Meet the Helping It Happen finalists: Working with Communities Award
Our Helping It Happen Awards Ceremony & Dinner is just around the corner and we today we are taking a closer look at the finalists in the Working with Communities category, kindly sponsored by The MacRobert Trust. This award recognises the rural businesses, land managers and estates who are actively working alongside their local communities to deliver change that supports everyone both now and into the future.
Ayrshire Food Hub
Ayrshire Food Hub is a community-led group in the agricultural heartland of Ayrshire, making and selling local produce and providing a community resource to support health and well-being, learning and employment in the area. The Hub started when the rural community lost its last remaining facility which was used by the community for social activities. Local farmers and families came together to secure a new multi-purpose facility to serve the needs of the rural villages across East Ayrshire. The range of services they offer reflects the diversity of the entire community, yet good old-fashioned listening to people and genuine community engagement is always at the heart.
After a seven-year restoration, Marchmont has set its sights on establishing itself as a home for makers and creators. Their dream is to celebrate creativity in the arts, purpose driven business and social enterprise, with a mandate to support and involve the local community. Whilst they are open for bookable tours, events exploring creativity and have had a friends & family day with over 80 people who have lived, worked or been pupils in the House, the most exciting aspect of their work is their engagement with the local community – their goal is to support creativity in the local area and we are doing this in a number of ways.
Cullen Volunteer group
Recognising the potential for Castle Hill to be a much-needed outdoor space for the local community, the Cullen Volunteer Group negotiated a lease for the site from Seafield Estate and then set about turning it from a gorse-thick wilderness into accessible paths linking the coastal trail to stunning viewpoints. The scheduled monument status of Castle Hill introduced a level of complexity, but volunteers raised funds for the project and worked closely with Historic Environment Scotland, in the end offering thousands of hours of their time to the enormous task. Droves of visitors now wander the 500 metres of coastal trail and make their way to the summit of the newly accessible viewpoint.