2023-11-05 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
Over the last few years, the children at Claypotts Castle PS have been forging new links with others in their community through environmental projects such as tree planting in the new community park, harvesting vegetables with the Douglas Growers and holding celebrations in Douglas Community Centre inviting all from the community to attend. The Parent Council now wishes to support the children and their families to establish a substantial, long-lasting project through the Climate Change Fund and create the ‘Douglas Diggers’. Our vision is to:
- Develop two underused green areas as community spaces for growing and planting - the Wee Forest which sits behind Douglas Medical Centre and the adjacent green space where raised beds have been built, but not yet utilised. Opportunities will be provided for food growing as well as planting to create areas that are both practical and beautiful. Outdoor learning spaces will be created within the grounds of Claypotts Castle PS to include our very youngest community members: our nursery children. These nurturing, active learning spaces will also be freely available to the parent and toddler group which is based in Douglas Community Centre.
At the moment, the children are at the beginning of very exciting 3-year partnership with Alba Explorers, an outdoor education provider, who are creating opportunities for the children to explore their immediate surroundings whilst learning about biodiversity, permaculture, wildlife studies, habitat creation etc. This experience has the potential to be much more meaningful if held in the heart of the community rather than in the controlled environment of the school. The knowledge and expertise that Alba Explores can bring to this venture is extremely valuable.
The vision for the Douglas Diggers has children at the heart, but very much surrounded by adults, old and young, with lots of gardening experience, or none at all. We hope to create a space where all are welcome and feel valued; a space that embraces avid gardeners as well as those who simply wish to enjoy the surroundings of a living, growing garden. It is our mid-term plan to support Douglas Family Medical group to offer social prescribing through the Douglas Diggers and utilise the Wee Forest in particular as an ‘outdoor waiting room’.
These green spaces will create opportunities to: address the cost of living pressures, to reduce social isolation, to offer zero cost family activities and to create volunteering opportunities for those looking to start/return to work to name but a few. Moreover, it allows the people living in Douglas to claim the space as their own whilst exploring the concept of climate change and the impact we can all have as citizens both individually and collectively.
Parents and carers of children in Claypotts Castle PS were invited to complete a short survey to gauge interest in this new project. Some of the responses to, ‘What kind of gardening activities would you be interested in?’ are as follows:
We would enjoy coming to help and learn how to grow and care for fruit and veg, also learn how to care for other garden plants.
I’d like to show my kids how to plant stuff and show them how to look after it.
Gardening/growing fruit and veg/learning about the outdoors/building and landscaping and helping children with these life skills too.
Everything to do with this and I would come with my grandson.
2023-10-30 • 1 comment • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
In Dundee, food is central to addressing local climate justice as well as its global impact on greenhouse emissions. The Maxwell Centre’s newest project will improve access to more affordable, nutritious food, grown locally and sustainably. These new productive green spaces will enhance biodiversity and be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. To achieve this we need to work with communities that can showcase and promote sustainable lifestyles through real life experiences. How we can we all grow and cook our own good food? How can we share affordable and environmental-friendly meals for healthier and happier lives?
Our Maxwell project team, community gardens, local groups and food projects will be recruiting 100 Dundee households who will be part of an exciting city-wide challenge to learn and develop their very own food growing space and cook with local fruit and veg. They will be supplied with a personalised growing kit, tools and materials as well as one to one growing and cooking advice and support through a programme of 18 food growing, cooking and sustainability workshops throughout the seasons (basic gardening skills, outdoor cooking, urban foraging, plant medicine, zero waste cooking, food preserving, citizen science, etc.) Each of these growing spaces will be an example of how to be climate friendly, attract pollinators and increase biodiversity. We’ll showcase how food can be grown in all types of spaces, from backies to allotments, window sills to streets and by all types of families and households, with different backgrounds and from different areas.
The public will get to know the 100 local “celebrity growers” and be inspired and learn along with their stories and challenges growing and cooking through a comprehensive communications campaign and through the revamped Grow Dundee website, map and calendar (funded by Climate Choices 1.0) and our very active Grow Dundee facebook group with nearly 2,000 members. An Open Day for all Community Growing Spaces and 4 neighbourhood community food events, including “Big Bake Offs” and tastings with local produce, food that could go to waste and foraged food will be a huge opportunity to engage with many more people. We’ll be working in collaboration with the Dundee Community Growers Network (22 community gardens) and the Dundee Community Food Network (32 food projects).
