Community libraries

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The town of Chapelton recently welcomed its first community library just in time for National Storytelling Week 2018.

The books, which will be located in a quiet corner of the popular Teacake Café, will act as a community library corner, or a book swap, where it is hoped residents of all ages will be able to swap, read and discuss some of their favourite books and stories. So why libraries are so important in today’s digital world?

Many people believe libraries to be a thing of the past due to the digital revolution and the rise of a gadget enamoured society. However,

“The National Literacy Trust says that children who go to a library are twice as likely as those who don’t to read well. It is not just picking up a book. It is the social experience of reading, talking about the books, browsing, comparing what you have read with family and friends. Librarians are gate keepers in that process. They open doors to new worlds, new possibilities. They ask library visitors to evaluate the information on offer. Most importantly, they give access to narratives. Children and adults do not just need information to thrive as thinking beings, but stories. Libraries are the temple of story. They are not in decline because of some natural, historic progression, but because of the monstrous cultural vandalism of savage cost-cutting. We will pay a terrible price for the behaviour of our masters.” (Alan Gibbons)

Libraries are seen by many as a lifeline and a crucial public service, especially if you are elderly, socially isolated, poor, vulnerable, or all of the above.

So why are libraries so important and why must we protect and improve them?

  1. They’re accessible

 The obvious advantage of having a local library is that it is local. Accessibility is crucial if you have mobility problems and/or haven’t got the money for bus fare.

  1. They help to bridge the digital divide

People in rural areas face significant challenges when it comes to IT access, including infrastructure problems and set-up costs. The vast majority of public libraries offer free IT access and basic IT training to the public.

  1. They help to combat social isolation

Libraries are social places where people can chat, read and keep in touch with the outside world. For elderly people who can’t access a static library, mobile and housebound services can fill the gap. Sometimes a friendly smile from a library worker can make all the difference to an isolated and vulnerable persons day or week.

According to C.S. Lewis “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”. So next time you’re in Chapelton pay a visit to the Teacake Café and sample what both have to offer.

U3A (The University of the Third Age)

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 …is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.

If you’re wondering what we mean by the third age – it is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests or just try something new.

As you get older, keeping your mind active and healthy can become a big challenge, but it’s well documented that keeping your mind active has a direct impact on physical health too.U3A has a ‘university’ of members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward.

It’s all voluntary; a typical U3A will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects – from art to zoology and everything in between.

Formed over 30 years ago, there are now over 1,000 U3As across the UK, with thousands of interest groups between them and more than 400,000 members nationally – plus it’s growing every day.

Want to join, click here

Under Pressure – Preventing Abuse & Exploitation in Teen Relationships

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Dates:  Friday – 9th June or Wednesday – 1st November 2017

Time:  10.00am to 4.00pm

Venue:  The Citadel

A Train the Trainer Programme from Zero Tolerance in association with YouthLink Scotland

Under Pressure is a free train the trainer programme aiming to increase the skills and capacity of youth work staff to prevent abuse and exploitation in teen relationships. This free training has been developed in partnership between Zero Tolerance and YouthLink Scotland, and will be delivered by Jackie Williams, NHS Sexual Health Trainer and Lynn Buchan, Senior Community Learning Development Worker.

We aim to deliver the Under Pressure training with staff working with young people, and ultimately work to prevent abuse and exploitation.

We welcome bookings from those who –

  • Have experience of working with young people.
  • Have a commitment to ending gender inequality and violence against women.

Trainers will receive:

  • Specialist training on issues to do with abuse and exploitation in young people’s relationships from a lead organisation in violence against women.
  • Under Pressure training resources for use with members of staff and young people to help prevent sexual exploitation.
  • Under Pressure Certification.

This training is an excellent opportunity to roll out a high quality course for your staff team and learning community, obtain a great set of resources for tackling abuse and exploitation in young people’s relationships in informal education, and make a real difference in the lives of the young people you work with.

To apply please book via:

Growing A Greener Britain: Small Grants Programme

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This fund wants to help communities to grow a greener Britain by supporting them to transform green spaces. We know that there are many people across the UK who have fantastic, creative and innovative ideas that could help to improve their local spaces. This small grant fund is designed to help turn these ideas into reality! Any constituted community group is invited to apply. Please remember that due to limited funding projects of a value of up to £1,000 can only be supported and that not every project can be rewarded. For more information, visit:

The ADP South community forum is holding its AGM on Tuesday 2nd May 2017 from 1pm – 4pm at West Church in Banchory, AB31 5TB.

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Please join us for a sandwich lunch prior to the meeting from 12.30 onwards. 

It would be great to see as many of you as possible as we look to appoint new committee members for the Aberdeenshire ADP South Community Forum.

Sadly, our chair Jean Henretty and our secretary Kirsty Greenhowe have both announced that their period of commitment to the South Forum committee has come to an end and that they will stand down at this meeting. I am sure you will all join me in thanking them for all their work and input over the past year and wishing them well for any new ventures.

This means the South forum committee will as of May have 2 vacancies, the chair position and the position of secretary. We encourage any interested forum members, and in particular community members, to consider this great opportunity to take up a role within the forum committee and to be actively involved in shaping the work of the forum.

If you would like to stand for our committee, then please contact  no later than Friday 21st April 2017.

If you require more information about these positions before 18th April 2017 then please get in touch with .

Also, if you or anyone you know requires transport to the meeting please get in touch and we will see what we can do!

Fundraising Masterclass

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AVA are hoAVAlding a Fundraising masterclass event, Getting It Right, in Ellon on the 22nd of March.


The objectives are as follows:-

  • To update participants on the changing context of fundraising
  • To improve skills and knowledge on making good funding applications
  • To improve  knowledge and understanding of funders expectations
  • To improve the development of fundraising strategy.

To book, contact;

Donna Speed
Funding Officer
Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
72a High Street, Banchory
Aberdeenshire, AB31 5SS
07964 036821

01330 700 757 or 03718 110008

‘Early Days and Changing Ways’

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Developing Capacity in Scottish Communities through our workshops

Join us at a venue near you

Learn about social investment in the morning : Take part in a practical workshop in the afternoon

Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire

14th March 2017

Register your free place here.

  • Understanding Social Investment, 

    10.00am to 12.30pm, (followed by lunch)

    During the morning we take a detailed look at social investment: what it is and how it can be used as an enabler for growth, sustainability and the delivery of greater social impact.

    We examine the opportunities it offers in helping to finance the purchase of assets, easing cash flow and starting a new enterprise,.

    And we do this in context of the new Scottish Government Social Enterprise Strategy whilst remaining realistic about the realities of taking on debt (having the Will, the Skill and someone to send a Bill to!)

    Looking at Investment from a different perspective, 

    1.15pm to 3.30pm

    And then in the afternoon we take a very practical and fun approach to accessing social investment. You become the lender and are given a real application to consider. Would you lend the money?

    This starts with an interview of the SIS staff (who play the role of the applicant) and an assessment as more information emerges.

    It all comes down to the point where attendees discuss the strengths and merits of the application (which generally splits opinion)….all great fun and no better way to really understand if social investment is for your organisation!