Month: January 2015

Are You A Green Dog Walker?

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Aberdeenshire Council has recently signed up to the award winning Green Dog Walking Scheme.

Green Dog Walkers (GDW) is a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. Volunteers wear GDW merchandise (or their dogs wear the green GDW collar) to show they have “taken the pledge” to always:

  • Clean up after their dog
  • Carry extra dog waste bags
  • Be happy to be approached to ‘lend’ a dog waste bag to those without
  • Be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dog

Community councils work hand-in-hand with local groups to provide the “on the ground” work to sign up pledgers and the council provides the funding for the start-up merchandise and pledge brochures.  It is the community volunteers who do the groundwork of signing on pledgers, running booths at local galas and other events.

Aberdeenshire Council will provide a Green Dog Walkers Tool Kit to each community organisation which becomes an official GDW group. The tool kit will include a supply of pledge brochures, dog collars, green doggy bags, posters, lanyards and other items.


What to do next…

Contact Gillian Abel, Dog Warden – South, on 01569 768224 or by email at: for more information on how to get started!

A New Year and a New Voice for the Third Sector!

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Let’s hear from David Rodger, Chief Executive, Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action about his hopes for the New Year and the future for the newly formed AVA.

“Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA), was officially formed on 1st December 2014 following the merger of CVSA, Bridge CVS and Volunteer Centre Aberdeenshire. We are committed to building on the strong foundations laid down by the three merging organisations, but, as the new single Third Sector Interface (TSI) there is a lot of work aheaAVAd in shaping this new organisation and establishing our distinct identity, culture and vision. A key part of this will be actively engaging and consulting with our stakeholders and partners, to better define what the TSI strategic priorities will be going forward, and ensuring that AVA is genuinely representative of the sector.

We are operating in challenging times and its evident there is a growing need for us all to balance increasing demands for our services and expertise, within the context of a contracting public finance pot.  No easy task, but in my experience this sector is resilient, with an outstanding track record in demonstrating adaptability, responsiveness and creative thinking when tested.  These characteristics will underpin the ethos of AVA and how we will work with, and support you, over the coming months and years.”

David is keen to meet with community representatives and organisations from across the Kincardine and Mearns area to discuss how AVA can work with you. If you’d like to arrange a discussion please contact David at

STAYING IN SHAPE Action Research in the Community

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23 JAN 2015
9.30 – 4.00
The Park Cafe, Hazelhead Park,
Hazelhead Avenue, Aberdeen
AB15 8BJ

This all-day event – to be held on the 23rd January 2015 in Aberdeen – focuses on the idea of “staying in shape” as it applies to workers in the community and the work that we do. There are 3 objectives for the day: (1) explore how creativity can help us deal with the challenges of action research and how to nurture relationships; (2) to provide an opportunity to identify creative connections in action research; and (3) to explore how we can keep ourselves and our approach to action research in good, or better still great, shape.

A chance to:

• consider creativity in research, with Alison Urie of vox liminis (;

• dedicate time to making new connections, sharing experiences and building ideas;

• explore our own wellbeing, with the tree of knowledge
( in a fun, interactive and memorable way.

Please advise Karen McArdle if you intend to come along. Email: or Tel: 01224 274654



Simply the best, better than all the rest?

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Do you know of a charity that has had a record breaking year over the last 12 months. Has your organisation stepped up a gear? Have you reached significant goals, celebrated outstanding achievements and taken an innovative approach? If so this award might interest you.

The Charity of the Year award recognises achievement in every area of the organisation and the focus of the entry should be on activities carried out within the entry period, 1 Jan 2014 to 31 March 2015. However, the judging panel will take into consideration work leading up to this period.

You don’t need to be a national charity to apply. Think you fit the bill or know of a charity which does?

To apply log onto;


Does life begin at the end of your comfort zone?

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Peter Drucker famously said “What gets measured, gets managed”. What if you could measure your comfort zone? Would this encourage more people to face their challenges and live more exciting lives?

Comfort Zone 3

K & M Public Health Coordinator Fiona Murray knows only too well the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone.Volunteering with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), she has just returned from spending time working with the South Sudan County Health Department,  supporting them to deliver important health initiatives, aiming to protect the local communities against avoidable health problems.

Kili SummitSo what inspired Fiona to push herself out of her comfort zone and scale the dizzy heights of Mount Kilimanjaro? Why does Fiona do it?

“What I love about a challenge is the sense of purpose it gives me and the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone. I would rather say I had tried something but it wasn’t for me than I have never tried it at all. With each challenge I always learn something new whether it is something about myself or a new skill so I always finish the challenge with a positive even if I don’t quite succeed. It’s a win win!!”

How far you want to push your boundaries is totally up to you, and will probably differ depending on what else is going on in your life. So, why not give something new a go… you never know it might be the start of your new life.

Comfort zone 1

Eat Better Feel Better

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Eaten too much over the Festive period? You’re not alone! heart

The Eat Better Feel Better campaign is a Scottish Government initiative aiming to inspire and support parents and families to make healthy changes to how they shop, cook and eat, with the further aim of improving their health.

There will be a range of activities to support; ensuring communities are engaged from directing people to local cooking classes, a nutrition event or helping people find the best value local food. To support the Scottish Government with their campaign they are looking for information on: details of local initiatives and support aimed at helping families to eat better; case studies of Mums or families who have made / are making changes to their diet; spokespeople who are willing to provide some tips, advice and real-life experiences.

Think you could contribute, let us know.   apple

We’ll let you know what’s on in the local area, check back with k & M Communities for the latest news.

Join The Resolution

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K and M Communities support the Children’s 1st Join The Resolution campaign. Please read on to find out how you to can add your support.

What will your New Year’s resolution be? Often resolutions are about self improvement:- from getting fitter to changing career or lifestyle. But in this season of giving, what better resolution could you make than one to put CHILDREN 1ST in 2015?

At CHILDREN 1ST our New Year’s resolution is to make the best possible difference to children’s lives.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, actors James Cosmo and Elaine C. Smith and singer Clare Grogan are just some of the well known faces who’ve made resolutions to help ensure every child in Scotland can enjoy a happy, healthy, safe and secure childhood.

They’ve Joined the Resolution – will you?

You can help!
Join with Children’s 1st in making and sharing a New Year’s resolution to put CHILDREN 1ST and we’ll help you to keep it. You can join as a group, or as an individual.

Visit our website to make a resolution, or make your own and share it on social media using the hashtag: #puttingCHILDREN1ST  Children 1st


Stuck for inspiration?
Read what children, young people and families said were their wishes for Scotland’s children.

Take our quiz to find out what children’s toy – and which resolution – suits you!  Children 2nd


New Year’s Resolutions

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The coming of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your life, and decide whether it’s going where you want it to go. Chances are, you have room for improvement. (We all do) But how do you make  it happen? resolutions1

  •   Write your new year resolutions down

 Make a list of all the things you want, then ask yourself “Do I Really Want this?”

  •  Read your resolutions twice a day

 Read them when you wake and again before you go to sleep, you can add new ones throughout the year

  • Read your resolutions out loud!

Reading aloud impresses it more deeply in your mind

  • Visualize achieving your resolutions as you read

The more detailed you can visualise, the better they work

  • Make your resolutions positive

Positive resolutions work

  • Make them about you only

You can’t resolve for other people, much as you may want to.

  • Make them detailed

Like visualisations, the more detailed the easier they are achieved.

There is one more step…. Do it now, procrastination is the enemy….

 Write them now!   resolutions