Successful Projects

Duns Senior Citizens Club

Year Completed: 
2017
DUNS SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB
On Friday 2 June 2017, the Club held a Summer Lunch to celebrate Queen Elizabeth being our longest reigning monarch. 
 
The room was appropriately decorated and a delicious lunch was enjoyed by members and guests, who included Diana Findley, Regional Ambassador from Age Scotland.  Entertainment was firstly provided by Ronald Drummond.  Being local, Ronald has become a 'regular' at our social afternoons, and his beautiful singing voice is always a delight to listen to.  Then 'The Jockuleles' from Earlston, performed various popular songs and members were encouraged to join in.  Dolly Parton even made a special appearance! The humour of this band was second to none, and members went home feeling uplifted and very happy.  It was a truly memorable afternoon. 
 
Thank you to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund, who awarded the Club a grant to assist with the cost of this special Summer Lunch, it was much appreciated.
 

 

Sunrise Nursery

Year Completed: 
2017

Firstly I am writing to say thank you very much for the funds that were awarded to Sunrise Nursery from Blackhill Community Fund.

With the funds we were able to purchase a beautiful furnished dolls house, a wooden hospital complete with ambulance, helicopter, people and equipment.  We also bought a large indoor climbing frame, this has been a great addition in our back room.  The children are loving the new toys, in particular the climbing frame especially on wet days when we cant go out in the garden.

Sunrise Nursery

 

 

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Re Tweed

Year Completed: 
2017

Re-Tweed

Securing three grants totalling £64,250 will enable Eyemouth-based social enterprise Re-Tweed to expand its work. ReTweed runs 11-week training programmes for women to help them back into the workplace, teaching them sewing skills and using upcycling material that might otherwise have been destined for landfill.

 

A series of recycling and upcycling workshops can now be developed to encourage local people to reject our throwaway culture and return to a make-do-and-mend philosophy, thanks to grants from the Robertson Trust, Blackhill Community Windfarm Fund and the Unltd Foundation.

 

The new workshops include creative upholstery, rag-rugging, patchwork and wool crafts using donations of textiles from Berwickshire and through Borders textiles companies, including Hawick Knitwear and House of Cheviot.
 

“Without the generosity of local people, community groups and local businesses we wouldn’t have achieved the success we have – women reconnecting with their communities, making progress in their lives and careers and going on into other creative learning and volunteering,” said ReTweed founder Hazel Smith.

 

“We are especially chuffed to get support from the Robertson Trust since it was three Berwickshire women who founded the trust to support social justice and common good.”

 

The latest ReTweed graduates, presented with their certificates at Foundation Scotland’s Edinburgh headquarters by Sue Robertson, chair of the Women’s Fund for Scotland, brings the number of women to complete the courses to 29.

 

Sue said: “It was an inspiration to give the ReTweed women their graduation certificates. I’m impressed with what the project has achieved in such a short time.”
 

 

RHET

Year Completed: 
2017
Report on Estate Day
 
A hugely successful days at Hirsel Estate, Coldstream was held in November 2017 by RHET Scottish Borders Countryside Initiative working alongside Field to Fork (based at the Hirsel Estate).
 
RHET Scottish Borders Countryside Initiative’s main aim is to help educate children from ages 3-17 on Food, Farming and the Countryside and to create a wider understanding of the environmental, economic and social realities of rural Scotland. Field to Fork has very similar aims so working together was an obvious fit.
 
The whole of S3 from Berwickshire High School in Duns was transported to  Hirsel Estate paid for by RHET Scottish Borders for the whole day where the year groups were split into six groups.
RHET Scottish Borders and the Field to Fork team set up the following six sessions
Game keeping presented by Craig Birkett the gamekeeper on Hirsel estate. During this session they looked at the role of a gamekeeper in the rearing, care and sport of game birds. Also looking at vermin control. The children were privileged to a gun dog display.
 
An arable farming session was presented by Alistair Hodge a local farmer who often volunteers for RHET Scottish Borders. His presentation was based on general discussions of what is involved in growing arable crops including care of the soil and the huge usage of technology involved these days including GPS.
 
The pupils saw a seed drill up close and they
seemed to have a huge range of questions.
The Douglas fold of pedigree Highland Cattle on the Estate were shown to the pupils by Alan Telford who has been in charge of the cattle for a huge number of years and has a vast knowledge of the heard and livestock as a whole. He discussed the importance of maintaining a native breed such as the Highland cattle and discussing the care of the cattle.
 
