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March 2021

Green Shoots

Our countryside and gardens are wakening up from their Winter sleep and starting to show off their beauty. The longer nights and the lockdown restrictions were a real challenge for many but seeing lighter mornings and feeling some warmth in the sun is a sign that our gardens, parks, countryside in general are about to burst into life. It is well known that getting outside into nature can really help boost our mood and, taking cognisance of covid restrictions, we have so many great places in Kincardine and Mearns to visit. Getting out into the garden and ‘pottering’ or just sitting and enjoying nature’s sounds can really help our mental health. So, in this bulletin we look at how we can get the best from our countryside and learn new things along the way, gardening tips and general wellbeing news to help us enjoy the ‘green shoots’ of recovery.

Click on the link below to find out all the great things on offer from services and our partners in K & M helping to keep us well.

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #20

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance. Click on the link to access the full bulletin.


This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, local health and wellbeing providers, community news, support and advice.

This month hot topics include Scottish Government Updates the Framework Leading Out of Lockdown and what changes in services and support currently are in place.

Live Life Aberdeenshire

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If you were inspired by the Food week activities earlier this month, we’ve plenty in our Live Life Aberdeenshire Digital Library cupboard to keep you creative in the kitchen.

We’ve close to 200 foodie e-books covering weight loss, mug meals, international cuisines, vegan recipes, baking, bread, slow cookers and more.  The celebrity chefs are represented – Jay Rayner, Jamie Oliver, Nick Nairn, Marcus Wareing… even Joe Wicks wades in with “Wean in 15”.  There are also plenty of books for cooking with kids.  Our RB Digital magazine library has the latest issues of BBC Good Food, Food Network magazine and Australian Women’s Weekly Food free to download and read plus back issues of dozens of food and nutrition titles.

Sure, we can get recipes off the net.  Who doesn’t?  At least with these published ones, you know they’ve been rigorously tested and the nutrition notes are accurate.  They’re also good fun to browse 😋

While you’re cooking, pop on one of the playlists from Freegal, our free music streaming service. “What’s Cooking? a culinary playlist” includes Green Onions (Booker T. & The MG’s) and Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen).  Can you guess which Weird Al Yankovich track is also on there?

If you’re not a library member yet, join the library online for immediate access.  If you want some help with your existing membership or with the technology, there’s a Live Life Aberdeenshire helpline that’s currently open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm.  Phone 01467 532929.

For more info visit https://aberdeenshirelibraries.overdrive.com/search?subject=111&subject=14&sortBy=newlyadded

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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In this final week of ‘K&M – Dae Ye Ken?’, delivered by Home Energy Scotland, we REALLY do have something for everyone.  Find out how you can save fuel, reduce your bills and cut your carbon footprint – what’s not to like?

So if it’s reducing water and food waste, making your home warmer and more energy efficient or just how to use your heating effectively this is a week you will not want to miss.

See you online!  

Monday 8 February 12 – 1.00pm     HOME ENERGY SCOTLAND  Energy Efficiency at Home workshop

Do you know how much you can save by turning your central heating down by 1 degree?

Take advantage of our free energy efficiency training to help you:

  • Save money on your energy bills
  • Be warmer and cosier at home
  • Adopt new habits and be more efficient
  • Become an energy efficiency champion
  • Play your part in creating a greener, healthier Scotland


K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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A couple of weeks ago we heard from the employability service about the support they can give to folks in K & M. Read on to find out what Live Life Aberdeenshire Library Service can help with in employability.

We’ve free resources in our Live Life Aberdeenshire Digital Library to help with employment, including ebooks on getting the job you want, how to succeed at interviews, and how to create a digital portfolio.  There’s an eaudiobook on procrastination that you really should listen to today 😉  Search Overdrive for “careers” or “interview” or browse the subject “business”.  Our free music streaming service, Freegal, also has a couple of albums of affirmations you could try so you can use your words to create your world.

All our digital resources are free to borrow, download and read.  If you’re not a library member already, join online today or telephone 01467 532929 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm for help.

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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Today, Food Learning Challenges!

Learning Activities

We found the best way to learn about food is to present activities in a fun, interesting way which
involves the family members. They worked together on challenges. Here are some examples of
activities that work well in a family learning setting.

Challenge 1; Ready, Steady Cook
You have been given a bag of ingredients.
Your challenge is to cook a meal.
You can use these ingredients, plus
You can spend up a maximum of £2.
We look forward to hearing about what you will make! Take a photo. was it tasty? What would
make it better?

Challenge 2; Meal Planning
Make a meal plan

Use the magazines and recipe books to come up with a meal plan for the week. Do you have
favourite meals you can include? Do you have the same meals on certain days of the week?

Challenge 3; My favourite meal

Draw a picture of your favourite meal on the paper plate.

Challenge 4; Food Map
Make a food map of the world. Where does our food come from? What kind of food do you get
from where?

Challenge 5; Food Scrabble

Make as many words as you can from;
Macaroni Cheese

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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National Story Telling WeekFAMILYFOOD ART

January 30 -February 6

National Storytelling Week has been steadily growing each year!

