Applications for the Organised Outdoor Community Play Fund are now open. Funded by the Scottish Government, it aims to support charities who provide organised outdoor play opportunities for children and families in Scotland’s most deprived communities.
In 2020-21, the fund distributed £380,000 across 23 play charities, reaching more than 5,000 children in Scotland. This year, a total of £500,000 is being provided to help charities who facilitate outdoor play for children and their families.
Applications for up to £25,000 will be considered, though the average award is likely to be less than this.
Must be a registered Scottish charity.
Delivery in top 2 deciles of deprivation – 20% SIMD (please read the guidance notes for further information on this)
Funding to support children and their families to access outdoor play.
Only outdoor free play – not applicable to organised sports.
Cannot duplicate any statutory, ELC or school provision.
Applications close at midday on Monday April 26th 2021.
Drew Leslie, Stirling Council Senior Manager for Infrastructure, said: “Everyone in Stirling has a role to play in tackling the climate crisis so it’s vital our communities participate in shaping this urgent plan for action.
“We can’t carry out the normal face-to-face engagement due to the ongoing pandemic so we have arranged these virtual drop-in sessions to help the public understand the vision, objectives and actions of the document and to provide an opportunity for people to ask questions.
“Addressing climate change remains at the top of the Council’s agenda and we want this to be the same in our communities, so I would encourage as many people to come along to the events and help us take the next steps in this global challenge.”
The Climate and Nature Emergency Plan spells out a vision to improve residents’ lives, help Stirling’s economy thrive and enhance the local environment.
To view and comment on the plan, head to the Council’s Engage Stirling platform. Those unable to access the digital platform can request a hard copy by calling the Contact Centre (01786 404040).
Stirling Council’s Chief Social Work Officer, Marie Valente said: “These virtual sessions allow people to find out about the various fostering opportunities that are available in a relaxed and informal way.
“Fostering can be extremely rewarding as you can make a real difference to a child’s life and change their future for the better.
“There is also ongoing support and training in place for all our carers so you are never alone and will feel part of a wider family.
“If you think you may be able to provide a safe and nurturing home for a young person, please come along to one of the events next week to find out more and to chat directly with our carers.”
Have your say on Stirling’s draft Climate and Nature Emergency Plan
Residents and businesses are being asked for their views on the first draft of Stirling Council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Plan.
In October 2019, the Council declared a Climate Emergency and the Plan will be a major driver in Stirling’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis head on.
The document spells out a vision to improve residents’ lives, help Stirling’s economy thrive and enhance the local environment, with a focus on five key objectives:
Energy Use and Generation – transform our energy systems and help deliver zero-carbon, affordable energy for all.
Transport – develop a modern transport system that minimises carbon emissions, improves affordability and provides choice for all.
Resource Efficiency – improve resource efficiency by cutting consumption and reducing waste.
Nature and Biodiversity – optimise biodiversity and increase the carbon storage potential of nature.
Climate Adaption – plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
People can provide feedback on the plan via the Council’s new Engage Stirling platform and those unable to access the digital platform can request a hard copy by calling the Contact Centre (01786 404040).
Virtual drop-in sessions with communities are also planned during the consultation process. Details of these will be shared on social media and the Engage Stirling Platform over the coming weeks.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “The Council is committed to leading the way in averting climate change, but we can only win this battle through collective action and input from residents and businesses.
“If you are interested in shaping how your community and the wider Stirling area becomes a greener, healthier and more prosperous place to live and work, please have your say on this Plan for urgent action.”
In March 2020, the Council directed officers to develop a climate emergency plan to reduce carbon emissions and help address climate change impacts.
Since then, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, significant work has taken place to make this vision a reality.
This included a survey over the summer of 2020 which helped measure public opinion on the climate emergency and inform the plan’s objectives.
More than 1,000 residents responded to the online questionnaire – one of the biggest responses to a Council survey – and the results of the closed questions can be downloaded here or accessed on Engage Stirling.
Vice Convener, Cllr Danny Gibson said: “The ongoing pandemic means this continues to be a hugely challenging time for people, but we know climate change remains a top priority for communities from the high number of responses we received in last year’s survey.
“The climate emergency also remains at the top of the Council’s agenda and, while we have made significant strides forward to cut our carbon footprint, we know we all need to do much more.
“This plan is our blueprint to take the next steps forward in this global challenge, so please use your voice to shape a brighter future for Stirling.”
The consultation on the draft Climate and Nature Emergency Plan will be open for an initial eight weeks, and the feedback from the public will be used to refine the Plan, which will be presented for approval at a future meeting of Stirling Council.
Popular children’s book festival goes online this year
Families across Stirling will have the opportunity to enjoy a world of magic and adventure this week with the return of a fun-filled free book festival.
Organised by Stirling Council’s Libraries Service, ‘smallprint’ is going virtual this year due to the current national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and the temporary closure of libraries.
Pre-recorded author workshops, stories and live Bookbug sessions are amongst the jam-packed offering at this year’s three-day festival, which will celebrate children’s literature.
The online events will run from World Book Day (Thursday, 4 March) until Saturday, 6 March.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Smallprint is a popular festival with families across Stirling and I am delighted our innovative libraries team have been able to deliver a diverse range of digital events despite the ongoing pandemic.
