camelon, community, Our Place, tamfourhill

And now….

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 24 February 2022

So this is it. This is my final blog as your Community Coach.

I have mixed emotions as I write and I am not going to drag this out any longer than necessary. The last 2 years have been a rollercoaster of emotions as we’ve dealt with all the restrictions Covid threw at us, and here at OPCT there is so much we wanted to do but never got the chance to. Many things on my list remain untouched mostly due to Covid. But there have also been some surprise activities that we didn’t anticipate which has been great. I have spent so much time dealing with frustrations of not being able to do things, and as many of you will know, there’s only so much of that you can take. That’s not why I’m leaving though. Infact, as I come into land in this role, many fruits are forming from the seeds sown. Many things are coming to fruition from the foundations laid. As I’ve been trying to wrap things up for a handover to an as yet unappointed replacement, so much has been coming into my inbox in relation to really positive developments. That’s exciting and gives me hope for the future. All it needs now is for more of you, the lovely people of Camelon and Tamfourhill, to come out from behind the scenes and get involved – it’s the only way positive change is going to happen in our community.

I’ll not disappear completely – sorry! I live here. This is my community. You are my neighbours. Those who know me will know where to find me! (I also know where to find some of you!!!!) I will support local development as much as I’m able through various ways. So I simply encourage you to put your full effort behind John and my replacement when they’re in post. You have the power to be part of the change for good. You can be involved in positive developments. You can be part of a really exciting future for Camelon and Tamfourhill.

I leave you with a favourite song that I’ve performed many times before – don’t worry, this isn’t me singing though! I use it here as it sums things up from my time in this role as, whilst I know I haven’t got everything right or achieved everything that I wanted to, I can say with hand on heart that, right or wrong, I did it My Way. These words particularly stand out: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.”

Until we meet again…….

camelon, collaboration, community, development, growing, litter, Our Place, Support, Tidy Clean Green

Community Renewal

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 17 February 2022

We are so pleased to be able to reveal to you that a decent chunk of funding is coming into various projects and organisations in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area thanks to the UK Government Community Renewal Fund.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fundprospectus

John teased some of this news in his blog this week but here’s the full info.

The whole consortium was brought together initially by Scottish Canals, but is led by the Green Action Trust. As well as them and us, the other partners are Artlink Central, Go Forth and Clyde, Keep Scotland Beautiful/Canal College, Forth Valley College and Forth Environment Link. Things were initially meant to start in August/September time last year but delays from the funder mean we’re all only just able to get going now. This has been frustrating for all partners as many briefs have had to be amended or completely rewritten. But now we can get going with a total of over £700,000 coming in across the whole consortium – and we’ve only got until June to wrap things up!

Our involvement in this consortium is in two smaller projects totalling just under £40,000, supporting groups to work alongside you, the wider community, to vision how various spaces could look and become in the future, both short and long term. More on this is a sec, but for now, a little on what visioning really means. This quote from Simon Sinek says it nicely:

“Vision is the ability to see that which does not yet exist.  As we slowly bring that vision to life, more people will start to recognise the work we’re doing and join our crusade.  But, like an iceberg, there will always be much more waiting to be revealed underneath the surface.” Simon Sinek

For some time now, a small band of volunteers have been working on a number of projects and activities. Many of them are tired but still full of passion for what could be, which is why they keep going. So, the middle bit of Sinek’s quote is gold, and I think reflects where many people are. They want to be involved but prefer to wait until things have started, then they might consider jumping in once they’ve assessed the lay of the land. That’s totally understandable but, with the work that will happen over the next 4 months, now is the time to jump in. There will be a wide range of ways to get involved and have your say between now and June. Online, offline. Activity, discussion. Formal, informal. And more! So, I hope that many of you will take up the opportunities to do so, otherwise quite simply, if you don’t like what develops then you have little room for complaint if you haven’t had your say! And as Sinek says, more information, ideas, passions and skills will come out of hiding as more people get involved. That’s absolutely what we want to happen!

So, what is going to be funded? There are 2 projects.

