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
community, Mental Health, Support, training

THRIVE is back!

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 30 January 2022

You may remember that we piloted the NHS THRIVE to Keep Well programme at the end of last year. This went well and produced some great results with most of the participants. We’ll publish a report once it has been finalised from all the relevant authorities, but the positive change reported and clearly seen in many of the participants was a joy to be a part of. So, I’m so pleased to say that that programme is back, this time in collaboration with Carmuirs Primary School and to be held at Camelon Community Centre. (I’m only sorry that I won’t be around to be a part of it.)

To remind you, the THRIVE to Keep Well programme supports adults who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health and wellbeing challenges. Participants are brought together in individual male and female adult groups within their local communities. The programme was developed to assist individuals to rebuild their lives by increasing their skills, knowledge and awareness of their own personal health and wellbeing, and aims to support participants to feel more integrated into their community by helping build positive social networks, improve personal development, and support participants to develop their own social and economic lives.  It is a life-changing programme for participants that attend, helping them to feel empowered with skills, insights, confidence and tools in order to take control of their life; it brings out the very best of them to embark on a new journey to making a change.

This community asset-based programme reaches parents and adults aged 16+ within their own community, to encourage social connectedness and increase peoples control over their health and lives

The programme is delivered over 16 weeks through one session of 4½ hours per week within a community setting using a three-stage model that has been designed and developed with structured learning outcome sessions which has enabled the integrity and continuity of its delivery. During the sessions, participants learn about stress, anxiety and how to make positive changes through a variety of group and self-reflection activities. Participants also take part in relaxation, creative, health, safety, and community awareness sessions.

The THRIVE to Keep Well programme uses the acronym THRIVE to demonstrate a participant will have the opportunity to be Transformational in their journey to making positive Health and wellbeing changes, by being a Responsive Individual, to feeling Valued and Empowered by improving knowledge, skills and opportunities in a variety of ways to move towards a positive destination.

The programme aims to improve participant’s:

  • knowledge and management of day to day stress and anxiety.
  • self-esteem and confidence through self-development and reflection techniques.
  • motivational goal setting techniques to enable health behaviour change.
  • awareness of the NHS Keep Well programme and promote higher uptake of the health assessment.
  • confidence and motivation to improve on life skills to further learning, volunteering and employment.
  • role as a parent to further develop the skills and confidence that will improve family relationships, support children’s learning, behaviour and attainment and enhance wider wellbeing.

So, for the next running of this programme, have a look at the poster below, that gives all the information about when and where the programme is running, and who to get in touch with to get involved. I really hope that this programme will continue to grow and provide more fantastic support to local people.

coach, Our Place, Support

Community Coach Announcement

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 20 January 2022

This is a transcript of the video shared on social media today. If you’ve landed here and would rather listen in, the video is also inserted at the foot of this blog.


Hi there.  Dan here, your Community Coach.  I’m bringing you a very different blog this week as it’s me talking directly to you.  I have something important to share so wanted to do it personally rather than just type it out.  (Although you’ve chosen to read this instead so ignore that bit!! To be honest, I wouldn’t listen to me either!!)

So what is this important piece of news? Well, quite simply, I am here to announce that, with regret, the time has come for me to move on from this role with Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill.  An opportunity has presented itself to me which I pressed into and found it to be of interest to me on many levels.  So I will be finishing up as your Community Coach at the end of February.

I have genuinely loved every second of the last 21 months as I’ve walked alongside you, the lovely people of Camelon and Tamfourhill.  The time will come to review things properly but for now, the highlights have been:

  • the creation of some new resident led organisations, especially Tidy Clean Green,
  • helping bring the THRIVE to Keep Well programme to the area, supporting and encouraging local women through that,
  • Supporting community growing activities in collaboration with residents and organisations in the area, including securing funding for community tool sheds and planting trees and bulbs in the area,
  • Bringing a bicycle repair scheme to the area that will be kicking off again soon with a new local group,
  • Helping existing local groups access relevant funding and other development support,
  • Facilitating the Fun in the Park event in Easter Carmuirs Park,
  • Bringing new training opportunities to local people,
  • Helping people with CVs and Job Applications and now seeing them in work,
  • Raising the profile of the area both with local authorities and organisations, but also nationally, to help a move towards bringing positive change.

