Pupils at Liff Primary School are relishing a fun-filled start to the Summer term, after a donation from Miller Homes meant that a brand-new wooden playpark could be installed in the school playground, for all pupils to enjoy.

The five-star housebuilder, whose popular Sycamore Dell development is located in the village of Liff, donated £500 to Liff Primary School after hearing that pupils were eager for some new play equipment to brighten up breaktimes.

With monkey bars, swing bars, a tightrope, pull-up bars, a trapeze swing and more now permanently in place at the playground, Liff Primary P5 and P6 pupils were so overjoyed that they even wrote thank-you letters to Miller Homes, to express their gratitude.

Pupil Geordie wrote: “Thank you so much Miller Homes for the £500 donation, it has helped us buy a wooden playpark and we have so much fun on it. I think it is a great addition to the playground. I certainly play on it an absolute ton, because it is so much fun! I personally think I like the monkey bars the best, but the rest is still really, really, really good. Again, thank you so much!”

And fellow pupil Ava wrote: “We absolutely love the equipment, thank you so much! We love playing on the play equipment, it makes us fit and healthy and now that it is finished, we can all be happy and have lots of fun.”

Katie Milne, Headteacher at Liff Primary School, said: “We’re delighted by this generous donation from Miller Homes, and really appreciate them helping us to fund this fantastic new play area. It’s been wonderful to see so many of the children enjoying the equipment together and finding new ways to play and connect during the school day.”

Neil Gaffney, Sales and Marketing Director for Miller Homes, said: “We’re delighted to support Liff Primary School with this donation, and to see the positive impact that the new playpark is having on pupils’ health and wellbeing. It’s so important to us that we can continue to support the local communities around our developments wherever we can, and we’re delighted that the children of Liff Primary School are enjoying their new playpark so much.”

Nestled in among picturesque woodlands in the peaceful village of Liff, Sycamore Dell is an idyllic place to call home. Located just a short drive from the centre of Dundee, the development offers discerning buyers a wonderful opportunity to escape to the country and enjoy all the perks of a close-knit community, without sacrificing the buzz of city life.

The development has been hugely popular since its launch, with many buyers now settled into their dream homes and enjoying everything Sycamore Dell and the surrounding areas has to offer. There are now just 8 homes remaining at the development, with interested parties being urged to act quickly to secure one of the stunning four or five-bedroom homes available, before Sycamore Dell sells out.

Interested buyers can find out more about Sycamore Dell by booking a telephone appointment with a Development Sales Manager on 03301 621 002, or by visiting millerhomes.co.uk.

Seven social enterprises from across the country have been announced as the latest participants in LaunchMe, Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator.

From a creative hub in Shetland to a community transport enterprise in Bo’ness, the seven social enterprises were selected based on their potential to scale, secure investment and generate social impact in their communities.

LaunchMe, which is delivered by social enterprise start-up agency Firstport, supports ambitious social enterprises to achieve scale by getting them investment ready and directly connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns. In addition to initial seed funding, selected participants have the opportunity to apply for grant funding as co-investment to match any private and institutional investment they secure during the programme.

The programme is supported by the Scottish Government, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and Barclays bank. Previous participants include well-known social enterprises including letting agency Homes for Good; art retailer the Scottish Design Exchange; tour company Invisible Cities and hair salon chain Brave, Strong, Beautiful.

Trudi Donahue, one of the selected participants and Director of Glasgow-based Wild & Kind CIC, said: “We are so excited to be a part of LaunchMe. Firstport have been there for us right from the start, and the support they’ve given us over the years is the reason why we are where we are now. We’ve been growing steadily over the last 12 months, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. I’m hoping that LaunchMe will help me build the skills needed to manage the finance and development side of the company so that we can scale up to be a relatively large organisation, providing jobs and deliver even more social impact over the coming months.”

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “The ambition and drive of social enterprises continue to impress us. Despite facing incredible challenges over the last year, the seven successful participants have demonstrated that they have robust and resilient business models with the potential to scale and achieve greater social impact. As Scotland emerges from a second lockdown and we look forward to a still uncertain future, social enterprises have an important role to play in helping communities recover from the health and economic crisis brought about by Covid. We can’t wait to see what these seven enterprises go on to achieve.”