Easter Carmuirs Park
The Green Action Trust (formerly known as the Central Scotland Green Network Trust) is back to work alongside the community on taking forward hopes, plans and visions for the park. A draft masterplan was prepared by them back in 2017 that led to the installation of paths, trees and some meadow areas in 2019. But what next? Many ideas were suggested back then, however people have used the park more and begun to understand it in a different way now that you can walk on paths across it and appreciate its scale more. The consultant will work with us and you to bring a meaningful plan together that satisfies community aspirations, attends to community safety matters that have been raised, and present a workable timeline for developments so that full clarity is there for all – something that was missing last time around. Crucially, this will be a chance for the Friends of Easter Carmuirs Park group to come together properly. We teased this back in the Fun in the Park event last October with the hope that this funding would have been in place before now. But now is the time for this group to form, with our support, and become the vehicle to apply for funding and take future developments forward. Watch out for all the ways you can get involved if you live around or use Easter Carmuirs Park in any way at all.

Carmuirs Area
Tidy Clean Green will be leading a range of activities and consultations assisted by us and with external help from The Conservation Volunteers. This is to build on the work that’s been happening over the last year or so with particular focus on the area next to Camelon Juniors car park, and the Brown Street Park. These next few months will give a chance to start pulling together all the strands of research, consultation and activity, and present a workable and fundable plan at the end of the process that can be taken forward either by Tidy Clean Green or another local group. As mentioned earlier, John’s blog this week talks more about this project and reflects on an event in the area last week that was bringing further ideas together from local people. Activities will include litter picks, planting, training sessions, pop up parks, community events and more! Plus this will link with the existing art work and climate action projects that are in process alongside this activity.

So there you have it. We are absolutely thrilled that these areas will get a much needed step forward over these next 4 months. It won’t deliver anything large or secure all the funding needed. But it will take us a massive step forward, importantly, with you the community absolutely engaged. There’s obviously a lot more to what I’ve highlighted here, and we’ll keep you posted as time progresses. This is simply a summary to get your minds whirring. We look forward to working with the consultants, Green Action Trust, Tidy Clean Green, and of course, you, to make further positive change in our community.

Until next time….

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

community

Family Fun for the Future Last Friday

The sun shone on the Juniors Car park and the people gathered for Fun for the Future Community Safety event last Friday 11th February. A good turn out with a variety of outdoor activities for the family, including make your own bird feeders, cooking marshmallows on an open fire and some den building and all  taking place on the grass area and on the car park. I would like to thank TCV , Tidy, Clean and Green, Go Forth and Clyde and other local volunteers who made all the outdoor activities an enjoyable success. This activity programme is all about illustrating how that space can be better used and for it to be a safe space for local young people and families. Please watch out for further community safety  activities taking place at that location including litter picks, pop up parks  and outdoor learning opportunities.

Cooking marshmallows on the fire pit

Inside the Camelon Juniors Social club  there were tabletop workshops for everyone to take part in , one was facilitated by Aniela from Camelon Arts Project where every person got a chance to design their own community wall mural. A wide range of ideas and creativity were used, and I look forward to examining the creations in greater detail as I am sure some of these themes can be worked upon and can form the basis of a more permanent community mural for the wall outside the football ground. I ran a workshop where I encouraged everyone to choose and prioritise the  facilities , equipment, and types of activities that they would like to see included within a local safe play facility. Again, the results were wide ranging and interesting, and I will of course be reflecting upon many of these ideas and collating the results into a report which will be used for further community discussions. The third discussion table was facilitated by our two community Police officers PC Robert Hill and PC Amy Muir, there were some free goodies to take away and lots of discussion about keeping the community safe and secure. It is absolutely clear to me that the permanent installation of CCTV and adequate lighting at that location are paramount local community safety concerns.

Hot chocolate to keep everyone warm

As I pointed out too many people last Friday, we are a very long way away form any permanent play facilities or play  parks getting built at the location or anywhere else in the Carmuirs area, however these events are part of a wider community discussion that I am very keen to keep going and I would like to encourage more people to come forward and engage with these events and community conversations. I know talk can be cheap but the plan over the coming months will be to support a programme of ongoing environmental improvement for that area. This will involve hands on experiences, training opportunities, focus groups and off course lots of fun activities for the youngsters and their families to regularly take part in. We may be a long way from making permanent structural changes to that area but through the work of the Tidy, Clean and Green Community Group and the resources they have secured to commission a consultant there will be a wide array of environmental improvement  work being carried out around that neighbourhood. This will be enabled through the Community Renewal Fund that has been secured by Tidy, Clean and Green where the Juniors car park, the old Brown Street park and surrounding areas will be a very  lively and active location over the spring and summer months. This is about community engagement and involvement and there will be loads of learning opportunities, but they will be delivered in a fun and enjoyable way. Please keep an eye out for further activities and events , I have some people’s contact detail which is great,  but I will also ensure that all the environmental programmes and opportunities planned for the next few months are well publicised and they will feature prominently on the Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill Social media  platforms and other local Facebook pages. As always please get in touch with me: John R Hosie Community Safety Engager, communitysafetyengager@tamfourhilltro.co.uk 07391524528

