Home to over half of the planet’s population, urban areas are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions.
What is green infrastructure and why is it important?
Green infrastructure is defined as a “planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services”. This term incorporates a huge variety of different ecosystems from parks, playing fields and woodlands to community gardens, green roofs and street planters. These spaces facilitate physical activity, relaxation and can be a refuge from the noisy city. Green spaces help to foster biodiversity and provide safe routes for people walking and cycling through the city thus contributing positively to population health. In fact, estimates show that physical inactivity, linked to poor walkability and lack of access to recreational areas, accounts for 3.3% of global deaths.
There is robust evidence to support the claim that green space has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing with features such as parks, rivers and trees creating more liveable and pleasing urban environments. Research has shown that having access to green space can reduce health inequalities, improve well-being and aid in the treatment of mental illness.
Importantly, green spaces also help to regulate the impacts of harmful emissions in the city. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to filter out harmful pollution while urban waterways such as lakes, rivers or even fountains moderate temperature and together with vegetation, play a vital role in cooling cities. In some areas, it has been estimated that evapotranspiration (the process of converting water in leaves to water vapor which is then transpired through the trees) can reduce peak summer temperatures by 5°C. Additionally, green spaces provide areas where runoff interception can occur, thus reducing the likelihood of flooding, an issue particularly pertinent to Scotland where winter rainfall is expected to increase between 10-35% in some areas.
Supporting the development of green infrastructure is becoming an even more prominent part of urban policymaking across the world. From street planters to citizen gardening, the following section describes a couple of examples in which local authorities in Scotland are helping to create healthier, greener cities. Read the rest of this entry »
The Scottish Government announced it was bringing forward a new Scottish Child Payment, worth £10 per week per eligible child under six, with the aim of lifting 30,000 children out of poverty by 2023-24. COSLA welcomed the news. In addition, a new Access to Childcare Fund will establish new projects across Scotland to deliver more affordable out-of-school care for low income families over a two-year period starting in April 2020.
Funding has also been confirmed for councils and charities to give children from low income families meals and a place to play during the school holidays. Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) will deliver this ‘Food and Fun’ programme locally working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, AFC Community Trust, Sport Aberdeen and others. (Source: Scot Gov)
Legislation has been officially lodged at the Scottish Parliament to ensure free access to sanitary products for all women. Labour MSP Monica Lennon said her member’s bill aimed to make Scotland a “world leader” in tackling period poverty. It would make it a statutory requirement for schools, colleges and universities to provide such items. The Scottish government has pledged £4m to boost provision in public buildings.
Here in K & M, we were fortunate to have Christine McLean along to a Welfare & Wellbeing Network meeting from CFine to discuss her work on period poverty. In a nutshell, ‘Period poverty’ refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Something that many of us are lucky enough to probably take for granted.
The Scottish Government asked CFINE to operate and coordinate a pilot scheme for six months in 2017-18 through which sanitary products were made available free to all those on low incomes who need them, including any gender categories in need.
Access to Sanitary Products pilot operated in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas through partner organisations. A wide range of community and voluntary organisations supported the pilot, along with the local authority and educational institutions including; schools, colleges and universities.
It has ended in a huge success with over 1,000 people signing up to receive sanitary products. As a result of the success, The Scottish Government has allocated funding to roll-out the distribution of free sanitary products to those in need widely across Scotland, including Aberdeen via the FareShare network.
So, how does this impact in K & M?
What Christine hopes to do is to extend this service into Aberdeenshire. To enable this to happen, a hub for delivery of bulk pallets of the sanitary products needs to be identified which could serve a wider area. For example, in K & M there would be one main hub which would then distribute more widely over the area. Further distribution could be by groups picking up products for a specific settlement and then delivering to all outlets, or encouraging others to collect them. A record is kept of numbers of products distributed to provide tangible evidence of the need for this service and service continuance.
Think you can help out? Get in touch and we will pass on your ideas.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Dementia? Do you support someone who is currently living with Dementia? If so then we need to hear from you!
The Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) is currently in the early stages of developing an Aberdeenshire wide Dementia Strategy and is looking to hear from people affected by Dementia.
