Help for new Farmers & Crofters
Dec 13, 2017 @ 10:23

Funded by the Scottish Government, the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) exists to help new farmers and crofters grow their business through a range of business development support and one-to-one advisory services.

As a new farmer or crofter you are entitled to access a range of subsidised expert business support –worth up to a total of £2,200–to help you increase the profitability and sustainability of your new business. FAS can also arrange for an experienced farm adviser to visit your business, perform a critical assessment and offer you expert advice on a range of farming-related topics, tailored to your specific business needs.
One-to-one support services:
• Mentoring for new entrants
• Integrated Land Management Plans (ILMPs)
• Specialist advice
• Carbon audits.
For more information, please contact advice@fas.scot, call 0300 323 0161 or visit the FAS website.

Latest Grant Awards
Published on: Dec 12, 2017 @ 09:40

We are pleased to announce our latest grant awards including: funding groundworks preparation for the twelve new supported homes in Drumnadrochit, purchase of a new grounds maintenance vehicle for Glen Urquhart Shinty Club and a community music & heritage project involving Cannich Bridge, Glenurquhart and Balnain Primary Schools co-ordinated by Fèis Rois.
Soirbheas was established to strengthen and support the communities of Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, through revenues from local renewable energy schemes. The funds received from these schemes are distributed to local community projects in the form of grants and community development projects to help protect the environment and to provide and develop more resilient communities.
Alan James chair of Soirbheas said “We are coming to the end of the Charity’s 4th year of grant funding, it’s very pleasing to see the community coming forward with ambitious and creative projects. It’s also encouraging to see the level of partnership working starting to emerge across the communities.”

The schools project will provide a professional musician and artist to work in partnership with class teachers over a period of 16 weeks. They will work across the three primary schools to deliver an exciting, intergenerational, music, story and art project. Through active workshops the children will use these art forms as a tool to explore themes around the environment, culture and heritage within their local community. Fèis Rois Education Manager Rachael Duff said “Fèis Rois would like to invite people to come along to local gatherings to share stories, experiences and knowledge about the local area. This will also be an opportunity for us to let residents know more about how they can get involved in the project. We are really excited that with funding support from Soirbheas and Creative Scotland’s Tasgadh that this schools project will come to life.“

Call for affordable broadband by SCVO
Published on: Dec 6, 2017 @ 09:48

The Scottish Government will shortly make an investment of £400-£600 million to meet its commitment to delivering 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021. While this is necessary, SCVO believe that more needs to be done to ensure home internet access remains affordable for everyone, and are calling on:
• More internet providers to develop social tariffs that provide a basic broadband service to those on low incomes.
• Those working to tackle poverty and inequality to recognise the savings that can be made by being online, and to ensure people can easily apply for social tariffs.
• Providers and housing associations to work together to provide low cost internet access to tenants
To find out more about the SCVO campaign, read the briefing paper here. If your organisation would like to be a named supporter of this campaign, please sign up by emailing digital@scvo.org.uk .

2018 Board Meetings & AGM
Published on: Nov 30, 2017 @ 10:08

Please note the following Soirbheas Board meetings have been scheduled for next year:
Thursday 22rd February 2018 @ Balnain Hall
Thursday 26th April 2018 @ The Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit
Thursday 30th August 2018 @ Cannich Hall
Thursday 25th October 2018 @ The Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit
The AGM will take place on Thursday 28th June 2018 @ Balnain Hall

Money Matters Sessions
Published on: Nov 1, 2017 @ 13:44

Soirbheas has helped to arrange some free Money Matters sessions which are being delivered by Age Scotland on Tuesday 21st November in Drumnadrochit.
The sessions are:
Care Costs & Funding – 10:30 am at the Glenurquhart Library
Planning For and Managing Financial Change – 13:30 pm at the Glenurquhart Care Centre
To book a place please contact Carol Masheter on 0751 445 2783 or email carolmasheter@soirbheas.org
After the sessions you will have access to confidential follow up support from an Age Concern adviser.

Big Lottery Fund – Community Assets Fund
Published on: Oct 3, 2017 @ 10:02

Grants from £10,000 to £1 million to create strong and resilient communities through assets.

Through Community Assets the Big Lottery are focused on helping local communities to address specific inequalities or disadvantages through ownership of an asset. Applicants will need to show a clear evidence that they have consulted with their communities, considered various options to meet their needs and selected the best option to address this.
Big Lottery also want to fund work that is people-led, strengths-based and connected. Further information about understanding these ‘three approaches’ is available, including case studies.
Talking with applicants earlier in the process can lead to stronger applications. Because of this, there is no application form. The first step is to talk to us about your idea so we can give you advice on whether or not this funding is right for what you want to do. If we think your idea potentially fits with Community Assets we will then normally arrange to visit you.

Money Matter Sessions
Published on: Sep 5, 2017 @ 10:38

The Elderly and Young Partnership for Glen Urquhart and Strathglass are planning to host some Money Matter sessions in November organised by Age Scotland and funded by the Money Advice Service.
The free sessions last around an hour covering one of the 5 topics below:

Care costs and funding
Benefit entitlements
Power of Attorney
Wills and funeral costs
Planning for and managing financial change

After the session people can call Age Scotland for a confidential conversation with an adviser – 0800 1244 222.

Drumnadrochit to develop a local energy plan
Published on: Aug 30, 2017 @ 16:46

Drumnadrochit has been chosen as one of four communities to take part in the COBEN project. Soirbheas, the community charity for Glen Urquhart and Strathglass responded to the call for communities to take part in the project, putting forward Drumnadrochit as a community keen to address its local energy needs. The Community Benefits of Civic Energy (COBEN) project aims to evolve support for community energy to move from a focus of electricity generation supported by subsidies, to a more ‘whole system’ approach where communities’ energy generation, energy efficiency, heat, storage and future usage needs are all considered together.

Four areas in the Highlands and Islands Enterprise region have been chosen to take part in the pilot COBEN project to develop local energy plans. The selected areas are – Brae (Shetland Islands), Drumnadrochit, Barra and Vatersay (Western Isles) and Oban. These communities have been selected to reflect the range in sizes, locations, attributes and challenges that communities have across the Highlands and Islands.

Soirbheas was established to strengthen and support the communities of Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, through revenues from local renewable energy schemes. The funds received from these schemes is distributed to local community projects in the form of grants to help protect the environment and to provide and develop more resilient communities. Soirbheas’ Community Development Officer Carol Masheter said “Soirbheas has been involved in and supported several renewable and energy saving projects over the last 3 years; being part of the COBEN project presents a real opportunity to take a more holistic approach to plan for future community energy needs. We are very pleased to be part of the pilot and welcome the potential benefits it will bring to Drumnadrochit and other Highland communities.”

The four local energy plans will set out key priorities and opportunities and make recommendations and suggest practical projects for each community. Work in each area starts in October and local energy plans will be completed by mid-2018. Selected recommendations supported by the project will be implemented by October 2019.