The temporary ice rink was a very popular outdoor activity
camelon, collaboration, community, tamfourhill

Your Community Calendar is here

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 9 December 2021

Over recent months, we’ve been working with Camelon Arts on a new exciting project that I’ve wanted to do for ages. With the help of local people, we’re bringing a Camelon and Tamfourhill Community Calendar to the market!

So what is this all about?

Regular readers will know how I love to celebrate our area – both the scenery and the people. There are many ways to do this – lots of which have been impacted by Covid of course. But a calendar has been on my mind for a while as a great way to showcase our area throughout a whole year and involve local people too. Thankfully, our friends at Camelon Arts agreed!

So a little while ago, a shout went out for you to submit photos of a location, view, group or anything else from Camelon or Tamfourhill. To be honest, we didn’t get a huge amount which is a little disappointing, however we’d already decided that everyone who sent photos in would get one of their entries included in the calendar. What we did get though was a brilliant selection of images and they fill the year really nicely with more than one for each month. A sincere thank you to the people and organisations that submitted photos for this project. (You’ll have all had an email from Aniela at Camelon Arts regarding the launch.)

A really special touch for the calendar is that one of the first entries submitted came from Joe Bruce (aka Joe fae Kemlin) who sadly passed away recently. Joe was very well known in the area and latterly ran the Camelon in Pictures and Memories Facebook group. So his entry is included with the addition of his life dates, and his relative is coming along to the launch to accept a copy of the calendar in his memory. For me, this makes this even more special.

To make things even better for a local project (is that even possible – yes, yes it is!), Camelon Arts discovered a recently graduated, Camelon based, Graphic Designer by the name of Jakub Bieganski who was brought in to pull this project together. I’ve seen a preview and it looks great. I can’t wait for you to see it.

So when can we get it, I hear you cry! Well, let me tell you!

It is being launched this coming Saturday – 11 December – with a mini tour across the area, followed by some local sale points. Camelon Arts have coordinated this and have also got some free hot chocolate for you, to soften the blow of having to do all this outdoors! Here’s the details:

We will launch the calendar in the car park of Camelon Community Centre between 11:30am and 12:30pm, then move to Camelon Juniors Social Club main entrance between 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Finally, we’ll be outside Tamfourhill Community Hub between 4pm and 5pm.

The calendar costs just £5 and for ease on the day, we ask you to bring cash only please. All profits will go towards a new community fund that we will manage, to support local groups in the future. All the info on that will come in the new year. But that really immerses this project into the local community as it’s designed by a local person with input from local people to be sold in the local area to benefit local projects. (Did I say local enough there?!)

If you can’t make it to any of the launch locations on Saturday, the calendar will also be available to purchase from Saturday until early January (or earlier if they sell out!) at:

  • Graeme Pharmacy, 275 Main Street
  • The Falkirk Wheel, Visitor Centre Gift Shop

Thank you to these locations for taking this local calendar into their stores to widen the reach. But if you can’t get there either, do message me so we can help you get a copy.

So there you have it. Our first Camelon and Tamfourhill Community Calendar. Hopefully not the last either, so get taking more photos ready to submit for the 2023 edition! I look forward to seeing some of you this Saturday.

Until next time….

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

camelon, Christmas, community, tamfourhill

A true Community Calendar

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 30 September 2021

Would you like to have a calendar that highlights all that is great about Camelon and Tamfourhill?

Would you like to have a photo that you have taken featured in a calendar?

If you answered yes to either of those questions then have I got something to interest you?! Yes I have!

In collaboration with our good friends at Camelon Arts and as part of their autumn season programme – Together Now!, I am so pleased to be able to introduce to you, the Camelon and Tamfourhill 2022 Community Calendar project. If you enjoyed our previous #WednesdayWalkabout social media series, then this could be for you. Here’s all you need to know to get involved:

What is the Community Calendar project?
The Community Calendar project is the chance for local people from Camelon and Tamfourhill to submit their photos to be showcased in your 2022 calendar.

