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.

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, Our Place, tamfourhill

The power of Community

Why are we here?! Okay, that’s a big question to start off this blog with. But let me pull that apart a bit. Why are you where you are? Why do you live in this community? Why do you get involved in the things you do? Or conversely, why do you choose not to get involved? What is it about this community that holds you here? Who is your community?

Sorry for all the questions but I think they are important ones to address as we work to develop things in this area. Arguably, community is the one of the most important things in life and can be the biggest tool for personal growth. Before I go on, have a look at this short video:

Okay, so I’m not asking you to walk around in groups of 6 holding a grapefruit! (For those who didn’t watch the video that will not make any sense! It might be worth popping back and having a quick watch!) The message of the video is about how different people groupings can work together to be a community with a common goal. No matter your age, race, religion, sex, or interests – it is absolutely possible to be in community together. If you are isolated (I’m talking generally – not through shielding), you only have one perspective on life – yours. It’s streamlined and very specific. By linking up with others, you can expand that perspective to introduce other passions, interests, fears, issues, gifts etc. When people mingle together they create something bigger plus you also get to see a new side of yourself based on feedback from others from what they see in you.

As we slowly begin to come out of lockdown, we will all have had a different level of experience over the last few months to bring with us into whatever the world is going to look like. Many will have spent more time than usual in the community. You may have taken more walks around the area – seen parts of the area in a different light or even for the first time. You may have seen different people – maybe even said hello to them. But that is all it takes to take a step into community – a smile or a simple greeting.

John and I will talk a lot about growing ‘community’ over the coming months. That can take many different forms and involve all types of people from all different backgrounds. But anything we get involved in will be for the express purpose of enhancing our community and all those who live within. In order for this to work, we all need to learn to love the community around us – warts and all – and allow ourselves the opportunities to grow. If we miss out on community – we miss out on encouragement and so much more.

Look at the world around you. Look for your community. Find the people. Invest in each other. Together, we can make Camelon and Tamfourhill even better.

When you think about it, there is one skill at the centre of any healthy community: the ability to see someone else deeply, to know another person profoundly, and to make them feel heard and understood.

David Brooks

Until next week…..

camelon, collaboration, community, litter, lockdown, Our Place, safety, tamfourhill

The Community Safety Road Ahead

Hello and welcome to my third article for the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Community Safety blog. Time seems to be flying past at a very fast rate and hopefully we are getting closer to the Scottish Government restrictions being lifted and we are now entering a period of life which is more familiar to all of us. It has been frustrating for myself since coming into post at the start of May as I have been unable to meet people in person and I haven’t had the ability to get to know our  communities and the facilities and Groups which are thriving throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill. I would like to thank my colleague Dan Rous for his continued insight and local knowledge, and the support I have been receiving from Shona and Lynne at the Tamfourhill TRO. I was also glad to be formally introduced to the Kemlin Kin group this week and I look forward to working closely with this group as we develop the local community safety strategy. One benefit of the working from home approach has been the time and space that I have had to carry out research and prepare myself for the work ahead and look at other good practice examples from around Scotland in relation to community safety.

My initial task has been to implement a consultation process and my intention is for this to be a dynamic process and for it to be inclusive. I want to ensure that all the different interests and groups within the community have a voice and an input with identifying and confirming the local community safety priorities. This until now has only involved the survey which has been circulated and is available at https://tinyurl.com/ycbes5qw (Remember if you complete a survey by the 7th August you can win yourself a Tablet in the prize draw). Due to the lockdown,  I have as yet been unable to take the survey out in hard copy version so that people who don’t  use social media etc can also get an opportunity to complete a survey.  

In my previous blogs I have been publishing some of the preliminary findings and I have highlighted the most significant local issues which include: concerns about Substance misuse, various types of anti-social behaviour and the problems of littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling. Roads and traffic matters have also scored very highly, and it appears that specific locations have problems with speeding cars.  I have already been researching into anti-litter campaigns and I hope to link our own local initiatives in with the Keep Scotland Beautiful and their clean up Scotland campaign. Please look for opportunities to get involved with this campaign. It will be more than just cleaning up specific areas, although that will form a significant part of our activities, but in addition there will also be creative arts to get involved with, family based activity, a media and publicity campaign and the redevelopment of specific areas through encouraging greater bio diversity. I am using the working title of “Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill clean, tidy & green”

The survey is manly about identifying broad areas of importance and over the next few months the consultation will move into a more interactive and participative phase. I will be organising Focus Groups and also activity-based workshops for the younger members of our community. I have also been meeting on Zoom with other stakeholders and I have received a very positive response for the Community Police officers, the local Fire and Rescue Service, the Neighbourhood watch scheme, and services within Falkirk Council. It is absolutely essential that all our local groups are involved, and if they are willing, I will be keen to facilitate Focus groups with our Tenants and Resident Organisations, Community Hubs, Social Clubs, the Nailer Park groups and the Camelon Community Centre. I have also received an incredibly positive and encouraging commitment to the local strategy form the: Camelon Arts Project, The Conservation Volunteers, the Community Sports Hub, and the Cyrenians Navigators Project. Once I have been able to collate all the consultation materials and Focus Group feedback, I will be holding a community action planning day. The aim of this will be to work in partnership with all of these before-mentioned groups and agencies and other stakeholders to put together the local strategy and agree a programme of activities which will make a positive contribution to making Camelon and Tamfourhill a safer, happier and more attractive place to live.  