Social Investment Scotland – Breakfast Event INVERNESS
Published on: Aug 28, 2017 @ 13:17

The new season of SIS workshops start with a short breakfast event in Inverness brought to you in collaboration with Ledingham Chalmers on 20th September
This 90 minute workshop looks at:
An introduction to Social Investment
How close are you to being investment ready….a look at SIS’ new self-diagnostic tool
Different legal structures available to charities and social enterprises when they are constituting themselves, updating their constitutional arrangements or embarking on new projects
CAMPARI…an insight into how a social investor undertakes due diligence
If you, your colleagues, clients or contacts are interested in joining us on 20th September please register here
Please book early as numbers are limited.

Funding Update
Published on: Aug 22, 2017 @ 12:15

Community Shares – The term ‘community shares’ refers to withdrawable share capital; a form of share capital unique to co-operative and community benefit society legislation. This type of share capital can only be issued by co-operative societies, community benefit societies and charitable community benefit societies.
Community shares can save local shops and pubs, finance renewable energy schemes, transform community facilities, support local food growing, fund new football clubs, restore heritage buildings, and above all, build stronger, more vibrant, and independent communities.
Since 2009, almost a 100,000 people have invested over £100m to support 350 community businesses throughout the UK. You can watch a short animation to understand why more and more people are investing in community shares to support community enterprises.

The Life Changes Trust welcomes applications from organisations and individuals in Scotland with experience of dementia who are seeking funding to produce resources that equip and encourage people suffering with dementia and their carers can apply for grants of between £500 and £7,000.
Organisations and individuals who have experience of dementia and live in Scotland including people living with dementia; organisations that work with those living with dementia; current carers; and former carers
The awards will support people living with dementia and their carers in Scotland to share knowledge and helpful information with each other by creating peer to peer support resources, such as leaflets, DVDs, videos, etc. Eligible projects/resources must have long term value/relevance (at least three years). Resources must be practical and truly reflect the experiences and needs of people living with dementia and/or carers.
The resources created through the fund will also provide a valuable source of education and information for people who want to know more about dementia, such as hospital or care home staff, relatives or friends.
The deadlines for applications are 1 September 2017 and 2 February 2018.
Further information is available from the Life Changes Trust’s website.

The Scottish Government’s Voluntary Sector Development Fund has opened for 2017/18 applications with a funding pot of £900,000 for voluntary sector organisations providing social services in Scotland.
The Scottish Service Council has taken over managing this fund at the request of the Scottish Government.
The aim of the Fund is to provide further investment in the voluntary sector to develop a confident, competent workforce and to meet the demands now required of these staff.
Voluntary organisations registered with the Care Inspectorate can apply for funding to contribute to costs associated with achieving SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF Level 6 qualifications.
A total of £900,000 is available for the 2017/18 round, with successful applicants receiving up to £25,000 each.
The priority groups for this year are as follows:
• Support Workers in Housing Support Services.
• Support Workers in Care at Home Services.
Funding is available to support the cost of SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF Level 6 qualifications.
The deadline for applications is 1 September 2017.
Further information can be found on the Scottish Social Services Council’s website

Transport Scotland and Energy Saving Trust are seeking expressions of interest for a second funding call for the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund.
The second call will launch in early October and public, community, and third sector organisations can apply for funding under the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 Programme, to facilitate the delivery of active travel and low carbon transport hubs.
Awards will be announced in March/April 2018.
Organisations will be able to bid for up to 40% (Lowlands and Uplands) or up to 70% (Highlands and Islands) of their total eligible project costs, where total eligible project costs can be between £250,000 and £2 million. The 70% ERDF intervention rate for H&I is subject to European Commission approval. The remainder of the project costs must be provided through match funding identified by the applicant from other non-European public sources. Projects funded through this second call must be completed by December 2019.
Read more about the LCTT Challenge Fund and find an expression of interest form.
To discuss a project proposal and/or would like support in developing your application, contact the Energy Saving Trust LCTT Challenge Fund team:
Email: LCTT@est.org.uk Phone: 0131 555 8691 www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/lcttchallengefund

The Pebble Trust – Has a vision of a more sustainable, equal and low-carbon society, where constraints on fossil fuels lead to a more localised economy with stronger, more resilient, communities, and where human activities take account of climate change and the wider environment. The Trust supports projects in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands and Islands. Applications will be prioritised from the Highlands and Islands and grants will be restricted to a maximum of £5,000.
Eligible Projects
The Pebble Trust objectives – All projects must meet the first objective. A contribution to the other objectives will also be taken into account where appropriate:
• The advancement of environmental protection or improvement, in particular supporting organisations and individuals developing sustainable lifestyles and projects which take into account future resource availability, fossil fuel use, climate change and the desirability of a more equal society;
• The advancement of community development, in particular encouraging local communities to become stronger and more self-reliant through the adoption of sustainable lifestyles; • The advancement of education and science, in particular carrying out research and education relating to the technical and social aspects of sustainable lifestyles; and
Projects funded will be expected to benefit the public through:-
• a reduced resource intensity of lifestyles, thereby contributing to a more sustainable future • a contribution to individuals’ awareness, and the technical knowledge required for sustainable lifestyles • making results known, thereby disseminating and promulgating the results of funded projects
Application can be accepted from charities, community groups, businesses or individuals, provided they can demonstrate that the expected outcomes contribute to the Pebble Trust’s vision, meet our charitable objectives and will benefit the wider community. Applications will be determined as soon as possible. All applicants will be contacted by one of the Trustees to discuss their application. Download the application form or visit the website for more information http://www.thepebbletrust.org/index.asp
Not the funding you’re looking for? For other funding opportunities go to https://www.soirbheas.org/other-funding/ or contact the Soirbheas Community Development Office, Carol Masheter to discuss your project and ideas on 0751 445 2783 or email carolmasheter@soirbheas.org

Summerlings Outdoor Nursery

Published on: Aug 17, 2017 @ 10:19

Nature is the Best Classroom at New Outdoor Nursery A unique new outdoor nursery is opening in Glen Strathfarrar. Children will spend the majority of every day outdoors exploring, playing and learning. They will help around the croft, follow the seasons, and spend time squelching in the bog. Summerlings Outdoor Nursery will allow children to play safely and freely in a beautiful environment with lots of opportunities for their development. Experienced staff have the skills and experience to turn the landscape into an excellent outdoor classroom for children at the nursery.

Summerlings Outdoor Nursery is opening as part of The Shieling Project. The nursery will cater for 3-5 year olds. The Shieling Project and Summerlings Outdoor Nursery are based in Struy, Inverness-shire. The Nursery will be opening October 25th 2017 term time, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, sessions will run 9am-3pm. Enrolment is currently taking place, parents can opt to send their child to the new nursery for up to three days as part of their childcare entitlement.

The new Nursery manager, Karen Marshall, has come from a background in science education. Karen is deeply invested in the area and knows about the power of educational experiences in the outdoors. She says, “I have seen the impact the outdoors can have on the imagination, curiosity and resilience of children, and how vital this is in the early years. The positive impact of learning through nature can last a lifetime and we have all heard about the need to combat ‘nature deficit disorder’. By offering this opportunity to local families I hope we can help young people reach their full potential.”
The Shieling Project is a social enterprise which works with children from 3 to 18 and offers adult volunteering too. Founder, Dr Sam Harrison has been running the Shieling Project since 2013 said “The Shieling Project cares about building strong, resilient communities. The project has worked with many people in the area through school visits and summer camps as well as offering training courses for teachers. I hope we can help young people to grow up loving the place they live in. The nursery is an exciting development to what we already offer here.”

