community engagement

Community Cohesion – Do ants hold the secret to human success?

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Solomon thought so, he says to ‘go to the ant’ and ‘consider the ant’ and refers to them as little upon the earth but exceeding wise. He suggests that taking a leaf from their book will preserve us from poverty and give us wisdom. Given Solomon is the richest man the world has ever known (today he would be worth 100 times more than John D Rockefeller), some ant facts are worth knowing.

So, how do ant communities do it?

1. Strong leadership

Ant communities are headed by a queen or queens, whose function in life is to lay thousands of eggs that will ensure the survival of the colony. Workers (the ants typically seen by humans) are wingless females that never reproduce, but instead, forage for food, care for the queen’s offspring, work on the nest, protect the community, and perform many other duties. When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced and the workers are not able to reproduce. The lesson;

Without strong and clear leadership – failure is imminent!

2.      Communicate & cooperate

Ants are social insects which form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Ants communicate and cooperate by using chemicals (pheromones) that can alert others to danger or lead them to a promising food source. The lesson;

Nothing can succeed without clear communication and cooperation.

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Linking Generations

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Connections between generations are proven to enrich the lives of both young and seniors in long-lasting and meaningful ways.

When young people find ways to engage and develop relationships with the elderly, these experiences can build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and encourage a lifelong commitment to volunteering.

For seniors, intergenerational connections provide the opportunity to transfer knowledge and wisdom, acknowledge self-worth, and feel they are contributing members of society.

In today’s world, many young people are experiencing less interaction with seniors because of homogenous neighborhoods, dispersed extended families, and increasing segregation of seniors living in care facilities or in isolation

Some of the benefits of intergenerational work include:

  • Creation of age friendly communities.
  • All generations have a lot to both teach and learn from each other and contribute to lifelong learning.
  • Tackles issues around stereotyping and ageism.
  • Increases understanding and respect between older people and younger people.
  • Chance to make new friends and combats social isolation.

 

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

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As you get older, keeping your mind active and healthy can become a big challenge. Your mental abilities generally decrease with age, particularly if your brain is not stimulated much. If your mind is not healthy and active in later life, you can have an increased chance of developing dementia (otherwise known as Alzheimer’s Disease). As well as age, your mental abilities can be affected by medical conditions and any medication that you are on to treat these.

A healthy mind can work wonders for improving your general health. Nutrition is believed to play a key role in keeping your mind healthy and active, and a good diet is essential for maintaining your general health. Recommended nutrition for an active mind includes fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, an adequate amount of carbohydrates and plenty of water (and fluids in general).

Some experts have suggested that several of the mental changes that were originally believed to be the result of getting older are actually caused by your lifestyle. This means that making the effort to keep your mind active and healthy through regular stimulation can have definite benefits for your mental abilities.

This can involve going back into education, taking home study courses, involving yourself in a new hobby or interest, doing stimulating puzzles (such as crosswords and Sudoku), playing games that require you to think (such as Scrabble or chess), reading books , exercising on a regular basis and using brain-training programs.

How to Improve and maintain your mental wellbeing

 

Stonehaven Young Peoples Health and Wellbeing Event

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4.30 – 7pm Tuesday, 5th September 2017, Mackie Academy
This free community event is to promote and inform adults about key aspects of our young people’s health and wellbeing. With partners across education and health sessions are being offered on:

  • Social Media
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Fast and easy cooking for the family
  • Young People and Sleep
  • Mindfulness

Conversation Cafe – If you can only spare a short time come in and visit our information stalls, chat with the teams and friends over a cup of tea and healthy nibbles.
You can book onto these sessions by phoning 01569 762071 or online at:
http://bit.ly/HWBStonehaven from Monday, 21st August to Sunday, 3rd September 2017

Craig Brown at The Grassic Gibbon Centre

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Thursday the 25th of May sees the second of an occasional series of events entitled Football in Question at The Grassic Gibbon Centre in Arbuthnott. Former Scotland manager Craig Brown will be in conversation with Andy Hall and will participate in an audience question and answer session.

Andy, who is also a director of the Centre, explained, “Last year, we had an excellent evening with Dons and Scotland legend Willie Miller. The support we received from Mearns football fans was terrific. We are fortunate to have another similar night in prospect on May 25th with Craig Brown.”

“We are delighted to have Craig for the event. He has a fund of stories and insights from throughout his varied career in football as a player, a manager and now as a director of Aberdeen Football Club.”

In anticipation of the event, Craig described his thoughts on coming to Arbuthnott –

“I am delighted to be joining Andy Hall, a man for whom I have the greatest respect, in conversation at the Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre on the 25th May.  I’m sure it will be an enjoyable and interesting experience for me and, hopefully, for those in attendance.”

Alongside the licensed event, there will be a two-course supper, a special Scotland football raffle, a fun quiz put together by Brian Duncan and a special auction of a signed and framed photographic print of Tom Finney’s famous “Splash”, real collector’s item. The late Sir Tom was widely recognised as England’s greatest player who remained loyal to his club Preston North End, one of Craig’s former managerial posts.

The time of the event is 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets can be obtained priced at £20 directly from the Grassic Gibbon Centre on 01561 361668 or by email on friendsofggc@grassicgibbon.com.

Survey for Sports Clubs and Groups Now Live

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Aberdeenshire Council is now engaging with sports clubs across Aberdeenshire to find out about the kind of support they want and to help them develop and be sustainable in the future.  We are requesting one response per club only please. An online survey is now live and available through the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sportsclubs2017 The survey will be available for completion until midnight on Monday 1st May 2017. If you require any further information, please contact:

fraser.govan@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Tesco Bags of Help

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Think you already know what Tesco Bags of Help funds? Read on as we’ve made some immediate improvements:

  • Apply anytime for projects that bring benefits to the community
  • Projects can be outdoor or indoor improvements, activities and equipment purchases
  • Apply for capital and revenue funding between £1000 and £4000
  • Simpler online application process
  • Community groups, schools, charities, local authorities and not for profits can all apply
  • You can apply again for a different project at any time

To ensure that the programme is really local the number of projects funded every two months has been increased. We still fund projects that improve or encourage the use of outdoor spaces such as allotments and community gardens. But now grants can also fund buying items such as sports kits, camping equipment, spades, litter pickers or specialised medical equipment and improvements to community buildings.

Following a public vote in Tesco stores every two months, three projects in each of the local Tesco store areas will receive a grant, with first place receiving up to £4000, second place up to £2000 and third place £1000. For information on how to apply please click http://bit.ly/bagsofhelp4