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

Friday Feature – Let’s Celebrate

This is a reminder that on Monday next week (26th) we will be gathering on zoom at 6:30pm to celebrate the First Anniversary of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill.

Despite not being the first year any of us would have planned, our team have still managed to achieve great things with you in the community and are well set for so much more in year 2 and beyond.

We’re just sorry that restrictions don’t allow us to do this in person – hopefully next year! So for now, head over to Eventbrite (link below) to register your free place so you get the link, then on Monday evening, bring your own cake and join in the celebrations.

As well as reviewing what has happened so far, John will be speaking about the Community Safety Strategy and Dan will be speaking about our Development Coaching programme. Plus we’ll hear from local author Kev McPhee and others about some great opportunities for you in Camelon and Tamfourhill including how you can get involved and shape the way forward.

So please join us if you can. The link to register is

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

Naughty or Nice

Apparently this year there is no naughty list! Or so some advertisers would have you think. It seems that because of everything we’ve been through, Santa doesn’t have a naughty list!

Okay, it’s just a cheap marketing line but rather than thinking about whether we’re going to get presents from Santa or not this year (I hope you do!), I thought about how we see things around us – naughty or nice? Or in other words, do you focus on the negative stuff around you, or the positive?

For many years, I have been accused of being too positive! Firstly, let me tell you that this is not always true and my family and closest friends will agree wholeheartedly with that! In fact I started writing this on a day when I wasn’t feeling as positive as normal. But actually, whether I’m feeling positive or negative, I am wired up so that I want to encourage others which often comes across as being positive. Whatever way round you want to take that, it’s just how I see life. I just choose to see the good around and focus on that, rather than being sucked down by the bad things around. And I make no apologies for that. It’s actually hard work, but it’s who I am.

You see, the more we focus on the naughty/bad/negative stuff around us, the more we get sucked into a naughty/bad/negative way of thinking. Yet a nice/good/positive focus can help us to shift the thought process, to ways through whatever you are seeing. If it helps, John highlighted some of the recent positive things in the community in his blog this week.

This is not to deny that bad stuff is around. It is not to pretend there are no issues. It is not to avoid dealing with difficult things. But it is to attempt to focus on your own life, your own opportunities and by living a better way, attempt to show those who focus on the negativity just how they can do the same. So if I say that we live in a great place, I genuinely mean that, because there are some amazing people in our community who want to make positive change for themselves and others. That doesn’t make the issues go away. But it’s a start.

Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome which basically means he has no arms or legs. He made the choice to be positive in his life, not despite his physical issues but because of them. He said this:

You can be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have

This positive thinking is not being naïve. It is not ignoring issues or circumstances whether personal to you or things around you. It is not believing that any bad stuff around you will just vanish if you’re positive. No. But it is a step to making your life and your community better because of the way you choose to focus. As Nick Vujicic says, being thankful for what you do have.

Lets take a few moments away from my writings and have a listen to this from another motivational speaker, American Steve Harvey.

So yes, we have many issues in our community that need dealing with. Crime. Drugs. Poverty. Unemployment. That’s just four. We cannot and will not ignore them. But there is one element of community that can help us move forwards and drive positive change. That element is YOU!

There’s a fancy title for this way of working called Asset Based Community Development – we’ll talk about this more in the new year. We have many assets in our community and the biggest asset is the people. I may have only lived in the area since the summer of 2016, but I have met a lot of people who are amazing and have so much to offer to this community. Many of them are doing that already to great effect, but some are just on the first rung of the ladder and that’s okay because you have to start somewhere. The journey will be different for every resident but as long as we all keep moving forward and focusing on the good things around, then we will make a positive difference.

So who’s going to join me on this journey towards positive change? Will you focus on the naughty or nice?

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

Busting the Myths

Since John and I started in post, we have tried to make clear why we’re hear and what our role is. But there are still some people who don’t know about us, don’t quite get what we’re doing, or think we are something that we’re not! Some of this is understandable with the current restrictions and our limitation to mostly online communication, but there is still some misinterpretation or misinformation around. So today, let me try to put right some myths that are out there about our roles, and try to get us all on the same page. To save you just scrolling through, here’s a list of the questions or comments made. Click any one to get my take on it:

Are you from Falkirk Council?
Are you just going to gather information and do little or nothing with it?
You’re part of Tamfourhill TRA so you’re not there for all of us.
Our Place hasn’t done anything for us yet, what’s different now?
This place will never change!
The problems are just too big
Why should I get involved?
How do I get involved?

