With changes to the guidelines for running community councils allowing virtual meetings to be held, the first meeting of Strathaven and Glassford Community Council (SGCC) since February 2020 will take place as an online Zoom meeting on Tuesday February 23rd at 7pm.
Chair Aileen McMann said: “I am delighted we are able to get formal meetings back up and running. We have operated in a completely different way over the last year and have continued to review applications for our Micro Grant Scheme and also the Kype Muir Community Fund. Amongst items on the agenda will be consideration of Micro Grant applications ahead of the end of this year’s scheme in March 2021, discussions on social media in Strathaven and Glassford and how we get information out to those who need it, plans for a full review of our community action plan as well as our ongoing standard agenda items.”
As always the meeting is open to the public who can join by following the link below.
Strathaven and Glassford Community Council works closely with Banks Renewables as part of its role in the Kype Muir Community Partnership. It also works closely with South Lanarkshire Council on many topics.
The Community Council is delighted to be able to promote this joint initiative to raise awareness of this excellent employability initiative.
South Lanarkshire Council and Banks Renewables Employability Initiative partnership
The Connect2Renewables Employability initiative is funded from a proportion of the community benefit funds from Middle Muir Windfarm, Crawfordjohn and Kype Muir Windfarm, Strathaven. The purpose of the fund is to help people living within 10km of either windfarm into employment by providing the following:
Learn new skills/re-train
Get employability advice and support
Overcome transport challenges – help with travel to work, training or childcare
Who is eligible for help?
People who are workless or unemployed who live within 10km of either windfarm
Towns and villages within 10km radius of Middle Muir Windfarm:
Towns and villages within 10km radius of Kype Muir Windfarm:
Are you an employer in South Lanarkshire?
In partnership with Connect2 Renewables and our local communities we are helping local people into employment and training by offering full time and part time jobs or work experience places.
We will support you by providing recruits from the area with training, protective clothing or even assist with travel if required.
We may even be able to offer an employment incentive as well as offering advice and support to you as an employer and to your employee.
For more information about connect2renewables
Contact Wilma at Connect2Renewables Employability Initiative
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Strathaven and Glassford community Council has been unable to meet since February 2020. Urgent issues have been dealt with throughout that time and it has continued to successfully operate both the Micro Grant Scheme and the Kype Muir Community Fund, with awards made throughout the year to eligible groups.
We are delighted that a change to the rules governing Community Council meetings means that from February 2021 this can change.
Community councils can now meet online across South Lanarkshire after an update to their rules. The move is in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult for meetings to be held because the existing guidelines said that members had to be physically present and proceedings had to be open for both the public and media to attend.
As community councils could not meet these conditions safely, a public consultation was held to help decide the best way forward. The consultation found considerable support for allowing community councils to hold meetings virtually.
Amendments to the South Lanarkshire Scheme of Establishment of Community Councils were then agreed at a special meeting of South Lanarkshire Council on Wednesday 16 December, allowing meetings to be held either in person or online.
Council Leader John Ross said: “I want to thank everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation exercise. Community councils are an important layer of local democracy and these changes will enable them to continue their work, even in such challenging circumstances as we currently face.”
The consultation raised a number of issues, including the availability of equipment and internet provision in some locations, and the role of specific office holders in making the decision to hold meetings remotely, all of which were taken into account.
Each community council will now be able to decide the most appropriate arrangements to allow their meetings to go ahead safely. This could include technology-based solutions such as video and/or tele conferencing. These are already successfully being used for South Lanarkshire Council meetings.
Strathaven and Glassford community Council meetings will therefore resume at the end of February and details will be published on the website nearer the time. As with all community council meetings, they are open to the public and details will appear on our website and on our Facebook page nearer the time. Anyone wishing to attend will need to have access to a Zoom account and just follow the published login details.
Strathaven and Glassford Community council continues to support the ongoing, coordinated community support effort across Avondale. It has been so positive to see so many of our community groups joining together to ensure that support is given in a coordinated, consolidated and productive way.