  

camelon, coach, community, development, lockdown, resilience, safety, Support, tamfourhill

Community Coach Update

Hi everyone – Dan Rous here – Community Coach for this area.

Here we are 2 months into post and what a 2 months it’s been. I’ve begun to connect with groups in the area that I know about or who have come to me for support, but I know there are many groups out there that I could be working with.

So, if I haven’t contacted you yet, please don’t be offended. Just drop me a line and let’s begin the conversation. Whether you are really well established or starting out; whether you think you qualify for help or not – I am here for you. Contact details are on the flyer and on our contact page.

A lot of my time so far has been spent in various zoom meetings, gathering information that will be of benefit to groups as they look to get started after lockdown. I’ve emailed various bits of information to people directly, but will use this blog to widen the reach of the information.

For this week’s blog, I’ll focus on information that may be of help for those that have a building that is accessed by the public.

Preparing for re opening
Slides from an information session led by the Social Enterprise Network Scotland’s Tourism and Hospitality Forum.

Getting your business back to work
A handout prepared for Third Sector groups but with generic business info from Anderson Strathern.

Scenario Planning
A useful document prepared by Midlothian Third Sector Interface to help with planning for all possible scenarios in this current time.

Social Distancing Policy
An example policy shared with permission from Community Focus Scotland

Finally, here is a summary report from a recent week of network sessions discussing what was needed to help get Third Sector organisations back up and running. It was collated from the discussions and sent to Local Authorities and the Scottish Government to inform their planning. Whilst there is little by the way of direct information, reading this may help you realise that you’re not the only one thinking a certain thing!

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next Thursday with more updates, information and encouragement.

camelon, community, lockdown, Our Place, resilience, safety, Support, tamfourhill

Preparing for life after lockdown

Whilst we still do not know timings for being able to reopen buildings or restart activities in full, there are some tasks that we can be doing now to prepare. These tasks will help you to be ready to go as soon as restrictions are lifted to avoid losing any more time.

We have seen that some activities have been able to restart now in a restricted way, whereas others will be at least Phase 3, or more likely Phase 4, before they can begin – when that will be is unclear still. We will do our best to keep you up to date, but advise that you also keep in touch with a regulatory body for your own activity for specific information.

The information below was gathered from a presentation by SportScotland, but can be applied to all groups that either operate or make use of a multi-use facility eg Community Halls, Social Clubs, Church Halls etc. Not all of this will apply to all groups but it is worth having the full list so that all bases can be covered.

  • Consider establishing a Covid Response Group rather than leaving all the preparations to the existing management committee.  There will be a lot of admin to undertake of which regulatory bodies, governing organisations, and even us at Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill, are hoping to break things down in to easy to manage systems, but it will still involve a lot of localised input and action.
  • Example of things to be prepared/considered:
    • Reinstatement Plans – how, when and to what extent will you reopen the facility?
    • Policies and Procedures will need revising including your Health and Safety Policy
    • Risk Assessments will need revising – Templates will be available from some governing bodies in the coming days and weeks.
    • If the facility has been out of use for a while, water tanks should be tested for legionnaires, plus gas/electric services should be properly checked.
    • Car Parking provision should be reduced to allow social distancing.  People dropping participants off to activities should be advised just to drop off and pick up and not to have a social gathering in the car park.
    • Identify high traffic points and consider one way systems, using fire exits where necessary so that people may come in one way and leave another.
    • Check with insurers that they are happy for you to reopen.
    • Increase signage – standardised signs are available from many sources but your own governing body may have specific ones for your activity.
    • At present, changing facilities should not be used including showers, but follow guidance for when these can be safely used again. 
    • If you have multiple groups using your facility, new programming will be needed to allow for cleaning in between sessions.
    • If you rely on multiple groups then your capacity could be considerably reduced at least in the early stages of exit, so consider if it is financially viable for you to reopen at an early stage.
    • Have plans in place for reporting any outbreak of the virus especially to the Scottish Governments Track and Trace programme.
  • Take time now to prepare for reopening rather than get to the point of reopening and not be ready.
  • Guidance on First Aid Kit additional items is being made available.  Information on First Aid and CPR is available at: https://www.rlss.org.uk/news/cpr-during-covid-19 and also https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/covid-19-advice-for-first-aiders/
  • General information on all of the above and more can be found at https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/ and also at https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-physical-distancing

This is just scratching the surface but is hopefully a helpful guide for you amongst all the other information that is out there just now. If you need any help, feel free to contact us in the usual ways.

Image courtesy of SportScotland