Soirbheas, the community charity for Glen Urquhart and Strathglass will part fund a place for an apprentice to be part of the Summerlings staff team. Vacancies also exist for a qualified Early Learning & Childcare Practitioner. For more information regarding Summerlings Outdoor Nursery or The Shieling Project including volunteering and job opportunities see the website, www.theshielingproject.org and/or find The Shieling Project on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

The nursery manager can be contacted directly by e-mail for further information. Karen@theshielingproject.org or on 07857889081

Early Years Childcare Apprentice Vacancy

Published on: Aug 16, 2017 @ 14:44

Well-being & Environment Learning Exchange

Published on: Aug 16, 2017 @ 11:05

SQA Digital Learning Guides

Published on: Aug 9, 2017 @ 13:33

SQA has developed a suite of Digital Learning Guides. The guides help people who don’t have the digital skills and confidence to carry out every day online activities. The guides are free to use. There is no log-in or registration required. Learners simply click on the guide of choice and work through it following the step-by-step visual and audio instructions.
The wide range of learning guides are designed in short segments, a demo followed by an interactive section. This way learners build skills and confidence by undertaking hands-on activity. They are particularly useful as support for volunteers, carers and other community workers who encourage people to explore and develop their digital skills.
SQA strive to keep the guides as relevant as possible. Thus, they welcome feedback through their online feedback form or by contacting Liz Sinclair at Liz.Sinclair@sqa.org.uk

Survey on Digital Potential

Published on: Aug 9, 2017 @ 13:26

Are you a business owner in rural Scotland? Complete this survey on rural Britain’s digital potential.  SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) is working with Rural England on a new project which is seeking to find ways to help ‘unlock’ the digital potential of rural Britain. As part of the project, a consultation has been launched aimed at rural business owners across the UK.
The project is seeking to maximise the potential of the internet and technology to boost the digital economy of rural areas, and has been commissioned by Amazon. Rural business owners with businesses of all sizes, ages, structures and sectors from across the country can respond to the consultation. Responses will be analysed alongside official statistics, interviews with key rural and digital stakeholder groups, and economic analysis.

The project aims to understand:
How to grow the digital economy in rural areas through e-commerce, exports and productivity gains
The level of digital skills and capabilities in rural areas and how to further improve them
What digital business tools and services best support rural businesses
What enables businesses to successfully relocate from urban to rural areas
The business sectors emerging in rural areas likely to gain most from digital technology
The best rural locations to set up a digitally-empowered business

Recent research from the SME Growth Tracker, a quarterly report by Capital Economics commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation, suggests that there is significant potential for the rural economy by going digital in terms of business and employment growth and this project will help to understand the best ways that this can be achieved.
Rural businesses can submit their views to the consultation on the Rural England website until the beginning of September. The project report will be published by the end of this year.
For more information on the project, please contact Jane Atterton in the first instance at jane.atterton@sruc.ac.uk.

Digital Participation Charter Fund – Now Open

Published on: Jul 31, 2017 @ 19:13

The SCVO Digital Participation Charter Fund, supported by the Scottish Government, the ERDF and BT, invests in community digital participation projects across Scotland. The projects that they’re supporting will enable groups and organisations to digitise content, build digital networks and improve the digital skills of their members, so that they can continue to thrive in the digital world.

Projects must meet some broad criteria to be considered for funding.
The project must be about developing the basic digital skills of am organisation’s staff or the people they’re supporting
The following six focus groups will receive a greater weighting at the assessment stage (please note that they are unlikely to fund projects that are aimed at children):
Older people
Disabled people
Ethnic minority groups
Remote and rural communities
People seeking benefits

Awards will typically range from £100 to £10,000; applications for more than this will only be considered in exceptional circumstances
To help them understand what the project has achieved and what lessons others can learn, successful projects will be required to:
Ask the individuals they’re supporting to fill out a short questionnaire to gauge their basic digital skills

Provide regular progress updates by posting content to your project page.
Other terms and conditions will also apply.
The closing date is 5pm 31 August 2017.

Awards For All Funding

Published on: Jul 19, 2017 @ 14:47

Awards for All grant programmes is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, sportscotland and Creative Scotland provides grants to local voluntary and community organisations, schools and statutory bodies for projects and activities which matter to people and communities.
Grants of between £300 – £10,000 are intended to support projects that will finish within about 12 months and meet at least one of the following priorities:

• Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities.
• Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities.
• Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.

The grants can be used to fund training costs, volunteer expenses, staff costs, small capital projects, transport, one-off events, equipment and utilities/running costs.
All projects funded through the programme should include communities in the design, development and delivery of projects which help to improve their local community and the lives of people that are most in need.

The Big Lottery Fund is keen to support smaller organisations and will consider their income when making a decision.

Although applications can be submitted at any time, organisations should take into account that it takes about 10 weeks for the Big Lottery Fund to reach a decision and another two weeks to receive the funding.

Further information about the Awards for All programmes can be found on the Big Lottery Fund

Apply to be a Co-op local cause

Published on: Jul 11, 2017 @ 13:36

The Co-op is looking for local causes to support. To apply to be a Co-op cause you must have a project or event in mind that:
• takes place in the UK or Isle of Man
• doesn’t have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you’re a religious organisation)
• meets the Co-op’s values
• takes place or will still be running after October 2018
• benefits your local community
We’ll give preference to projects run by small, local organisations.
You can’t use money from the fund solely to pay for staff salaries or general running costs, or to make a donation to another organisation.

To apply you’ll need:
• your organisation’s charity or HMRC registration number, or proof you’re an excepted charity, Scout or Guide group or registered Community Amateur Sports club
• a description of your project and how much you want to raise
• 2 contact names, including email addresses
• basic details of your organisation and what it does, including approximate annual income
• your organisation’s bank details – money from the fund can’t be paid into personal accounts
You can save your application at any time and return to it later. To apply or to find out what funds are available in your area – see link . Applications must be completed by 8 August 2017.

Access to Broadband in Glen Urquhart and Strathglass

Published on: Jul 3, 2017 @ 11:33

Broadband in Glen Urquhart and Strathglass
This information has been compiled to inform you of the options available to you if your home or business has not benefitted from the recent rollout of superfast broadband.
You can check what broadband services are already available to you by using the GoSuperfast or https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/ or ADSL availability checker.

If you can’t currently get fixed line services then there might be other alternative options available to you including:

Fixed Wireless Broadband delivers a broadband signal to your home via radio waves from a nearby mast. This signal is picked up by a small dish attached to your house using line of sight to the mast. The main issues are that you need line of sight from a nearby mast to you BUT the small dish does not need to be attached to your house, it can be placed in the garden. A cable then runs from the dish, into your house and to the router to carry the broadband signal. This also provides power to the dish. There is usually a fee for installation and the cost of the equipment. Download speeds and monthly costs vary from provider to provider (see comparison of local wireless broadband providers table). Some fixed wireless providers are also registered with the Better Broadband Scheme so eligible premises can apply for this voucher to subsidise the installation. For further info see Local Wireless Broadband Providers

Satellite broadband – Rather than use using copper/fibre, satellite broadband operates by sending and receiving your broadband signal to a satellite about 22,000 miles in space. Even isolated properties or properties on “Exchange Only” lines should be able to access a Satellite Broadband service. What’s more, satellite broadband in the UK is now much cheaper and faster than it used to be and doesn’t require a huge outlay for a satellite dish and installation. If you receive less than 2 Mbps download speed via your phone line then you may be eligible for a Better Broadband voucher to subsidise the cost of installing satellite broadband (see end of this sheet for more information).

