Local Teenager ‘s Litter Picking Initiative Inspires Friockheim and Seeks More Volunteers

James Anderson is a teenager who works very hard for his Friockheim community by helping others, from salting the pavements and cleaning the park in his village to giving anti-bullying talks. He is involved in various voluntary projects and initiatives and demonstrates real active citizenship.

He got involved in the Adopt-A-Street scheme for litter picking. His initiative was then extended to Friockheim Park and he created a Facebook page to let people know about the park’s amenities.

Keep Scotland Beautiful then selected Friockheim Park to be a Litter Picking Community Hub to help tackle lockdown litter. The Keep Scotland Beautiful scheme aims to help communities that are frustrated by litter worsening during, and following the easing of, lockdown.

The new hub is now offering to lend new litter pickings kits to individuals and community groups. The kits contain litter pickers, gloves, bag hoops, and hi-vis vests to help people take part in a litter pick.

James will hopefully get some more volunteers kitted out for his litter picks – these are usually advertised on the Parks Facebook. The local playgroup has already shown an interest and that would be an interesting outing for them! Some individuals have also agreed to become part of this community programme.

Arbroath Community Housing Team recently agreed to help out with storage for the community equipment and a lock-up is now available for storage and as a meeting point.

The equipment will be loaned to any interested volunteers and James wants to encourage this. You can contact James at jsa2003@btinternet.com or by calling 07517567518.

Do not be surprised if you get a recorded message saying “James’ Bin Washing Services” as he still manages to fit this sideline into his hectic schedule!!

More about James

James was diagnosed with Autism at the beginning of 2012. He was finding it hard going at school but in later years at Carnoustie High he matured and on leaving at 15 he then was able to attend Angus College in Arbroath studying Hospitality and Professional Cookery – completing before lockdown. James then managed to get part-time employment in an initially temporary role with ASDA (Arbroath) as a janitor/cleaner and he is enjoying that new challenge which, due to his performance, has now become a stable part of his life.

James as a teenager was always bored and wanting something to do. He had a great concern for the community as a whole and the vulnerable groups within. Through Enable Scotland in 2018 he was chosen to speak about his experiences at the United Nations in Geneva where he talked about children’s rights and cyberbullying – he was a ‘Change Champion’.

Even though now working, his volunteering has increased – officially over 500 hours and probably well over 1000! After his 16th birthday, we supplied him with an industrial salt spreader and PPE to compliment the equipment donated by Shepherds and Guild Homes the year before. He was disappointed with the mild weather we had last winter and looks forward to continuing with the village pavement salt spreading later in the year. James manages to grit the pavements of Friockheim before most of us have our first cup of tea! James knows the Roads and Housing teams well and they are only too aware of his continuing requests for salt (NO salt/sand mix please!)

Still with Angus Carers but limited due to COVID he intends to become an ‘official’ volunteer obtaining PVG and various training – he sees this as only right for all the help given to him and his family due to his autism. He enjoys helping others wither the ‘young ones’ or the community as a whole. His next planned personal improvement booked for the beginning of December is completing his three day ‘First Aid at Work’ course which he will see as an asset for others when he is in a volunteering role.

Other volunteering involved assisting at various local church events and Friockheim Community Hub. In the wider community, he can include stints at events such as Party at Pitskelly, Johnshaven Fish Festival & both Montrose and Forfar Triathalons. He also assisted his father in volunteering and raking the bunkers at Montrose Golf Courses on a Sunday morning before play started during the summer!

His Adopt a Street project is continuing and his work in the park has taken off dramatically! James was able to get substantial quantities of disinfectant from various suppliers F.O.C. just having to pay for delivery. He uses this to clean equipment in the park three or four times a week. He carries out litter picking almost daily and has a supply of litter pickers on hand should anyone wish to become involved.

Most recently, James was also pleased to have been nominated in different categories of the Angus Youth awards 2020 and very proud to have come in as the winner of the COVID 19 category as well as the winner of the Environment / Heritage category.

Litter Picking Community Hub at Friockheim:

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New Tenant Participation Strategy Launched

The launch of the Angus Tenant & Community Engagement Strategy 2019-2022 took place last week at Arbroath Academy. The new strategy was presented by our tenant representatives and two elected members, Cllr Tommy Stewart and Cllr Lois Speed.

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The purposes of the strategy is to improve how we engage with our tenants and communities and to meet outcomes and standards of the Scottish Social Housing Charter

It sets out 6 priorities:

  • Establish an E-panel for consultations and information sharing
  • Establish a Scrutineers panel
  • Promote and advertise tenant participation in the best format for our tenants and review and revise our information regularly
  • Give recognition for learning and participation through awards and accreditations
  • Develop local area action plans in partnership with our local Community Housing Teams
  • Produce a calendar of tenant participation opportunities

The full Strategy document can be found here.