There has been so much more but those stand out for me just now. 

Of course, there are disappointments as well.  Many things are left undone (either not started or paused midway through) and some groups have not moved forwards. With a quick scan around, many will say that nothing has changed and you could be forgiven for thinking that way.  But in collaboration with John as we work alongside you, so much foundational change has happened and the future does look brighter – it just might take longer to get there than anyone hoped.  Of course, Covid hasn’t helped us and it’s been frustrating to say the least not to be able to do many of the things we wanted to.  But we must not be downhearted.  There is so much to celebrate and, because I live here, I will continue to celebrate all that is good around here. 

After the end of February I’m not going to disappear completely – it’s not in my nature to do so. (Sorry!!)  There’s a couple of things that I’ll put my weight behind as a community volunteer but more on that at the appropriate time.  I cannot remain in this community and not get involved.  Hopefully others of you will continue to step forward and get involved in being the change.  We cannot sit back and wait for things to happen.  Unless we throw our collective skills and experiences together into the ring, the area will just stand still.  

So there you have it.  That’s the news for now.  We’ll update you on what the plans are for a replacement for me in due course.  Maybe there’s an opportunity for one of you to get involved?  In the meantime, I will continue at pace to fulfil what is required of me.  If you have any suggestions, questions, or need some support or guidance with something for you or your organisation to develop, then get in touch in the usual ways. 

Take care.  Stay safe.  And keep getting involved.

Until next time…….

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

Video version of the above text


Christmas, community, Mental Health, resilience

Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 16 December 2021

I love Christmas. But not everyone does. Infact, a YouGov survey in 2019 revealed that 1 in 7 people don’t like Christmas. And to be honest, I’ve probably had a love/hate relationship with it at different times in my life too.

I spent most of my life as part of the Salvation Army, including playing in the band. This of course meant copious amounts of playing of Christmas Carols on cold street corners or occasionally we got to go indoors. It was always fun at the start of the month but slowly waned as the month went on! One highlight back home in Canterbury though was the Christmas Eve Community Carol Singing in the town centre which, on a good night, would have around 5000 people in attendance. However I’d felt over the rest of the month, I always got lifted by this event. A little part of me still misses this workload – but I soon get over it!

In later life, I was running a Furniture ReUse Project linked to a Homeless Resettlement Unit. It was my privilege to give the team a couple of weeks off at Christmas. However, it became clear that whilst this seemed a great gesture, it was not well received. This project was a lifeline for my team and what I was sending them off to was usually 2 weeks of solitude. I felt bad that it never crossed my mind. So before long, I organised that if they wanted, they could go into the warehouse and do some cleaning and basic maintenance work. Christmas had become a negative time for them – reminding them often of what they had lost in their lives. They needed to keep busy and not be left to wallow in their own company.

During this time, my view of Christmas changed considerably. While understanding more about the team I was supporting, I also got married and became a dad. I had two opposite extremes of the season. Avoiding loneliness versus childhood amazement.

So, to quote from the carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, do you experience “tidings of comfort and joy” this Christmastime? Or do you take more inspiration from Charles Dickens’ creation of Ebeneezer Scrooge with a touch of Bah Humbug? Or maybe you’re just wavering somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are, it’s important to recognise that not everyone is in the same place as you.

I’ve mentioned Camerados in this blog before and for this week’s blog, I’m actually handing the rest of the space over to them. Their CEO Maff Potts, a former colleague of mine in Salvation Army homelessness work, has just written a fantastic blog entitled (in his usual mildly eccentric way) “Why we all need to be a little alien this Christmas”. Maff describes his “complicated relationship with Christmas”. He says “it’s a time of year when I remember witnessing the very best feeling of belonging – and yet all the noise, the Christmas fanfare everywhere you look, is rarely about that magic.” The blog is a fantastic read that focuses on the pressures on all our Mental Health this Christmas time and how we can get through it together by simply being more human. Please take the time to read what Maff has to say – I promise you won’t regret it. You can get to his blog by clicking on the image below.

Until next time…..

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

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, community, funding, tamfourhill

Community Choices voting is back

Earlier this year, Falkirk Council launched Community Choices, where they have taken a percentage of their budget and opened it up to communities to apply for things in their area, and then to vote on what gets the money.