4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone technology and follows on from 2G and 3G. 4G services make it much quicker to surf the web on your mobile, tablets and laptops. Because of this, 4G is ideally suited for services which demand more capacity like video streaming, mapping and social networking sites. You can check what 4G coverage is like for different networks in your area at this website: http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/check-coverage/.
It can be a more expensive way of accessing the internet but if you don’t download or stream that much and live in an area with a decent 4G signal then this could be a quick and easy way to improve your connectivity.

The Better Broadband Scheme – The Government has made a commitment to provide every home and business in the UK with access to a basic broadband service so that browsing the web and keeping in touch with families and friends is easier.

A subsidised broadband installation is now available if you cannot access an affordable broadband service with a speed of at least 2 Mb per second. This can reduce the total cost of installation by up to £350.

If, after making these checks, you believe your speed is less than 2 Mb per second and you have no other options available enter your postcode below to find out how to apply for help.
Taking out a broadband service under this Scheme will not prevent your premises from being considered for superfast broadband in the future.

Applications to the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme can be made until the end of 2017 https://basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk/guide-to-better-broadband-subsidy-scheme.pdf

To make an application go to scheme go to https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/the-programme/alternative-solutions/

If you need support to access any of these links please get in touch by contact Carol Masheter mobile: 0751 445 2783 or email: carolmasheter@soirbheas.org

Seedcorn Grant Funding

Published on: Jun 22, 2017 @ 10:16

In order to encourage inclusive growth and greater public – private partnership working at a local level, grant funding is available for business groups and local bodies, working in partnership with their local authority, to develop proposals for Business Improvement Districts across Scotland. The grant funding is to support the development of town and city neighbourhoods, tourism and visitor areas, rural areas, business and industrial parks, food and drink and single business sector BIDs such as textile or whisky.
The grant of up to £20,000 is a single payment. Funding for the development of Business Improvement Districts may be limited and whilst all applications will be considered, it is inevitable that some will not proceed to grant or may fail to meet the assessment criteria.
Seedcorn Grants are available twice yearly with the application and award windows being:

1st Window
1st – 30th June
Award of grant week commencing 1st August
These dates allow for a ballot to take place in September, October and November the following year.

2nd Window
1st – 30th November
Award of grant week commencing 16th January

These dates allow for a ballot to take place in February, March, April, May or June in the following year.

Applications for grant which propose a ballot date outside of the above months as a result of local conditions or sector requirements may be considered separately. The BIDs Project Director should be contacted prior to submission of the grant application.
Please download the ‘General Criteria and Guidance Letter‘ and the ‘Application Form‘, which give further details on the application process and requirements in respect of the seedcorn grant.

On the 19th November 2008 Mr. John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth announced, as an aspect of encouraging economic growth, improved support for Business Improvement Districts in Scotland (BIDS) with an increase in the grant available to business groups and associations, working in partnership with their local authority, to develop proposals for Business Improvement Districts across Scotland.
If you have any questions you should contact:
Ian Davison Porter Project Director BIDS e-mail ian.davisonporter@bids-scotland.com

Community Food and Health Annual Development Fund

Published on: Jun 19, 2017 @ 11:08

Community Food and Health (Scotland) has launched the 2017 round of its Annual Development Fund.
Community Food and Health (CFHS) offers funding to groups and organisations working with or within Scotland’s low-income communities to improve access to, and take-up of, a healthy, varied and balanced diet.
Annual Development grants of between £500 and £2,000 are available to groups and agencies that can develop, recruit for, and complete food and health activities by the end of September 2018.
Planned activities must be one or more of the following:
• A new activity.
• Developing or improving an existing activity.
• Extending the range or scale of a food related activity that the applicant already does – such as offering the activity in a new area or with a different type of group.
• Helping to develop the applicant’s activities to sustain them in the long term – such as training staff or volunteers (or both) to provide food-related activities or buying new equipment that the applicant will use well into the future.
• A pilot or feasibility study.
CFHS prefers to fund community groups, voluntary organisations or social enterprises; but will consider applications from agencies such as the NHS, schools or other local authority organisations if they work closely with community groups.
The deadline for applications is 4 August 2017 (5pm).
For more details click here.

Trees for Life – Traineeship opportunities

Published on: Jun 19, 2017 @ 10:33

Trees for Life (TfL) is an award-winning charity working to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest. Our long-term vision is to restore natural forests and rare wildlife to a spectacular wilderness region of the Scottish Highlands, including our 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate near Invermoriston. Our work is about people as much as places. Our conservation work is carried out by volunteers and funded by our members, charitable trusts, corporate supporters and people who dedicate a tree or grove.
TfL are embarking on the ‘Skills for Rewilding’ project that will provide fully funded places, including accommodation if needed, to 15 trainees over 3 years (aiming to start in Spring 2018) in learning and developing the skills needed to work on landscape scale ecological restoration.
The skills the trainees will learn include nursery and horticultural skills related to growing native trees from seed, landscape and deer management, ecological monitoring and engaging rural communities in conservation work. The training will be accredited via University of Highlands & Islands.
5 trainees will be recruited each year to the programme, with recruitment focusing on:
· Women wanting to work in less gender stereotypical roles
· Older career changers
· Young less educated local people
These groups have been chosen because they are poorly represented in the nature conservation workforce at the moment.
The training will be mostly based at TfL’s Dundreggan Estate but we also hope to partner with organisations like Forestry Commission, RSPB and SNH to give the trainees the opportunity to learn about how other organisations contribute to woodland conservation work.
More information about TfL can be found on our website: http://treesforlife.org.uk/

The Pebble Trust – Grants up to £5,000 available

Published on: Jun 19, 2017 @ 10:30

The Pebble Trust, established in 2014, has a vision of a more sustainable, equal and low-carbon society, where constraints on fossil fuels lead to a more localised economy with stronger, more resilient, communities, and where human activities take account of climate change and the wider environment. The Trust supports projects in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands and Islands.
For more information visit the Pebble Trust website: http://www.thepebbletrust.org/
Please like Pebble Trust on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepebbletrusthighlands

Climate Challenge Fund now open!

Published on: Jun 19, 2017 @ 10:21

Community-led organisations from across Scotland are invited to apply to the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) for funding to support local projects that tackle climate change.
CCF grants of up to £150,000 per organisation, per year, are available for projects taking place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2020. Funding available in 2018/19 will also include a contribution from the European Regional Development Fund.
The CCF is a Scottish Government grants programme managed and administered by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. The CCF provides funding and support for community groups to tackle climate change through community-led projects that reduce carbon emissions.
To date, the CCF has awarded grants totalling £85.8 million – supporting a range of successful projects, including energy efficiency improvements to community-owned buildings, home energy efficiency advice, lower carbon travel options and community growing initiatives, plus schemes that help reduce waste and move Scotland further towards a more circular economy.
Climate Challenge Fund Development Grants of up to £1,500 are also available to help community-led organisations identify and scope out potential climate action projects – with the aim of enabling the organisation to apply for a CCF grant or to another funder.
The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest, the first stage of the application process for a CCF Grant, is 5pm on 28 August 2017. Applications for Development Grants are invited monthly until further notice.
Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the CCF website for further information on the CCF and how to apply.

