Community Links Scotland

Annual Report 2012 - 2013

Chairperson's Report

Last year started with a celebration of our first ten years as an organisation dedicated to providing regeneration support services to registered social landlords and not for profit community groups. The organisation has come a very long way from wider action and wider role to current regeneration in its endeavours to provide clients with the access to staff and services they would not otherwise be able to afford. Without setting financial targets we have now accessed almost £20million for client organisations with less than 6% of this funding having to come from our clients reserves.

Last year was one of significant changes to the core funding of Community Links Scotland and Streetlinks with both organisation no longer receiving any Scottish Government grant funding. The consequences of this were severe, as we knew they would be, and unfortunately much of the Streetlinks service has now been very much reduced. Using reserves we have maintained the staff complement at Community Links Scotland and despite the stress of the past year they have performed their usual miracles bringing in almost £3million in project resources for clients. For the management board too; it was a difficult year, full of hard decisions and I would thank them for their ongoing commitment, dedication and energy that continues to ensure that Community Links Scotland provides an invaluable and unique service.

Sandra Loney, Chairperson

Director's Report

For a project with an immediate future back in 2002 of two years, it was with great satisfaction that we celebrated our tenth anniversary and then despite various issues went on to secure £2.9million for our clients.

Some of those clients have worked with us from the beginning; others have joined along the way, while others can be for the length of a single project. Whatever their duration I think most of them understand the honesty, commitment and passion that staff have for their work and the dedication in time and endeavour that has given our clients such rewards over the past eleven years. I would take this opportunity to thank all the staff for their continued efforts to serve clients in a period of financial uncertainty.

Stephen Singer, Director

Company Management and Staff

Management Board

The elected board of directors is comprised of management committee members and community representatives from our clients. Board meetings are held every month with a variety of sub committee meetings also in place.

Sandra Loney (Chairperson) - Paisley South Housing Association
Jim Weir (Vice Chair) - Paisley South Housing Association
Laurie Mackay (Treasurer) - Dalmuir Park Housing Association
Ann McGowan - Knowes Housing Association
Sephton MacQuire - Dunbritton Housing Association
Meg Harrison - Faifley Housing Association
Terry Smalls - Co-opted Claire Boyd - Barrhead Housing Association (resigned) Carolyn Gilmour - Antonine Housing Associatin (resigned)

Staff

CORE STAFF TEAM
Stephen Singer, Christine Menhennet, Louise Bacon, Suzannah Roberts, Stephen Horsburgh, Ali Smith, Alison Shaw, Jana Moravcova, Janette Devlin, Caitlin Gillen
(Emma McMullen, Sharon Mather and Amanda Savage left during the year)

STREETLINKS SESSIONAL WORKERS
John Agnew, Joanna Thom, Andy Oliver, Robert Jenkins, Lorraine Connolly, Denise Coyle, Jennifer McGroggan, Annia Bardzik, Dawn Boyd

STREETLINKS VOLUNTEERS
Approx 20-40 per year

Funding and Financial Information

2012-13 proved to be the most finacially difficult in the organisation's 11 year history. With no grant funding from the Scottish Government, several client RSLs withdres due to the lack of subsidised rates. In addition, Streetlinks, which was almost 90% grant funded suffered greatly and the project was subsequently decreased in size and structure. The management board implemented a strategy of supporting Streetlinks for as long as possible and retaining the staff structure at CLS. As a consequence, our net outgoing resources were £255,579 covered by our reserves which now stand at £355,294.

Client Funding

2012-13 saw CLS staff working hard to attract funding and match funding for all our various clients. People and Communities Fund was eventually launched in July of the year, with the Lottery, the other key community funder, CLS staff facilitated £2.9m; the largest single amount in any one financial year over the last 11 years - a fantastic return on client investment.

Year

SG Wider Role (£)

%

Community Planning/ SED/RSLs (£)

%

Europe/LEADER/ Trusts/Lottery (£)

%

TOTAL (£)

2002-03

76,000

33

51,000

22

101,000

45

228,000

2003-04

160,090

11

80,878

6

1,212,937

83

1,456,155

2004-05

476,234

55

62,164

7

324,544

38

862,942

2005-06

1,060,192

72

114,250

8

297,537

20

1,461,979

2006-07

574,488

40

87,271

6

758,660

54

1,420,419

2007-08

635,958

29

50,870

2

1,500,249

69

2,187,077

2008-09

769,906

37

90,795

5

1,197,238

58

2,057,939

2009-10

1,060,028

39

62,187

2

1,610,174

59

2,732,389

2010-11

983,839

52

51,346

3

841,504

45

1,876,689

2011-12

1,084,608

44

49,000

2

1,345,889

54

2,479,497

2012-13

603,216

21

422,069

15

1,855,666

64

2,900,951

TOTAL

7,484,559

38

1,121,830

6

11,045,398

56

19,651,787

Our Clients

REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS
Argyll & Bute
West Highland Housing Association
East Dunbartonshire
Antonine Housing Association
Hillhead Housing Association 2000
East Renfrewshire
Arklet Housing Association
Glasgow
DRUMCOG
Cadder Housing Association
Blue Triangle Housing Association
Scottish Housing Connections
Inverclyde
Cloch Housing Association
Larkfield Housing Association
Oaktree Housing Association
River Clyde Homes
Renfrewshire
Ferguslie Park Housing Association
Linstone Housing Association
Williamsburgh Housing Association
West Dunbartonshire
Clydebank Housing Association
Dalmuir Park Housing Association
Dunbritton Housing Association
Faifley Housing Association
Knowes Housing Association
Trafalgar Housing Association
North Lanarkshire
Garrion People's Housing Co-op
Forgewood Housing Co-op



COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY GROUPS
Arrochar & Tarbet Community Development Trust
Cairndow Community Childcare
Dumbarton District Women's Aid
Route 81 Garelochhead
Geilston Hall
Leven Group
Auchinairn After School Care
Gibson Hall
Belleisle Conservatory Group
Barmulloch Community Development Company
Luss Village Hall
Taynuilt Sports Council
Taynuilt Community Council
Stramash

Our Projects

Scottish Housing Connections • WHHA Welfare Rights Project • WHHA Volunteering Project • WHHA Electric Cars Project • WHHA Village Halls Project • Dunbritton HA Employability Project • The Creamery • Dunbritton HA Welfare Rights Project • Dunbritton HA Credit Union Project • WHHA Working Rite • WHHA Community Play • Clydebank Welfare Rights Service • Inverclyde Green Team • Mull & Iona Progressive Care Centre • IHAF Tenancy Support • Cafe Knowes • Watchmeal Crescent • TAL4WD • Mull Play Area • Woodhall Park • Confident You • Dalmuir Park HA Community Consultation • Centre 81 Support • Arrochar Three Villages Hall • Gibson Hall • Belleisle Conservatory Business Plan • Cairndow Nursery • Advice 4 All • Trust Employability • Dumbarton District Women's Aid Roots to ConfidenceTobermory PlotsCentrePoint Marketing Project • Forgewood Community Facility • Barmulloch Community FacilityRenfrew Association of Growers and Gardeners Project • WHHA NHS Stock Transfer • Strathkelvin Credit UnionHillhead Tenancy Support and Welfare Rights • Arklet Tenancy Support • Arklet Breaking BarriersGrand Central Savings • IHAF Community Action Plan • Dunbeg Consultations and Community Action Plan • Luss Village Hall • WHHA Luing • Cadder HA Lottery Bid • My New Home • Hyndland After School Care Business Plan • Atlantis Play Park • Geilston Hall • Taynuilt Pier • Taynuilt Sports Council • Taynuilt PavilionAuchinarin After School Care • Dunbritton HA Youth Alliance • Gibshill Community Centre • Branchton Community Centre • Homestart Oban and Lorn • Leven Group Play AreaStramash Kerrera School • Starter Packs Inverclyde • Centre 81 Nursery Business Plan • Hillhead Community Growing Project • Beardmore Trust Action Plan • Cadder Community Centre • Digital Inclusion Project • Healthy Eating Project

Training

CLS became an accredited SQA centre in January 2012 and we're working on delivering a range of courses, starting with a PDA in Youth Work in the next financial year.

We have been successful in securing funds for a new Training & Volunteer Development Co-ordinator from PCF and The Robertson Trust to roll out the Volunteers in Progress Programme (ViPP) and will offer up to 50 volunteers per year substantial experience with immediate access to training, support, supervision and front line work experience. This provides a means for people to gain skills and knowledge, build confidence and contribute to their community as well as leading for many to routes to further learning and/or real career pathway choices.

In 2011, following years of providing informal volunteering opportunities on an ad hoc basis, we established a 12 month pilot to introduce a more structured approach. This pilot provided an innovative training and volunteering opportunity to excluded individuals identified through youth work and community activity. The programme attracted 80 volunteers who collectively provided a total of 3259 volunteering hours helping to deliver youth work, administration and environment projects within areas of multiple deprivation. A total 66 certificates were achieved by the volunteers, 13 of them accessed a Volunteers with Drive driving license package and seven of them moved onto employment and/or training. The new Volunteers in Progress Programme (ViPP) will build on the success of this pilot initiative, refining the service and offering an enhanced accreditation focussed training package.

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds have been recruited from communities through word of mouth, advertising in local papers and on websites, streetwork contacts, posters and fliers in local community facilities and through referrals from other agencies and organisations. The ViPP has funding in place to provide these volunteers with the opportunity to access a package of training programmes including SVQ in Volunteering Skills, PDA in Youth Work, University of Glasgow Activate Course, First Aid and Child Protection.

Volunteers have been supported to achieve relevant certification for their efforts such as the Youth Achievement Awards, Millennium Volunteer Awards, Saltire Awards and John Muir Awards. In return, each volunteer is be asked to commit to an agreed amount of volunteering hours to support local youth and community regeneration activity. The skills and experience gained by participating volunteers through this programme will also offer their local communities a lasting legacy of improvement as many will choose to continue involvement in local volunteer activity even after their formal role in the 12 month ViPP concludes.