The Community Council hold the funds and these are allocated to projects initiated to groups working on a joint basis. Groups working independently do not have access to those funds. A sub-group of the Community council forms part of the ‘Working Together for Avondale’ group along with representatives of the Strathaven Business Association, Strathaven Evangelical Church, Glassford Community Group and OutReach Community Church. The group also liaises with Avondale LEAP, local schools, VASLan, Home Energy Scotland and both Medical Practices in Strathaven.
To date we have received £21,500 from Banks (including a recent additional £2000), Falck Renewables, REF and Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council.
In addition to the projects reported previously here see our earlier blogs) is a list of new projects we have been working on over the last month or so: 1. We are funding the production of 500 Xmas Art Kits to be distributed across the community by Creative Strathaven CIC. These should be ready for collection and issue by December 12th.
2. We have funded a series of mindfulness videos from Mind Marvels and these will be used across our Primary School community in coming weeks and months.
3. We are funding free meals through the Crib Community Coffee House to an identified group including the Sheltered Housing complex at Park Crescent. The list of who will get meals is currently being collated by the Crib based on food deliveries in the summer and new information on need.
4. We are supporting the Crib and the Sandford Giving Tree in its work to provide Xmas gifts for a significant number of families and children. They are working with Social Work, Health Visitors and Women’s Aid to identify specific cases across Avondale.
5. We are supporting Strathaven Academy and Strathaven Giving Tree to provide gifts for teenagers from the Academy in need and also the elderly normally invited to the Academy Christmas concert. This will involve food hampers to 56 women and also gift hampers to Park Crescent and Abbeyfield. The Academy is also collecting within the school for Strathaven’s Foodbank.
6. We are planning mental health support for January onwards in conjunction with The Crib Community Coffee House/Outreach Community Church and a local SAMH worker who has previously run successful peer support groups in Strathaven.
In other developments we continue to work with the Strathaven Foodbank to promote emergency food supplies and energy top ups. New posters were distributed around Strathaven last week to advise of the service. This also includes the availability of funds to enable energy card top-ups where those are required.
With the ongoing pandemic and the likelihood of support being needed well into 2021, Strathaven and Glassford Community Council is delighted to be able to support the ‘Working Together for Avondale’ group in working across the community to provide such essential support.
The Strathaven and Glassford Community Council (CC) feels that the time is now right to give the Community an update on the support offered in the past few months in the wake of the Covid-19 Emergency.
The response of our Avondale Community has been outstanding and diverse. The number of people volunteering to help others has been a testimony to a wonderful sense of community wellbeing and the Community Council wishes to thank all those who have been supporting others and all those who have followed the rules of the lockdown to create as safe an environment as possible for all of us.
Below is an approved Strathaven and Glassford Community Council report on Avondale community support since March 2020.
Strathaven and Glassford Community Council has been involved with Banks Renewables and the Kype Muir Partnership since the inception of the development of the windfarm. At its regular meeting in March, CC members attending were advised that funding was being made available to provide community support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially this amounted to £1000 with Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council saying it would match this amount as required.
The organiser of Strathaven Community Resilience Group (SCRG) got in touch with M McDonald, a member of the CC, and asked if the CC was organising support. She got in touch with the Secretary of the CC and he explained a meeting to discuss ideas for community support had been organised by Robert and AJ Morris in Roasted the following day. He then invited the organiser of SCRG to that meeting. M McDonald did inform the group’s organiser that up to £2000 could be applied for from the Kypemuir Community Fund. She contacted all members of the CC who agreed to an initial application for £1000 from the CC. As the SCRG group did not have a bank account, it was subsequently agreed with the CC Treasurer that she would manage any money from the Kypemuir Fund from the CC bank account.
The meeting was well attended by businesses, groups and individuals. The following day, as agreed, a WhatsApp group was established with all attendees included, and online discussions started. The organiser of the SCRG left the group almost immediately (March 18). The group subsequently contacted David Childs of the Strathaven Evangelical Church and Roddy Gillies of Outreach Community Church, who both agreed to get involved. The core Zoom meeting attendees were David Childs, Donald Cooper, Sheila Munro Tulloch, Roddy Gillies and Les Hoggan. The objective was to coordinate community support using funding that eventually amounted to £19,500, comprising funding by Banks Renewables, Falck Renewables, the Renewable Energy Fund and Sandford and Upper Avondale Community council. All attendees at the original meeting in Roasted were kept up to date with progress through posts on the WhatsApp group and kept in touch with ideas and suggestions. Spending to date on community support projects amounts to over £13,000.