Postcode Community Trust

Published on: Jun 19, 2017 @ 10:04

Postcode Community Trust will re-open for applications to its grants programme on the 1st August 2017.
Through its grants programme, the Trust will provide grants of £500 – £20,000 (£10,000 in Wales) for projects that benefit communities through grass-roots sports, arts and recreation programmes and healthy living initiatives that improve a community’s physical and mental health. Funding is available to registered charities, voluntary organisations, community interest companies and social enterprises. Please note that only registered charities can apply for grants above £2,000. Previous projects supported include Adel Pre-School in Leeds which received a grant of £20,000 to construct an outdoor play area with specific focus on sensory elements; and Blantyre Soccer Academy which received a grant of £13,070 to purchase new training equipment and other items allowing them to expand their youth outreach programmes.
The closing date for submitting Expressions will be the 18th August 2017.

To find out more please visit Postcode Community Trust

Highland Older People’s Groups Get-together

Published on: Jun 1, 2017 @ 12:20

Following the gathering facilitated by Highland Seniors Citizens Network and Age Scotland in Inverness last October, we held similar events in Wick, Ullapool, Fort William and Aviemore. Older people’s groups have enjoyed the opportunity to come together and look at common issues, share information about their groups and about local services.
There was interest in all areas for these meetings to be held regularly, so we are now letting you know about the 2nd Inverness event. At the October meeting, people talked about the value of sharing information, the challenges of finding out information, and how good it is to hear about what others have been doing. The theme for this meeting is, therefore, Keeping informed.
We are meeting at the Merkinch Community Centre, Coronation Park, Inverness, IV3 8AD on Wednesday 28th June 2017, 10.30 – 2.30pm. Tea/coffee will be available on arrival from 10am and soup and sandwiches served at 12.30pm. Spaces are limited to 2/3 delegates per group.

For more information click here

Mairi Hedderwick – Travel Writing Bursary

Published on: Jun 1, 2017 @ 09:46

Kindly donated by Mairi Hedderwick, this bursary will support one place on the Moniack Mhor Travel Writing Course from Monday 18th until Saturday 23rd September 2017. The tutors for the course are Horatio Clare and Michelle Jana Chan with guest Sara Wheeler. It is hoped that this opportunity will support those wanting to develop skills in the genre and enhance their writing practice.
Applications for this award are now open.
The bursary is open to unpublished/published writers living and working in Scotland who have, or would like to have, a travel piece in development.
Please apply by sending:
• A CV which demonstrates that you meet the criteria
• An A4 summary of your writing project that outlines your work in progress.
• A sample of your work (maximum 1000 words, double spaced and single sided)
Applications can be submitted from the 23th March with a closing date of Monday 12th June 2017 at 5pm. The successful applicant will be notified soon afterwards.
You can find some advice on the dos and don’ts of submitting on this LINK.
Applications should be sent by email to: mairihedderwickbursary@moniackmhor.org.uk or by post: Moniack Mhor Writers Centre, Teavarran, Kiltarlity, IV4 7HT
For any enquiries relating to the Travel Writing Bursary, please contact: Heather Clyne, Centre Administrator on heather@moniackmhor.org.uk or 01463 741 675

Digital Land Register of Scotland

Published on: May 30, 2017 @ 13:47

All land and property in Scotland is due to move to the modern, digital Land Register of Scotland by 2024. In a guest blog, Scott Bond from Registers of Scotland outlines the work being done to complete the land register, and discusses the benefits of voluntary registration.
Read the blog

British Farming Awards

Published on: May 29, 2017 @ 13:59

The British Farming Awards are open for nominations in 14 categories.
These annual awards celebrate the creative thinking, innovation and dedication of Britain’s farmers. The awards aim to showcase innovation and adaptability – no matter the size and scale of the business.

So if you know an outstanding Scottish farm, farmer or agricultural student why not nominate them for an award?

The award categories are:
• Agricultural Student of the Year
• Arable Innovator of the Year
• Beef Innovator of the Year
• Contractor Innovator of the Year
• Dairy Innovator of the Year
• Digital Innovator of the Year
• Diversification Innovator of the Year
• Family Farming Business of the Year
• Farmers Guardian Farming Hero
• Machinery Innovator of the Year
• New Entrants Award – Against the Odds
• Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture
• Sheep Innovator of the Year
The closing date for entries and nominations is 14 July 2017.

Visit the British Farming Awards website for more information.

National Rural Mental Health Forum

Published on: May 22, 2017 @ 12:48

Scottish Rural Action are pleased to announce their membership of the recently formed National Rural Mental Health Forum and welcome the focus on mental health in rural communities during Mental Health Awareness week.

The Forum was set-up as part of Scottish Government’s new ten-year Mental Health Strategy announced by Scotland’s Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, in March 2017. Details of the Mental Health Strategy can be found by clicking here.

In the Manifesto for rural Scotland, collated by Scottish Rural Action from responses from thousands of people in rural Scotland and agreed at the Rural Parliament in 2016, rural communities call for “Solutions to the mental health issues caused by rural social isolation are identified and early intervention support systems are developed”. The Forum will focus on this and other issues.

Big Fit Walk

Published on: May 18, 2017 @ 13:10

Paths for All are encouraging all walking for health projects and groups to think about holding a Big Fit Walk in June. You can choose any day and it can be instead of one of your regular health walks. Big Fit Walks can be a good way to recruit new walkers and volunteers if you are able to do some local promotion.
If you’d like to organise a Big Fit Walk, please order your free resources online at: http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/pfa/health-walks/big-fit-walk-resources.html and add your walk to their online map at: https://pathsforall.typeform.com/to/l1R4I7

Crowdfunding with MyParkScotland

Published on: May 18, 2017 @ 13:03

MyParkScotland is Scotland’s only crowdfunding site specifically for parks and greenspaces.
And the great thing about MyParkScotland is that you’re able to Gift Aid your donation and this ‘extra funding’ will go towards building an endowment fund for Scotland parks and greenspaces– helping to safeguard our national treasures for future generations.
This session will help groups increase their chance of running a successful crowdfund campaign.

The session will start with a short overview of the crowdfunding concept and then focus on developing crowdfund campaigns for individual groups.
This will focus on the following areas:

• Developing project ideas – how to turn your idea in to a fundable project
• Planning your campaign – identifying the key stages of your campaign, getting things right before you press go on your campaign
• Identifying your audience – helping you think about your audience both in terms of those that you have an established relationship with and those that would be interested in your crowdfund campaign
• Building relationships and communicating with your audience – looking at how to best communicate with your growing audience
• Publishing Plan – helping groups to plan how to publish and promote their crowdfund to achieve maximum results.