Margaret McSporran, Head of Social Enterprise Development at HIE, said: “The Highlands and Islands, with around 10% of the population, is home to more than a fifth of Scotland’s social enterprises. This underlines their importance to the region’s economy and communities. Over the past year we have seen significant added value of social enterprise, supporting many rural communities through the pandemic. It’s great to see many of them taking part in LaunchMe. We look forward to seeing how this helps our social enterprises strengthen their role in our region’s recovery and brings benefits to rural communities, particularly those with population challenges, as we transition to a net zero region.

More information about the participants and the programme are available on the Firstport website – https://www.firstport.org.uk/business-support/launchme/

In addition, a case study about Wild & Kind  (A Glasgow-based social enterprise founded by social entrepreneur Trudi Donahue) can be found here > Wild and Kind case study

kathy hoyleHomelessness and inclusion charity Cyrenians are delighted to have appointed a Manager for the Social Bite Village.

The Social Bite Village will provide a home for up to 20 people affected by homelessness. Cyrenians have almost 50 years’ experience in delivering residential community models to those affected by homelessness. The charity is now journeying with Social Bite by providing the support and care for the community of the purpose built village located in Granton.

The aim of the village is to empower residents with the skills required to maintain an independent and meaningful life away from homelessness and the issues which may have contributed to their homeless experience e.g. unemployment, relationship breakdown, debt, addiction, mental health.

Cyrenians have appointed an internal member of staff to the role of Manager for the village. Kathy Hoyle started her career as a professional chef before gaining a degree in Social Anthropology with Development. She joined Cyrenians as a volunteer in 2006 before moving into a job at Cyrenians Communities, supporting young people directly affected by homelessness. After this, Kathy took on a role supporting people to maintain accommodation in the private rented sector as an alternative to homelessness, before spending 4 years working for Cyrenians Homeless Prevention Service and then joining Cyrenians Fareshare Depot as Deputy Manager in 2012.

Kathy has a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting those affected by the tough realties of homelessness; she is professional, genuine, caring, highly personable and committed to making the village a great success.

Kathy said: “I am thrilled to be managing such an exciting and innovative project. The village has the potential to be an enormously transformative and supportive place for people to live whilst they tackle some complex challenges. With the support of Cyrenians, the residents will have an opportunity to live in a community where they will be given the space to form relationships and build up skills. This feels like an opportunity for us to make history and I am very excited to be part of that.”

Kathy will be taking part in Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park event on 9th December, and she will be at the Cyrenians stall. She welcomes people to come and have a chat and ask any questions they might have about the village.

It has been well documented by health and social care professionals, as well as debated in Parliament, that Scotland as a nation has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Availability and affordability being the two main contributory factors, whereby alcoholic drinks at times can be cheaper than some soft drinks in your local supermarkets. There are no barriers to its reach. Whether you live in a prestigious postcode area or a socio-economically deprived estate, there is no escape from the detrimental footprint that the misuse of alcohol leaves across our communities. Individuals who misuse or become over dependent on alcohol can often find themselves excluded from their home and family, lose their employment status and ultimately feel isolated within their own community.

Cyrenians, an Edinburgh based homelessness and inclusion charity, has worked tirelessly for almost fifty years to serve those on the edge, working with the homeless and vulnerable to transform their lives by beginning with their story, helping them believe that they can change their lives, and walking with them as they lead their own transformation.

At the Cyrenians Recovery Service in Bathgate, staff are faced with the impact of alcohol misuse from individuals who access our service on a daily basis. The aim is to assist individuals in moving towards a substance-free life, whether that be free from drugs or alcohol, through building an understanding of their addiction, confidence and self-esteem.

The focus is always on recovery from addiction and working with individuals to develop the resilience to cope with circumstances that would have previously resulted in a problematic drinking episode. There are always going to be challenges with sustaining recovery in your own town, as usually all of the individual’s past ‘triggers’ for using alcohol or drugs are around them.

As well as providing a group rehab programme and tailored one to one support, Cyrenians also runs the Recovery Hub, called ‘Pre-Sync 27’. This is a designated ‘safe space’, unique to West Lothian, where individuals who are seeking a positive route away from addiction can meet and freely share their experiences whilst providing and receiving support from their peers. The Recovery Hub is a fully functioning community facility, where people can access a range of social, educational and recovery activities such as Keep Well clinics, music therapy and reiki. It also hosts mutual aid support and fellowship meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In the last year Cyrenians Recovery Hub opened its doors to over 6300 visits, highlighting both the need for this type of facility and also the success of the interventions provided.