Now it’s back for what they’re calling “Pilot Phase 2” and the Small Grant fund is now open for your votes. Projects or activities have been able to apply for up to a maximum of £5,000. Once again, voting is per local authority ward (so Camelon is in Ward 6 and Tamfourhill is in Ward 7) and your vote will only count if you live in the specific area (this will be verified by your postcode). Also, because of continuing restrictions, everything is being done online and I’ve provided the relevant links below. However, if you know anyone who can’t do this, you or they can contact us to get a paper ballot or to receive support to vote online.  Voting is open until 17 December and then early in the new year it will be the turn of the larger capital fund projects, but I’ll be back with info on those at the appropriate time.

For now, here’s information on the projects seeking your vote right here in our area (in alphabetical order). There are others listed in each ward as the boundaries extend beyond our area, but I have just highlighted the ones either in Camelon or Tamfourhill for obvious reasons. You can vote for up to 3 projects with each vote carrying equal weighting. The project(s) with the most votes will receive the funding they have requested.

Love Falkirk – Pantry Garden – £4,380
Love Falkirk are looking for funding to develop an outside space for our food pantry members and local residents. This space will be used for growing fresh produce for our pantry members to supplement the weekly shopping, along with creating a space where people can come to learn and share gardening knowledge. Alongside the growing space will be an outside seating area where we get together with the local community and offer support and plan for the future.

Tidy Clean and Green – Rubbish Service – £5,000
To operate a free Rubbish Service in Camelon and Tamfourhill as a free service for residents who don’t have a car and can’t get to the dump. People will book by text to have smallish amounts of rubbish picked up by electric cargo bike (light stuff) and electric van (heavier stuff) over two weeks, 4 times a year, during 2022. The volunteer service is green and non-polluting and is designed to get rid of those occasional small mountains of rubbish that everyone has to deal with at some point, when the bins just don’t cut it. This service makes it fairer, cleaner and greener for the many people on low incomes in Camelon to chuck out unwanted junk when the service is operating in February, May, August and November next year.

Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Association – Outreach Youth Work – £4,050
The proposal is to equip a pod to be utilised for outreach and detached youthwork to use with our local young people across Tamfourhill, Camelon and Bantaskine. The container currently sits at the local park in Tamfourhill. The aim is to engage with young people, whether that is on the street, in a park, in the well-used wooded area or anywhere else. We aim to pilot sessions throughout Tamfourhill, targeted at 10–16-year-olds, the funds will be utilised for equipment and resources including the promotion of the sessions. The sessions will take place at times where local young people can be at risk of engaging in Anti- social behaviour and in turn negatively impacting on an array of community safety issues. The aim is to engage local young people in recreational activities and help support and signpost at an early stage.


Click the links above and follow the instructions. Again, if you have any difficulties or know someone without digital access, please get in touch so we can make sure everyone’s vote can still be registered. Good luck to everyone who has put in an application.

coach, collaboration, community, development, employment, resilience, Support, training

The power of Collaboration

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 25 November 2021

Yesterday morning, as part of my work with the NHS THRIVE to Keep Well programme that we’re piloting in this area, we were thrilled to bring together a number of training and employability partners to advise the participants of the many opportunities that were available to them at whatever level they wanted to be. We set up a Covid safe exhibition area at Camelon Community Centre and the participants were free to chat with the staff from these organisations. We also had some craft activities to help them relax and have something else to do while they either plucked up the courage to go and speak, or reflected on the information they’d been given.

There were many highlights for me in this event. Firstly, I’d forgotten how great it is to actually be in a room with various partners. Covid has taken so much from us over recent times and while I admit that this is one of the more frivolous matters, it was still really good to experience again. Even the partners really valued being able to share and network with each other face to face (behind masks and appropriately distanced of course). And even with the safety measures in place, glancing around the room and hearing the chatter brought feelings of some kind of normality coming back again.

My second highlight was seeing the participants engaging with the partner agencies and getting meaningful, personal advice for their next steps. They were initially nervous but once one of them stepped forward, the others soon followed and the conversations began to flow. Considering the various journeys the participants have been on over the last 13 weeks, this was so heart-warming to see. This is one of the key things that drives me in this job – supporting local people to get the right information, advice and direction to move towards whatever a positive destination looks like for them individually. This is not a one size fits all support. I really do want to get it right for every person.

