Community Health

Third Sector Resilience Fund Launched

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Applications are now open for the Third Sector Resilience Fund (TRSF).
Part of a £350m support package by the Scottish Government for the sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Third Sector Resilience Fund will support organisations across the third sector who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The fund’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cash-flows over this difficult period.
The TSRF is delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation and it offers charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises grants of £5,000-£100,000.  In addition, there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.
For more information and to apply, visit SCVO’s Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which has lots of useful information on funding for voluntary sector organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grampian Coronavirus (Covid-19) Assistance Hub

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A new website and phoneline is launched today, providing people all across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The new Assistance Hub goes live this morning, pulling together links to the latest advice from a range of partners including all three local authorities, Police, Health, Red Cross, volunteers and community information. It is a site for anyone in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, with information for residents and businesses alike.
Click here for the website or call 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
The website is full of links with up-to-date information. The main objective is as a focal point for information and assistance for anyone affected by coronavirus anywhere in Grampian. It is also a way for residents to offer their support which they can safely deliver in their communities. Staff are on the phone to provide callers with up to date information, or to link them up with the right person who can quickly answer questions.
Another important feature is that the site can be used to request help on behalf of someone else, allowing friends and neighbours to signpost to someone in need.

What is the ‘Third Sector’ and are you part of it?

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The third sector is an inclusive term which is often used interchangeably with the voluntary and community sector; the not-for-profit sector; and the civil society.

The term ‘third  sector’ is used  to describe all organisations operating outside the formal state or public sphere that are not trading commercially, primarily for profit in the market.

This means charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals. This definition may also include faith groups engaged in voluntary or social action, campaigning groups, and individual volunteers. Whilst these organisations are exceptionally diverse, they share a broad common theme of being value driven, and principally  invest their surpluses to further social, environmental and cultural objectives.

KDP is a member of Aberdeenshire’s Third Sector Strategy Group (TSSG).  This group comprises of representatives from Aberdeenshire Rural Partnership Federation (ARPF), Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA) and Aberdeenshire Council.  It is embarking on a piece of work to demonstrate the value of the Third Sector across Aberdeenshire.

If successful, the purpose of this project will help strengthen the position of many Third Sector Organisations (TSO),  to be recognised as credible partners in the delivery of services.

TSSG believe there are great examples of this already happening, therefore the first stage is to obtain a picture of what our Third Sector currently looks like. The link below is to a short questionnaire which will help gather valuable quantitative information to kick start the process.

YOU are the third sector, so please participate in this information gathering process.

Please complete and share the survey through your networks.

“Gie it a Go”

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Give the gift of health, wellbeing and fun this Christmas – “Gie it a Go” package offers range of sports and cultural activities

A fantastic suite of offers encouraging people in Aberdeenshire to “Gie it a Go” has been launched in time for Christmas.

Know someone who would like to learn to swim, but doesn’t know where to start? Or perhaps try indoor rock climbing for the first time in a safe environment?

Maybe the special someone in your life would prefer the chance to research their family history, learn about 3D printing or try spin or bootcamp exercise classes?

These experiences and a large range of other sporting and cultural activities can be packaged together for one great price with “Gie it a Go”.

As the name suggests, it’s designed to let people try a wide range of activities in local communities provided by Live Life Aberdeenshire.

Maybe you want to try the experiences yourself – you don’t have to let someone else have all the fun! For £20 you or the person you gift to can pick three activities from a menu which is growing all the time.

Other activities include the chance for four people to record their favourite karaoke track in one of our recording studios or an introduction to cross country skiing.

You could even choose a drawing/painting taster session or get an in-depth tour of Macduff Marine Aquarium.

Gift cards can be printed off to be included in a Christmas card or stocking and redeemed online.

For those who may not feel confident trying some of the activities, the great thing is that they will usually be joining others in the same situation as them.

To explore the activities on offer and buy in time for Christmas in our easy-to-use online portal, see: http://bit.ly/GieItAGo

Island co-ops stay strong

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In this post digital age it’s difficult to lose any data thanks to the powerful algorithms that sit behind today’s search engines. But paper records are harder to track down and the history of social enterprise in Scotland becomes much more anecdotal the further back in time you travel. Some skilled work by the archivists at GCU is gradually piecing together the story of who did what, when, and where in order to lay the foundations for today’s social enterprises. Community cooperatives on Scotland’s islands were the early pioneers. In some ways, nothing much has changed.

Scotland’s islands have the highest proportion of co-operatives of any part of the UK thanks to a long tradition of self-reliance, a survey has found.

The study by Co-operatives UK, the sector’s development body, said its survey of co-ops by local authority area found the Western Isles and Orkney topped the table with 8.16 and 5.91 co-ops respectively per 10,000 people. Shetland came in third, with 5.63. Eden in Cumbria came in joint fourth, with 4.55, followed by nearby Allerdale with 3.6.

