camelon, community, gardening, growing, Our Place, Support, tamfourhill

Community Growing Update

Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 13 May 2021

For this week’s blog, I’d like to take the opportunity to bring you an update on our Community Growing group with some of the activity that has been happening, and what’s ahead – including (as you would expect) how you can get involved.

Community Tool Sheds
Earlier this year, we were successful in securing funding from the Community Climate Action Fund to purchase and equip 2 community tool sheds. We have now put one of these into place at Tamfourhill Community Hub, and the other will be going into a location in the Camelon area shortly. A couple of volunteers helped build the first shed – complete with around 200 tiny screws and washers, and although there’s a bit of internal work to do and a few tools on back order, this is now operational. Here’s some pictures of the shed and if you need access for anything, please get in touch for the padlock code. Also, if anyone has some chipboard or equivalent that would cover the floor area (900mm x 2100mm), I would love to hear from you. Contact details are below.

Tamfourhill Community Hub
Some growing activity has begun in raised beds outside Tamfourhill Community Hub, and they’ve also got a potting shed and greenhouse in place now. Donations of veg plants have been received and planted, plus various plans are being made. There are a few volunteers involved already but there is always room for more. They are having a growing session for adults on Wednesday 19 May from 10am to 12pm. They have various thoughts and will be looking at many different options. Obviously restrictions apply, so if you would like to go along then please email Thillcentre@live.co.uk

Forth Valley Sensory Centre Kitchen Garden
One of the Community Growing Group volunteers – Nicholla – has been putting in a power of work sorting out the various raised beds in the Kitchen Garden at this fantastic local resource. She has worked with groups from Windsor Park and Carmuirs Primary and they, together with the team at the Sensory Centre, are immensely grateful for the support from Nicholla and the wider OPCT team. This is the beginning of a fantastic partnership.  We’ve been able to supply compost, plus thanks to the generous help of the a local Garden Centre (who have waived any publicity), we also supplied some seed potatoes.  We look forward to tasting the fruits of their labours in the Centre’s café in due course!

Brown Street Park
Following suggestions from some residents, we conducted a consultation of 175 properties in the area surrounding Brown Street Park to see what the feelings where about developing this long abandoned space into a community growing space. We’ve had some really positive feedback (87% of responses) but also a few negative comments, so we will be making further investigations about what could be done here. To help with this, on Friday 21 May there will be a bit of activity in the Park. We will be hosting the first of 4 “Veg Your Ledge” workshops with Forth Environment Link at 11am – spaces are limited so get in quick! While that’s happening, there will be a litter pick to tidy up the park and myself and my colleague John Hosie (Community Safety) will be on hand to chat to people about their concerns and suggestions for the park and the surrounding area, plus we’ll have some specific information and resources for dog owners. All being well, our Community Police officers will be with us as well. Come along – we might even have biscuits!

Veg Your Ledge Workshops
As mentioned in the previous section, we’re hosting some Veg Your Ledge workshops with Forth Environment Link. Spaces are filling up but there’s still some available, so head to the booking page to get yourself checked in.

Joining the Group
If you’d like to get involved with Community Growing in Camelon and Tamfourhill, why not join our group. We plan to make this a formal group very soon so will need to form a small management committee that will then be able to go after funding for growing projects. However, don’t let that put you off joining as I’ll be providing full support and if all you want to do is grow stuff, then that is absolutely fine! If you’re interested, please complete this survey to log your details onto the group system and I’ll be in touch.

All of this is a key part of the new Community Safety Strategy that John has pulled together with your input, and forms an important part of the #tidycleangreen campaign as well. We have big ideas for what could happen including some more links with other local organisations, and would love as many people to be involved in this as possible – at whatever level you wish to be. Who knows – Camelon and Tamfourhill in Bloom could be a thing again!

Until next time…

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

camelon, community, Our Place, tamfourhill

Friday Feature – One Year of OPCT

On Monday evening we celebrated (as best we could on Zoom) the first anniversary of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill. It’s been a strange year to say the least but there was plenty to celebrate and look ahead to as well. So today, we wanted to just share some of the highlights from the evening which began with a recap from Lynne Boslem of Tamfourhill Community Hub on how OPCT came to be. Then Dan and John took over to give a review of their highlights from the year. You can watch their presentation here:

John then went on to launch his Community Safety Strategy. You can watch his presentation and read the strategy for yourself at www.opcamelontamfourhill.co.uk/safetystrategy.

Dan then launched our impaCT 1 to 1 Coaching Programme. Again, you can watch his presentation and learn more about how coaching can help you or someone in your group/organisation/circle of friends at www.opcamelontamfourhill.co.uk/coaching1to1.

We then heard from local author Kev McPhee about how his writing has helped him through lockdown and how he wants to encourage people especially facing a life caught in addiction that there is hope and a better way to live with the right support. Watch this space for more on how OPCT will be assisting with this.

Our next speaker was Kevin Harrison of Artlink Scotland (Camelon Arts host) who spoke about the Our Connected Neighbourhoods local pilot to make Camelon and Tamfourhill a dementia friendly neighbourhood. Message us for more information on that.

Finally, we had some questions and comments from the gathered crowd including a word of thanks from Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn.

