Successful Projects

Borders Youth Theatre

Year Completed: 
2018

I Still Mind O' That  

Duns Primary School Autumn Term 2018/19 Final Report

Overview
The Intergenerational Projects which Borders Youth Theatre began a number of years continue to develop.  The Projects bring together younger and older members of communities to meet and talk, share experiences and compare their lives.  The projects also help to break down uncertainties and suspicions which often exist between the generations, especially among older residents who have little contact with young people.   
 
We all live nowadays in a rapidly changing world.  The past 50 years or so, have seen enormous changes to the way we live our lives.  Things which were unthinkable even a few years ago are now commonplace.  It is not surprising that young people are often unaware of how different all aspects of life were.  Even where young people have regular contact with older relatives and neighbours, the past if rarely talked about.

The Duns 2018 Project
We have worked with Duns Primary School twice in the past.  The whole philosophy of the school fits well with our aims. Given the wonderful refurbishment and move to a new site which has recently taken place, we were especially keen to become involved.   
 
Although there are common themes within the projects, each is different.  It would be very easy to settle into a simple reconstruction.  It is important that projects are tailored to the specific needs of the school and the community.  Despite a short preparation forced by commitments on other projects, we were able to have quite detailed discussions with the Headteacher and staff and the project was adapted to address a range of Expectations and Outcomes in Literacy and Expressive Arts.

There were two other key considerations.
Firstly, we needed to identify the appropriate group of pupils.  The decision was to involve all Primary 5 pupils, some from the full P5 class and the remainder from a P4/5 mixed class.  This proved very successful.  The group worked very well together and, importantly, all of the Primary 5 pupils were able to work as one group.
 
The second consideration which had to be made was in the delivery of the project.  Duns is a large school and we had a total of around 40 young people.  In the past, we have tried to run two-part projects simultaneously to allow best access to the older group.  In this case, we changed the method quite radically.  The school is a busy place with any activities running simultaneously which meant that we actually moved activities around.  Although the small group question and answer sessions between young and old are still key, we also organised more ‘whole group’ activities and a recap session at the end of each day.  In this way, much more information was shared and, crucially, the whole group got to know one another. 

Process
Following discussions through August 2018, we met with pupils and staff in early September for two early sessions of drama and preparation. On week three, we were joined by some of the older group.  One of the key parts of these projects is to identify and involve sufficient older members of the community, not only to ensure a wide range of experiences, but also to ensure that everyone has a chance, young and old, to be involved.  It often takes a little time for word to get around and this was the case here.  However, the numbers grew quickly and by the end, we had involved a dozen members from the community, most coming regularly.  Two of the older group are residents at Boston Court and took part in the first Duns project a number of years ago.  One of the BYT staff collected and dropped them off each week. The whole group totally understood what was expected and were a joy to work with.  As usual, although the joint sessions were scheduled to last an hour, most lasted up to 90 minutes.

As described, above, we were keen to address a range of writing and recording skills with the young people.  This is not an easy task for them but with simplified materials, the P5s did an excellent job.  A record of the interviews was made by the young people and the collated responses were used by them as a secondary source from which they selected material to be used in drama work.  Some of the work was re-inforced by small ‘homework’ tasks, including using the dedicated website.
 
There was generally a different focus each week, looking at life 50 or 60 years ago – school life, home, entertainment etc which allowed questions and other materials to be prepared.
 
The final sessions were with the young people only.  With the help of the two leaders from Borders Youth Theatre, the young people tried to re-create some of these memories about which they had heard.  They developed short sketches showing aspects of life in school and at home as it might have been in 1958, 60 years ago.  These were then brought together and the result was an original piece of theatre which was performed at the School Hall to the older group, the rest of the school, and a group of between 40 parents/carers.  The performance was a mix of ensemble work and sketches showing the contract between life ‘then and now’.  It was great fun and was well received by all.

What better?
Thanks to the willingness of everyone at the school to make things work, organisation, though tricky, worked well.  BYT staff had a couple of availability issues which slightly limited the input to the final drama session.   When we are creating the drama, we try to be as flexible with the young people as possible and allow them as much freedom to develop and perform as we can.  The comment was made that, since we are the ‘experts’, there is a good argument for being more ‘directive’ in ‘teaching’ the drama process.  This is reasonable and something we will consider in the future.
 
A couple of projects ago, the suggestion was made that we set up a dedicated website for the Intergenerational Projects which would allow parents, friends and relatives to access information and contribute.  The website runs well and we have had some good input.  However, despite that fact that we assume young people (and many older) spend their lives glued to the internet, the website is underused.  We feel there is certainly something which can developed and we will be reviewing this.

What now?
As always, although the performance is an important part of the project which everyone can see, it is not the only aim.  More important are the links which have been made between older and younger generations, the sharing of information and experiences and the breaking down of some of the barriers and misconceptions which sometimes exist.   The young people have learned to gather then select and share information and to work with others to develop ways to portray this information.  They have learned drama skills and to work as a whole group to prepare something they can perform to a wider audience.  It is hoped the young people have also learned something of what their life might have been like 50 or more years ago and appreciate that older people have led interesting lives and are still interesting people.
 