Bringing together a number of groups involved in projects relating to paths and walking projects will allow for peer learning to supplement the crowdfunding support and coaching being offered by MyParkScotland.

For more information contact Ian Goodman, MyParkScotland Project Manager ian.goodman@mypark.scot
Visit: www.mypark.scot


Volunteers’ Week Scot 2017

Published on: May 11, 2017 @ 11:42

The annual campaign, established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day.

Thousands of charities and voluntary organisations are gearing up to celebrate the vital contribution made by volunteers across the length and breadth of Scotland.
As well as providing the glue which binds neighbourhoods together, volunteering provides the “golden thread” that runs through all Scottish Government’s policy areas.
Volunteers’ Week takes place between 1-7 June.
Get involved
Some of the ways you can get involved include:

Tweet or post on social media using the hashtag #volunteersweekscot
Join our Thunderclap and help us kick start Volunteers’ Week 2017 in Scotland
Apply NCVO guidance around ways to say thank you
Spread the Word with our Volunteers’ Week Scot press release template

Register to become a Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) employer

Published on: May 11, 2017 @ 10:57

In 2017-18 CJS will create 700 jobs for vulnerable young people in eligible third sector organisations across Scotland.
Have a look at our information for potential employers.

Find out if you are eligible to apply to host a CJS job and what support you can expect.
The first stage of the application process is to complete an online Employer Registration form.
When your initial registration has been processed, you will be sent login details for stage two of the application.

Full details on how to complete stage two will be provided with your login.
Due to high demand you may not receive your log-in details for 1-2 weeks after completing the Employer Registration form.

When you do receive your log-in, stage two of the application needs to be completed ASAP.
If you have any questions please call Francis Harkin on 0141 559 5026.

Community Energy Fund

Published on: May 10, 2017 @ 13:13

The M&S Community Energy Fund is back. Big, bold and brilliant – and ready to deliver £300,000 to community projects across the UK in £12,000 chunks to switch on bright ideas for renewable energy initiatives.
This year will see a public vote, crowdfunding and judges prizes for the winners. Could it be for your idea?
Applications for funding open on Monday 22 May, but you can get ahead with yours now.
Click here for details.

Just Enterprise Business Development Workshop : An Introduction to Selling

Published on: May 8, 2017 @ 12:46

Today’s economic climate is forcing Social Enterprises to become less grant dependent and more self-reliant. This introductory workshop is ideal for those responsible for generating income on a day-to-day basis or those who must now adapt to the “new economy”. The workshop will cover the fundamentals of selling, from preparation to questioning styles, objection handling, and how to develop a consultative approach to sales.
Who should Attend?
This workshop is aimed at those Enterprising Third Sector organisations that are developing new markets or are trying to sell products and services into existing markets. Whether in Retail, the Arts, or business start-up, we provide the foundations for successful conversion. Attendees may include: Staff or Volunteers: Those charged with active or occasional selling at a local level and who may benefit from a more methodical understanding of the process of selling and Decision Makers: More senior staff required to take a more active approach to secure funding or sell Enterprise services.
Learning Outcomes
• Understand customer needs and motivations for purchase
• Defining the 7 step sales process
• How to control the momentum and content of a conversation
• Learn the art of active listening and when to recognise buying signals
• How and when to present solutions
• Overcome customer objections
• Identify when to close the sale and utilise closing techniques
• Build customer relationships through sales and marketing follow-up
• Setting realistic goals after the sale
When & Where
Tuesday 9th May – 9.30am to 3.30pm – Ness Horizons, Kintail House, Beechwood Business Park, Inverness, IV2 3BW
Free of charge for members/staff of third sector organisations
How to Book
Click here to complete the on-line registration form. We have just 3 delegate places available which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so please book by return to guarantee your place.

Open Day at the Shieling Project

Published on: May 3, 2017 @ 09:14

Come and visit us, see our beautiful site, meet our staff and get involved in some fun activities.
Saturday 20th May 10.30 – 3pm, Glen Strathfarrar, near Struy IV4 7JX

During the event you will hear from some of the teachers who have been working with us, meet our very cute new piglets and calf, and of course eat lots of good food. You can get a feel for the project by taking part in different activities including cooking in our hand made bread oven, and turf wall building.

Hot drinks and lunch will be provided. The event will be held in the shelter of our new buildings, but it would be advisable to wear warm and waterproof clothing. There will be an opportunity to walk around the site, so walking boots or wellies to keep your feet dry would be a good idea.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Shieling Project site at Dunmaglass in Glen Strathfarrar
Please RSVP so we can prepare enough food! When you get in touch we will send more information and a map of how to get here. Please contact jean.langhorne@btinternet.com
The Shieling Project Community Interest Company theshielingproject.org 07584855846 sam@theshielingproject.org

Latest wind farm results

Published on: May 2, 2017 @ 15:33

Funding for Community Paths now open

Published on: May 2, 2017 @ 09:12

Paths for All are offering grants of up to £1,500 to help community groups improve, maintain and promote their local community paths.

Does your group have a great idea for a community paths project but doesn’t have the money to carry out the work?
If the answer is “yes” then we can help you.
You can use our funding to:
• improve and maintain existing paths
• buy tools, materials and insurance
• hire a contractor, plant and machinery
• install signage and way markers
• produce new leaflets or promotional materials which use the Path Grading System
• buy and plant native trees and shrubs,
• sow a wildflower meadow

How to apply
Download our grant guidance to find out everything you need to know about our Community Path grant including eligibility, the application process and our support in the guidance notes.

Community Path Grant Guidance notes (921.56 kB)

To get the application process started simply fill in our online Expression of Interest form and tell us about your project.
Expression of Interest forms will be assessed by our team and we will inform you whether or not your project is suitable for our Community Paths Grant scheme.
The closing date for Expression of Interest forms is 5pm on 19 May 2017.
If your project is successful we will send you a link to our online application form to complete and submit. Please contact us if you require a downloadable or hard copy of the Expression of Interest form.
Do you need advice or support with your application?
If you have any questions simply get in touch with us. We have a dedicated team who can give you advice and support throughout all the stages of your project, contact us on: communitypaths@pathsforall.org.uk or 01259 218 888.
Have a look at our inspirational stories from previous applicants.
Free Training
To help you to plan your project and prepare your funding application we are holding two free training courses:
Funding your community path project – 12 May 2017, The Melting Pot, Edinburgh
Grading your community paths – 13 May 2017, SRUC Oatridge Campus, Broxburn
Places are limited so book your place now.

Important Changes to the FuelGood Driving Training

Published on: Apr 27, 2017 @ 13:22

Big Fit Walk 2017

Published on: Apr 27, 2017 @ 12:52

Paths for All annual Big Fit Walk campaign aims to inspire communities across Scotland to come together for a short 30-minute walk on any date in June to celebrate the benefits of being active. Anyone can organise a Big Fit Walk (including Health Walk groups, community groups, workplaces and schools) and we provide free resources which you can order online now at http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/bigfitwalk There’s more info about the Big Fit Walk on the webpage and the resources will soon be available on the page as downloads.

