The Scottish Government announced it was bringing forward a new Scottish Child Payment, worth £10 per week per eligible child under six, with the aim of lifting 30,000 children out of poverty by 2023-24. COSLA welcomed the news. In addition, a new Access to Childcare Fund will establish new projects across Scotland to deliver more affordable out-of-school care for low income families over a two-year period starting in April 2020.
Funding has also been confirmed for councils and charities to give children from low income families meals and a place to play during the school holidays. Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) will deliver this ‘Food and Fun’ programme locally working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, AFC Community Trust, Sport Aberdeen and others. (Source: Scot Gov)
Legislation has been officially lodged at the Scottish Parliament to ensure free access to sanitary products for all women. Labour MSP Monica Lennon said her member’s bill aimed to make Scotland a “world leader” in tackling period poverty. It would make it a statutory requirement for schools, colleges and universities to provide such items. The Scottish government has pledged £4m to boost provision in public buildings.
Here in K & M, we were fortunate to have Christine McLean along to a Welfare & Wellbeing Network meeting from CFine to discuss her work on period poverty. In a nutshell, ‘Period poverty’ refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Something that many of us are lucky enough to probably take for granted.
The Scottish Government asked CFINE to operate and coordinate a pilot scheme for six months in 2017-18 through which sanitary products were made available free to all those on low incomes who need them, including any gender categories in need.
Access to Sanitary Products pilot operated in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas through partner organisations. A wide range of community and voluntary organisations supported the pilot, along with the local authority and educational institutions including; schools, colleges and universities.
It has ended in a huge success with over 1,000 people signing up to receive sanitary products. As a result of the success, The Scottish Government has allocated funding to roll-out the distribution of free sanitary products to those in need widely across Scotland, including Aberdeen via the FareShare network.
So, how does this impact in K & M?
What Christine hopes to do is to extend this service into Aberdeenshire. To enable this to happen, a hub for delivery of bulk pallets of the sanitary products needs to be identified which could serve a wider area. For example, in K & M there would be one main hub which would then distribute more widely over the area. Further distribution could be by groups picking up products for a specific settlement and then delivering to all outlets, or encouraging others to collect them. A record is kept of numbers of products distributed to provide tangible evidence of the need for this service and service continuance.
Think you can help out? Get in touch and we will pass on your ideas.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Dementia? Do you support someone who is currently living with Dementia? If so then we need to hear from you!
The Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) is currently in the early stages of developing an Aberdeenshire wide Dementia Strategy and is looking to hear from people affected by Dementia.
To support people with lived experience to tell us about their Dementia journey, we have developed a series of ‘Village Storytelling’ events. Developed in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre and delivered by colleagues across the health and social care partnership and third sector, sessions will allow those taking part tell their story in a safe and supported environment.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Rhona Atkinson, said, “This strategy will set out how the Partnership supports those living with Dementia and their families over the next 5 years. It is such an important area for us, so it is vital that we understand what support people need, when they need it, what is working well and not so well, now.
“The team working on the strategy have set out a great way to support those who are already living with dementia to participate through the Storytelling sessions and I would urge anyone who is able to come along and join in”
Vice Chair of the IJB, Cllr Anne Stirling, said, “We need to hear from everyone, people with a diagnosis, Unpaid Carers, Volunteers, Third Sector Organisations, family members, professionals; everyone! Whether you do this through the storytelling sessions or through the online survey the team will support you to participate in a way that works for you”
Dementia Storytelling session (Peterhead) – 3rd July 2019, tickets can be booked via – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-peterhead-tickets-63109065915
Dementia Storytelling session (Inverurie) – 4th July 2019, – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-inverurie-tickets-63107832225
Dementia Storytelling session (Stonehaven) – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-stonehaven-tickets-63109373836
In addition to the public events any groups or care settings who would wish to hold their own storytelling session are invited to request one via email@example.com
The feedback gathered from the ‘Village Storytelling’ sessions and the survey will be used to develop and inform a draft strategy which will be widely consulted on prior to being finally agreed by the IJB.
Twelve discussion days are being held around Scotland in 2019 for people who are involved with heritage in their communities in any way. You might be a volunteer, someone managing a heritage site, or perhaps running a business – or just interested and actively involved.
Scottish Community Alliance will be talking about a potential new national network for community heritage. How might it work, and how might it meet your needs and wants?