2023-11-03 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
Ninewells Community Garden (NCG), is situated in the Arboretum of Ninewells Hospital and open all week for people to come and spend time in a welcoming natural environment. All of our free activities and opportunities promote physical and mental wellbeing, collective learning, biodiversity, sustainability, respect and inclusiveness.
We would love to add Apple Pressing Equipment to our facilities to start a project that will make people of Dundee aware of the potential for transforming unloved surplus produce into something that can be shared with their community. The climate fund will enable us to purchase the equipment that we will use to upskill and engage many people in Dundee.
By championing a product made from apples that could potentially be left to rot we aim to steer people away from accepting food waste as part of life. The effort put in collectively by members of the public and our volunteers and staff will create a delicious juice that embodies the spirit of what community gardening is all about.
NCG is focused on growing and sharing produce in order to make fresh, healthy and nutritious food available for our local community, regardless of affordability. Our outdoor kitchen space encourages healthy, seasonal eating through recipe sharing and cooking classes. We focus on ways of preserving fruit and vegetables and low-cost healthy meals in a bid to help tackle food insecurity and food waste.
The orchard at NCG is well established and managed for growing fruit and demonstrating grafting and pruning. We manage our orchard areas without pesticides and in a low impact way that increases the biodiversity and allows the area to support a wide range of wildlife. Enhancing biodiversity and encouraging the preservation of old varieties of fruit is vital to the health of our planet and helps us safeguard our own food supply.
The idea of the Apple Press Project takes inspiration from a similar and very successful project model run by Tayport community Garden that exchanges unwanted apples in return for quantities of juice. We will use this machinery and process to strengthen and develop new relationships with our neighbours, hospital colleagues and community groups. Any juice that is not shared with them will be bottled to share with our local community larders and be used to increase awareness of community gardening activities at outreach and fundraising events across the city.
We will use the equipment as a central point to bring people together and teach new skills. Not just in the juicing but in an annual programme of events learning about rare and heritage varieties, pruning and grafting, orchard maintenance, blossom and harvest days. We want to celebrate orchards, community green spaces, harvesting together and the value of caring for the environment. At all points our 40+ strong volunteer team will be engaged to learn new skills and help facilitate the project.
Our unique location next to the hospital puts us in a position to help support the wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors to the hospital. It also means we are a great central location to collect apples. Many people are journeying here regularly anyway so if they can bring their unloved garden apples along with them it avoids excess journeys. As with all our garden activities we will aim to make as low a carbon footprint as possible; we will work to find a local farm that could make use of the apple pulp that we cannot use, any extra can be composted to feed our garden for years to come.
NCG is part of the network Community Growers Network of 25+ community gardens and growing spaces in Dundee city and will invite collaborative working and sharing skills and knowledge across all these gardens. The equipment will be available for any parties that wish it to come and use it. They will be supported by our staff and volunteers.
2023-10-27 • 1 comment • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
We hope to deliver an exciting new programme of repairs, social groups, workshops and events, all of which would complement and increase engagement with our existing projects, ensuring we are reaching many more people with a positive climate message. Hiring more staff will allow us to increase our skill set, capacity, ability to work with young people and increase volunteering opportunities. We have also budgeted for working with and fairly paying other community groups/sessional workers for their time - so that we can deliver a wider range and benefit other community groups at the same time.
We would therefore like to hire two new part-time staff members to deliver the following:
- Project Worker:
- Two workshops a week in our spaces and with external community groups (doubling our current capacity)
- The project worker will run workshops as well as identify sessional workers/community groups we can bring in to cover a broader range of topics, such as basic repair/electrical skills, reducing food waste, DIY, Grow Your Own, foraging, making our homes and greenspaces more nature friendly… and so much more
- A new weekly Upcycling Group or similar topic - additional to existing groups
- A clothing repair service – at an affordable price – we have seen great demand for this
- Upcycling unusable clothing/textiles that are donated to The Wardrobe into usable items that will be kept in use for a long time
- Youth Worker:
- Facilitate and run 1/2 youth groups – Young Climate Champions - the activities run during these groups may include upcycling, playing in nature, decorating banners for the next school strike… whatever the young people would like to do to feel empowered, listened to and able to make a difference.
