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Blank Space 2013 Issue 11

In February 2013 the Regeneration Forum elections took place in the Maryfield Ward. Following press adverts and leafleting; people came together and voted 15 local people onto the forum.

Local people will now be responsible for making decisions on the £125,000 budget for the area. With the support of the Community Worker, the Forum’s attention is now focused on the detail of funding applications submitted by groups and agencies working locally.

The Forum’s budget is initially split as follows:Regeneration Forums Closing the Gap

The funding is focused on the needs of the regeneration areas in the ward to close the gap between those at the sharp end and the better off.

This ambitious target will require the Regeneration Forum to work alongside their local Community Planning Partnership and other key local groups and projects.

If you would like an application form or more information please contact Hayley Tunstall on 438856 or hayley.tunstall@dundeecity.gov.uk

No1 Youth Environmental Project 01Boomerang received a grant from money raised from Healthgift through The Health Lottery to help young people from the Stobswell area to become more involved within the local community. The young people from the Youth Café are to become involved with local groups including The Friends of Swannie Ponds and Friends of Baxter Park where they will work alongside other members of the community in maintaining these public facilities. By working with local groups, young and older residents will come together in a common purpose resulting in a more cohesive community resulting in mutual respect for each other and their environment.

The aims of the young people volunteering are to integrate young people into community life, promote healthier more active lifestyles whilst both volunteering and increasing their involvement within the community. This project is seen to be a first step for young people becoming more involved within the community and having a voice when it comes to future developments within the community.

No1 Youth Environmental Project 02The young people are looking forward to becoming involved with local groups including The Friends of Swannie Ponds and Friends of Baxter Park where they will work alongside other members of the community in maintaining and documenting those community facilities. The young people from the Café will work alongside the Park Rangers and the “Friends of Groups” to research, design and provide information with the aim of making short videos and information materials. This project is seen to be both educational and informational and will integrate young people into groups responsible for environmental issues.

No1 Youth Environmental Project 03The role played by the young people in this project is to be both assisting with the maintenance of the areas and in particular the recording and documenting the varied wildlife and floras throughout the seasons, producing short videos, information posters and booklets documenting the wildlife and fauna seen in the parks and to document the change within the parks throughout the year with an aim to provide information posters to be displayed within the parks on a seasonal basis. This project will allow young people to participate in a number of projects involving residents and local organisations.

Adult Learning at Morgan 01Stobswell Adult Learning Association (SALA) has gotten off to a great start. The group are less than a year old but have already achieved one of their main goals. From January of this year classes have been up and running.

Some survey work around the Stobswell area found that there would be interest in classes for adults at Morgan. A number of suggestions were made for the subjects that might be included and a small group of volunteers started the hard work of getting everything organised. Funding was applied for, tutors recruited and interviewed, the school let agreed and the publicity drawn-up.

Despite putting two adverts in local newspapers and distributing 5000 leaflets locally there was still nervousness about whether anyone would turn up. In the end over 70 people came along to the first enrolment night back in January.

The classes, including yoga, craft, cooking, guitar and local history are now well into their second 10 week block, with SALA holding an Annual General Meeting to formalise its Committee June 11, 2013. It has not all been plain sailing, but feedback from the participants and tutors has been a positive addition to the other things that go on at the school.

Adult Learning at Morgan 02Plans are now being put in place for classes from October 2013 round to March 2014. Funding needs to be found to pay tutors, the school let and to get publicity out but the income from the first year’s classes will assist with this.

So look out for information about the next enrolment night when it arrives in September. Get in touch on the number below if you have ideas for classes or are interested in getting involved in the organising group. Keeping classes going at Morgan will be down to the input of local people. But with the positive experience of year one to draw on the hard work will result in big numbers of local people getting involved in something they enjoy that adds to the local community.

For more information about SALA contact:-

Gordon Bannerman at G.E.Bannerman@lse.ac.uk

Friends Of Swannie Ponds Update 01I’m sure everyone will have noticed that the top pond has been emptied over recent weeks. The reason for this is the problem with the aquatic weed which happens every year and possibly contributes towards the blue/green algae. The pond has been emptied so it can be treated which will hopefully resolve the problem. They have queried the timescale on this as it is unsightly with the pond empty but they are still awaiting a response from Dundee City Council.

The Model Boat Club is also experiencing problems with the weed growth in the bottom (south) pond. This restricts the member’s use of their boats in the pond and also future events for the club. So again this issue is under discussion with DCC and they are looking for these issues to be addressed.