Who is it for?
Anyone and everyone from Camelon and Tamfourhill who wishes to submit their photo!

What is the theme?
Our theme is ‘local wonders’ and we are looking for photos that capture some of the amazing things, people, and nature that can be found in the area. Show us what you love about living here.

Technical Details
We accept digital submissions of iPhone, camera and scanned analogue photos in jpeg format to a maximum size of 10mb.

How do I submit my photo?
By sending an email with your photo attached to it (max one photo per person) to camelonarts@artlinkcentral.org. Please don’t forget to add your name to your email so we can credit you with your submission. For anyone under 18, please check with your parent or carer first. All submissions will be accepted and featured provided they meet the technical requirements and content is appropriate.

When is the deadline?
To be included in the calendar, your photo must be submitted by Friday 12 November.

When will I be able to buy a community calendar?
With Camelon Arts, we are hoping to organise a launch event in December so you can purchase as many as you want for Christmas presents! You will be warmly invited to join us so keep an eye out for updates!

So there you have it. I am so excited to see this project launched and am grateful to Camelon Arts for running with it. This is a really great way to celebrate what is great and good in this area. And what’s more, the calendar will be put together by a young graphic designer who is based right here in Camelon. So this is a totally local project. A true Community Calendar. Let’s all get involved!

Until next time

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

camelon, Christmas, community, Our Place, tamfourhill

Friday Feature – Camelon Winter Festival

This weekend, it’s the always amazing Camelon Winter Festival. Obviously things are very different this year so a lot of the usual things have had to be put to one side. But, this is Camelon so the show will always go on!

For 2020, the Festival is heading into the heart of the area, bringing a wonderful mixture of Christmas cheer to Kemlin, whilst being COVID secure. Yes, there will be rules, but the festival group volunteers and Camelon Arts will still be sprinkling the local communities with as many magical moments as possible! And this year, it’s not just one day – but TWO! Yes, this weekend, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December, the Winter Festival team are so pleased to present two activities thanks to support from the National Lottery Community Fund: ‘Here Come Santa Claus…’ and ‘The Big Screen…’.

Below is all the information you need as it stands, but you should keep an eye on the Facebook pages for the Winter Festival and Camelon Arts for any changes. It is important to stress that the organising committees have worked really hard to ensure this all complies with current restrictions and need your help in making sure that stays the case. Please do not gather in groups to watch either the Santa carriage or Big Screen, or try to go up close to see anything going on. We know it will be really tempting but you’ll get a good view from your own window or doorstep of everything going on and that way, everyone will stay safe and we won’t be the cause of any negative change from the current Level 2 status. Thanks for your help with this.


Here Comes Santa Claus will see Santa travelling in style in a horse drawn carriage while his elves (with gloves!) hand deliver (quarantined!) pre-ordered gifts to children. Here’s a very rough route that you can use to work out (with large margin either side) when we should be in your area:

Saturday 12 from 2pm to 6pm:
Starting at Nailer Road and weaving round the northerly section of Camelon before going south across Main Street to weave up and down the area bordering Carmuirs school, then the area near the southern/canal edge to Ochiltree turning circle. Next we’ll go around the cluster of ‘Mariner’ streets then, via the westerly section of Carmuirs Ave up to the streets around Easter Carmuirs primary school looping back around the grid of streets in the heart of Camelon onto Glasgow Road and back to our Nailer Road finish for 6pm.
Sunday 13 from 2pm to 6pm
Starting from the canal end, we’re weaving southwards through Bantaskin then back to Glenfuir Road and straight along into Tamfourhill starting from the Bonnyhill Road end and wending our way eastwards up the hill and back down Glenfuir Rd for a 6pm finish.


The Big Screen is quite simply a travelling video screen that will be touring the streets of Camelon and Tamfourhill, featuring the big voice of local singer Dionne Hickey, community contributions from local groups and three inspiring videos made with local creative residents as part of our ongoing project Camelon’s Got Talent.

TOURING TIMES:
Saturday 12
Carmuirs Area: 12-2pm; Easter Carmuirs Area: 2-5pm; Loch 16 and Union Road Area: 5-6pm
Sunday 13
Summerford & Bantaskin Area: 12-2pm; Tamfourhill Area: 2-5pm; Nailer Park Area: 5-6pm

Timings are subject to change. The full length film will also be available to watch online from this Saturday at http://www.camelonarts.co.uk


Thanks as always to the amazing Winter Festival committee for making this happen and to Camelon Arts for their always awesome involvement. Thanks to the volunteers who have stepped up to help as well. Enjoy this weekend and please stay safe. Happy Christmas to all!