- School holiday activities for families
- Activities that we can take into schools to engage with more young people and get them involved in our youth groups and other projects – again there is a huge demand for this from schools
All of the above will increase community engagement by engaging with more young people and their families. More people will be upskilled by workshops and events, meaning they will feel able to make small changes in their lives that reduces their impact and increases their awareness. Workshops, events and groups not only help create awareness of the issues around climate change, but also provide other social benefits such as improved mental health, reduced social isolation and a sense of community. Through our repair and upcycling activities we will be able to stop even more textiles from going to waste and further reduce the far-reaching impact of fast fashion/textile waste, as well as filling a gap for repair services in the city.
2023-10-30 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
Joint application between: Alexanders Community Development + Campy Growers + Signpost International
In April 2020, the country experienced the first of two lockdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Dundee, many citizens found that they had insufficient income to meet all their needs and reverted to getting food and other household items from foodbanks and larders. Within weeks of the lockdown commencing 25 to 30 community food projects sprung up and became the Dundee Community Food Network. Dundee City Council provided £10,000 a week of food, but had the logistical problem of how the food would be distributed to the network of 25 community larders spread throughout the city. Alexanders Community Development (ACD) provided staff and a vehicle to make the weekly deliveries to the community projects. This service has continued unabated since April 2020. In 2022 the ACD vehicle ceased to be operational, and we had to lease a diesel van to continue with the weekly deliveries.
Our application to the Climate Change Fund 2 will allow us to purchase a second hand electric van to continue to provide this essential service within the City.The collection and distribution of the food and groceries equates to an estimated 300 miles a week, and at present this is all covered by a leased diesel van.The grant we are seeking would allow us to purchase a a second hand electric van and this would reduce our carbon footprint considerably as we cover around 15,000 miles a year within the city. An electric van is ideal for ACD as our daily mileage will be no more than 100 miles, and therefore a single charge will suffice each day. ACD, in the spirit of partnership, have agreed with two other local charities being Campy Growers and Signpost, that we will make the electric van available to them as and when they require the vehicle. Campy Growers is the largest community growing space in Dundee with its 8 acres and community building and has a huge potential to produce significant amounts of fresh food on your door steps. In March 2021 Signpost International launched their first UK food project, The Roundhouse Community Kitchen in Dundee. The mission of this project is to transform surplus food destined for waste into freshly prepared, nutritious meals for distribution by foodbanks and larders across the city to people in need of support.
ACD currently leases a diesel van to collect food and groceries from supermarkets and wholesalers and then distributes these to the network of 25 community foodbanks and larders. The Dundee Community Food Network (DCFN) is organised through the local charity Faith in the Community.
Jacky Close, Director, Faith in the Community stated: "ACD has been key to our response to the emergency food needs across the city. They have listened and responded to the identified gap as partners developed their work together to bring something unique to this situation."
The need for emergency community food has increased as the cost of living crisis has hit many citizens very badly. In August 2021 the average number of collections from the network was 4,000 per week, however this has doubled over the last two years to 8,000 collections per week in August 2023. It is true to say that this essential community service would not happen without the contribution of ACD.
Peter Allan, Community Planning Manager, Dundee City Council stated: "ACD showed real leadership and commitment by stepping forward to offer a thoughtful, flexible and professional service. They developed processes and relationships at break neck speed and have become an indispensable part of our emergency food arrangements."
The awarding of a grant from Dundee Climate Fund 2 to ACD will allow us to provide an essential community service with as low a carbon footprint as is possible.
2023-10-30 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
The project aims to hold monthly Climate Cafes to highlight environmental issues to students, staff and the general public. Working in partnership with organisations such as Dundee City Council, the RSPB, the Eden Project and Zero Waste Scotland, among others, the project would deliver educational, interactive presentations in a cae style environment where participants can learn, share and discuss environmental issues. 70% of Abertay students are from the local area and we anticipate that they will take their SDG learning back to their families and act as a catalyst in Dundee and have significant impact across the region.
The Climate Cafes are hoped to work in conjunction with sustainability work already being undertaken by the Students' Association, and it is envisioned that the cafes will increase the visibility of the issues themselves and to highlight opportunites already available across the city to both students and the wider community.
This funding would allow us to run events that are relevant, or interest to, and of vital importance to the local community, and the wider world.