FuelGood driver training

The Energy Saving Trust is pleased to advise that Transport Scotland has confirmed it will subsidise FuelGood driver training for the financial year starting on 1st April 2017. Under this new FuelGood model, training will be provided to Scotland based fleet drivers within the private, public and third sector, as well as community groups and individuals covering internal combustion engine (ICE) or electric (EVs) passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs).
Fuel efficient driver training promotes the adoption of driving techniques that save money, reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability and awareness. Under the new programme, a number of FuelGood suppliers – approved by the Energy Saving Trust – will provide training to Scotland based fleet drivers within the private, public and third sector; as well as community groups and individuals.

Please find all programme details and changes in the attached document.

If you have any queries, please contact Energy Saving Trust at FuelGood@est.org.uk or visit our website.
FuelGood driver training is delivered by Energy Saving Trust approved driver training companies and independent fleet trainers.

New Apprenticeship Grant Scheme

Soirbheas announces the launch of new an Apprenticeship Grant Scheme; with the goal of encouraging economic and business growth in the local area with assistance from SSE. The Scheme is open to employers/businesses based in the Soirbheas area (Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, to support them in covering the salary cost of employing a Modern Apprentice (MA).
Soirbheas has worked in partnership with High Life Highland’s Youth Development Officer for the Great Glen, Glen Urquhart High School staff and pupil council members to develop the new initiative. Carol Masheter, Soirbheas Community Development Officer said “Our aim is to support young people aged 16 to 24 to work, learn and earn at the same time and encourage them to stay in the area.”
MA’s are now available in over 80 sectors including Childcare, Care Services, Farming, Management, Tourism and Construction industries.
“Launching the new Apprenticeship Grant Programme is a real achievement for Soirbheas and a fantastic opportunity to support the local economy and business development.” says Russell Fraser Vice Chair of the Charity.
Marianne Townsley, SSE Community Fund Manager, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the modern apprenticeship scheme from Soirbheas with the community investment fund provided by Bhlaraidh wind farm. Our approach to community investment has always been to help the communities that host our renewable developments to realise significant social and economic benefits that will sustain over time and this apprenticeship scheme does just that. It provides an important opportunity for both young people and local businesses in the area and we are excited to see who wants to be a part of it.”
Deadline for first round of application is the 4th May 2017.
For more details and application forms please contact Carol Masheter carolmasheter@soirbheas.org.

Grant Programmes
Apprenticeship Guidance
Information leaflet for Young People

Step Count Challenge

Kicking off on the 1st of May the challenge runs for 8 weeks and aims to get people walking more in and around the working day. You can find out more and register now at www.stepcount.org.uk
What it’s all about?
The Step Count Challenge is a team walking challenge. Whether it’s walking to work, holding a walking meeting or a lunchtime stroll, you’ll be walking more and feeling the difference.
Sign up in teams of 5 workmates and record your steps over 8 weeks. Get to know your colleagues, feel healthier and have fun. It’s a no brainer. Plus, we’ll give you lots of tips, motivation and prizes along the way.
Download a leaflet with more information.

Community Radio Fund 2017/18

The first round of the Community Radio Fund in 2017-18 is open for applications from 12 April until 5pm on Wednesday 10 May 2017. The awarding Panel will meet in June 2017 to consider the applications.
Each funding round will make approximately £200,000 available
in grants. There is no set level of funding. Grants will be made as a single lump sum and are to cover a one-year period only. The funding is intended for community radio licensees broadcasting under a community radio licence in the UK to cover costs including:
• Fundraising to support the station
• Management
• Administration
• Financial management and reporting
• Community outreach
• Volunteer organisation and support

Priority will be given to licensees that have not been awarded a grant in previous funding rounds and to newly-licensed stations.
The Awarding Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity and thus priority will be given to applications
that focus on posts that promote long-term financial security and may become self-sustaining.
Round 1 will accept applications from 12 April 2017 to 10 May 2017 (5pm).
For further information, please contact Ofcom’s Community Radio team at communityradiofund@ofcom.org.uk

Just Enterprise Business Development Workshop : An Introduction to Selling

Today’s economic climate is forcing Social Enterprises to become less grant dependent and more self-reliant. This introductory workshop is ideal for those responsible for generating income on a day-to-day basis or those who must now adapt to the “new economy”. The workshop will cover the fundamentals of selling, from preparation to questioning styles, objection handling, and how to develop a consultative approach to sales.
Who should Attend? This workshop is aimed at those Enterprising Third Sector organisations that are developing new markets or are trying to sell products and services into existing markets. Whether in Retail, the Arts, or business start-up, we provide the foundations for successful conversion. Attendees may include: Staff or Volunteers: Those charged with active or occasional selling at a local level and who may benefit from a more methodical understanding of the process of selling and Decision Makers: More senior staff required to take a more active approach to secure funding or sell Enterprise services.
Learning Outcomes

Understand customer needs and motivations for purchase
Defining the 7 step sales process
How to control the momentum and content of a conversation
Learn the art of active listening and when to recognise buying signals
How and when to present solutions
Overcome customer objections
Identify when to close the sale and utilise closing techniques
Build customer relationships through sales and marketing follow-up
Setting realistic goals after the sale
When & Where: Tuesday 9th May – 9.30am to 3.30pm – Ness Horizons, Kintail House, Beechwood Business Park, Inverness, IV2 3BW
Cost: Free of charge for members/staff of third sector organisations
How to Book: Click here to complete the on-line registration form. Places are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis so please book early to guarantee your place.

Glenurquhart Care Project – Recruitment Opportunities

Tattie Sale Day – This Saturday

Love Your Tatties?
Local charity Soirbheas is keen to get the communities of Strathglass and Glen Urquhart to grow more! For the last 3 years, Soirbheas has been running a Tattie Project distributes over 2,500 seed potatoes via local schools, nurseries and the care centre to be sold and grown in the community. The aim is to inspire children, their families and the wider community to get growing and eating more tatties.
As part of the project Soirbheas is working with the Glen Urquhart Horticultural Society to hold a Tattie Day on Saturday 11th March from 10:30—12:30 in the Glen Urquhart Hall, Drumnadrochit.

With over 20 varieties of seed potatoes to choose from on the day, tips on getting the best yields, advice on suitable varieties and how best to store your tatties. For details of all the varieties on offer click here.

There will also be an opportunity to sample some tasty ways to user your tatties from chocolate cake to spicy potato fritters. We would love you to bring along your favourite tattie recipes to share with others as part of our Great Tattie Recipe Swap.
Whether you are new to growing or an old hand at gardening or just love tatties we are confident that you will find this an inspiring event to attend.
Proceeds from the sale of the seed potatoes will towards other community growing projects.
For more information on the event and the list of available varieties please visit www.soirbheas.org or email info@soirbheas.org

Gaelic Education Officer – Vacancy

The Shieling Project is recruiting a Gaelic Education Officer
Start date: Early May 2017
Application deadline: Wednesday 29th March
Interview: Monday 3rd April
Salary level: £25,951
For more details click here.

Newsletter – Spring 2017

See the latest edition of our newsletter for updates on current projects and forthcoming events Soirbheas-Spring-2017 Newsletter

Soirbheas Tattie Sale

New Health Walk Group Established

Would you like to improve your health? Get outdoors more or meet new people? If YES come and join the Glenurquhart Health Walks!