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

Community Growing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring Coaching

I’m now 3 1/2 months into this new role and even with the restrictions, it’s been great to be able to provide remote support to those groups and individuals that have requested it. There’s still a few projects and on-going support happening, and I know there’s much more to tap into. However, there are still some of you out there who aren’t quite sure what it is that I do!!

In normal times I would have sat down in a cafe with you and had a chat, but that’s not been entirely possible of late, so for now, this is my best method of getting the information across. (I’ll still happily buy you a coffee in the near future though!)

My last few blogs have all been on the theme of motivation, planning and finding direction, which is essentially what my role is about – helping you to develop the skills necessary to help shape your own, and if appropriate your organisations, future. With previous local support activities, you’ve had people who will take your issue and do something to sort it for you. That is absolutely great and there are some amazing people providing this kind of support for groups across the country. But what happens if that same issue comes up again. What did you learn from that support? Would you be able to sort things out if left to your own devices? How can I, as your Community Coach, help you with that? Let’s explore the work of Coaching further:

Coaching (ˈkəʊ.tʃɪŋ). Noun. The job or activity of providing training for people or helping to prepare them for something:  Coaching helps people to self-critique and self-regulate their behaviour to achieve the things they want.

Cambridge English Dictionary

Coaching is the process of coming alongside someone to help them get clarity and confidence in addressing life’s opportunities. Coaching is not about mentoring.  It’s not about counselling. There are plenty of great mentors and counsellors that I can direct you to if that’s what you’re needing. Coaching is about asking questions and allowing people to think things through, as that’s the most profound way they will learn. Coaching is not about telling people what to do, or worse, doing it for them, but about listening well, asking insightful questions, and helping people on their way. Asking somebody the right questions, helps them to discover the answers to things inside them that they didn’t realise they had the answer to. Essentially, coaching can bring an individual or organisation fully alive into who or what they were meant to be. No matter what has happened in the past. No matter what others say. You have the right to access the opportunities that exist in order to be the person you were meant to be. We all need to grow.

If we’re honest, you probably could do this on your own, but its hard. Allowing another person – a coach – to help you look at what you’re doing, can help bring fresh perspective and open up the answers you were missing. In most cases, the things that you want to figure out will be things that you already know of or had thought about, or things for which there are resources close by but you don’t have the time or head space to make that happen.

So, what is the narrative that’s stuck in your head? Is there something you’ve been stuck in and never able to climb over? Coaching helps you to discover that and to move on and progress into your full potential. It can help you find an oasis in a desert.  Do more in less time.

All the answers are within you already.  My role as a coach is to help you draw them out, and move forwards. And that goes for organisations as well as individuals. You may be looking to move your organisation to the next level or do something different and you can’t see how it could work. You may be stuck in a rut of something that’s always worked but is beginning to struggle or fade away now. As a coach, I can help you to navigate your way out of that rut by helping you look and think about things differently.

Let me be honest with you here. This whole coaching thing benefits me as the coach as well as you, the person receiving the coaching. For years I have used the statement on my CV and LinkedIn profile that I “develop projects that enable people and communities to be developed”. I love doing this as it brings me genuine pleasure. I also learn from it too. I may have developed and assisted numerous projects but I am always learning. The coaching process helps me to continue to learn and understand communities as I assist the person being coached.

When I encountered the powerful leadership tool of coaching, everything changed. It was like a gust of wind filled the sails of my heart and life.

Tom Camacho

So how do we do this Coaching thing together? The first and biggest step is to make contact. Phone, email, social media, carrier pigeon – whatever works for you – just get in touch. That is a big step in itself but once taken, can open up the journey for you to begin to feel the joy of fruitful effectiveness that lines up with how you were made. I will then take time to listen and understand where you’re at, where you want to go, and with your agreement, begin to work with you on the steps to get there.

There are 5 steps on the Coaching journey, all helpfully beginning with the letter R:

  • Relate: Together we establish the coaching relationship and set an agenda for what needs to happen;
  • Reflect: Through questioning and conversation, we discover and explore the key issues that need tackling;
  • Refocus: I will help you to determine the priorities, what action steps are needed, and help you understand how they can be achieved;
  • Resource: I will support you, train you, connect you and provide constant encouragement through good and bad;
  • Review: Together we will evaluate what has happened, learn from any issues that occurred along the way, celebrate the result, and review plans for the next phase.