Are you from Falkirk Council?
With all due respect to the Council, NO WE ARE NOT!! We are locally employed and will work only for the interests of local people. We will liaise with Falkirk Council and local councillors as needed, and we are doing that already, but we are completely independent of them, sitting within the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill project hosted by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation.

Are you just going to gather information and do little or nothing with it?
Absolutely NOT! Yes we will need to gather fresh information, as John has already done with the Community Safety Survey, but this is because it’s been a little while since relevant information was gathered and we want to be working with as up to date knowledge as possible. We will then use any information to inform positive action or developments and can promise you that it will not just sit in a file and gather dust. We are not researchers. We are people of action (where’s my cape!)

You’re part of Tamfourhill TRA so you’re not there for all of us.
Yes, the funding for the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Project is hosted by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association. That is true and was done that way as they were deemed by The National Lottery Community Fund to be best placed to host two employees and oversee the project. BUT…… that DOES NOT mean that we are only here for their benefit. We are here to work for the whole of Camelon and Tamfourhill – for all groups and individuals – for all positive and negative things. There are people needing coaching support across the whole area. There are organisations needing a bit of advice or guidance as they work across the whole area. There are community safety issues everywhere. Sometimes we will work with a specific group or location and other times we will work for the benefit of the whole area. It’s project dependant but ultimately and quite simply, we are HERE FOR EVERYONE.

Our Place hasn’t done anything for us yet, what’s different now?
There’s something a bit Monty Python about this question/comment (what have the Romans ever done for us…. look it up in YouTube!!) The Our Place programme first ran from 2014 to 2019. During that time, support was officially here for a couple of days a month and enabled a direct link to The National Lottery Community Fund (Big Lottery as it was then) through the support staff. This brought in £1.5m of funding directly to projects in the area – find out more here – and supported additional applications, particularly to Awards for All, in the region of £150,000. That wasn’t shouted about much so you’ll be forgiven for thinking there was no local benefit, but there WAS and STILL IS! The previous programme also identified key areas of concern and so it earmarked further funding for longer term direct support in the form of the jobs that John and I are privileged to be in for the next 3 years, along with a small pot of operational funding around that. What that means is that we are both here 35 hours a week until at least April 2023 to work with local people and organisations and bring genuine help and development. We will not just float in and out again, creating something that might or might not last. We are in this for the long haul and for me especially, I’m here to ensure people have the skills, support and connections necessary to be able to do things themselves so that they don’t need external help – to encourage, motivate and develop you as needed, walking with you every step of the way. John is determined to enable positive change to the variety of Community Safety issues with your engagement. Hopefully in April 2023 (or ideally before) you’ll be able to say with confidence exactly what Our Place has done for you.

This place will never change!
With all due respect, if we think like that then no it won’t. But if we take some time to work together and plan properly, then YES IT CAN! It is true that statistically we have various levels of deprivation in the area. But we have a shed load of assets – THE PEOPLE! Deprivation stats are only good for getting funding. The skills and passions of local people are perfect for effecting positive change. A couple of years ago a resident described this as the land that time forgot. Lack of development, investment, support etc. Carry on like that and yes it will change, but for the worse. John and I, together with many others (including hopefully you), are determined to reverse this trend, build on the £1.5m invested in the last 5 years, and bring more funding, development, support and positive COMMUNITY LED change.

The problems are just too big
True. There are big issues to tackle. But THEY CAN BE TACKLED. As a whole it can look too huge. But, broken down into individual issues, we can work out some themes, trends and causes. That will enable us to develop ways to tackle the issue and engage with local people and support bodies. John and I can’t do this on our own and even with your involvement this still might be difficult. But ignoring the issues, or just accepting them, is not the answer. Nor is invoking mob rule! So, include us. Inform us. Allow us to work with you. It will take time but we can bring an end to many of these problems that we face today.