In Alcohol Awareness Week, we as a society should take stock of where we are in our relationship with alcohol. We should examine our communities and the results of alcohol misuse and its associated health and social problems. We should look to change a long ingrained culture and strive to educate or possibly re-educate people of all ages to the dangers linked to alcohol misuse.

Bus photo - cyreniansThe Homeless Navigator Project is a new Comic Relief and Essential Edinburgh funded service within Cyrenians that seeks to address a visible problem with rough sleeping in Edinburgh.

The project aims to offer an alternative opportunity for people who are experiencing homelessness and cannot, for whatever reason, make use of the current support services that exist in Edinburgh. The Homeless Navigator Project offers a peer support service, delivered by someone with lived experience of homelessness, for those who are rough sleeping or vulnerably housed.

Recent research by Crisis shows that homelessness in Britain is projected to double by 2041. Another report by Shelter Scotland suggests that figures of people sleeping on the streets might actually be higher than imagined as some people do not seek the help they need. With that in mind, the Homeless Navigator Project will offer rough sleepers a chance to speak to someone who has been homeless and understands the challenges involved.

The Homeless Navigators, who are a combination of peer workers with lived experience of homelessness and experts by training, will tour around Edinburgh on foot. They will identify people who are sleeping on the streets in order to form supportive relationships and increase their uptake of services such as Housing, Health, Employability and Substance Misuse.

When working with marginalized and vulnerable people, establishing trust is crucial. A peer approach works on the basis that someone who has experienced the same difficulties is motivated by positive, caring reasons – they have been there themselves and they know how challenging it can be.
There are no eligibility criteria or referrals into the project – the team will actively seek out and build relationships with people who are on the streets and offer them support. If you wish to find out more about the service or make us aware of someone spending time on the streets who would like some help then please contact us on 0131 475 2354.

The Homeless Navigator Project is part of the Outreach team at Cyrenians. Outreach at Cyrenians is a group of services that promote the inclusion of people who experience homelessness as well as other disadvantages, such as poverty, poor mental health and substance misuse. The Outreach team builds trusting relationships with people in order to allow them to achieve their goals using a combination of expertise by training and lived experience.

Manager of the Cyrenians Outreach team, Mike Wright said: “This is a valuable opportunity for our new Outreach workers to take their experience of life on the streets and to provide person-centred, caring, insightful support for those who are unable to access other forms of support.”

More information on Cyrenians and this project is available at www.cyrenians.scot

Film Director Garry Fraser, whose film Everybody’s Child about his own extraordinary story of addiction to recovery won a Bafta in 2014, is to open an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Patrick Keast on 2nd December at 4pm in the My Front Room Café, 5 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh. Patrick is himself also on a journey of recovery from addiction, supported by Cyrenians Recovery Hub in Bathgate, and his work reflects much of his recovery story. According to Patrick, photography has played a huge part in his recovery journey.

bench-photo

Patrick said: “My photography is like art therapy for me. Being absorbed in a creative process is very liberating. My hope is that my photography can provoke thoughts in others as it has in me.”

Garry Fraser, who most recently worked as assistant director on Trainspotting 2, said: “I think it’s great to be part of an exhibition that highlights the importance of creating a link between creativity and recovery. It’s a subject that’s very close to my heart.”

My Front Room owner Nick Keenan said: “I am really excited about being able to display this work this month. From the moment I met Patrick, his journey inspired me, and I feel it can resonate with anyone who wants to make a change to their life. Patrick and I have painstakingly sifted through countless images to portray the three stages of his journey: the immersion in addiction, the realisation that there was something more out there and the tough but rewarding journey he’s still currently on. This exhibition is designed to inspire others to realise that it’s never too late to make a change. I hope people enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.”

Cyrenians Chief Executive Ewan Aitken said: “We are very grateful for Garry finding the time to open Patrick’s exhibition and to Nick Keenan for hosting it in his café. Patrick’s photos are an extraordinary insight into the journey of recovery and I can’t recommend them highly enough. It is a brave thing he has done in putting this exhibition on. Hopefully it will inspire others to tell their story and increase the understanding about the reality of addiction and the need for support in recovery for the whole community, as Garry and Nick have shown.”

bus-photo

Cyrenians Recovery Service worked last year with around 200 people on a recovery journey to move away from alcohol and drug addiction. It features two facilities: the Recovery Hub and the Telephone Recovery Service.