2023-10-06 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
Campy Growers are gradually transforming a large, derelict space into Dundee's biggest community market garden: the Vegetarium, producing tonnes of fresh, local food to benefit the local community. We build resilience, food security and the skills to grow your own food. We are helping to mitigate emissions, as well as adapting to future food shortages and at the same time boosting biodiversity. Campy Growers encourage knowledge of and participation in environmentally sustainable food growing. We provide opportunities such as volunteering, public events, open days, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, a weekly veg stall in Camperdown playpark and cooking sessions.
Thanks to the Dundee Climate Choices Fund and other funders, over the past year we have:
- Quadrupled our growing space for food production.
- Regenerated the neglected and compacted soil, with the use of green manure and manual tools with the help of the James Hutton Institute.
- Grown high-quality, nutrient-dense food using sustainable agro-ecological methods.
- Welcolmed, excited and inspired local residents and families to connect with delicious, fresh, local food.
- Provided tonnes of beautiful, fresh produce to community projects.
- Delivered workshops to teach people how to grow their own food.
- Produced vegetable seedlings to support Dundee residents and other community gardens to grow veg.
- Minimised carbon emmissions by shortening supply chains and using electric vehicles, composting onsite food waste and regenerating the soil.
- Worked to enhance biodiversity and delivered educational sessions.
- Helped to connect people with their local food grower.
Thanks to our enthusiastic staff and dedicated volunteers, over the 2023 growing season, we have produced several tonnes of nourishing vegetables, that have been donated across the city to individuals, families and charities. We also help to redistribute or compost supermarket veg that would otherwise be wasted. In August 2023 we started our CSA veg box delivery scheme and we have had some wonderful feedback from our members:
'Your vegetable box has brought a smile Tae ma no 'weel and fed up face' ' Thank you very Much'
'Not only is it local and organic I also believe it is harvested with passion and packed with love'
We have worked in partnership with Dundee Cycle Hub and received an electric cargo bike in 2023 and it made a difference for individuals who can't access fresh food. So, to make our produce more accessible and promote active travel, we have asked for the insurance costs of having the bike to facilitate more outreach in the community in 2024. We are also working in partnership with Alexander Community Development (ACD) and Signpost International to have a share in an Electric Vehicle to expand deliveries in the communities and larders. This will be a separate joint funding bid submitted by ACD so please support both projects.
We are looking to employ a part-time general handyperson to facilitate our distribution and DIY and will allow us to reach our full potential. We have constructed several meshed tunnels to protect our veg from pigeons, deer and rabbits. But we need more protected tunnel space to expand production.
To achieve further self-sufficiency, we want to install a rainwater collection system along with our own water supply on site. This would allow us greater control over the quantity and quality of water we use on site as well as in the long run reducing costs.
We, at Campy are passionate about our goals, we tackle food poverty, challenge climate change and strive to make a difference to peoples lives. Daily we bring people together and make them happier and healthier, it is a very rewarding position to be in.
2023-11-02 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
We need your help to enable us to lower our carbon footprint and contribute to the aim of lowering carbon emmisions within our local community and as part of Dundee City Council's Climate Action Plan - reduce the consumption of energy, promote energy efficiency and increase the proportion of power and heat from low and zero carbon technologies.
Our community centre is in the heart of St Mary's and is managed by a group of local people (Local Management Group - LMG) who volunteer their own time and skills to provide a local resource that serves all ages and needs. We have been concerned for a few years with our energy consumption that relies on carbon omitting energy from the National Grid and the rising cost of this energy. As a volunteer run community centre, we need to fund everything required to maintain a functioning local resource and by installing a power source that uses natural reources we can massively lower our commitment to energy costs and reliance on the National Grid for our power. The community centre aims to do this by installing solar panels, battery storage and low energy lighting.
In addition, the LMG are aware of the prevalance of household poverty in their local community due to cost of living crisis and we are always looking at how we can help those households by providing access to free provision in the centre. Our weekly programme provides activities for families, children, young people, older people and includes support and advice from health practioners, money and welfare advice projects and local concillors surgeries, Being able to deliver these services in the local community is important for people and we would like this to continue and even increase in the future. By lowering fuel costs we can have commit to opening our doors more frequently and provide access for the support, services and activities that can ameliorate the far-reaching effects of fuel poverty and cost of living for individuals and families.
We would also be keen to promote the benefits of solar energy and the key themes of Dundee City Council's Climate Action Plan by hosting events and organisations whose aim is to support local people be more aware of the benefits for them and their community by reducing fuel consumption. The community centre recognises the role it can play in supporting its community to become a climate change resilient community.
