing this project within our local area. The project was a long time in the development with a number of hurdles to overcome before the project could get off the ground. We are excited to be in the next steps of the project and look forward to the final piece of the  jigsaw which is to provide a capacity building support project within the area that will support local people to have more of a say in the delivery of future project activity and empower local people to be active in community safety projects.

Press Release Notes

  • Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation is a Scottish Registered Charity SC049783.  They are a group of local people who work together to represent the views of all tenants and homeowners within the area and help make the are they live in a better place.  They work in partnership with other community and statutory organisations to help create positive change within the local area.

More information is available from Shona Craig/Lynne Boslem at  ttra@live.co.uk

His background has been in detached youth work and community development work and he has been involved with supporting a wide array of local community-based Projects and initiatives.  The essential features have been to facilitate local ownership and empowerment and to ensure these projects have been developed in accordance with local people’s aspirations and vision.  John is new to this area and arrives with an open mind, a blank canvas, and an enthusiasm to have a positive and effective impact upon the local community.

His background is in Social Enterprise and Community Development and he specialises in developing projects that enable people and communities to be developed.  He has worked with numerous projects across Scotland for the last 17 years and has gathered a wide range of support and contacts to bring to the area to help people reach their potential.  Dan lives in the area but knows he still has much to find out about everything that is happening so that collectively the area can be made even better than it is.