The Scottish sector’s businesses are generally small, often community shops which provide the only stores in scarcely populated island communities. There are also credit unions, community energy companies and fishing co-ops.

The findings have been published as part of Co-operatives UK’s annual economic survey. It put its total turnover UK-wide at £37.7bn for 2018-19, a little over 1% higher than last year’s figure of £37.6bn and 2.75% higher than the £36.3bn in 2016-17.

The study confirmed that the John Lewis Partnership, the employee-owned group which includes Waitrose food stores, was the UK’s largest co-op with a turnover of £10.3bn; the Co-op itself narrowly behind on £10.2bn. Arla, the Denmark-based diary co-op, came third with a turnover of £2.6bn.

Excluding turnover, the data shows a slight decline in the sector’s size overall. The UK had 7,215 co-ops employing more than 233,000 people in the last financial year, compared with 7,226 employing nearly 235,000 a year earlier.

The report highlighted the Papay Community Co-operative, which runs the only shop and hostel on Papa Westray. The Orkney island has a resident population of about 85 people but is popular with island-hoppers on holiday. The business is close to Papa Westray’s airport, famous as a departure point for the world’s shortest scheduled service, a two-minute, 1.7-mile (2.8km) flight to nearby Westray.

Tim Dodman, the co-op’s secretary, said the business had an annual turnover of about £250,000 and employed four people, with some part-time help during busy periods. It also runs the school bus and local tours.

It was founded in 1980 after the only shop closed and no one could be found to run a new one single-handed. “The co-op ethos is very important,” Dodman said. “This is a small island and pretty remote. It’s much better to work cooperatively than have one individual in control of a lifeline service.”

By Sev Carrell, The Guardian

 

The growth of the pop-up park

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A team of researchers in Australia are urging urban planners to embrace temporary green spaces

Had you been taking a stroll around downtown San Francisco in late September 2005 you might have noticed something unusual – an ordinary parking space turned into a tiny park featuring a tree, a patch of grass and a bench. This miniature patch of greenery was the brainchild of three urban designers and led to an unexpected global movement known as PARK(ing) Day. Held on the third Friday of September every year, PARK(ing) Day has seen thousands of otherwise grey spaces temporarily transformed, from a spot on London’s South Bank to a sidewalk in Alaska.

The PARK(ing) Day movement captured imaginations, but it’s not the only one of its kind. Pop-up parks (PUPs) are a growing phenomenon, one that a group of urban researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is taking seriously. They argue that PUPs (which they define simply as ‘temporary green spaces’) have the capacity to benefit both biodiversity and the people who live in cities. The group cites several studies that have demonstrated the importance of nature for human wellbeing, including a paper in the Annual of Public Health which concluded that: ‘Taken together, the research reviewed does indicate that contact with nature can promote health. The evidence for some benefits, such as short-term restorative effects, is already quite strong.’

A’Beckett Urban Square PUP on the City Campus of RMIT University in Melbourne, AustraliaA’Beckett Urban Square PUP on the City Campus of RMIT University in Melbourne [Image: J Gollings]

‘There’s a lot of underutilised space in cities, and it’s going to be increasingly key to bring nature back into cities and have it close to offices,’ says Luis Mata, lead author of the study. ‘Some PUPs might only last for a couple of hours, whereas others last for years and may even become a path to something permanent. Depending on their deign and their spatial and temporal scales some will provide more benefits for people, some for biodiversity and some for both.’

The study points to a number of PUPs already in motion. In particular, San Francisco’s ‘Pavement to Parks’ program – an initiative that seeks to transform underutilised street spaces into public plazas known as ‘parklets’. It also refers to the UK’s Design Council and its ‘Knee High Design Challenge’ funding scheme which saw a PUP project trialled in Lambeth and Southwark. The transformed spaces were designed to encourage play and were filled with games for young children.

the “Grasslands” PUP at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne“Grasslands” PUP at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne [Image: M Stanton]

To address the lack of research into such spaces, the researchers want to see future sites become ‘socioecological laboratories’ in which urban planners conduct experiments to inform future design. Leading the way, Mata and his colleagues carried out their own analysis on a PUP in their home-town of Melbourne. They found that the six-week project called ‘Grasslands’, installed at the State Library of Victoria, saw insect pollinator abundance increase by around 160 per cent while the PUP was present.

The human impact of these spaces is harder to evaluate precisely. Nevertheless, the researchers contend that in dense urban environments with plenty of small, underutilised spaces, PUPs can help people spend time in nature, as well as foster community and in particular, creativity. ‘Creative thinking is sometimes lacking in academia,’ says Mata. ‘This new movement of people with artistic minds thinking of putting nature into cities is really excellent and is something that PUPs are uniquely placed to take advantage of.’

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