Cheviot Trees very kindly came along to the day and presented a woodland management session, discussing the importance of woodland
management along with the children taking part in tree identification  and discussing careers involved in forestry.
 
River/lake management was delivered by The Tweed Foundation. Who discussing river life and fishing in the Scottish Borders, allowing the children to get up close to the river life.
Bread making was undertaken by the  Field to Fork team. Each child got their bread roll to take home. The story of wheat to bread was discussed to follow on from the farming session, discussing wheat grown on the estate.
 
The feedback from both staff and pupils was fantastic and very keen to undertake a similar event next year. The weather was kind to us on the day which helped hugely. A huge thank you was expressed by RHET Scottish Borders to Field to Fork at the Hirsel Estate and to all the other session providers. This day wouldn’t have been possible without the funding we received from the Blackhill Windfarm Trust.

 

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Borders Youth Theatre

Year Completed: 
2016
In January 2016 Borders Youth Theatre were awarded a grant of £2,000.00 from the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund towards their Intergenerational Project.  
 
The purpose of grant was to contribute to the costs of two workers who will co-ordinate links and interviews between young people at Duns Primary School and older residents of the Duns area.  With a view to developing a piece of theatre to be performed for the wider community, based on the information collected by the students.
 
The balance of funding came from BYT funds.  Throughout the year, Trustees work hard to secure funding from a variety of sources.  In addition, Trustees and participants carry out fund-raising through bake sales, sponsored events etc.
 
A group of older residents from the Duns area met weekly with both Primary 7 classes from Duns primary school to share experiences and allow the young people to interview the older members to try to find out about life as a young person 50 or more years ago.  Along with this, the leaders worked with the young people on a series of activities to develop drama skills.  The young people then used these skills to develop pieces of drama based on the experiences they heard.  The Drama Leaders helped put these together as two performances which were given to the rest of the school and to the older group, parents, friends and local residents.  The project was embraced by the whole community and was a great success.
 
The core group comprised two primary 7 classes from Duns Primary School - a total of 55 pupils  and a group of around 15 older residents.  (Some were not able to attend each week).  The performances were seen by the rest of the pupils in the school and by around 85 people from the local community.
Although the main benefit was to the core groups, the effect on the whole small community was considerable.  The general feeling at the start within the older group is that they are ‘helping the young people.  In fact, the project is as much for their benefit and, by the end, most appreciate this to be the case.  The benefits to the young people are seen in the summary of their feedback comments.
In addition to our project, three of the older group worked separately with the classes on a ‘Family Journeys’ project.  This was a useful spin-off which can continue in the future.
This was the latest in a series of projects we have been able to offer in Scottish Borders, mostly in the Berwickshire area. Following a pilot, these have developed successfully and are now well establishes as an excellent addition community project.  Schools and communities are very keen to be involved and we work hard to secure funding to satisfy these requests,  Without the grant from Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund we would not have been able to deliver this project. There are two long-term impacts, one on Borders Youth Theatre and one on the Duns Community.  Firstly, as noted above, positive comments about the project continue to spread and we have a number of requests from other schools and communities.  We have also had requests from some of the older people to be included in future projects, even outside their own community.  We are planning the next project which will link with LIVE Borders Project Officer/Education and Outreach Officer with a view to future work on ‘Saving and Sharing: Stories of the Scottish Borders in World War One’ project.  As noted above, some of the older Duns residents continued to work with the young people and it is hoped that such links will continue.
 
For over 25 years, Borders Youth Theatre (BYT) has been providing high quality drama experiences for young people across Scottish Borders.  Through working with experienced professional leaders, young people gain new skills, particularly in communication; they develop creative and social skills and gain self-confidence; they work as part of a community.  These skills are essential in everyday life.  They also lead to excellent future opportunities, not just in Drama and Theatre, but in a wide variety of areas requiring these skills.  BYT provides weekly drama sessions run by experienced professionals in a variety of locations across the Borders for young people aged 8 to 25.  At present, these are in Duns, Jedburgh, Kelso, Melrose, and Selkirk. Fees are £4.50 per workshop paid termly. (unchanged for 4 years) BYT also performs acclaimed larger scale performances through the year, mainly during school holidays.  Around 150 young people are involved with BYT every week and many hundreds have benefited over the years
 
Although BYT contracts experienced professionals, the organisation is run by volunteer Trustees.  The Trustees are always looking for interested people willing to give a little time to help with organisation.
 

 

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