Strathaven and Glassford Community council agreed that funding was only available to what was now called the ‘Working together for Avondale’ Group and to organisations and groups linked to it. The ‘Working together for Avondale’ group coordinated projects with funding and payment directly to organisations and individuals providing services managed by the Strathaven and Glassford Community Council.
The group held weekly Zoom meetings with VASLan, Home Energy Scotland, Avondale LEAP, Wester Overton After School Club, Mind Marvels, Heather Bond and was in regular contact with local schools and the Health Centre. It quickly established an effective range of community support, with reports monthly to the Community Council and also on the website and Facebook. It had been agreed that the treasurer and secretary were able to make decisions on funding proposals and to report back to the CC for advice if they were unsure whether to proceed. Regular financial reports were included in the updates as it is crucial that public funds donated to the CC by other organisations is being used properly and is fully audited.
Activity to Date
Below is a summary of support provided through the fund managed by Strathaven and Glassford Community Council and organised by ‘Working together for Avondale’.
Strathaven’s Foodbank, operated by Strathaven Evangelical Church has been delivering a minimum of 15 food parcels per week. It is trying to reach out to as many people in need as possible. If you are in need or know someone in need please get in touch by calling one of the numbers on the leaflet below.
An approach was made by the group to Sainsbury’s to highlight that Strathaven had its own foodbank, and the manager agreed to install a further collection box for Strathaven’s Foodbank. Collections have been in place since late March 2020.
A free meal delivery service on Sundays, operated by Outreach Community Church and funded by the Community Council Fund. Over 13 weekends it has delivered 1904 free meals. On Friday May 22nd the OCC also handed out over 30 Youth Parcels.
Glassford Community Group’s support for frontline workers has seen 15 nominees awarded £25 vouchers for the Steayban, part funded from the CC Fund. It has also collected and delivered around 50 prescriptions.
Avondale Young Farmers has collected and delivered over 250 prescriptions across the community.
The local production of 275 visors for distribution across our community to groups, individuals and businesses, with a further 30 foam visors ordered due to additional demand. All 275 visors have already been distributed across our community to groups, individuals and businesses in Strathaven and Glassford. 20 of the additional supply will go to the St Andrews Hospice shop in Strathaven to support its reopening. This leaves 10 in stock and available as required. Visors have been distributed to around forty local businesses. In addition a few individuals asked for visors which were delivered to them. The visors were produced in Strathaven as part of a collaboration between Gary Tompsett and the University of Glasgow (which donated the brow frames).
Creative Strathaven made up around 100 Art Kits for distribution across the community. These were well received with great feedback from families. A further 110 art kits were prepared and passed to Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council, which funded these kits from its own funds.
Mind Marvels is providing mindfulness support for families and Primary School children, whilst Heather Bond is offering similar support for adults and adolescents, through group online sessions or one-to-one. The first Mind Marvels session took place on Friday June 19th with more following in subsequent weeks. Twelve families took part in the first session with positive feedback.
A Book Swap was set up at a café in the town centre, involving two boxes, one for adults and one for children. This has proven to be very popular and operates on the basis of take a book, bring a book.
Ten nominations were received to recognise the efforts of locals who have gone above and beyond during COVID-19. Each will receive a £20 vouchers for use in identified small businesses in Avondale.
A donation of £400 has been made to Strathaven in Bloom to fund its work in brightening up Strathaven through floral displays. The planting has now been completed.
Avondale LEAP is sending out puzzle packs to its client base. It has also been undertaking prescriptions collection, essential shopping and offering a telephone befriending service.
Floor stickers and COVID distancing posters were made up for local businesses including the hospitality sector with over 100 stickers distributed. To date Covid posters were handed out to around 40 businesses, with floor stickers provided to nearly 20 businesses. At present we have only 4 stickers in stock.
Support is being made available for local After-School Clubs to provide sanitiser and dispensers.
Support has been offered to local schools for funded mindfulness sessions. This has been allocated as committed expenditure until such times as schools are able to welcome visitors onto the premises.