My final highlight, was the feedback from the partner agencies. All of them spoke of how they quickly got a sense of the progression that the participants had made while being on this programme. They also commented on the genuine desire from the participants to continue this forward movement in the best way possible for them, whether that be more training courses, volunteering, or moving into work. While my fellow facilitators and I can see this for ourselves, it was so good to hear from others – it makes this so worthwhile.

So my thanks to 4 The Benefit of All, Cyrenians (Arnotdale House), Employment and Training Unit, Workers Educational Association, and CVS/Volunteer Falkirk for giving up their morning to come along and support our amazing participants. My hope is that early in the New Year, restrictions will allow us to do a larger event with these partners so more of you can benefit. As they say, watch this space! In the meantime, if you need any support with accessing training or employability support, or are looking to get into volunteering or even a job, then do get in touch and I’ll help and signpost you as appropriate for you. Contact details are below.

Until next time….

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

community, development, employment, funding, Support, training

Falkirk’s Funded Job Scheme

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 18 November 2021

Earlier this week I attended an information session led by our friends at the Falkirk Council Employment and Training Unit, regarding a new funded Job scheme for third sector organisations. Todays blog will highlight the relevant information about this scheme so that we can hopefully bring some of these funded jobs into Camelon and Tamfourhill.

The Basics

In response to the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the Scottish Government has awarded funding to encourage third sector organisations to offer paid work opportunities to people aged over 25 years, who have been unemployed for over 12 months and have additional barriers to employment. While the scheme is for all over Scotland, it is split down to local authority areas so this information relates purely to Falkirk. Their funding is enough to support 57 jobs which is a great opportunity, so let’s get to the detail.

Employee Eligibility

  • Participants must live in Scotland and have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • They must not be currently be engaged in employment, training or education.
  • They must be 25+, been out of work for 12 months of more, and be facing barriers to securing employment. This may be from a lack of relevant skills, background issues, confidence, transport, child care or other preventative issue.

Scheme Details

  • Start dates must be before 31 March 2022.  The first start can be 22 November 2021 (although considering that is next week, it is unlikely!!)
  • The jobs will be fixed term for 26 weeks no matter when they start between now and March.
  • Terms & Conditions will align with your organisation (including annual leave, sick pay, holiday pay, pension etc).
  • Jobs will be a maximum of 30 hours per week but can be flexible to meet the needs of the individual and organisation, i.e. term time, less hours for longer
  • Each opportunity will attract funding up to a maximum of £10,000 for the host organisation depending on the hours offered.
  • The funding will vary against number of hours/weeks/additional costs associated with delivery/support offered
  • The funding supports certificated training and there is an expectation that all participants will undertake a certificated training course prior to or during the job placement. The Employment and Training Unit can support with this as required.
  • Funding will be provided monthly by Falkirk Council. The official system is for organisations to pay the wages in the first instance and then reclaim in full from Falkirk Council.  However, I know this will be an issue for many organisations so, if payment in arrears is going to be barrier please speak to the team at the Employment and Training Unit who have promised to find a way to make this work.
  • Jobs must be supported by a nominated staff member (mentor) who, in turn, will be supported by a named contact from the Employment and Training Unit.
  • Individual organisations will be responsible for induction and day-to-day management of the participant.
  • Progress will be reviewed regularly with participant and mentor and can be stopped if not working out for either party.
  • Where the placement is successful, additional funding may be available after the 26-week period.  Your named contact at the Employment and Training Unit will help you to investigate this.

Request to organisations

  • Can you identify any opportunities where an additional member of staff would be of benefit within your organisation?
  • These may be entry level positions or something more substantial.
  • Do you know anyone who meets the eligibility criteria who would be interested?

Jobs will be allocated on a first come first served basis so while there’s no immediate rush, also don’t hang about. And if you don’t think you’ll be able to host a placement until later in the scheme, even 31 March, you are still encouraged to apply now, stating your requirements for a start date.

If you can create an opportunity, please contact EmployerEngagement@falkirk.gov.uk at your earliest convenience. If you need any support to consider your options or to apply, then please contact me in the usual way (see below) and I’ll help you through the process.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get an employee with your organisation, fully funded, to help you to grow and support more people in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area. Let’s see how many of these jobs we can bring in.

Until next time…

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