It was great to celebrate but next year will be even better as, all being well, we can be in a room together with actual cake! Thank you to all who have supported, engaged, encouraged etc over the last year. Here’s to so much more in the next 12 months.

Dan Rous and John Hosie
Community Coach and Community Safety Engager
communitycoach@tamfourhilltro.co.uk and communitysafetyengager@tamfourhilltro.co.uk

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

Friday Feature – Let’s Celebrate

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

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

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

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

So please join us if you can. The link to register is https://opctgathering2021.eventbrite.co.uk

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: https://tinyurl.com/ycbes5qw and at our website: www.camelontamfourhill.co.uk/safety

KEEP CAMELON AND TAMFOURHILL TIDY CLEAN AND GREEN

camelon, community, Our Place, safety, tamfourhill

Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill clean, tidy, and green:

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

You can find a summary of the survey responses at www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SM-DGDS9QRD/

This summary focuses on two of the themes and has been collated at the 6 July 2020. Please remember that in order to be entered into the prize draw to win a Tablet you must have completed a survey by the 7 August. You can find the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/7T2DVL8

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

Keep Scotland Beautiful:  Clean up Scotland Campaign

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

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

Larger group actions:

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

If you would like to register your Clean Up event, please visit: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/register

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

Community Safety Strategy

Identifying Local Community Safety Priorities.

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

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

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

Key Messages from Stakeholders:

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

Interesting Data from the Survey Responses so far:

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

You can view a summary of the current survey data here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SM-DGDS9QRD/

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

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

Preparing for life after lockdown

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of SportScotland

camelon, community, safety, tamfourhill

Community Safety Survey

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

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

https://tinyurl.com/ycbes5qw

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

Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill begins next stage of support

“Our Place” was a place-based initiative from the Big Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Community Fund) that aimed to build stronger connections and relationships in communities, empowering local people and organisations to bring about positive and lasting changes in their neighbourhood.  The Camelon/Tamfourhill area of Falkirk was one of 7 areas in Scotland and the community has been working together on this vision since 2014.  Various projects were developed, funded and delivered through the scheme with £1.2m being distributed locally. 

The final successful application was for the Kemlin Kin project, established to support the community to create a legacy for the work that had taken place.  The project aimed to engage two development workers to lead two separate but linked workstreams, one around capacity-building to ensure that community groups in Camelon and Tamfourhill continue to flourish past the end of the Our Place programme, and one around the theme of Community Safety, which has been repeatedly highlighted as a local priority.

These two workers have now commenced in post with John Hosie taking on the role of Community Safety Engager and Dan Rous becoming the Community Coach.  They are employed and managed by Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation and the organisation will work closely with a  steering group made up of local people and organisations to enhance community empowerment and ensure local people have a voice within the local area.

Quote from John

My Post will ensure that Community Safety is put firmly onto the local agenda and my overarching aim will be to support the development of a community led strategy. The intended outcomes will be to achieve a community that feels safe, keeps safe and one which builds mutual respect and greater community cohesion.  The initial phase of this project will be concerned with highlighting and promoting both myself and my remit and to engage with  an active listening exercise, where the local community will be supported and encouraged to share their experiences and  views  about Community Safety.   Priorities require to be identified and agreed, which are relevant and appropriate to all interests within the community. This approach will necessitate implementing a multi-faceted approach and a consultation process that is inclusive and dynamic.

Quote from Dan

My post will ensure that people working with or for the communities of Camelon and Tamfourhill can be supported, developed and encouraged to make them stronger and resilient for the future.  I will be providing training and support for things that will help them in their roles, including how and where to access funding, operational issues, property matters, marketing, development and much more.  It’s an interesting time to start a new role but I will be using this time of lockdown to collate peoples needs and develop a programme of support that will be both individual and collective.  Through this project we aim to ensure that all local support will continue and grow in the future as well as encouraging new activities to take place as well.  This is a great area with so much potential and I am eager to do my part to harness and develop the potential within.

Quote from Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation

The Tamfourhill tenants and residents are delighted to be managing this project within our local area. The project was a long time in the development with a number of hurdles to overcome before the project could get off the ground. We are excited to be in the next steps of the project and look forward to the final piece of the  jigsaw which is to provide a capacity building support project within the area that will support local people to have more of a say in the delivery of future project activity and empower local people to be active in community safety projects.

Press Release Notes

  • Tamfourhill Tenants and Residents Organisation is a Scottish Registered Charity SC049783.  They are a group of local people who work together to represent the views of all tenants and homeowners within the area and help make the are they live in a better place.  They work in partnership with other community and statutory organisations to help create positive change within the local area.

More information is available from Shona Craig/Lynne Boslem at  ttra@live.co.uk

His background has been in detached youth work and community development work and he has been involved with supporting a wide array of local community-based Projects and initiatives.  The essential features have been to facilitate local ownership and empowerment and to ensure these projects have been developed in accordance with local people’s aspirations and vision.  John is new to this area and arrives with an open mind, a blank canvas, and an enthusiasm to have a positive and effective impact upon the local community.

His background is in Social Enterprise and Community Development and he specialises in developing projects that enable people and communities to be developed.  He has worked with numerous projects across Scotland for the last 17 years and has gathered a wide range of support and contacts to bring to the area to help people reach their potential.  Dan lives in the area but knows he still has much to find out about everything that is happening so that collectively the area can be made even better than it is.