John Morrow, Service Leader – Housing, highlighted the importance of the strategy for Angus. He said:

At a time of great change, it’s more important than ever for tenants to have a voice in shaping our policies. We want to be sure that what we do reflects the things that are important to customers. Whether that means installing new bathrooms, building new council houses, keeping our rents at some of the lowest in Scotland, or making sure that repairs are done right first time, it’s only through listening to tenant views that we really learn what our priorities should be.

This Tenant Engagement strategy sets out how we will encourage a greater level participation, including a broader representation and age range, as we don’t currently have many young people actively participating. So the Strategy sets out a wider range of communication methods, including the Housing Blog and the new e-panel, designed to reach many more people.

I hope that tenants will play a greater role in helping to keep us on track to deliver good services in return for reasonable rents, and help us demonstrate value for money, not just to our customers, but also to the Scottish Housing Regulator as one of the principles of the Scottish Social Housing Charter. I think if we can help make the link better between the big picture issues, and rents and investment, and what really matters for tenants in their home, then we can get more people interested in being involved.

And that is exactly what this Tenant Engagement Strategy is designed to achieve.

 

 

 

Angus Tenant & Community Engagement Strategy 2019-2022

 

On Thursday our committee approved our newest tenant participation strategy, which will now be known as the Angus Tenant and Community Engagement Strategy. This strategy has been written in conjunction with our Angus Tenant Steering Group, who were involved in the whole process. Our strategy sets out clearly how we plan to support tenants to make a difference wherever they live, improving services and ensuring tenants have a voice in how housing services are delivered.

Tenant participation is a two way process and we need people to become involved to drive forward improvements in services and share ideas and information to influence decision-making in the housing services we deliver. We are focussed on the needs of all our customers and we have tried to show this throughout our new strategy, looking a different ways of getting people involved in a way that suits them.

In the past, tenant participation has been interpreted as something a tenant has to go to  become involved. This is no longer the case and we have looked at many difference ways for tenants to become involved. These are new ways of working and will take time to establish but we have the basis of making tenant participation fully integrated into our day to day services, not something we do as an extra.

Our strategy covers a three year period, which includes a live action plan which we will monitor, review and update with tenants throughout its lifetime to ensure we meet all the priorities highlighted in this new strategy.

See the full strategy document here.

If you wish to become involved in a way that suits you, please contact us at tenantparticipation@angus.gov.uk or contact any of our locality offices in:-

Arbroath Carnoustie, Monifieth & Sidlaw

Forfar & Kirriemuir

Brechin & Montrose

By calling ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778

Viewmount Estate Walkabout

Viewmount Voices community group held an Estate Walkabout this week which attracted many local residents. The group is supported by the local community officer and they invited Council officers to answer lots of questions from local people. There were many concerns, issues and ideas for future development raised which the Viewmount Voices group will consider at their next meeting on Tuesday 16 October at 6.30pm at the Glensview Community Flat.

Below are photographs of some the Viewmount walkabout:

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Calling Residents of West Carnoustie – Get Involved with the Community Appraisal!

Our Communities Team is speaking to residents about setting up a residents’ group in  West Carnoustie (see the map below) and in this area.

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Our Communities Officer, Mark Johnston, said:

There has been some interest shown in having a residents group in the West Carnoustie area to consider issues faced by residents and improve services available to people in the community.

We will support this and believe it is important that local people are able to have their say about the area where they live and the services provided.

Officers from the Carnoustie Locality Team (wearing Angus Council ID badges) will be in the area until Friday 14tDecember with a short survey to get local views.

They will be using the ‘Place Standard’ questionnaire which is designed to help us all identify good and not so good areas and focus resources where they are needed most.

If our staff members do not manage to call when you are in or if you would prefer to complete the questionnaire online in your own time please go to Place Standard online questionnaire .The data is automatically made anonymous so we only get your views and no identifying data is stored.

If you do not want us to come to your door or if you would like to arrange a time to meet with us or if you are interested in being part of a residents group or attending a meeting please let us know your contact details. All information gathered will treated confidentially, used solely for the purpose of the community consultation and will not be shared with any third parties.

Please contact us through the Communities Office  – Telephone: 01241 803598 or Email: cldcarnoustie@angus.gov.uk

Following the completion of the survey we will be holding a feedback event to which interested people will be invited.  We will share the anonymised results of the survey with residents and, if appropriate, we will be able to give a community-based group support and advice to help them take any issues forward.

Need Funding for a Community Project? – Community Innovation Fund advice sessions are coming to Angus

NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation Fund is available to groups of people living in communities across the area to enhance their environments, promote community spirit and inspire pride in neighbourhoods. Groups can apply for money to start projects or take action to tackle community issues. Details of drop-in sessions below.

Community Innovation Fund

For more information see the NHS Tayside website.