I know days and dates don’t necessarily mean much at the moment, but apparently we have entered a new month! So it’s as good a time as any to give you a brief update on how some of the projects I’m working on with and for the people of Camelon and Tamfourhill are coming on.
Community Growing We continue to make plans for various growing projects. One particular one in the old Brown Street Park, Camelon, will move to a consultation stage for surrounding residents later this month. We are also about to spend the Community Climate Action Funding received from Keep Scotland Beautiful / The Scottish Government that will see 2 Community Gardening Tool Libraries installed in the area. Those will be in place by the end of March. Keep up to speed with all Growing information, and join our team, over on our dedicated Growing page
Community Supporting I have continued to work with organisations and individuals across the area with various different needs. Next month I will bring you full information of how you can access 1 to 1 coaching sessions to help you make the right choices and bring clarity and confidence to life’s opportunities. It’ll be worth the wait but if you want to get on my list for receiving coaching sessions before I’ve even launched this, then drop me an email at email@example.com.
Community Training This is the one that has taken most of my time lately and rightly so. Firstly, I can tease the news that we have partnered with a relatively new local charitable company to bring a wide range of personal development courses to you. More on that later this month but it’s an exciting step forward for us. For now though, let me remind you that we launched our Creative Writing Introductory course last week and have had a good response already. Thanks to those who have signed up but there’s still room for more. I’m also pleased to introduce one of the experts that is supporting this course. It’s Camelon’s own Kev McPhee. And to save me going on about things, here’s a video from Kev to give you a bit more information on the course and to encourage you to get involved. It may be 8 minutes long but it’s worth the watch, especially as he gives away some information about our hopes for those who come on the course! Enjoy this video and I’ll update you with more in due course.
Hi. Dan here, your Community Coach. Let me ask you, which of the following categories you fall into?
Do you look back on things that happened in the past and wish it was like it was again? Or maybe you’re stuck because of things that happened to you, or that you did, in the past and can’t move forwards?
Do you feel you’re fine as things are right now and no change is necessary, or do you feel restricted because of how things are now?
Do you long for a future that is so much different to what it is now? Or maybe you have a dream of something that you could do, or that could be happening in the area or in your life generally?
Past – Present – Future. Past is Experience. Present is Experiment. Future is Expectation. So we could say that we can use our experience in our experiments to achieve our expectations. All are relevant and should be embraced but they have to lead somewhere and that’s important as we look at what can be achieved in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area.
We have a proud heritage in this area and it is important to learn from that and build on it. However, times have changed and so there is no point in generally wishing things were as they were before. We have to move forwards – to evolve with the times – but still ensuring we remain distinctives as Mariners.
And that’s where we look to the future. What does that look like? I know that’s going to be different for everyone reading this, but the simple truth is that we have a future to work towards and we must make every effort to do that. Certainly myself and John are here to help that happen and are encouraged by those who have already stepped up to join with us on this quest.
For now though, we have many good things happening in the area at present that we should celebrate. That is not to say it is all perfect but if you’re honest, was it ever perfect? Our perception of life changes as we age and sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond that. But despite the issues around at present that do seriously need sorting (and together we can work on that), we still have much to celebrate and be proud of. A strong foundation to build on.
CS Lewis wrote that “the past is frozen and no longer flows, and the present is all lit up with eternal rays”. What’s he getting at? Nathan Blackaby describes himself in his book “Going against the Grain” as often having lived in the ‘frozen past, trying to defrost past moments, hurts, failures, and stuff that I did wrong (or the wrong that other people have done to me). All of these past events and moments are slowly defrosted so that I can re-experience that hurt – because, if I’m really honest, the hurt is real and comfortable at times, and easier to live with than without.” He goes on to say, “if I wasn’t defrosting stuff from the past, I could be found wandering in my head way off into the future somewhere. Future hopes, plans or dreams, future fears or points of anxiety and concern were all mapped out.” Blackaby, like Lewis, is not saying that past reflection or future thoughts are wrong – far from it. “But whether you are stuck in the past or lost in the future, consumed with health, wealth or family what-ifs, you are being robbed of the ‘now'”
So, what about now? 2021! It promised so much back in December last year but has started with renewed frustrations and restrictions. Some plans will have to be re-thought but that’s okay. Things will still happen. It may all still look different at least for the next few months, but there is still so much to be getting on with.
As well as working on the Community Growing activity with a new group of volunteers, there are many other exciting projects brewing away. A lot focuses around training and I am building a partnership with a training provider for a wide range of personal development courses that will come free of charge to local residents. I am also building my own bank of knowledge for sharing with others (individuals and organisations) and ensuring that Camelon and Tamfourhill are more widely represented and recognised in various networks both locally and nationally.
I am developing a Creative Writing programme and will have more on that in due course. We’ll pick up the Bicycle Recycling scheme once restrictions have lifted, and I have a draft plan for celebrating some of the historical nature of our area. Aside of that, I am facilitating more discussion between all the projects funded through the Our Place scheme, namely Camelon Arts, TCV and Cyrenians (Camelon Connect), so that we can work together more where needed and make each others lives easier which in turn will make the activities we all produce greater and even more beneficial to local people.
That last part is a key focus of my role, as I am here to help develop local people and organisations. All the projects we work on will be there to enable people to get involved at their level but with the intention to help them grow and become more involved in their community. This will also enhance the training programme options and additionally, I will shortly have a coaching programme to offer that will help individuals to move towards their potential whatever that may be.
To return to Nathan Blackaby’s book, he says “the ‘now’ is where we operate, where we impact and influence change, and it is where we are forged … with a ridiculous amount of potential, courage, hope, adventure and purpose.” I am genuinely excited about what is to come this year and hope you will hop on for the ride. As Blackaby again says, let’s “get busy living in the now and … we will see some action”.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, general comments or even complaints, please get in touch with me (Dan) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07444 873151.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.