2008-2013 Project examples
The Carrick Community Transport Project
Ayrshire LEADER Funding has enabled the Rural Transport Network Group (consisting of representatives from South Ayrshire Council, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Ailsa Horizons Ltd and Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association) to employ a part-time Community Transport Coordinator for Carrick who started work in January 2013. Employed by Ailsa Horizons, the Coordinator has been engaging with the existing local community transport operators and assessing the needs in terms of awareness raising, marketing, training and funding. She has liaised with the relevant support services to deliver the necessary training, is actively researching funding sources and has also started running a campaign to raise awareness of the services and increase volunteer recruitment and demand. Extensive research has also identified significant gaps in the level and geographical spread of the current provision of community transport in Carrick, so the Coordinator is now facilitating the development of a new community transport enterprise which will address these. She has also embarked on the creation of a marketing strategy and Action Plan for the ongoing development of Community Transport in Carrick and its contribution to the wider Carrick Regeneration objectives.
The Drongan Challenge Us Project
The Drongan Challenge Us Project was a dynamic community and employability project using the arts to build self- esteem and give young people transferable employment skills. 15 young people came together over a 16 week period to undertake a community challenge. The young people, aged 16-19, were not engaged in employment, education or training.
The Drongan Challenge Us Project was a partnership between Impact Arts, Irvine Housing Association and Wider Role. The challenge was to transform the empty plot of IHA’s land off Littlemill Road in Drongan into a space that the community could be proud of and enjoy.
Young people consulted the local community and fellow tenants to design and install a landscaped green space with art features. The project brought an otherwise unused and derelict piece of land into use as a beautiful green space for the community to use.
The programme was an innovative employability scheme that focused on improving young people’s self-esteem and helped them move on to positive destinations.
Community benefits included:
• Gang culture being addressed to repair relationships between young people, older tenants and the broader community
• Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds received early intervention to help prevent them getting stuck in a cycle of unemployment
• Young people were involved in a diversionary programme during the summer which helped prevent antisocial behaviour
• Positive dialogue between the young people and their older fellow tenants was opened up and encouraged
• An unused and misused site was transformed into a welcoming resource for the whole community
Glenside Green Gym
Our current group took over from a previous environmental group whose numbers had been dwindling for some years. The work had always been community based but change became necessary as there was a significant decrease in available funding and less support from the local authority. The group had created an extensive number of community plots of various sizes as well as buying in approximately 90 hanging baskets each year. They also had purchased a meadow, a wood and a quarry and maintenance had proved to be a considerable challenge.
Our group initially consisted of 7 -10 people who met once a month and carried out their own particular work. This proved to be ineffective and it was felt a central base and team work was necessary. About the same time one of our members heard about the green gym model. This was a way of encouraging people to become involved in weekly exercise by taking part in gardening. There was an emphasis on encouraging people with physical disability or mental health issues to become involved. We had plenty of activities to carry out, needed new members and wanted a base from which we could develop projects and social contact. So we started to advertise for new members whilst applying for grants to buy a portacabin which would act as the group hub.
We were able to raise some funds from local Trusts but it was decided the bulk of the money would be applied for through Ayrshire LEADER.
And Beyond - Girvan Youth Trust
And Beyond is a 2 year project which takes on teams of 12 young people (aged 14 to 21 years old) on a 5 month contract to work 10 hours per week. These 10 hours are split between working behind the non-alcoholic bar within Z1 and working on community projects to enhance and improve the local area for local people and visitors alike. As well as gaining new skills and work ethics, the young people complete certificated training including Customer Care, First Aid and Food Hygiene. On successful completion of the 5 month contract, all young people become eligible for a gratuity payment of between £750 to £1,000. Girvan Youth Trust ‘And Beyond’ Co-ordinators Terri and Heather have just recruited their final team who are due to start work week beginning 30th September.
Team 1 contacted Earl Haig Foundation to obtain the official poppy design which they then painted onto the grass embankment at the entrance to Girvan to mark Remembrance Day.
Team 3 Beyonders were approached by the Head Teacher of Girvan Nursery School to improve the small garden at the entrance area. South Ayrshire Council has no responsibility for this area and it was very overgrown and unwelcoming. The young people worked hard on the garden over the summer months and were very pleased with the results.
Girls R Ace
This project evolved from research which showed that when young women reach the age of eleven and up they are less likely to get involved in physical activity such as adventure sports. We have found that young girls in primary school are very enthusiastic and enjoy adventure sports but this change’s as they move into secondary education. Around two-thirds of teenage girls do not undertake the recommended one hour a day of physical activity, compared to around one-third of teenage boys. This is for a number of reasons including negative experience of the school environment, lack of choice and motivation, fear of forced competition, perceptions of femininity and having to perform in public.
There are opportunities for young women to participate in adventure sport already but these are in mixed gender groups. We felt that by providing the opportunity for young women to develop their skills together without the pressure of young males through Girls R Ace would encourage more to take part and continue to be active. We found that young males were enthusiastic through their teenage years about adventure sport and come through the project aspiring to be outdoor instructors. ACE wanted to address this issue and to see more females involved in adventure sports in South Ayrshire and eventually for some to become instructors. The project provided a positive role model to inspire young women to take part in adventure sports so they aspire to take these activities up as hobbies or become instructors within their communities.
A more recent partnership has been with the Girvan Baby Bunch. They are a group of young mums who are under 25 who meet every week. Girls R Ace has provided outdoor days for both young mums and their children. The aim has been to raise the confidence of the young women and to encourage them to spend more time outdoors. In the future there will be more activities for both mums and children’s and just the mums.