Friends Of Swannie Ponds Update 02The Morgan Academy students have adopted the flower bed at the corner of Stobsmuir Road. The staff and students, assisted by a few of the Friends Group, planted out the bed and they have also been back to do a bit of maintenance. The flower bed is starting to come to life now and is a very good addition to the park. Thanks to Morgan for their assistance here.

The rose garden has now been renovated and replanted by DCC and by the summer should start to look as it should.

Their next project is the Community Notice Board which will be sited between the two ponds and give information on the wildlife, feeding guidelines and events. This project is in partnership with the Boomerang Youth Groups so watch this space…

If you want to keep up to date with what’s going on with the Swannie Ponds like the Friends Of Swannie Ponds on Facebook or you can go along to their monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm within the Baxter Park Ranger Centre.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-Of-Swannie-Ponds/330040647039075

Women’s Safety DayWomen’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre held a Women’s Safety Day on Saturday 9th March in the Boomerang Hall on Albert Street. This event included free activities such as Zumba, Self Defence and a Personal Safety Workshop.

Some of the feedback they received:

“The self defence class was a lot of fun, I learned a lot and wasn’t so embarrassed to try it. Would consider doing it” “Learned self defence, helped me a lot feel more like I could handle myself better”

“I realised how much self confidence I have got since last year event when I signed up for the self defence course. WOW!”

“Self defence class was great – have always felt too embarrassed to do something like that but it was so relaxed and people very friendly. Whole day was great and so helpful having the crèche. Thank you so much to self defence instructor and everyone else.”

“Today was inspirational particularly with regard to safety which is particularly important for the elderly. Many thanks”

If you are interested volunteer with the centre and would like an application pack, or if you would like further information please contact (01382) 205556. Appropriate training will be given to successful applicants.

http://www.wrasacdundee.org/

Stobswell Forum is a long established group set-up to represent local people. So anybody living between the Kingsway and the Broughty Ferry Road or between Dens Road and Old Craigie Road are in the Forum’s area. Put simply the Forum is a space for people to come together and campaign on issues that they think are important. This might mean working with the Police or Dundee City Council or others to get things sorted out or improved for the better of all locally.

At its Annual General Meeting back in March the Forum elected a new committee of nine people to help take its work forward. The following suggestions were made;

  • A Spring Clean-up of Park Avenue/Baldovan Terrace/Morgan Street.
  •  Tackling Youth Issues (Baffin Street/Watson Street)
  •  Regeneration in the Glebelands Primary/Springhill area
  •  Improving the condition of pavements across the area.
  •  Neighbourhood watch activity for the Clepington Road area.
  •  Dealing with traffic issues across the area.

These and other ideas will be worked until March, 2014.

The Forum also plans to open-up its meeting and encourage those living in the area to attend. The next Stobswell Forum takes place at Arthurstone Library at 7pm on June 12th 2013. All are welcome to come along and take part in the discussion.

Baxter Park 150th AnniversaryNinth September 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening and formal handing-over ceremony of Baxter Park to the people of Dundee.

Friends of Baxter Park are in the process of organising a programme of events to celebrate the anniversary year. One idea being worked on right now is a proposal for an exhibition of photos and memories of the park that people may have from over the years. You may be aware of our recent public appeal for material for the exhibition. This was featured in much of the local media. The response was amazing, with some lovely recollections, and photos going back as far as the early 1900s.

But we would still like more!

We are looking for any little snippets, even just a few lines, relating to a particular personal memory of an occasion in the park. If you do have a lengthier story in mind, but don’t fancy the task of committing it to writing, please still get in touch. We can arrange for one of the committee to have a chat with you and we’ll put the story together based on what you tell us.

Some of the memories we’ve had so far include:

  •  sledging on Daisy Hill at 1am
  •  getting stuck up one of the big trees and having to be brought down by the Fire Brigade
  •  being amazed at spotting a red squirrel and trying to entice it with Hula Hoops
  •  summer holiday talent contests at the band stand
  •  summer holiday tennis coaching and competitions at the tennis courts
  •  playing Reelifo at the Rockies
  •  getting chased by the Parkies who lived in the Arbroath Road and Pitkerro Road lodges
  •  still being able to see smiling gran, sitting on the grassy bank reading her People’s Friend
  •  working as an apprentice on winching the boulders into position in what we now refer to as the Spring Grove.

These are all exactly the type of things we’ve been looking for, small everyday events, but ones that have stuck in people’s minds and formed a lasting memory of Baxter Park. As one person quite poignantly summed-up… “making memories for us to last a lifetime”.

So please do get in touch; your contribution would be most appreciated and will become part of the documented record of Baxter Park.

I can be contacted on 07737739385 or kenneth.crooks@fmcti.com

Kenneth Crooks, Vice Chairman, Friends of Baxter Park

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