Starting at the car park behind Scotmid, Drumnadrochit every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us for a 30-45 minute walk, suitable for all abilities. The walk will end with a cup of tea and a chat!

We would kindly ask that dogs do not accompany us on the walk.
For more information, contact Carol Masheter on 0751 445 2783 or carolmasheter@soirbheas.org
Leaflet – Glenurquart Health Walks



Club & Volunteering Fair

Soirbheas Apprenticeship Grant Scheme

Soirbheas is keen to hear from local business who might be interested in applying for the new apprenticeship grant scheme. The scheme is aimed at supporting local business (from Glen Urquhart of Strathglass) to employ a young person (aged between 16 – 24) to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship.
The grant scheme will be launched in March and the charity is currently consulting on the grant guidance and application process with local businesses.
The first deadline for application from businesses is 27th April.
To learn more about the programme take a look at this presentation Soirbheas Apprenticeship Grant Scheme or get in touch with Carol Masheter – Community Development Officer carolmasheter@soirbheas.org

For further information for on Modern Apprenticeships for young people check out our MA Leaflet.

Just Enterprise Workshop: Marketing Communications

The notion of ‘build it, and they will come’ frequently leaves many Third Sector organisations with a great product or service, and the potential to fulfil a valuable social purpose, but with a distinct shortage of customers or service users. More than just a cost, marketing communication activities are an investment in achieving tangible outcomes for an organisation. In order to achieve these, it has to be viewed as more than putting all the eggs in the one (website) basket, sending innumerable emails rather than lifting the phone to a real person, or placing an annual ad that no-one seems to read.
This half-day workshop focuses on marketing communications (promotion) as a key element of the ‘marketing mix’. It explores the fit and contribution of marketing communications to overall business strategy, introduces a generic marketing communication process, describes the key components of a marketing communications strategy, and considers a range of communication tools and techniques available to marketers. The workshop will be a combination of presentation, discussion and small-group activity. Workshop slides will be made available electronically in the week following the workshop.
Who should Attend?
Those who are responsible for marketing and promotional activities, as part of a wider role, but do not have specialist knowledge in this field.
Learning Outcomes
Recognise the link between business, marketing and marketing communications strategy
Understand how the marketing communication process is the link between how customers buy and how organisations sell
Apply a framework for producing a marketing communications strategy
Recognise the value of a range of marketing communication tools and techniques
When & Where
Thursday 16th March 2017 (9.30am to 1.00pm) – Conference Room, Ness Horizons, Kintail House, Beechwood Business Park, Inverness, IV2 3BW
Free of charge for members/staff of third sector organisations
How to Book
Click here to complete the on-line registration form. Places are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis so please book early to guarantee your place.
Just Enterprise is a Scottish Government funded programme specifically designed to assist the growth of Scotland’s third sector. Visit www.justenterprise.org or telephone 0141 425 2939 for details of the full range of support available.
Follow @justenterprise for all the latest programme and event news.

Your Ward, Your Cash, Your Choice – Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for Aird and Loch Ness Ward participatory budgeting cash has been extended to 9am Monday 13 February.

Community groups in the Aird and Loch Ness Ward are being urged to apply for grants available from £100 up to £1,500 that are available from a £15,000 Ward Discretionary Budget.
Participatory budgeting is a process that lets the local community decide for themselves how money is spent and which community projects are needed in their area.
The fund is open to any local community, voluntary or non-profit organisations and informal groups that are based in Ward 13. Projects put forward can be large or small, add value to existing projects or be something completely new.
Representatives from the projects that meet the eligibility criteria will be asked to present their ideas to members of the public who will then cast their votes during a special event held on Saturday 18 February at the Craigmonie Centre in Drumnadrochit.

Full details and the application forms are available from the Craigmonie Centre; online at http://www.craigmoniecentre.co.uk/index.asp?pageid=663461 e-mail Craigmoniecc@highlifehighland.com or phone 01456 459224.

The new deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 13 February

Tattie Day – Saturday 11th March 2017

Ward 13 – Your Ward, Your Cash, Your Choice – REMINDER

Carers’ Information Group

If you care for a family member, friend or neighbour who could not cope without you, the Glen Urquhart Care Centre has a support group for you. It takes place weekly at the Centre on Thursdays from 10am – 12pm. Bring along £1 for tea, coffee and a scone. You can also stay for a soup and sandwich lunch for £3 if you like.
For more information please contact Paula Cooper on 01456 459077 or email manager.gcentre@btconnect.com

Weight Management Training Opportunities

For details of the three courses below being run by NHS Highland please click on the link here:
Workshop Date Venue
Introduction to Healthy Weight: adults 23.2.17 Scottish Natural Heritage, Inverness
Intuitive Eating 24.2.17 Scottish Natural Heritage, Inverness
Introduction to Healthy Weight: Children and Families 24.3.17 Culloden/Balloch Baptist Church, Inverness

BRISC Bursaries – Wildlife Recording

Scotland needs more taxonomic experts who can accurately identify the many different species and help new generations carry forward this important work. Such experts are critical to wildlife conservation, because we cannot even begin to conserve our wildlife unless we know what we have, where it is, and how scarce or common it is. Wildlife recording thus underpins all conservation efforts. Expertise in a taxonomic group is gained through study and fieldwork, but it is unfortunately the case that many of our experts are getting older and BRISC would like to ensure that young naturalists are enhancing their skills and experience to provide a continuity of enthusiastic recorders into the future.
In order to encourage people to take up the serious study of wildlife, Biological Recording in Scotland (BRISC) and Glasgow Natural History Society (GNHS) are offering seven bursaries to anyone living in Scotland to cover some of the costs of attending a suitable training course in 2017. Up to £200 or 75% of the cost of the course, whichever is lowest, is on offer to successful candidates.
In return the recipients of the bursaries will be asked to write a short article for BRISC Recorder News, and/or the GNHS Newsletter and undertake a 5min presentation at the Annual Conference.
The closing date for receipt of completed Application Forms is 31st January 2017.
For more information and an application form go to http://www.brisc.org.uk/Bursaries.php

The Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund

The Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund is now open – visit the Energy Saving Trust website for more information. Transport Scotland and Energy Saving Trust are hosting a series of events this month and next, to help you develop your application. We will share details of how to register for each event shortly but to allow you to save dates, please see the information below.
Webinar dates
Join us online for an explanation of the application form and key requirements on either:
• Thursday, 19 January, 10-11am
• Tuesday, 24 January, 10-11am
Please note that both sessions will contain the same content.
We will send out details on how to register for these sessions later this week. To participate in the webinar you will need a computer – a headset is recommended.
Surgery dates
To discuss your project on a one-to-one basis with Transport Scotland and the LCTT Challenge Fund team, join us at a surgery in Glasgow or Inverness:
• Glasgow – Thursday, 2 February, time tbc
• Inverness – Tuesday, 7 February, time tbc
To ensure you get the most out of these sessions, please email LCTT@est.org.uk and let us know what your key questions are likely to be.
An email with links to registration for these events will be issued next week.
Contact us
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your project proposal and/or would like support in developing your application, please contact the Energy Saving Trust LCTT Challenge Fund team:
• Email: LCTT@est.org.uk
• Phone: 0131 555 8691

Ward 13 – Your Ward, Your Cash, Your Choice