Where ever the events take place, the web of stories will be spun with sufficient magic between the breath of the teller and the ear of the listener. Celebrated in many ways by all ages enjoying-Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea. A good teller will conjure intriguingly.

This year, National Story Week also looks at food art!

• Associating food with funny characters or interesting stories is a
great way to create food decoration for families and engage
children in food with enthusiasm.
• You can make stories up about the food, personalising the food
design on a plate. Anything unusual and creative can be a little
bit of fun.
• These amazingly creative and colourful food decoration ideas
turn food for kids into food art that tells a story and fascinates
children and engages, creativity and inspiring food decoration

Fancy giving Food Art a go?? Here’s a few ideas to start with…

To find out more visit the Website –https://www.sfs.org.uk/national-storytelling-week/resources

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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Food Banks, Food Larders and Pantries. What are they and what’s the difference?

Food Banks in K&M
 Food Banks can be seen as a more traditional method of supplying emergency food to those
that need it.
 Food banks usually operate on a referral basis. Each food bank works with different frontline
professionals, like doctors, health visitors, social workers, and Citizens Advice. These
professionals will be able to refer you to a food bank and give you a food bank voucher if
they think you need emergency food
 Food Banks will normally ask for basic information in order to find the best support for your
need. They traditionally supply a food parcel though delivery.
 Aberdeenshire South Foodbank covers K&M and some of Marr , you could get emergency
boxes for your office. Their contact details are – aberdeenshiresouth.foodbank.org.uk.
There also two very well run food banks based in Stonehaven ran by religious organisations,
Far & Wide and The Catalyst Church (Storehouse)

Portlethen Toiletries

Food Banks – Where does the food come from? And what is in a Parcel?
 Non-perishable, in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as
schools, churches, and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted
into emergency food parcels by more than 28,000 volunteers, to be given to people in
 What’s in Food Parcels? Typical food parcel includes items such as: Cereal, Soup, Pasta,
Rice, Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce, Lentils, beans and pulses, Tinned meat, Tinned
vegetables, Tea/coffee, Tinned fruit, Biscuits, UHT milk, Fruit juice – there may be non food
items as well such as Toiletries, Household items, Feminine products, Baby supplies nappies,
and Face masks and hand sanitiser.

Food Larders in K&M
 Food Larder operate supply food to our communities. Community Food Larders function
differently to a foodbanks, as they are usually open at certain times during the week and
are open to all.
 No referral is required while using a food larder, and they also do not require details to
access them.
 Visitors to the larder have the ability to choose items which they require
 There are currently Food Larders in Kincardine and Mearns include, Auchenblae,
Fettercarin, Laurencekirk (Academy and the Venue), Luthermuir, Inverbervie,
Stonehaven (The Haven), Portlethen and Johnshaven

Food Larders in K&M: Where does the Food come from? What could I find?
 Larder can be supplies food from a various range of sources, this can be though
donations which are handed into the larder,
 It can be through local businesses that have food which are near their shelf life such as
the Co-op – https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/food-and-drink/2442754/how-community-larders-teamedup-with-the-co-op-to-save-food-for-families-who-really-need-it/
 Some local farms that supply food at a lower cost.
 Fareshare Grampian operated by Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)
supports the local larders with deliveries of food to Portlethen, Stonehaven and the
Mearns individually.
 Larders also use their own fund to supply food or ‘top up’ what can’t be accessed from
the above
 Larders have a wide range of items, which include many of those that could be found
in food parcel.

Food Pantries
 Currently there are no food Pantries located in across Kincardine and Mearns,
however it is something that hasn’t been thought about.
 A community pantry can be seen as membership programme or club that
enables visitors a range of benefits including low cost food. Costs for Pantries
can be around £5-10 registration per year plus £2-7 per visit for members.
 Food Pantries tend to have the same methods in acquiring food as a food
larder and support the eco process of reducing food waste.
 Anyone can join a food pantry and there is usually not a referral system.
 Food Pantries are usually only available to those that live in the radius of the
 CFINE (Community Food Initiatives North East) launched the first pantry of its
kind in Scotland, which gave users the chance to pick their own items from the
shelves in Woodside Aberdeen.

To find out more click on the link

‘K&M – Dae Ye Ken’

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Week 4 – ‘Food’

This week we talk all about food. How with partners we aim to help those in need alongside food facts, food art, food health, food challenges and food fun!

The last year has seen significant challenges for our communities, one of which has been the increase of food larder and food bank provision across the area. Local food distribution has increased dramatically during the pandemic with volunteers coming together to help and support. If you have wondered what the differences are between the Food Banks and Food Larders are, we give you the facts.

Portlethen Larder

Fareshare UK has regularly been in the news during the pandemic being supported by the Scottish Government to try to make sure no family goes hungry. Fareshare Grampian support K&M and are primarily an Eco project. If you want to know more, please look at the link given.

Another major story that has come from the pandemic is home schooling and keeping our family entertained. This week coincides with National Story telling week and how we can use food to keep our spirits up!

If you’re looking for more challenges around the house, have a look at our food learning challenges and how these can be adapted for the whole family.

