community engagement

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Linking Generations

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

SCOTTISH FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE LOCAL PLAN ENGAGEMENT

Posted on Updated on

SFRSThe publication of a new Strategic Plan for 2016-19 instigates the requirement to carry out a mandatory review of all our Local Fire and Rescue Plans. To inform this review and to contribute to the development of new Local Fire and Rescue Plans we wish to gather views on local service provision.
For ease, a response to these questions can be made online on our consultation hub Citizen Space. Click the following link to access the Local Fire and Rescue Plan Review survey

https://firescotland.citizenspace.com/planning-and-performance/local-plan-review/

Experiences – good or bad

Posted on Updated on

Aberdeenshire Council LogoAberdeenshire Council is carrying out a review of how it communicates. We would love to hear how you feel about this. Interested in giving us your views? Click on the link;

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Commengagestrat

We’d love to hear from you!

 

Strong Communities

Posted on

To build a truly effective community it needs to be stronger, wiser and more resilient, sustainable and engaged. The Community Empowerment Act seeks to enable this to happen in Scotland’s communities. Where communities are empowered we would expect to see a range of benefits: local democratic participation is boosted; increased confidence and skills among local people; increased community capacity; and more satisfaction with quality of life in a local neighbourhood. Better community engagement and participation leads to delivery of better, more responsive services and better outcomes for communities. Further, our communities’ strengths and weaknesses, such as quality of life, amenities, infrastructure, and workforce skills, determine the potential of our local economy to support economic growth, enterprise and opportunities for all.

Laurencekirk Survey

Posted on Updated on

Greetings Everyone – even if you are not a resident of Laurencekirk.LaurencekirkA90

There are two websites links in this email, www.laurencekirkab30.co.uk, our community website, which gives information about the town and a current survey constructed by Sarah and the board of The Laurencekirk Development Trust; https://sarahleigh.typeform.com/to/xPTqEHk

The issues listed were identified during successive public engagements over the past six years and the objective of this survey is to establish the  priorities for the community so that we can focus on these.

As Aberdeenshire Council’s plans will see the current population of the town double once more we want to grow the community in a balanced way with  economic, social and sporting developments which are supported by those of us who live in Laurencekirk.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and share it with your friends and neighbours.

Many thanks.

Council to set budget for the year ahead

Posted on Updated on

Aberdeenshire Council will meet to set its budget on Thursday, February 9.Aberdeenshire Council Logo

Read here to find out about the role your feedback played.

Councillors will have the chance to consider a package of savings worth over £24 million and debate a potential Council Tax rise in order to deliver a balanced budget.

As the budget report sets out, the council will receive £7.4 million less from Scottish Government than in 2016, with no provision for increased demand on services or inflation.

A package of savings has been developed which includes procurement, treasury management and re-profiling the Capital Plan, along with service proposals covering delayed recruitment to vacant posts, the ongoing process of re-designing services, increasing charges and disposing of properties.

Councillors will also have the opportunity to decide whether to pass across all the funding for the Integrated Joint Board, which supports health and social care services.

The budget has been informed by the major engagement exercise which took place in December 2016. The campaign reached an audience of almost 180,000 through social media, with 3,514 visits to the budget webpages.

Councillors have used the responses from the engagement to inform their budget proposals, which include raising charges for some services and investing in renewable energy and solar panels. Raised charges will impact on things like the letting out of council buildings, buying community bedding plants, and out of school clubs and sports and physical activities.

The engagement activity also advised that respondents were generally supportive of raising Council Tax, and supported a range of savings proposals including streamlining waste collection routes, cleaning bus shelters every eight weeks instead of four, and reviewing the school transport network. The full engagement results can be found on the council’s website here.

For the first time in nine years, councils will be given the opportunity to consider raising Council Tax up to 3%. Any rise would come on top of an additional £8.3 million generated through Council Tax reform at a national level which affects bands E to H and has already been legislated for.