community

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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Kindness within a Community: Combating loneliness and building stronger communities

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Carnegie Trust UK have published their second report looking at loneliness and social isolation and the impact of kinder communities. The report finds kindness is a necessary ingredient of successful communities. However there are major factors that get in the way of engaging and encouraging kindness both in individuals and organisations. Read the report here

What does “wellbeing” mean to you?

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Welcome to the second of Kincardine and Mearns local community plan priorities.

Communities, both place-based and people sharing a common identity or affinity, have a vital contribution to make to health and wellbeing. Community life, social connections, supportive relationships and having a voice in local decisions are all factors that underpin good health, however, inequalities persist and too many people experience the effects of social exclusion or lack social support. Participatory approaches directly address the marginalisation and powerlessness caused by entrenched health inequalities.


The assets within communities, such as the skills and knowledge, social networks, local groups and community organisations, are building blocks for good health. Many people in Kincardine & Mearns already contribute to community life through volunteering, community leadership and activism. Community empowerment occurs when people work together to shape the decisions that influence their lives and health and begin to create a more equitable society. This is not about a DIY approach to health; there are important roles for NHS, local government and their partners in creating safe and supportive places, fostering resilience and enabling individuals and communities to take more control of their health and lives.

Over the next few weeks we will share with you some stories about wellbeing and what it means to a variety of people. Look out for our first blog next week.We hope you enjoy

A Nation of Cyclists

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The famous Dutch obsession with bicycles is clearly paying off – a recent study has shown.

While there have been a plethora of studies demonstrating the health benefits of cycling as a means to reduce the risk of sedentary lifestyle diseases and all-cause mortality, the study “Dutch Cycling: Quantifying the Health and Related Economic Benefits” – is the first to actually quantify the health benefits and related economic benefits at a population level in the Netherlands. Currently, about 27% of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle and the weekly time spent cycling is about 74 minutes per week for Dutch adults of 20 to 90 years of age. Even more noteworthy and remarkable, over half of the total life expectancy increase calculated in this study is being achieved by cycling among adults aged 65 and older.

The study clearly shows that Dutch investments in bicycle-promoting policies, such as improved bicycle infrastructure and facilities, are likely to yield a high cost-benefit ratio in the long term. Health benefits translate into economic benefits of over 5% of Dutch GDP. To calculate the economic health benefits of cycling, HEAT (Health Economic Assessment Tool) uses a standard value of a statistical life (VSL) to monetize the number of deaths per year prevented by cycling. With a Dutch VSL of € 2.8 million per prevented death, investment in cycling is an extremely wise economic investment. The €0.5 billion per year spent by the Dutch government on road and parking infrastructure for cycling is estimated to yield total economic health benefits of € 19 billion per year!

Investments in high quality cycling policies and infrastructure produce great benefit over the long term. Cycling for transport delivers wealth and health, quality of life, for people and for cities.

North Kincardine Treasure Map

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Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council have been busy developing the North Kincardine Treasure map. 

Its aim to encourage people to explore North Kincardineshire supports the work we have been doing to enhance and increase activity in the local area. A copy of the map has been delivered to all dwellings in Council Ward 17, highlighting five key trails with points of interest along the way.  An interactive website provides additional information and routes and will develop into a valuable archive of the area.

The ‘Treasure Map’ project was linked to an Integrated Travel Town Project and a Community Sports Hub (CSH) ‘healthy weight project’.  It encourages local residents to get out and about and tells them more about their local area.  This is community and Council working together to create something special for the whole community!”

Want to know more? Visit http://www.discovernorthkincardine.org.uk/index.html

All Change!

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“A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens.”

In a change from our previous blogs K & M Communities is going to focus on the topics you have told us are you important to you, the priorities in our Local Community Plan. They are;

  • Strong Communities
  • Connecting People
  • Wellbeing

Over the next few weeks and months we will share with you some information and thoughts on these priorities, what’s happening in your local community and how you can have a voice in deciding what’s important in the future. We’re starting off with Connecting People. We hope you enjoy!

Cornerstone

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Cornerstone, an award winning and pioneering Scottish charity is looking to recruit new Board members to be part of our transformational and pioneering journey to transform social care in Scotland.  www.cornerstone.org.uk

 

What we are looking for:

Essential:

 People with the passion to make a difference

 Pioneering individuals who want Cornerstone to thrive

 People with an understanding of what it means to be a Director of a company – both the responsibility and the privilege

 

Desirable:

 We are particularly looking for people who have public sector experience in commissioning, health or social care policy and/or the planning and influencing of change  in social work practice .

 We would love to hear from people based in areas out with Aberdeen

 As we are an organisation that embraces diversity we would love to hear from you if you are female, a person with a disability or someone from any other minority group

 We are also interested in people who have experience of being cared for or supported by Cornerstone either the person themselves or a family member

 If you would like to find out more please contact Edel Harris CEO or Peter Nicholson Chair of the Board on edel.harris@cornerstone.org.uk or 01224 256001