Orkney Fair Trade Group are painting the town blue and green for Fairtrade Fortnight 2017!  The Kirkwall Bid is supporting the promotion, with town centre businesses displaying pots of spring flowers carrying the message “Buy Fair & Buy Local in Orkney” in their windows and on their counters.  And on Friday 3rd March, the cathedral will be lit overnight in Fairtrade’s trademark colours.

Through in Stromness, there will be a special promotional stand in the Co-op; and the Diving Cellar has produced mugs for the Fair Trade Group, printed with their logo, which will be on sale in a number of outlets.

Orkney’s schools, churches and communities are planning various learning, worship and fundraising activities, including two film nights:  Kirkwall East Church are showing “Before the Flood” with Leonardo di Caprio on Monday 27th February in the Garden Room at King Street Halls at 7.30pm, and the Milestone Church Dounby have Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” on Sunday 5th March at 6pm.

Gill Smee, Chair of Orkney Fair Trade Group, says “The food on our tables, the tea and coffee in our mugs, all come from farmers and manufacturers who work hard but are not paid what they deserve.

“Whether in Orkney or in Malawi, no one deserves to be short-changed for a hard day’s work. When we reach for the cheapest products, we may be unconsciously feeding exploitation. We become part of the problem, but we can make a conscious choice to be part of the solution and support trade that is fair, and in particular the efforts of quality small scale producers.

“We have been a Fairtrade Zone for three years now and have learnt what a difference it makes around the world.  But we need more local folk to make a conscious effort to look for Fairtrade products and more farmers to benefit.  We’ve been really heartened by the support of the Kirkwall Bid and other Orkney businesses and hope that the flower pots will be a colourful and cheerful way to encourage everyone to think about the impact of their buying choices on our own food producers, and producers worldwide.  We need everyone in the community to get behind farmers and their families this Fortnight.


For further information contact:  Gill Smee, Orkney Fair Trade Group,

gillsmee@gmail.com  01856 741328  Quoylanks, Deerness, Orkney KW17 2QQ

The Royal Bank of Scotland Skills and Opportunities Fund is currently open to charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges.

The fund was launched in 2015 as part of an on-going commitment to making a difference in the communities RBS serves and The Royal is set to give away £1m in the first of two rounds of funding in 2017.

Applications will remain open until midday on Friday 24 February. 

For further information click here

Nation-wide study into hopelessness and depressed mood in older adults across local communities in Scotland

A doctorate student from the University of Edinburgh, Shri Cameron, is conducting a nation-wide study into hopelessness and depressed mood in older adults across local communities in Scotland. The study involves participants completing a series of online questionnaires which ask them about the level of social contact they have, how they feel about their social contacts, their current mood and about their personality. Once completed the research will be shared with individual respondents and relevant organisations/service providers throughout Scotland.

For more information or to complete the survey please click here. For more information please contact Shri Cameron on 01387 244490.

HLF Announce Second 2017 Deadline for Parks for People Grants

Not-for-profit organisations in the UK that cannot make the 1 March deadline have until 1 September 2017 to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to revitalise an historic public park or cemetery.

Apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to revitalise an historic public park or cemetery.

The Heritage Lottery Fund's (HLF) Parks for People funding helps to conserve the heritage that makes both historic parks and cemeteries special, and it gives local people a say in how they are managed in the future. Projects improve people’s wellbeing and knowledge of their area, and make communities better places to live, work and visit.

Applicants need to show that the local community values the park or cemetery as part of their heritage, and that they are already actively involved in its management. Not-for-profit organisations and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations can apply including local authorities, charities, trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, parish councils, voluntary organisations and community groups.

Grants of between £100,000 and £5 million are available to support the following:

  • Landscape design layout.
  • Surviving or lost historic features or buildings.
  • Natural heritage including priority habitats and species.
  • Archaeological sites, earthworks or features from an earlier phase of design.
  • Collections of plants, trees, objects or documents.
  • Cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, fairs and crafts.
  • People’s memories and experiences of the park or cemetery.
  • The history associated with individual features such as memorials or veteran trees.

There is a two-round application process. Applications can be made at an early stage of planning in order to get a good idea of whether the project will receive funding. The second round application will require greater detail and must be received up to 26 months after the first round decision.

The 2017 deadlines for first-round applications are 1 March 2017 (12pm) and 1 September 2017 (12pm).

Further information please visit thier website https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/our-grant-programmes/parks-people

Become part of the PB Scotland Network

Across Scotland, local people have been directly deciding how public funds are being spent in their area. This activity, otherwise known as participatory budgeting (PB), is being captured on the PB Scotland website. Now, the PB Scotland Network has been set up to bring people together across the country to share enthusiasm & learning around PB in Scotland. If you’ve been involved in, or are interested in, PB and would like to join the PB Scotland Network please visit https://pbscotland.scot/network/ and enter your details. It's free and open to everyone.

An interactive map has also been set up on the PB Scotland site, which enables anyone to add a relevant PB project that they're involved in or have heard of. Many examples of PB in Scotland have already been added, but not everything will have been captured. Please take a look and add anything you see is missing.

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