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 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

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.

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

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.

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

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: 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…..

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

Turning enthusiasm into action

Clever people tell me of the ancient Greek word “enthos” which means “from within”. Literally, it has religious connotations, but from this ancient word we get todays word enthusiasm. So what is your ‘enthos’? What enthuses you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it money? A necessity? Or a passion to do, be or create something? Or maybe you don’t know what to do with this dream inside you. Maybe you have an idea, a passion, a goal that is burning within you and you don’t know what to do with it. Maybe life – those around you – your own mind – is telling you that you can’t do anything with it.

Everyone has a different ‘enthos’. And everyone has a right to bring that to a reality yet so many miss out because they never took that first step. Or worse, that someone stopped them taking that first step. If you’re enthusiastic about something, now is the time to put things into action.

I should add at this point that there are those who don’t like the word enthusiasm or enthusiast. They change it for ‘fanatic’ or say the person is literally ‘possessed’ by the topic or activity in question. Okay, that may be a very literal translation of the word but we are not going anywhere near that kind of description – it is not helpful and stops some people with a genuine enthusiasm for something from actually going through with it.

It is said that the wealthiest place on the planet is a graveyard, because of all the ideas, dreams and passions that lay unfulfilled. That enthusiasm someone had for something but never went through with it for various reasons. That idea to create something that never came through because someone told them it would never work. That passion to develop a local activity that never got off the ground because of lack of support.

Let’s not allow this kind of history to repeat itself. Whatever it is that is burning within you, we’d love to chat with you about it. We can help you work through the processes you’d need to go through to make it a reality. Through our direct support, and signposting you to the support of others, your ‘enthos’ can come out from within your mind and become a reality.

In closing, have a watch of this short video that asks what drives you. It uses a lot of sporting imagery but take note of the dialogue. Now is your time.

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

What kind of mindset do you have?

Welcome to my latest Community Coaching blog. It’s been encouraging to receive some interaction from these posts – it’s good to know at least some people are reading them and finding them helpful!

The text on this week’s Monday Motivation graphic said “Focus on doing right thing for the right reason and don’t buy into the lie that it can’t be done”. This got me thinking – and so the theme for this week’s blog was born!

It’s so easy to listen to others who try to put you down and tell you it can’t be done. As a result, you could potentially miss out on a great opportunity for yourself. It’s also easy to listen to the voice in your head saying you’ll never be able to do something. Your surroundings can also affect your way of thinking. Okay, statistically Camelon and Tamfourhill is an area of deprivation. So what! You are still you and deserve the opportunity to reach your fullest potential. Just because others around you, even your friends and family, have chosen not to pursue a dream, does not mean that you have to go down that path too. The Camelon and Tamfourhill area is full of assets – and you are one of them.

We could leave this blog right there! Be encouraged to be the person you were made to be. But if you’ve got the time, please stick with me for a few more minutes as we look a bit deeper at this.

Whether you’ll be able to achieve what you want or not, is partly down to how your brain is geared – what your mindset is. In short, do you have a fixed, or a growth, mindset? It’s relatively obvious which mindset is better but here’s a little further analysis:

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
A belief that intelligence, skills and talents are fixed – “I’m not good at this now, and never will be.”A belief that intelligence, skills and talents can be developed – “My skills have come a long way, and I know they can be better with some guidance.”
A focus on outcomes or targets rather than progress – “I’ve failed completely. I missed my sales target by 10%” (ignoring your much improved sales pitch).Everything is a learning opportunity – “This is going to be a challenge, but I’ll break it down and tackle a bit at a time.”
Talking yourself down, feeling threatened by others or giving up in the face of setbacks or failures – “Clearly all this feedback means I’m no good at writing. I’ll ask someone else to do it next time.”When you fail or suffer a setback, you believe you just can’t do it yet – “I can see now that the way I set this up wasn’t quite right, so I’ll take an alternative approach next time.”

Now if you find yourself in one particular column, don’t presume that you will stay there. We all shift between a fixed and growth mindset, depending on our situation. Someone coming at a completely new task or role might be prepared to learn, and expect some setbacks as they go through that process. They have a growth mindset. On the other side, in promoting someone who has used a growth mindset to learn and progress, this might mean they now see themselves as an expert with little more to learn. Suddenly, they have a fixed mindset.

I like to consider myself as someone with a growth mindset and as such I can recognise this problem. In previous development roles, I have recognised a point where you can actually create so much growth that you end up being in danger of creating something or someone that is unmanageable. But you still need people that are at least willing to learn or change – as the need arises. People that are so fixed in their ways – the ‘aye been brigade’ – need to be shown a better way and often that happens best by ignoring their criticism and committing to your own growth. Actions – and results – speak much louder. Their attitude is the enemy of progress, encouraging us to cling to what we know even when it falls so far short of our expectations and potential. It has been described as a self-imposed straight-jacket disguised as a safety net that in short, simply restricts and fails others. Use your determination to grow to show them a better way.

Our brain’s structure is not fixed. It constantly changes in response to our external and internal experiences, and we can choose to make use of this to improve our skills and intelligence. By adopting a growth mindset, we decide to use a range of strategies to tackle tasks or challenges, and find learning opportunities in mistakes, setbacks and failures. Confidence and resilience are the consequences of a growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset is a journey of self-awareness and of conscious learning. It takes time and practice, so set your expectations accordingly, and regularly take some time to reflect on the results.

Let’s recap with the help of this short video:

In time, we’ll be developing some training courses that will help you with this and other personal and organisational development topics. For now though, we have this blog and the chance for me to engage directly with you to help you grow. If you want to know more or simply want to chat through an idea, then please get in touch.

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.