Successful Projects

Girlguiding Berwickshire

Year Completed: 
2018

I applied to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for a grant towards a residential training week-end (w/e) for Guiders from Berwickshire.The application was handled by your committee who kindly donated the sum of £1000. This is an outline of how we used the generous donation for which all attendees expressed their gratitude.

As with all such arrangements, the numbers wishing/intending to attend fluctuated until very near the date itself. This in spite of the arrangement whereby deposits were forfeited for non-attendance but refunded to those who did attend. But finally twenty Guiders from the county took part in an interesting and stimulating w/e in which the new programme for Guiding across all sections was introduced and explained.

A copy of the “fees sheet” is included which shows the attendees’ charges for the w/e. These were slightly higher than I had anticipated but this was offset by us not having to pay a separate fee for the outdoor activities as these were supervised by the trainers to demonstrate the “out of doors” elements of the programme. However my estimate for travel costs was not far off the mark!

I also include a copy of the  “Guidance Notes” on the new programme which may help you to understand how we run our organisation and also the teaching timetable that shows we were kept pretty busy.

I hope you feel the grant you awarded the county was well used and in accordance with your ideals for community wellbeing. The leaders all seemed to enjoy themselves and left feeling less apprehensive about the changes and consequent work involved to implement the new programme.

Once again I thank you for your interest in our organisation and generous award.

Jean MacNab
County Administrator

Re-Tweed

Year Completed: 
2018

Funds Received - £3,500.00

Re-Tweed received £3,500 in June 2018 towards the cost for a Volunteer Support Worker.  Funding was matched with impact funding.  Since receiving the funding 18 volunteers were involved, most of whom are graduates from Re-Tweeds Level 1 training course.  3 out 18 where not former students.  Volunteers come from a wide range of women from different backgrounds, some with complex health issues or others wanting to return to work.

 

In 3 years Re-Tweed have gone from having 1 member of staff to having 8 members of staff, all local, 4 of whom were former students.  All volunteers get personal development training and are told that ReTweed is not a final destination and are encouraged to continuously move forward.  Training included first aid, health & safety, customer service, business gateway training.  We also held a volunteer development session to sit down and discuss what has worked and what has not worked and how do we improve it.  Most important was the sense of achievement the individual women felt and the impact that this also has on each family and the wider community.  2 volunteers have gone on to set up their own businesses and 5 more are in the process of setting up their own businesses.  ReTweed are providing wrap around support. 

 

Trading income from the items that are made continues to increase.  £2k in 1st year which raised to £6k in 3rd year.  Profits from trading being channelled into supporting the new businesses being set up.  We have a shop is based in Eyemouth and products also being sold around the area and as cultural exchange gifts.  We also hope to raise the trading income above the funding income.  Constantly evaluating our environmental, social, business objectives.

 

Business model has been sold to Dumfries & Galloway Council and Langholm Initiative. Highlands and Islands also looking for ReTweed to deliver the model to them.  We are also in talks with Scottish Prison Service and Remade Network and online sales are being developed.  The funding received from BWCF and other local windfarm funds inspires other larger funders to also support.

 

Thank you for believing in us.

Verbal report received a our AGM in August 2019

The Learning Space

Year Completed: 
2018

Funds Received - £2,718.00

In September 2018 The Learning Space received £2,718.00 to renovate the scotch ovens at their premises in Gavinton.  The Learning Space work with local young people with learning barriers.  Funding was put towards reinstating the old ovens that had not been used for a near 50 years.  Local trades men quoted to do the work, with Craftec selected to make new doors for the ovens.  Local builder, Border Build & Renovation, had family connections and helped to reinstate the chimney and repair slates etc.

Now being fired up, by the young people, to dry out, this takes time and needs to be done slowly.  Looking to use gas burners to make it quicker to heat up.  As far as possible all ingredients for the bread etc are sourced locally.  New baking project in the pipeline with ideas to make it a more commercial social enterprise project.

Verbal report received at our AGM in August 2019

 

 

Outside The Box

Year Completed: 
2018

Funds received - £2,965.00

In December 2018 Outside The Box received funding to run 3 Nourish and Natter Sessions.  These sessions where designed to target people on the fringes and to try to improve their wellbeing.  Sessions where arranged for older people to meet and taster sessions where provided in different areas that they had shown an interest in i.e. cycling, seated movement.

The funding received allowed us to pay trainers and the hope is that those who attended will look to continue with these activities.  The connection with the different trainers has facilited other sessions throughout the area.

Verbal report received at out AGM in August 2019

 

Borders Youth Theatre

Year Completed: 
2018

I Still Mind O' That  

Duns Primary School Autumn Term 2018/19 Final Report

Overview
The Intergenerational Projects which Borders Youth Theatre began a number of years continue to develop.  The Projects bring together younger and older members of communities to meet and talk, share experiences and compare their lives.  The projects also help to break down uncertainties and suspicions which often exist between the generations, especially among older residents who have little contact with young people.   
 
We all live nowadays in a rapidly changing world.  The past 50 years or so, have seen enormous changes to the way we live our lives.  Things which were unthinkable even a few years ago are now commonplace.  It is not surprising that young people are often unaware of how different all aspects of life were.  Even where young people have regular contact with older relatives and neighbours, the past if rarely talked about.

The Duns 2018 Project
We have worked with Duns Primary School twice in the past.  The whole philosophy of the school fits well with our aims. Given the wonderful refurbishment and move to a new site which has recently taken place, we were especially keen to become involved.   
 