Based in Bathgate, Cyrenians Recovery Hub service works holistically – working with, not for service users – individually and in groups. They develop recovery plans that ensure social, emotional and practical support is given alongside any medical treatment. They link people up with the resources and help they need to make their recovery. And they give people a chance to learn and develop. The Recovery Hub is a safe place for people to meet and help each other with their recovery following addiction. Open 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday, it offers a wide range of recovery-focused, mostly peer led, activities, including mutual aid support meetings (like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Opioid Replacement Therapy), auricular acupuncture, keep well clinics, reiki, music therapy and guided relaxation.

Some of the country’s top chefs will team up with Cyrenians and Edinburgh College to lay on a gastronomic spectacular and raise money for people excluded from family, home, work or community.

Cyrenians will be hosting an evening of fine dining and entertainment at the college, with a seven-course tasting menu created by some of Scotland’s best and most high-profile chefs. The college’s professional cookery and hospitality students will work alongside the chefs in the kitchen and service, giving them a great opportunity to learn from the best.

Chefs will include Daniel Mellor, Head Chef at the Observatory restaurant at The Glasshouse Hotel; John Newton Executive Head Chef from Apex International; Sebastian Kobelt, Patissier and Chocolatier from Linlithgow; Brian Grigor, Head Chef of the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant at The Balmoral Hotel, the inaugural winner of BBC’s MasterChef:The Professionals, Derek Johnstone, who is Head Chef at the Golf Inn at Gullane and Private Chef Jane Pollock.

Funds raised through the cook-off event will go towards Cyrenians’ work including its homeless prevention service; befriending service for older people; addiction recovery service; recruitment and skills centre; and food education.

Hugh McCluskey, curriculum manager for professional cookery and hospitality at Edinburgh College, said: “Our students were delighted to have the chance to work with top chefs and soak up their hints and tips while helping a good cause. Opportunities like this inspire them to focus on their studies and continue to produce fantastic work.”

Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians Chief Executive said:

“We were delighted to have the support of Edinburgh College, these superb local chefs, and many of our corporate supporters to lay on this unique evening of fine dining.  The monies raised will have a direct impact on our ability to continue to support those excluded from family, home, work or community.

Cyrenians work to create opportunities for disadvantaged people by offering effective and lasting routes out of homelessness and promoting social inclusion. The charity focuses on four targeted areas of service: family and people, home and housing, work and skills, and community and food.

The event is on the 18th November 2016 at Edinburgh College Milton Road Campus from 7pm.

For more information on Cyrenians visit: http://cyrenians.scot

Ali Kerr

Senior relationship manager, Cyrenians

E: alikerr@cyrenians.scot T: 0131 475 2354

 

The event is on the 18th November 2016 at Edinburgh College Milton Road Campus from 7pm.

Top chefs team up in annual charity cook off to support people facing a tough reality

Some of the country’s top chefs will team up with Cyrenians and Edinburgh College to lay on a gastronomic spectacular and raise money for people excluded from family, home, work or community.

Cyrenians will be hosting an evening of fine dining and entertainment at the college, with a seven-course tasting menu created by some of Scotland’s best and most high-profile chefs. The college’s professional cookery and hospitality students will work alongside the chefs in the kitchen and service, giving them a great opportunity to learn from the best. Chefs will include Daniel Mellor from the Observatory restaurant at The Glasshouse Hotel; John Newton from Apex International; Sebastian Kobelt, Patissier and Chocolatier from Linlithgow; Brian Grigor, head chef of the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant at The Balmoral Hotel. Funds raised through the cook-off event will go towards Cyrenians’ work including its homeless prevention service; befriending service for older people; recovery service for addicts; recruitment and skills centre; and food education.

Hugh McCluskey, curriculum manager for professional cookery and hospitality at Edinburgh College, said: “Our students were delighted to have the chance to work with top chefs and soak up their hints and tips while helping a good cause. Opportunities like this inspire them to focus on their studies and continue to produce fantastic work.”

Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians Chief Executive said:

“We were delighted to have the support of Edinburgh College, these superb local chefs, and many of our corporate supporters to lay on this unique evening of fine dining.  The monies raised will have a direct impact on our ability to continue to support those excluded from family, home, work or community.

The Cyrenians work to create opportunities for disadvantaged people by offering effective and lasting routes out of homelessness and promoting social inclusion. The charity focuses on four targeted areas of service: family and people, home and housing, work and skills, and community and food. “

To book or find out more contact 0131 475 2354 or fundraising@cyrenians.scot