“We know lockdown is particularly tough on children and smallprint is a great opportunity to allow them to have fun and develop their reading skills at the same time – so check out what’s on offer and get involved.”
Stirling residents are being urged to get ready for the Scottish Parliament elections as early as possible.
Scotland will go to the polls in less than three months’ time on 6 May and general voter registration closes on 19 April.
With a significant increase expected for postal votes amid the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, the deadline for postal vote registration has been brought forward to 6 April to allow the anticipated surge in applications to be processed in time for the vote count.
Carol Beattie, Constituency Returning Officer for Stirling and Stirling Council Chief Executive, said: “The process of voting in this year’s election is going to look very different because of Covid.
“Significant changes will be made to polling stations and our vote count location to make sure everyone taking part in this year’s election in whatever capacity can do so safely and in line with government restrictions.
“If you’re 16 or over, it is time to start thinking about how this will affect you, especially if you want to use a postal vote. Our advice is to check if you’re registered now and consider your options for voting in the weeks ahead.”
The Electoral Registration Office for Central Scotland is the key source of information on voter registration for residents in Stirling.
Information on registering and methods of voting are available on its website and letters have already been sent to households across Stirling with the current voter registration status of occupants.
Pete Wildman the ERO for the Stirling Council area said: “I would encourage anyone who wishes to vote by post at this election to apply now for their postal vote.”
More than £1.7 million has been committed to 58 community and business projects in rural Stirling as part of the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER programme.
The LEADER programme aims to help innovative, locally driven, bottom-up projects that will support the local community and develop the rural economy.
Since 2015, Stirling Council has hosted the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER Team who have been supporting a wide range of community organisations, businesses and farms to prepare projects and applications for funding.
As well as investing £1.76 million in rural projects in the area, the LEADER programme has also levered in an additional £3.23 million into the area.
This created and safeguarded 95 jobs, directly supported 678 enterprises and created or improved 50 community facilities.
Convenor of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley said: “By supporting these grassroots projects and ideas, either for new start-ups or existing businesses taking a new direction, we have been able to empower our local communities, giving confidence to a community or business to make something happen which will benefit their wider area.
“We find that the most resilient, strongest and effective projects are those that have the community at their heart. The impact and benefits of these rural initiatives are wide-ranging; delivering confidence, mental health improvements, physical activity, improved income opportunities, access to services and support, friendship and so much more.”
Vice Convenor Alison Laurie said: “There have been numerous benefits that have come through the LEADER funding, from creating and safeguarding jobs, to the setting up of businesses, new products and area-wide events, all of which will help rural areas prosper in future.
“A key part of LEADER is about learning and sharing learning, and the positive experiences that have already been achieved will help guide the development of future community and locally led projects.”
LEADER is an EU and Scottish Government funded programme which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Examples of project successes for Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER have included:
Creating resilient and Smart Communities
The Rural Food Hubs project led by Forth Environment Link
– Having already set up a ‘Neighbourfood Hub’ in the city centre, the project organised ‘Click and Collect’ local food hubs in Balfron and Killin to service rural South West and Highland Stirling, along with local hosts G63 and Scrumptious Garden.
– Both markets found their services were very much in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown, with 34 food producers supplying to customers in Balfron and 20 to the market in Killin. Satellite pick up points were also set up in Killearn, Aberfoyle and Drymen with volunteers also delivering to people who were shielding during lockdown.
Investing in sustainable economic actions
Fishing Around the Forth
– The project has supported 20 fisheries in the FVL area.
– The project saw creation of a hub including website and online ticketing for wild fisheries to use. This allowed the fisheries to adapt to changing times during the pandemic.
– Fishing around the Forth has supported outdoor recreation by promoting fishing available along with tourism to the fisheries.
– Having resources during these times when many businesses did not saved the 2020 fishing season.
Preparing climate actions
Loch Earn Railway Path Phase 4
– The completion of Phase 4 has enabled people to use 1.8km of route that was previously difficult to navigate, as an alternative option of travelling actively, instead of using the busy A85 trunk road.
– The new route allows for the comfortable navigation for path users while still accommodating for farm and estate use.
– Although one section does come off of the old railway line, the path alignment is as direct as feasibly possible while ensuring an enjoyable, scenic route.
Fostering partnership working
Local Food and Drink Co-ordinator
– The project aimed to increase the range and number of local food production, processing and retail outlets and marketing opportunities in the area.
– The project saw production of the Alive with Local Food Strategy, a well-researched strategy focusing on support for the local food and drink economy.
– It supported the setting up of the Local Food Business Network to increase the visibility of local food businesses and facilitate better collaboration between businesses.
– It helped establish a Forth Valley Food Festival to become an annual promotional campaign to celebrate local food businesses and give visitors a chance to experience local food.
Social Inclusion and addressing inequalities.
Barrwood Camp Ground Extension Project
– The project aimed to develop facilities and paths, and enhance biodiversity to allow customers and members of the public to access a previously inaccessible area of the Barrwood.
– The infrastructure provided by this project has proved very attractive to customers of all ages and abilities, and has been well used over the last eighteen months.
– The Trust is experiencing increased residential use by youth groups, all of whom enjoy more active outdoor experiences when present.
– Increased day visitor numbers and more walkers passing through have also been noticed.