So, how can we do this? Two more questions to consider…

Why should I get involved?
Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill is here for people living in, or organisations working for the benefit of, LOCAL PEOPLE. This is all about helping you to be a part of creating a positive change for this area and for yourselves. This is not about doing things for you or to you any more. This is about either doing things with you, or putting you in a position so you can do it yourselves. So if you want to make and be a part of a positive future for Camelon and Tamfourhill – you should get involved. If you want to make a better future for yourself and your friends/family – you should get involved. We can’t and won’t force you – what would be the point in that? You are free to carry on as you are and enjoy whatever development happens around you. But where’s the fun in that? Getting involved, at whatever level works for you – behind the scenes or upfront – will really help to bring communities closer together and truly show people what Camelon and Tamfourhill are made of. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

How do I get involved?
Ah – this is a joy to our hearts when someone asks this question. There are MANY WAYS to get involved and at VARIOUS LEVELS. One group is the Kemlin Kin group that is made up of local residents and organisations working in the area who are passionate about bringing positive development to Camelon and Tamfourhill and improving local Community Safety. This is a great way in to finding out what is going on and meeting other people. It will also introduce you to other groups that might be good for you to get more involved with. But don’t worry, I know that not everyone wants to be on a committee but they would be more than happy to get their hands dirty with practical work. So if a group of this nature isn’t for you then there are plenty of other more practical ways you can get involved too. Really, the best thing to do is to stick your head above the parapet and get in touch with us. We can then discuss the options with you and also see what support you might need to get involved.

Hopefully this has helped. But if you have any further concerns, questions or comments, please give me a shout and I’ll happily discuss this further with you.

camelon, community, litter, Our Place, safety, Support, tamfourhill

Prize draw for completed surveys draws nearer:

My brief contribution to this weeks community safety blog is a reminder that the deadline to have your completed surveys entered into the prize draw, where you can win a brand new Tablet, is a week on Friday, 7th August 2020. Please if you can take the 5 minutes required to complete this survey I would be very grateful. It is providing insight and useful data that should make a significant contribution to developing a local community safety strategy that is relevant and appropriate to local priorities. I would like to thank everybody who has taken the time to complete a survey to date or has been in contact with myself to discuss the local area and some of the issues that they consider to be of importance. I was also enthused by my recent meeting with the Kemlin Kin Group and I look forward to further work with that Group.

As I highlighted in last week’s blog, littering and fly tipping are clearly matters that will need to be addressed locally, and indeed these issues have become a national concern. The problems with this have been increased over the period of lockdown. The consequence of this is that we need to ensure they are tackled now and not left to deteriorate and create additional health and safety problems for our communities. It therefore seems very appropriate that our local response is linked to Keep Scotland Beautiful and their clean up Scotland campaign. I will be endeavouring to make this Project an enjoyable and rewarding experience and for it to be successful it must be community led and facilitate lots of local participation. Please keep an eye out for how you can get involved with this initiative as I hope to get work started before the Autumn.   

John R Hosie

The survey is at: and at our website:


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 (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, community, Our Place, safety, tamfourhill

Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill clean, tidy, and green:

Welcome to my second weekly blog which will be focused upon some of my thoughts regarding the initial responses from the Community Safety Survey.  I felt it would be useful to focus upon one theme each week and to get the ball rolling in the process of agreeing the likely community safety priorities, and what projects and activities can potentially be developed to address these local concerns.

You can find a summary of the survey responses at

This summary focuses on two of the themes and has been collated at the 6 July 2020. Please remember that in order to be entered into the prize draw to win a Tablet you must have completed a survey by the 7 August. You can find the survey at

Although the broader theme of environmental issues and open spaces has so far not been a particularly significant one, the detailed results within that theme have confirmed that 83% of respondents were either greatly or fairly concerned about: dog fouling, discarded rubbish/littering and fly-tipping. This therefore suggests that a priority area for development must involve clearing up badly littered spots/locations, keeping these areas clean and tidy and ensuring that the community, local businesses, and other agencies play an important and successful role with that process. I recently took some photographs of obvious locations that are strewn with litter and which are unsightly and a potential health risk. I also gave consideration as to how these areas could be improved and kept tidy whilst also contributing to the biodiversity and amenities within our local community. I’ve put them together in the video at the end of this weeks blog. This illustrates the negative areas and offers some possible ideas for transforming these locations for the benefit of both the community and the need for greater biodiversity.