Although there are common themes within the projects, each is different.  It would be very easy to settle into a simple reconstruction.  It is important that projects are tailored to the specific needs of the school and the community.  Despite a short preparation forced by commitments on other projects, we were able to have quite detailed discussions with the Headteacher and staff and the project was adapted to address a range of Expectations and Outcomes in Literacy and Expressive Arts.

There were two other key considerations.
Firstly, we needed to identify the appropriate group of pupils.  The decision was to involve all Primary 5 pupils, some from the full P5 class and the remainder from a P4/5 mixed class.  This proved very successful.  The group worked very well together and, importantly, all of the Primary 5 pupils were able to work as one group.
 
The second consideration which had to be made was in the delivery of the project.  Duns is a large school and we had a total of around 40 young people.  In the past, we have tried to run two-part projects simultaneously to allow best access to the older group.  In this case, we changed the method quite radically.  The school is a busy place with any activities running simultaneously which meant that we actually moved activities around.  Although the small group question and answer sessions between young and old are still key, we also organised more ‘whole group’ activities and a recap session at the end of each day.  In this way, much more information was shared and, crucially, the whole group got to know one another. 

Process
Following discussions through August 2018, we met with pupils and staff in early September for two early sessions of drama and preparation. On week three, we were joined by some of the older group.  One of the key parts of these projects is to identify and involve sufficient older members of the community, not only to ensure a wide range of experiences, but also to ensure that everyone has a chance, young and old, to be involved.  It often takes a little time for word to get around and this was the case here.  However, the numbers grew quickly and by the end, we had involved a dozen members from the community, most coming regularly.  Two of the older group are residents at Boston Court and took part in the first Duns project a number of years ago.  One of the BYT staff collected and dropped them off each week. The whole group totally understood what was expected and were a joy to work with.  As usual, although the joint sessions were scheduled to last an hour, most lasted up to 90 minutes.

As described, above, we were keen to address a range of writing and recording skills with the young people.  This is not an easy task for them but with simplified materials, the P5s did an excellent job.  A record of the interviews was made by the young people and the collated responses were used by them as a secondary source from which they selected material to be used in drama work.  Some of the work was re-inforced by small ‘homework’ tasks, including using the dedicated website.
 
There was generally a different focus each week, looking at life 50 or 60 years ago – school life, home, entertainment etc which allowed questions and other materials to be prepared.
 
The final sessions were with the young people only.  With the help of the two leaders from Borders Youth Theatre, the young people tried to re-create some of these memories about which they had heard.  They developed short sketches showing aspects of life in school and at home as it might have been in 1958, 60 years ago.  These were then brought together and the result was an original piece of theatre which was performed at the School Hall to the older group, the rest of the school, and a group of between 40 parents/carers.  The performance was a mix of ensemble work and sketches showing the contract between life ‘then and now’.  It was great fun and was well received by all.

What better?
Thanks to the willingness of everyone at the school to make things work, organisation, though tricky, worked well.  BYT staff had a couple of availability issues which slightly limited the input to the final drama session.   When we are creating the drama, we try to be as flexible with the young people as possible and allow them as much freedom to develop and perform as we can.  The comment was made that, since we are the ‘experts’, there is a good argument for being more ‘directive’ in ‘teaching’ the drama process.  This is reasonable and something we will consider in the future.
 
A couple of projects ago, the suggestion was made that we set up a dedicated website for the Intergenerational Projects which would allow parents, friends and relatives to access information and contribute.  The website runs well and we have had some good input.  However, despite that fact that we assume young people (and many older) spend their lives glued to the internet, the website is underused.  We feel there is certainly something which can developed and we will be reviewing this.

What now?
As always, although the performance is an important part of the project which everyone can see, it is not the only aim.  More important are the links which have been made between older and younger generations, the sharing of information and experiences and the breaking down of some of the barriers and misconceptions which sometimes exist.   The young people have learned to gather then select and share information and to work with others to develop ways to portray this information.  They have learned drama skills and to work as a whole group to prepare something they can perform to a wider audience.  It is hoped the young people have also learned something of what their life might have been like 50 or more years ago and appreciate that older people have led interesting lives and are still interesting people.
 
As stated earlier, the older folk enjoyed meeting the young people and sharing their memories and experiences.  It is important that their experiences are validated and they understand that they still have an important contribution to make.  They also realise that although life now is very different to that of 50 or 60 years ago, young people are much the same.  

As with all BYT projects, we collected written and verbal feedback from everyone concerned and will use this to help influence our future work.  Some of the comments can be found at the end of this report.
 
As noted above, the whole philosophy of Duns Primary School fits with the project.  The head teacher is particularly interested in harnessing all the resources available from within the community, expecially some of the older rsidents who have a huge range of skills and exoperiences and so much to offer.  During a couple of the group session, she and her Depute had discussions with some of the older group to try to identify those who might be willing to contribute in some way within the school activities.  There was definite enthusiasm.  From experience, we know how difficult it is to see this through to practice.  However, the head teacher is both determined and focused and I’m sure that what she wishes will develop in some form.  That would be a perfect legacy for our project and we wish them well in that.  We will, of course, we happy to support in any way we can.
 
This project was possible because of part funding received from Blackhill Community Fund, operating through Foundation Scotland.
 
More information about BYT’s Intergenerational Projects can be found at www.byt.davidjbisset.co.uk or from David J Bisset or Oli Bisset at bytborders@gmail.com  For information about other BYT activities, visit www.bordersyouth theatre.co.uk