What you tell them will directly influence what happens in the future, so come and join in the conversation.
The workshops are free to attend, and there will be plenty of tea and biscuits – but please bring your own lunch! Not providing lunch has enabled SCA to reach more communities.
All events start at 10.30am and finish at 4pm *except for Leverburgh which is an hour later to fit ferry times.
The research workshop tour is organised by the University of St Andrews together with the National Library of Scotland and Ergadia Museums and Heritage, and working closing with the grass-roots led Scottish Community Heritage Alliance.
The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Click here for tickets to all future events.
Strathpeffer Community Centre, Strathpeffer – 31st May
Timespan, Helmsdale – 4th June
Garioch Heritage Centre, inverurie – 7th June
Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie – 8th June
Voe Hall, Shetland – 29th June
Kyle Village Hall, Kyle of Lochalsh – 18th September
Nevis Centre, Fort William – 19th September
Kilmartin Church, Kilmartin – 20th September
Eyemouth Hippodrome, Eyemouth – 11th October
Leverburgh Hall, Isle of Harris – 25th October * starts 11.30am, ends 5pm
People volunteer for all manner of reasons and roughly half of the population do so at some point in their lives. While that might seem like a lot of people, equally it means there’s a lot of people choosing not to participate. Dig a little deeper into the numbers and it becomes apparent that around a fifth of those who volunteer do two thirds of all the volunteering work. Dig some more and you hit the problem of an aging population with its potential impact on volunteer numbers going forward.
On a local level, Stonehaven Learning partnership is hosting a volunteer event on 6th June. See picture for more details.
Volunteering in Scotland is already making a crucial contribution to building social capital, fostering trust, binding people together and making our communities better places to live and to work.
Action to increase volunteering participation for all and to address inequalities is vital to continue to expand opportunities for more people to volunteer and participate in society. Although an estimated 51% of the adult population in Scotland has volunteered at some point in their lives, 49% have not. An increase in volunteering will also make a considerable contribution towards our individual, community and national economic and social well-being, particularly in the face of demographic and societal change.
The annual value of volunteering in Scotland is estimated to be £2.26 billion.4 Volunteering is clearly of great social and economic importance to the people and communities of Scotland. Within these communities, there are often those who are more likely, or more able, to volunteer than others. Volunteers in Scotland are more likely to be:
- self-employed/part-time employed or in education
- from higher socio-economic and income groups
- from rural areas
- from less deprived areas
- healthy and non-disabled
As most of you will know, the Bettridge Centre is an important local community-owned and managed facility which offers a wide selection of activities for the whole community and for visitors. Some public consultation has already taken place and the centre has commissioned Community Enterprise to build on that positive momentum with more detailed local research. The core aim is to find out what is needed in the community and use that to set out a plan to upgrade the building to meet the needs of Newtonhill and the surrounding area.
Want to make your voice heard, take part in the survey, link below;
Scores of volunteers have signed up to help ensure Aberdeenshire’s roads and pavements are safe as the wintry weather continues.
The authority is regularly criticised during spells of severe weather for failing to clear side roads and paths.
However priority is given to maintain main roads and resources are stretched to grit and clear every single area.
In an effort to ease frustration and deal with the problem, Aberdeenshire Council launched a snow warden scheme which gives communities access to a range of resources from grit spreaders to full protective equipment.
As of this month, there are now 27 groups operating in the region, which amounts to 72 volunteers.
But the authority has issued a fresh appeal for more wardens, with the scheme running until April.
Applications are taken throughout the year for the initiative.
Last year, the region endured one of the worst winters in recent memory, with the council forced to go £2million over budget to treat the roads and pavements.
Roads bosses came under fire after towns and villages were left impassable after the traditional surface treatment was left redundant by thawing conditions, rainfall and freezing temperatures overnight.
This year the authority has already used about 23,300 tonnes of salt to treat surfaces since October, with a further 15,000 tonnes in stock and more than 7,000 expected to be delivered this month.
The council has also been trialling a new app which shows people where gritters are in real time and what routes have been dealt with.
The programme is currently only available on phones and tablets as My Aberdeenshire, but is likely to be made available on their website in the future.
There are 32 “primary routes” with 100 council drivers covering these, there have also been 120 farmers and 32 plough contractors on the roads to clear the snow in recent weeks.
For more information on the snow warden scheme visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk
By Press and Journal