As stated earlier, the older folk enjoyed meeting the young people and sharing their memories and experiences.  It is important that their experiences are validated and they understand that they still have an important contribution to make.  They also realise that although life now is very different to that of 50 or 60 years ago, young people are much the same.  

As with all BYT projects, we collected written and verbal feedback from everyone concerned and will use this to help influence our future work.  Some of the comments can be found at the end of this report.
 
As noted above, the whole philosophy of Duns Primary School fits with the project.  The head teacher is particularly interested in harnessing all the resources available from within the community, expecially some of the older rsidents who have a huge range of skills and exoperiences and so much to offer.  During a couple of the group session, she and her Depute had discussions with some of the older group to try to identify those who might be willing to contribute in some way within the school activities.  There was definite enthusiasm.  From experience, we know how difficult it is to see this through to practice.  However, the head teacher is both determined and focused and I’m sure that what she wishes will develop in some form.  That would be a perfect legacy for our project and we wish them well in that.  We will, of course, we happy to support in any way we can.
 
This project was possible because of part funding received from Blackhill Community Fund, operating through Foundation Scotland.
 
More information about BYT’s Intergenerational Projects can be found at www.byt.davidjbisset.co.uk or from David J Bisset or Oli Bisset at bytborders@gmail.com  For information about other BYT activities, visit www.bordersyouth theatre.co.uk

 

Parent Space

Year Completed: 
2018

Report for Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund

6.12.19

ParentSpace was awarded a total amount of £5250 on the 13th December 2018, allocated as in the table below

Development of Parenting in the Digital age resource

 

Research and writing of resource material

£900.00

Design and printing/publishing of resource

£425.00

Advertising of resource - banners and flyers

£475.00

3 Taster Sessions to test the new materials

£225.00

Delivery of courses

 

4 courses (4 to 7 sessions each) for 6 participants each between Jan and June 2019

£3,000.00

Total revised request

£5250.00

We are pleased to provide the following report on each of the two areas highlighted above.

  1. Development of Parenting in the Digital Age Resource

The research and writing of the resource material was completed in April of this year and five taster sessions were delivered to test the new materials at Duns Primary School, Berwickshire High School and Preston Village Hall. The material was well received and the parents who attended gave the following feedback:

Statements

Replies

 

1= Not at all. 10=Alot

I understand more about the Digital World

Average =7

I feel better equipped to mange the challenges of parenting in a Digital World

Average = 8

I feel what I have learned will strengthen my relationship with my children

Average =7

I felt listened to and was able to contribute in the session

Average =10

The materials and presentation were easy to understand

Average=10

I think the resources will be helpful

Average =10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 The resource has now joined our library of courses and workshops and we have plans for further delivery in 2020.

                 We have not yet purchased banners, flyers nor printed the resource, as we are in the process of re-branding ParentSpace and wish to wait until we have the new logo and other advertising in place.  This will be completed in early 2020.

  1. Delivery of Courses.

Although we set out to deliver 4 courses between January and June this year, it transpired this was an ambitious target, for a number of reasons. We are down to a small team of Facilitators: only four active at that time, which obviously limits capacity to deliver. We needed to devote time and energy to securing further funding, which was successful in the form of Lottery funding in August of this year and we also dedicated time to becoming a charity and so are now registered with OSCR as SCIO number SCO49137.

Our learning is also showing us that parents are choosing to engage with the project in other ways, rather than attending courses. So we are seeing more parents attending Drop Ins and accessing 1:1 support. The feedback is that parents value the facilitated peer support, space and time to connect with others over parenting issues in a friendly, welcoming informal setting and knowing that they will not be judged.

Having said that, we ran a very successful Handling Anger in the Family course in Duns for six parents in May and are currently running a Parenting in the Primary Years course for six parents  in Coldingham. Below is some of their feedback:

“I went along to a Parentspace course recently & it was the best thing I ever did - why didn't I go sooner?! Not only did I receive the advice I was looking for but I gained a fantastic bunch of friends I can rely on to pull me up when I'm down. Parenting is hard, asking for help is hard, finding the right information is hard - let Parentspace help, it'll be the best decision you make.”

“I have done various ParentSpace courses and 1 day workshops since 2014, aswell as this one. ParentSpace has been a really helpful, supportive and positive experience and given me lots of confidence in parenting and life decisions i have made. You don't have to have a child with special needs or difficulties or even be struggling to want to learn and educate yourself for your children. If you can find the time for yourself, it could be one of the best decisions you ever make to go along to a ParentSpace session”

We advertised a Parenting Children with Special Needs course in October, but had to cancel due to poor uptake. However, we ran a very successful session with another local charity who work with families where there is a child with Special Needs and are looking together at ways in which we can continue to support these parents.

We are also working in partnership with the local nurseries, primaries and Berwickshire High School and recently joined the Berwickshire Early Years Improvement Network.