A donation of £250 has been committed to Avondale Young Farmers to recognise the fantastic community effort it has undertaken.
Strathaven and Glassford Community Council considers the work of ‘Working together for Avondale Group’, including Strathaven Business Association, Avondale Young Farmers, Avondale LEAP, Glassford Community Group, Outreach Community Church, Strathaven Evangelical Church, Mind Marvels and Heather Bond to having been crucial in delivering community support, as has the financial support provided by Banks Renewables, Falck Renewables, Renewable Energy Fund and Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council.
The community support effort has also included other groups and individuals, including Lawrence Nicholson of Inspirited and Colin McLean of McLeans Gin who worked together to produce significant amounts of hand sanitizer for the community, made possible through crowdfunding. Local shops and businesses continued to operate on revised business models enabling residents to have access to food and supplies at a time when travel was limited to five miles. Many residents have undertaken fundraisers including Colin Bryce and Grace McCabe. Window decoration, school gate decoration, driveway painting, garden ornament repainting have all take place to help support the morale of the community. Lockdown Galas took place in Strathaven and Glassford. Rhona McLeod sold plants she had grown to raise funds for Strathaven’s Foodbank, with Sainsbury’s also donating £100 of goods to the foodbank collection. There will be many more acts of kindness and community support and we should recognise all of them.
Working together for Avondale has been a great success, but only as part of a wider community effort to ensure our residents were safe and supported. This has included friends and families doing shopping on behalf of others and being there when needed. This all demonstrated that Avondale really is a community and that in itself deserves recognition.
In March 2020 the Strathaven and Glassford Community Council agreed to be a fundholder for any funds donated to help provide community support within its area, available to all groups working under the banner ‘Working together for Avondale’. Initial funding came from Banks Renewables.. This was extended to providing support across Avondale as a whole following the award of funding from Falck Renewables and subsequently from the Renewable Energy Fund and from Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council.
COVID-19 support in Avondale
The group ‘Working together for Avondale’ was formed to coordinate community support across communities in Strathaven, Glassford, Chapelton, Sandford, Gilmourton and Drumclog. Groups involved include
Strathaven Evangelical Church Foodbank
Outreach Community Church
Strathaven and Glassford Community Council,
Strathaven Business Association,
Glassford Community Group,
Avondale Young Farmers,
Creative Strathaven CIC and
The groups have been working closely with VASLan and Home Energy Scotland, with all initiatives funded by Strathaven and Glassford Community Council fund, using donations from Sandford and Upper Avondale CC, Banks Renewables and Falck Renewables. Last week it was also confirmed that a grant of £5,000 has been awarded through the Renewable Energy Fund.
The groups have helped in a number of ways, all funded centrally from the CC Fund.
1. Strathaven’s Foodbank, operated by Strathaven Evangelical Church has been delivering a minimum of 15 food parcels per week. It is trying to reach out to as many people in need as possible. If you are in need or know someone in need please get in touch by calling one of the numbers on the leaflet below. In addition to providing food parcels, the Evangelical Church is also the contact point for those in need of energy card top-ups.
2. A free meal delivery service on Sundays, operated by Outreach Community Church and funded by the Community Council Fund. Over 7 weekends it has delivered almost 1100 free meals. On Friday May 22nd the OCC also handed out over 30 Youth Parcels.
3. Glassford Community Group’s support for frontline workers has seen 15 nominees awarded £25 vouchers for the Steayban, part funded from the CC Fund. It has also collected and delivered around 40 prescriptions. In addition it carried out an emergency eye check and organised protective glasses for the woman. (One of the members is an optometrist.)
4. Avondale Young Farmers has collected and delivered over 200 prescriptions across the community. Annie Bryson said: “Avondale Young Farmers committee and members have now delivered more than 200 prescriptions to elderly & vulnerable people in Strathaven and the surrounding areas. We would like to thank everyone for their patience, and kind donations for the food bank in return. We are going to continue this service for as long as it is required within the community, but ask that you can give as much notice as possible for deliveries. Thank you to both the Common Green and Green Street pharmacies for their cooperation.”