It sounds simple and essentially it is! Yes there will be some difficult hurdles to overcome but facing them with someone else who can help you, makes the process so much easier. And being part of a wider community helps too. The Kemlin Kin Group is a partnership of local residents and leaders of organisations and groups who are already active in the local area or have a passion to see things grow. You could join that group as well if you live in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area, and find the benefit of a network of people who want to bring an increase in positive activity and opportunities locally. Get in touch to find out more.

So that’s it. Coaching in a nutshell! All that’s left for you to do is contact me and let’s start a conversation. Before I go though, have a look at this short animation of what the coaching journey can be. I hope this all helps, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dan Rous: communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk 07444 873151

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

No Wrong Path

There has been a lot of talk about exam results over the last week or so. You or your child may have been one of those affected this year – either positively or negatively. Whatever the situation, this is not the place to get into the rights or wrongs of what has happened.

Personally, I was rubbish at exams! I am originally from well south of the border, and was the second cohort to take on the GCSE’s which had a bit more coursework that counted to the final result, but was still quite exam heavy at the time. But what I have learned over the years is that as important as our time at school and those exam results are, they do not necessarily close any doors to a positive future. We should all make the most of any learning and development opportunities that come our way throughout our lives, especially at school but through our later years too. But we should also never think that we’re stuck on a particular path if it isn’t working out how we hoped. That’s also kind of been the theme of our #MondayMotivation images that we’ve been sharing each week.

Over the last couple of years, the social media hashtag #nowrongpath has grown momentum. This is when people share their journey to where they are now and prove the point that where you start out isn’t always where you end up. For some, they know where they want to go from an early age and make every effort to get there. But many others start out on a direction and either find it wasn’t for them or that life has opened their eyes to other opportunities. So, for this week’s blog, I thought it might be helpful to share my journey to where I am now, that will hopefully serve as encouragement for those who think they may be stuck or not sure where to go or what to do.

  • Left school with 3 GCSE’s;
  • Took and passed a 1 year Construction Course at college – planning on being an architect;
  • Re-sat 2 GCSE’s and passed 1;
  • Switched plan and started a 2 year Business and Finance Course;
  • Got offered, and accepted a job after the first year work experience placement on that course and began working in finance for the NHS;
  • After 3 years, I was made redundant and spent a short time working as a Kitchen Porter – doing the dishes in the staff canteen of a large Pharmaceutical Company;
  • Eventually got a part time job in finance at a University Student Union;
  • Also got another part time job at a Christian Bookshop which later became a full time job;
  • After another 3 years, I returned to finance to become a Regional Finance Assistant for a large Christian Charity;
  • Left 3 years later to go to Bible College;
  • 15 months later I moved to Scotland with my now wife;
  • Spent 4 months working as a Chef in a busy Restaurant;
  • Spent 18 months as Assistant Cafe Manager for a Charity run Community Cafe;
  • Was then involved in setting up a Charity run Furniture Re-Use Project and managed this for 6 years;
  • Spent 2.5 years as Managing Director of a Furniture ReUse and Community Support Charity;
  • Left to take on 2 Development Roles – one for a Community Development Trust to move them closer to having a Community and Sports facility, and the other for a large Christian Charity setting up Charity Shops and Furniture Projects;
  • Also established a consultancy business, helping people to turn their Ideas to Enterprise;
  • After just over 3 years, I left to work in a full time Development Role to convert a former Church to a Community Facility;
  • Just over 4 years later, I am now in this Community Coach role.

I started with some wild idea to be an architect, discovered I was better at finance stuff, did a bit of catering, then got involved in charity enterprise activities, learning about development and Social Enterprise as a result, discovered a passion for “Developing Projects that enable People and Communities to be Developed”, and ended up in what for me as I am just now, is the perfect role. I guarantee this would not have been the journey a careers person at my school would have set out or even been aware of the end destination. It’s not exactly a linear path!

So, whatever stage of life you are at, or if you’re trying to encourage a child of yours along the way, be encouraged that there is no wrong path on the journey of life. And if you have a passion for something burning inside you and either don’t think you could achieve it or haven’t got a clue where to start, then I would love to help you. Please get in touch and let’s see if together, we can get you on your next right path.

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…..