In summary, then, this has been a very busy and fruitful year for us and, thanks to funding from Blackhill, Berwickshire Housing Association and the Lottery, we look forward to continuing into 2020 and beyond. We have many exciting developments planned and are building new partnerships, all of which is helping us to create a sustainable future for ParentSpace and the parents we serve.

We are grateful to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for your support.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on karen@parentspace.org.uk or 07752568131, should you wish for any further information or to discuss anything in the report.

Karen Lerpiniere

Project Co-ordinator

 

 

Duns Pipe Band

Year Completed: 
2018

 

Duns Pipe Band

Scottish Charity No.  SC030190

Pipe Major: A D Ainslie BEM, Main Street, Gavinton, Duns

Tel: 01361 882022

Treasurer: Tina Robertson, 60 Hawthorn Bank Duns TD11 3HL

Tel: 01361 884242

Secretary: Julia Turner, 1 Pinkie Cottage, Duns TD11 3LS

Email - secretary@dunspipeband.org

 

Report

Grant of £750.00 received.

Purpose of Grant                                                                

To contribute to the replacement of 30 waistcoat and jacket sets to replace worn out uniform and establish uniformity of dress for new members joining the band.

Progress

The band were measured in March 2019 and the waistcoats and jackets delivered in May 2019 in time to celebrate the town’s summer festival (Reiver’s Week). The picture below shows the band in 2018 with new members not fully dressed and mismatched with the remainder of the band.

Summary

With the grant funding from SBC, we have been able to kit out all members of the band with new waistcoats and jackets.

On behalf of all members of the band, I would like to thank the Committee for considering our application and awarding the grant. As I hope you can see from the pictures below, we now have a very smart and uniformed band.

Yours faithfully

Julia Turner

Secretary

Duns Pipe Band

 

Photo Gallery: 

Eat Sleep Ride

Year Completed: 
2018

I'm writing from Eat Sleep Ride - a horse riding stables and social

enterprise based near Eyemouth run by Danielle McKinnon. The Blackhill

Windfarm Community Fund generously helped fund us at the beginning when

we were starting out in 2017. We continue to be extremely grateful for

your help and belief in us and we thought we'd email you and let you

know how we've been getting on.

 

As you may know Eat, Sleep, Ride is a social enterprise targeting people

experiencing mental health problems, those that have suffered abuse,

lived in areas of high deprivation and other challenges such as

drug/alcohol addiction. We are also a TRSS approved horse riding centre

and give lessons and hacks to the public.

 

We aim to improve the lives of all people. We use our beautiful animals

as inspiration for change which in turn can provide an alternative

learning environment to mainstream education. The skills developed

through the programme can meet the requirements of ongoing education and

training for employers and participants.

 

The way that Danielle delivers lessons and training helps people

experiencing the challenges outlined above. Danielle draws on personal

experience to provide a teachable point of view on how to overcome

personal circumstances and lead a happy and fulfilled life.

 

We've grown from strength to strength over the last year or so and we

now have 13 horses and ponies at the stables. We have regular riders,

volunteers and employees at Eat Sleep Ride. The majority of our riders

are children and young adults who benefit hugely from spending time with

and riding the horses. We have two young employees who have faced

difficulties in their youth and are now flourishing with the

opportunities at Eat Sleep Ride.

 

Now is an extremely exciting time for us - we've recently secured a new

site near Lamberton which we will move to in the late summer. The

business has lots of room for expansion and more opportunities for

social enterprises to join the community!

 

We will be crowdfunding for support ahead of the move and we wondered

if, when we launch our campaign, you would share the details with your

professional network. Any help you can offer as our journey develops

would be most appreciated!

 

Kind regards,

Danielle, Annie & Laura

Eat Sleep Ride CIC

www.eatsleeprides.org

Admin@eatsleeprides.org

 

Girlguiding Berwickshire

Year Completed: 
2018

I applied to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for a grant towards a residential training week-end (w/e) for Guiders from Berwickshire.The application was handled by your committee who kindly donated the sum of £1000. This is an outline of how we used the generous donation for which all attendees expressed their gratitude.

As with all such arrangements, the numbers wishing/intending to attend fluctuated until very near the date itself. This in spite of the arrangement whereby deposits were forfeited for non-attendance but refunded to those who did attend. But finally twenty Guiders from the county took part in an interesting and stimulating w/e in which the new programme for Guiding across all sections was introduced and explained.

A copy of the “fees sheet” is included which shows the attendees’ charges for the w/e. These were slightly higher than I had anticipated but this was offset by us not having to pay a separate fee for the outdoor activities as these were supervised by the trainers to demonstrate the “out of doors” elements of the programme. However my estimate for travel costs was not far off the mark!

I also include a copy of the  “Guidance Notes” on the new programme which may help you to understand how we run our organisation and also the teaching timetable that shows we were kept pretty busy.

I hope you feel the grant you awarded the county was well used and in accordance with your ideals for community wellbeing. The leaders all seemed to enjoy themselves and left feeling less apprehensive about the changes and consequent work involved to implement the new programme.

Once again I thank you for your interest in our organisation and generous award.

Jean MacNab
County Administrator