Keep Scotland Beautiful:  Clean up Scotland Campaign

I have been researching anti-litter projects in different communities and I have found the work carried out by Keep Scotland Beautiful to be helpful, in particular their “Clean up Scotland Campaign.” This provides a workable template for Camelon and Tamfourhill and registering our local Projects with Keep Scotland Beautiful would facilitate many local benefits. Their approach is more than just about tidying up an area through holding litter picks, although that activity does feature, but in addition their tool kit provides guidance on developing your own local anti-litter campaigns. This involves publicity techniques, networking approaches and strategies for involving community groups, schools, local businesses, statutory agencies, and the media all working in partnership to successfully transform trouble spots into positive, recreational, and sustainable locations. The Organisation highlight their ISM approach, that stands for: Individual, Social & Material, and these three interrelated factors underpin their suggested approach to local community tidy up Projects.    

Here are some details lifted directly from Keep Scotland Beautiful Tool kit for Community Clean Ups.

Larger group actions:

Organise and register a Clean Up with us Clean Up Scotland is our widest reaching community campaign and so far over half a million people have been involved.  As a rapidly developing and widely recognisable volunteer activity, by organising a Clean Up you will be setting the example for others in your community and showing them that it really is possible to make a difference.  By wearing the bright recycled tabards, we supply, your group will also be providing others with a behavioural ‘nudge’, reminding people that littering will not be tolerated by the community.  It is really easy to register your Clean Up with us and to get advice and resources to make it a great success.  There is lots of useful information on the Clean Up Scotland pages of our website, but the community projects team are always happy to answer any of your queries by phone or email.

If you would like to register your Clean Up event, please visit:

“My walk to Tamfourhill Community Hub”
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, Our Place, safety, Support, tamfourhill

Community Safety Strategy

Identifying Local Community Safety Priorities.

Hello – John Hosie here – Community Safety Engager. Welcome to my new weekly blog on Community Safety. Hopefully you’ve received our flyer that should have come through your door in recent days. This is what it looks like:

I launched a consultation recently in order to get your input on the latest Community Safety issues that you are facing. Currently the most significant community safety themes are: Anti social behaviour, Substance misuse, Traffic/roads & Crime and disorder. This is very early into the consultation process and the survey in particular is concerned with gathering some baseline data and looking at broader themes and trends. There are indicators of the more specific issues which will need to be looked at in greater detail and will be further explored through Focus Groups and Workshops. These issues, in no particular order, may include: Littering, fly tipping & rubbish, an array of concerns related to substance misuse, speeding vehicles at particular locations in the community, theft from sheds/garages especially bike theft and a general desire to access support, information and advice about community safety issues through a web based resource.

Please complete the survey so that we can collate as many views as possible. The closing date is 7 August and you could win a Fire HD10 Tablet in our Prize Draw.

Key Messages from Stakeholders:

  • We need to encourage local people to take more pride in their area
  • There seems to be a reluctance to travel out of your neighbourhood to access services, activities and facilities.
  • There are issues around violence which are often associated with incapacitation and drugs
  • There are strong positive neighbourhood identities
  • There are well established and well used facilities and community groups, Our Place Camelon & Tamfourhill has had a positive and effective impact upon the local communities.
  • There are open spaces which could be improved and better used for leisure, learning & recreation.

Interesting Data from the Survey Responses so far:

  • Only 6 people under 24 years old have completed a survey
  • 73% of respondents are female
  • 67% of respondents would like to be either kept informed or be further involved with the local Community Safety Strategy.

You can view a summary of the current survey data here:

Finally from me for now, here’s a video from Road Safety Scotland with a stark reminder of the dangers of speed. But before you watch that, remember if you want to contact me direct, I would love to hear from you. You can email or call 07391 524528.

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: and also
  • General information on all of the above and more can be found at and also at

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

camelon, community, safety, tamfourhill

Community Safety Survey

Please take 5 minutes to complete the Community Safety Survey for Camelon and Tamfourhill. The survey responses will contribute towards the formation of a local community safety strategy. There will be further opportunities to get involved with the strategy, through volunteering and action planning, so please get in touch with John Hosie if you would like to be kept updated and or more involved with the Project.

You can enter your completed survey into our prize draw and win a Fire HD 10 Tablet.