5. The local production of 250 visors for distribution across our community to groups, individuals and businesses. Over 100 visors have already been handed round businesses in Strathaven and Glassford with more available as required. The visors were produced in Strathaven as part of a collaboration between Gary Tompsett and the University of Glasgow (which donated the brow frames).
6. Creative Strathaven is making up around 100 Art Kits for distribution across the community. These will be free to families and if successful a second round of art kits may be distributed. These will be distributed from the Frets Creative hub at 2 Barn Street in late June.
7. Mind Marvels is providing mindfulness support for families and Primary School children, whilst Heather Bond is offering similar support for adults and adolescents, through group online sessions or one-to-one. The first Mind Marvels session took place on Friday June 19th with more to follow. Twelve families took part in the first session with positive feedback.
8. A Book Swap was set up at a café in the town centre, involving two boxes, one for adults and one for children. This has proven to be very popular and operates on the basis of take a book, bring a book.
10. A donation of £400 has been made to Strathaven in Bloom to fund its work in brightening up Strathaven through floral displays.
11. Avondale LEAP is sending out puzzle packs to its client base.
12. There are plans to fund a community tree for Strathaven Park to commemorate the efforts of the community and the level of community spirit demonstrated. This covers not only the groups involved, frontline workers, shopkeepers, etc but also for example the wonderful efforts of both Strathaven and Glassford Gala Committees in organising Lockdown Galas, scarecrow competitions in Sandford, Chapelton kids decorating the school and doing plantings in the park, etc. There are simply too many to mention them all.
13. The communities across Avondale have been asked to nominate frontline workers, neighbours, family, friends who have gone above and beyond during COVID-19 to provide support. Up to fifty nominated will be given a £20 voucher to spend in a range of shops and businesses across Avondale. to nominate someone either send a message on the Discover Strathaven Facebook page or email us at email@example.com
Support is coordinated using a weekly group Zoom meeting and regular interim Zoom meetings to discuss specific initiatives as required. It operates a WhatsApp group to keep everyone up to date between meetings.
The coordinated community support effort of the ‘Working together for Avondale’ group and others working independently were recognised recently when Dr Lisa Cameron submitted and Early Day Motion to the Westminster parliament recognising the superb work to provide support for those who need it during COVID-19.
Although the Strathaven and Glassford Community Council is currently unable to meet due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are continuing to operate as a Community Council through emails and other discussions.
We are delighted to be involved in the ongoing community support across Avondale. We are managing a fund which includes generous donations from Falck Renewables and Banks Renewables and which is being used by the many groups across our community offering support. It is great to se that they are mostly all working together on a coordinated approach as this, we feel, is the only way any effective community support can be provided.
So far the fund has helped support
Strathaven’s Foodbank, operated by Strathaven Evangelical Church.
A free meal delivery service on Sundays, operated by Outreach Community Church.
Glassford Community Group’s support for frontline workers.
Printing and distribution of a leaflet promoting the work of local community groups and encouraging people in need to get in touch.
The local production of 250 visors for distribution across our community to groups, individuals and businesses.
The visors were produced in Strathaven as part of a collaboration between Gary Tompsett and the University of Glasgow (which donated the brow frames). There being modelled below by Arthur and Emma from Roasted.
Sainsbury’s has set up a trolley for donations to Strathaven’s Foodbank and we would encourage shoppers to donate in this way whilst doing their shopping.
The leaflet below is being distributed across the community to advise of help available.
The groups have established links with the local health centre, VASLan, Home Energy Scotland amongst others. The image below is on the reverse of the leaflet being distributed.
Strathaven and Glassford Community Council held a further meeting with South Lanarkshire Council on the next steps for Strathaven Castle.
The meeting was very positive, with confirmation that further meetings with Historic Environment Scotland had resulted in agreement on the style of fencing to be installed to allow planned remedial work to proceed.
There are three options for fencing, with site visits to take place to finalise plans. A planning application will then be submitted to SLC as required and work likely to start over the summer of 2020.
Further updates on the proposed dates are likely to be available in around 6 weeks.
With the Kype Muir Windfarm now operational and the Kype Muir Community Fund due to be launched from June 26th, we recently held an open day to officially launch the Community Consultation Summary Document and Action Plan. Click here to download a copy.