Finally, if you’re looking for facts about food, how to eat well and on a budget please see our Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership newsletter from Week 1 of ‘K&M – Dae Ye Ken?’, bursting with handy food tips!


Week 4 Programme

Day 1) Food Bank, Food Larder – What’s The Difference?

Day 2) National Story Week With Food Art

Day 3) What is Fareshare?

Day 4) Food Learning Challenges

Stay safe

– Graeme Hooper Community Learning and Development Worker Aberdeenshire

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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Following on from last week’s finance and benefits theme, read on to find out what Live Life Aberdeenshire Library Service can help with.

One way to save money is to look at how you can get free access to things that you are paying for just now… and if you are currently buying books, magazines, newspapers or music then the library is a great place to start.

One of our Live Life Aberdeenshire sport and physical activity colleagues was recently singing the praises of our library’s RB Digital e-magazines.  He’s a fan of sporty titles like Men’s Fitness (including their supplements like Build Rock Hard Abs), Runner’s World UK, Golf Monthly, and Match of the Day magazine.  “I’ve saved loads by cancelling my print subscriptions. Now I just download them every month, all free. It’s brilliant!”  You can enjoy the same benefits… and if you’re not a library member yet you can join online today.

Find out more about your digital library: https://livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/…/digital-landing-page/

From our Overdrive digital library, these e-books about finance are available now:

·       Low cost living by John Harrison

·       The Three most important lessons you’ve never been taught by Martin Lewis (moneysavingexpert.com)

·       The One-page financial plan: a simple way to be smart about your money by Carl Richards

From RB Digital & Press Reader, you can get free access to daily newspapers like The Press & Journal and e-magazines available to download now include Money Week: Britain’s best-selling financial magazine.

You have access to Freegal, Live Life Aberdeenshire’s music streaming service.  Stream any of over 10 million hit songs, including Sony Music’s catalogue of artists from Annie Lennox to Usher.

From our book collection, some of the titles that can be ordered when Click & Collect re-starts:

·       Mind over money: the psychology of money and how to use it better by Claudia Hammond

·       Money lessons: how to manage your finances to get the life you want by Lisa Conway-Hughes

·       Open up: the power of talking about money by Alex Holder

If you want to join online, click here or telephone 01467 532929 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm.

K & M – Dae Ye Ken?

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Partners in Kincardine and Mearns are working together to deliver the five-week ‘K&M – Dae Ye Ken?’ initiative.

Designed to help tackle not only some of the unique challenges which have surfaced in these challenging times, the initiative will also demonstrate how there can be health, financial and environmental benefits to many residents within the community.

The partnership – comprising Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Home Energy Scotland and Kincardine and Mearns Citizens’ Advice Bureau – know the Kincardine & Mearns area well and will be on hand to offer help and advice.

This week we consider employment with Aberdeenshire Council Employment Support Team.

The Employment Support Team is Aberdeenshire Council’s central point for employment support

We can assist anyone living in Aberdeenshire, who is actively seeking employment or looking to enter education or training to gain full-time or additional employment. We can offer practical assistance if you are returning to the work market after an absence such as redundancy, raising children or health issues or perhaps you are looking to retrain for a better job.

We offer one to one support from a trained Key Worker, who will assess where you are in the job market, where would you like to be, and help plan how we can help you get there.

The Employment Support Team will help you realise your potential by developing your personal plan with milestones to show your progress towards your employment goal.

Our Key Workers are skilled in pre-employment techniques to set you on the road to work readiness through building self-esteem and confidence. They can offer a variety of practical help including creating a professional CV, developing interview techniques, improving digital skills and support to find learning and training opportunities.

If you are interested in finding out more on what the Employment Support Team can offer you, please get in touch.

Call 01467 533058 or Email us on employmentsupportteam@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

K & M – Dae Ye Ken? The week ahead

Monday 25th January 2021

What support can Aberdeenshire Council’s Employment Support Team offer you?


Informative session of how individuals can access the service and what support they can expect to receive

Tuesday 26th January 2021

How to write a professional CV and effective job application forms


Information on writing CV’s, application forms and what employers are looking for when recruiting

Wednesday 27th January 2021

Undertaking effective job searches


Information on job searches using job websites and social media

Thursday 28th January 2021

How to prepare for a job interview


Preparing for a job interview, the different formats that interviews take, and dealing with tricky questions

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #19

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

Hot Topics!

Stay at Home – up-to-date information on the restrictions!
Please see links below (in the Guidance section) to the Scottish Government website information on recent changes.  Aberdeenshire Council’s coronavirus restrictions webpage is also very helpful in summarising the information.—

Vaccination Rollout
Covid-19 vaccinations have begun to be rolled out in Scotland focussing on priority groups initially.  Find out more in the Guidance Section below.

Support from Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub
The Hub has been supporting people since the first lockdown. The Hub’s website provides lots of useful information including sources of Mental Wellbeing Support.  The Hub contact no. is 0808 196 3384

Good News from K & M

Partners in Kincardine and Mearns are working together to deliver the five-week ‘K&M – Dae Ye Ken?’ initiative.

Click on the link to access the full bulletin and find out more about what’s going on in K & M.