To support people with lived experience to tell us about their Dementia journey, we have developed a series of ‘Village Storytelling’ events. Developed in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre and delivered by colleagues across the health and social care partnership and third sector, sessions will allow those taking part tell their story in a safe and supported environment.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Rhona Atkinson, said, “This strategy will set out how the Partnership supports those living with Dementia and their families over the next 5 years. It is such an important area for us, so it is vital that we understand what support people need, when they need it, what is working well and not so well, now.
“The team working on the strategy have set out a great way to support those who are already living with dementia to participate through the Storytelling sessions and I would urge anyone who is able to come along and join in”
Vice Chair of the IJB, Cllr Anne Stirling, said, “We need to hear from everyone, people with a diagnosis, Unpaid Carers, Volunteers, Third Sector Organisations, family members, professionals; everyone! Whether you do this through the storytelling sessions or through the online survey the team will support you to participate in a way that works for you”
Dementia Storytelling session (Peterhead) – 3rd July 2019, tickets can be booked via – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-peterhead-tickets-63109065915
Dementia Storytelling session (Inverurie) – 4th July 2019, – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-inverurie-tickets-63107832225
Dementia Storytelling session (Stonehaven) – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dementia-storytelling-session-stonehaven-tickets-63109373836
In addition to the public events any groups or care settings who would wish to hold their own storytelling session are invited to request one via email@example.com
The feedback gathered from the ‘Village Storytelling’ sessions and the survey will be used to develop and inform a draft strategy which will be widely consulted on prior to being finally agreed by the IJB.
Grampian System Wide Mental Health and Learning Disability Services Review
I would like to invite you to participate in the Grampian Mental Health and Learning Disability Service Review. NHS Grampian, together with Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray Health & Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) are reviewing the sustainability of the provision of local and Grampian wide Mental Health and Learning Disability (MHLD) services, building on local engagement in a number of areas. This includes services for children and adolescents (CAMHS), adults and older people spanning self-management, GP and primary care services, community services and specialist inpatient care.
The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) has been asked to help support the review by facilitating a series of consultation events across Grampian throughout April/May 2019 where you will be given the opportunity to hear from NHS Grampian planners and give your views on what’s working, what could be improved and where there are service gaps.
There will be events taking place at various times and in different locations below. To reserve your place at an event, please follow the Eventbrite link and book the session that’s best for you.
- Aberdeen City on Monday 29 April 2019 – Jurys Inn, Union Square AB11 5RG – 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm BOOK NOW
- Aberdeen City on Monday 29 April 2019 – Jurys Inn, Union Square AB11 5RG – 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm BOOK NOW
- Inverurie on Tuesday 30 April 2019 – Fly Cup, Blackhall Industrial Estate AB51 4FS – 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm BOOK NOW
- Fraserburgh on Tuesday 30 April 2019 – Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre, Maconochie Place AB43 9TH – 1 pm to 3.30 pm BOOK NOW
- Stonehaven on Tuesday 30 April 2019 – Stonehaven Community Centre, Bath Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2DH 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm BOOK NOW
- Elgin on Wednesday 1 May 2019 – The Mansfield Hotel, 2 Mayne Road IV30 1NY – 12.00 pm to 2.30 pm BOOK NOW
We want to ensure we capture the views of as many people as possible, therefore we would be delighted for you to share this invitation amongst your own contacts and networks as the events are open to all.
In addition, the ALLIANCE can provide a facilitation pack if you would like to host your own event to capture views. For any questions or queries please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning Gerry Power, Director at the ALLIANCE on 0141 404 0231.
Communities across Scotland will benefit from £713,000 in additional funding to improve flood protection. (Source: ScotGov)
- £300,000 to support the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
- £180,000 to gather Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data which surveys terrain
- £33,000 in 2019/20 for the ‘Scottish Flood Forum’ to raise awareness of the importance of making flood resilient repairs and installing flood protection measures for property
Hands up if you made a New Year resolution to get fitter, or meet new people in 2019?
Most of us reflect at this time of year and these are certainly achievable and popular resolutions. Walking with friends is an easy and accessible opportunity. Good news is that there is a growing network of walking groups for all abilities across Kincardine and Mearns.
The following are useful organisations and contacts;
1 Paths for All
Paths for All’s vision is for a happier, healthier Scotland where physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. Read the rest of this entry »