2023-11-03 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
Strathmartine Community larder Will use the funding to purchase energy saving household equipment which will be sold on to local residents at a subsidised cost. This will allow people living on lower incomes to purchase items that they would not normally be able to such as slow cookers, light bulbs, dryer balls, air fryer, halogen ovens, draught excluders etc. we also aim to provide a scheme where items can be paid in instalments prior to receiving goods. Energy-efficient appliances are essential to help residents to save money and energy, protect the environment, and generally enhance their lifestyle. Thus, the more energy efficient home appliances they have access to then the lower their utility bills will be while protecting the environment from harmful gases such as carbon dioxide.
As well as the above SCL will work in partnership with several community growing spaces groups to purchase materials for growing kits to be distributed throughout the area to promote and encourage home growing as a means of reducing food costs to families affected by poverty. The growing spaces volunteers will offer support and instruction as to how to use these kits and how to maintain future home growing.
Resilience local food growing the volunteers from Baldragon Community Garden and Ardler Environmental Group propose to distribute potato growing kits throughout the community of Strathmartine. This community initiative will encourage families, individuals etc to try out growing food and reap the rewards. It’s ideal for those who don’t have a garden. The environmental benefits include less greenhouse emissions, reduced carbon footprint and reduce food waste. Importantly it will foster a connection with nature. Whilst this initiative will play a role in helping with climate change, at the same time, it will show that growing own food can lead to financial savings, and improve mental and health being. It’s hoped that this small initiative will get folk of all ages enjoying the outdoors and learning new skills and knowledge to then pass on to others.
We have discussed the above proposal with the trustees, volunteers and current SCL users and they are all in agreement that the energy efficient appliances would be of benefit to local people who are struggling with the increased energy costs and increased cost of living. It was the SCL trustees that put forward the idea of not simply handing out the appliances free of charge but to create a system where the items can be purchased at a lower cost therefore providing some future stability for the appliance project with an aim to continue the service long term. The Ardler Environmental Group and the Baldragon Community Garden volunteers where consulted regarding the growing kits and see this as an excellent opportunity to link in with the community of Strathmartine and to get folk involved in existing and new community garden that are available in Strathmartine area with a view to long term involvement. Both of the above projects can be linked into the long term work of the SCL who will offer courses and groups such as cooking on a budget, one pot cooking, batch cooking etc teaching people how to best use their new equipment and indeed the food they will grow.
The project will focus on the Strathmartine area of Dundee which includes St Marys, Kirkton, Ardler and environs. We will work with various food projects and green space / community garden projects for example Strathmartine Community Larder, Ardler Village Trust Community Fridge, Chalmers Ardler Church Larder, 3 community centre LMGs, St Marys growing space, Friends of Clatto, Ardler Community Garden, School family development workers.
2023-10-30 • No comments • • Dundee Climate Fund Round 2.0
The much-loved Dundee Rep is one of Scotland ’s great examples of a theatre created by and for its people. Founded in 1939, for 84 years we have been integral to the cultural heart of the city, with visits to Christmas shows part of many family’s traditional festive celebrations. We create and deliver work for local, national and international audiences and provide year-round opportunities for learning, performing and sharing in the community. We currently offer 19 weekly creative classes to 300 individuals aged from 3 months to 90 years old! These include children and young people with a range of complex additional special needs, those with lifelong medical conditions and our community theatre for older people. We also regularly work with inmates in HMP Perth.
“The Rep” is home to the Dundee Rep Ensemble; Scotland's only full-time company of actors, as well as Scottish Dance Theatre, Scotland’s flagship Contemporary Dance Company, performing throughout the UK and touring overseas, showcasing Dundee’s name and reputation internationally.
Dundee is very proud of the building in Tay Square, which opened in 1982. Last year it received A-listed status as one of the most important post-war theatres constructed in Scotland. However, this means it is difficult to change the building, including replacing the original, single glazed windows which are very draughty and lose heat at an alarming rate- we estimate round 60% of heating is lost through these windows! For our professional dancers in particular, this is a real issue, as they need a constant temperature of 24°C when rehearsing to avoid injury.
An award would invest in installing innovative new secondary glazing throughout a large part of the theatre, so maintaining a comfortable temperature for all staff and participants, saving us approximately 7 tonnes of Co2 in the first year alone.