Berwickshire Recreation Education Sports Trust is a registered charity
Scottish Charity Number SCO26564
Duns Swimming Pool is a small, community pool in Duns, a rural town in Berwickshire. It has a 25m pool, sauna and dryside facilities. It was refurbished in 2010 and has since benefited from the support of the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund.
BREST, the trust which runs the pool is a charity which operates on a shoestring budget. Swimming pools are very expensive to run in both energy and maintenance and without the help of organisations such as Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund it would be almost impossible to maintain the high standard of the facilities in Duns.
In the last few years the fund has assisted BREST to purchase teaching equipment for First Aid at Work, Lifeguard Training and Swimming Lessons, air conditioning for the Guy Roberts room, acoustic panels for the same room, changing room cubicle curtains, changing room fan and other smaller items. In particular the air conditioning and acoustic panels have made a huge improvement to the environment in the Guy Roberts Room. This is now used by even more groups which benefits the community and
generates additional income for BREST to use in the provision of more activities.
The other items are also much appreciated as BREST has very restricted funds available for additional equipment and improvments but without which the service offered to the community would suffer.
Duns Tennis Club
The courts were resurfaced in July 2014 and painted September 2014 at a total cost of £35,000.
This now brings them up to a first class playing standard to the benefit of all members adults and juniors alike, also for our local community to use.
Thanks again for the Blackhill contribution to this project.
Community Cinema Gavinton
Because of the generosity and commitment to the promotion of Community endeavours in our region by Blackhill Windfarm and Awards for All Scotland, the Community Cinema Gavinton was able to open its doors in April this year. In order to demonstrate the ‘state of the art’ equipment that the funding had allowed, as well as to introduce the team of volunteers, an Open Day was held, with an enthusiastically received screening of the popular Children’s (and Adult’s) film, ‘Frozen’! Amateur film footage, by two local teenagers, who are part of the group of volunteers, was also shown and proved particularly thought provoking and well received!
There was lots of interest shown from different sectors of the community, and as a result it was decided that one family Matinee, and one evening screening per month would be the format. The feedback also informed the subsequent programme of films from 24th May to 16th August.
Community Cinema Gavinton (CCG) is in the fortunate position of having a refurbished Village Hall as its venue, which is both comfortable and accessible, allowing members of the community, who might otherwise be marginalized, to enjoy the cinema experience too. One wheelchair user, and partner, commented enthusiastically that they would both ‘definitely be coming back!’
When the Lego Movie was screened in June, the Cinema was fortunate enough to be able to show an amateur film ‘Lego Halloween’ by a young budding filmmaker from the village of Gavinton. This was a superb piece of footage and something that the group is very keen to promote as part of a future venture into amateur film making. Needless to say, the audience was greatly impressed!
Despite the vagaries of the Scottish weather, and holiday commitments, the community has responded very positively to this emerging facility, with lots of ideas for further development. Still in its infancy, it is being propelled by a very enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers, who are making great efforts to promote and enhance this facility for the future. CCG is a member of BFFS (Cinema for All), as well as (being on the cusp of) membership to Film Hub Scotland. Shared experience has been gained from other Community Cinemas and Society groups, which has proved extremely useful.
Publicity for the project has taken many forms (a few of which are attached):
Having spoken recently to someone who has done exactly what the group is aiming to do, it was impressed upon the volunteers that there is a fluctuating level of success in this kind of venture, and that it will take time to become integrated as part of the community’s social calendar. As the group has enthusiasm, perseverance and fortitude, hearing this was both a challenge and, paradoxically, reassuring!
Duns Youth Cafe Project 2014
The grant from Blackhill Windfarm Community fund has enabled us to make the necessary changes to Duns Youth Centre (Connect Headquarters) for the organisation to continue to develop and it has had a huge impact. There have been two key areas that we have been able to develop.
The cafe bar area used to be upstairs on the mezzanine floor but is now downstairs in the main hall area. The bar area is larger now, with new double sinks a new cooker and hob (which we didn’t have before) and an up-cycled fitted kitchen which was donated by Countryside Kitchens. Staff and young people have told us that they think that the improvements have been ‘amazing.’
The new cafe area has also greatly benefitted ‘Open Doors’ weekly coffee morning which is run by a group of elderly volunteers. The old routine involved many trips up and down the stairs to fetch and carry crockery, boiling water and washing up. The new routine is much better and a lot safer as there is no need to go up and down the stairs. All the volunteers agree that the improvements have had a massive impact.
Upstairs, on the mezzanine floor there is now an office space that did not exist before the refurbishment. Before, there were two computers on top of a long cupboard and staff used to sit on bar stools to do their work.
The new office space provides space for three members of staff to have access to a desk and computer and sufficient access to space in filing cabinets etc. This has been especially helpful as our staff team has grown and the demands on our resources have increased. We have created a ‘hub’ for the organisation both upstairs and downstairs.
Once the refurbishments were complete we applied to Comic Relief for funding for a Cafe worker to develop the cafe activities. The funding bid was successful and we started the cafe project in October 2014. The youth cafe is open every day at lunchtime and three evenings a week as well as the weekly Open Doors coffee morning.
We are also developing employability and inter-generational projects which will use the cafe area for social enterprise initiatives and work experience.
We expect to be using the facilities that this grant provided for many years to come
The Duns Players applied to you for funding last year to finance some sound and lighting equipment and you kindly gave us. We listed a number of items we wanted and agreed we would be contributing some of the money ourselves. We also promised to share this equipment with other local groups.
To date we have spent £2,938 on much better lighting, carrying cases for all the equipment and a range of smaller items like the microphones.
Your grant has enabled us to improve the quality of our own shows. We have put on Glen Garry Glen Ross an serious American Drama in September last year, Dads Army for armistice day. An Alan Bennett evening toured the village halls this spring and they will be used for our annual comedy shows this spring.
We have also lent them to the Duns and District Opera for the annual pantomime and for Me and My Girl and Gavinton pantomime in January. Berwickshire Housing Association borrowed them for their star awards event and they were also put to use a large childrens party.
We are thrilled with what we are now able to do with a much higher specification of equipment and not having to hire it on a regular basis so we want to thank the Fund for enabling this .
Helen Forsyth Secretary Duns Players