Contact Us

Community Links Scotland (CLS) is a charitable, not for profit, voluntary organisation established by a Forum of Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in 2002. We provide regeneration consultancy services for 27 registered social landlords throughout Scotland in addition to carrying out independent pieces of consultancy for a large number of community organisations, trusts and voluntary groups.

Community Links Scotland is a company limited by guarantee and not having share capital company no. 229753 and a recognised charitable company no. SC032934



www.comlinks.org.uk


BY POST

Community Links Scotland
63 Kilbowie Road
Clydebank G81 1BL

BY PHONE

0141 952 4382

BY FAX

0141 952 6034

BY EMAIL

info@comlinks.org.uk



Barmulloch Community Hub

We were commissioned by Barmulloch Community Development Company to work with them to progress their Big Lottery funding application for a new tenants hall. This will replace the existing rundown hall with a new, multi-purpose space for community activities and services focusing on healthy lifestyles, employment and training.

Our work has included a community-wide consultation with 1,300 local households, engaging with 50 young people and preparing a Stage 2 Big Lottery Fund submission to the Growing Community Assets programme. Responses to the survey conducted over a series of community events were used to prepare a business case for the development of a facility that will benefit the local residents and provide services most needed in the area. During a consultation day at Barmullcoh in the summer, young people completed survey forms to earn free use of the CLS climbing wall.



Dunbeg Community Action Plan

CLS were commissioned by West Highland Housing Association to prepare a community action plan for the small village of Dunbeg just north of Oban. A series of community surveys revealed what types of projects the community would like to see developed and this informed the community action plan. The document was launched at a local forum attended by WHHA, Argyll & Bute Council, local community council, MSPs and residents.

Some clear themes emerged from the consultations, including a very strong need for a community centre which can house all the other activities and services highlighted by residents in the consultation process. Other projects people would like to see are the development of outdoor and indoor sports facilities including the restoration of a former kickabout area, a lunch club and befriending scheme for older people, more activities for young people in the village, a village tidy up, more seating and more litter bins.

Working with CLS and local groups, WHHA hope to progress some projects highlighted in the plan.

Inverclyde Green Team

Neglected areas within Port Glasgow got a new lease of life thanks to the Inverclyde Green Team. The project was developed in partnership with River Clyde Homes (RCH), Inverclyde Community Development Trust (ICDT) and In-Works and is now in its third year.

The project provided training in environmental and construction works to individuals who currently face multiple barriers to employment. Improvements were undertaken across five sites within Greenock and Port Glasgow. Community Links Scotland's role included development of full funding package (£645,000), detailed design work, preparation of schedule of works, negotiations with statutory agencies and project management of delivery of programme of works. Over two years, the programme involved 42 participants; 12 of them trainees went into employment and 21 went onto further training.

CLS also worked with RCH on Achieve Inverclyde, a £440,000, two year programme of works that will work with employability/training providers to undertake environmental improvements across four housing estates and undertake soft-strip demolition works to RCH properties due for demolition. Money from the recycling of these works will be used to undertake further environmental works.

Kerrera Outdoor Education Centre

Stramash, an Oban based outdoor education social enterprise, secured a lease on the old school building on Kerrera and with our help plan to transform it into an adventure centre.

A number of consultation surveys were carried out to find out if there would be an interest in such a facility on the rugged little island just off Oban. Local groups were contacted for their ideas on the potential uses of the building as a residential centre. Funding was secured to prepare a feasibility study, architect's drawing, a business plan and a funding strategy.

Watchmeal Crescent Improvements

Community Links were appointed by Knowes Housing Association to lead on the development of design proposals and community consultation for the community garden at Watchmeal Crescent, Faifley. With very tight timescales until submission of the Stage 2 Community Spaces Application, we launched the project with a community day for the local Watchmeal residents.

A series of consultation events have been on-going to ensure that the needs and aspirations of the local community are included within the design proposals. Questionnaires went out to all 132 properties that back onto the area, and while the initial response was disappointing, we have used a variety of other techniques to get feedback. The community event brought many additional residents out, and questionnaires were duly completed. In addition, we used participative techniques that sought residents opinions and ideas, which were used to help us develop the design proposals. A newsletter was delivered to all residents advising of the development of the project so far.

Following the community event, a design was prepared that has been built on feedback from the local community and work previously undertaken by Knowes Housing Association. The proposal is to create a more open space, conducive to community interaction. One of the main problems with the area at the moment is that it is simply seen as bin park and a place to walk dogs. While there are two very old play areas, these are in a poor condition and are a target for anti-social behaviour. Key to the success of this project, both to target potential funders and to ensure the long term sustainability of any improvements, is to ensure that the local community are involved at all stages. From the consultation work, it is evident that there is a need for facilities for young people and we are keen to link these together by making art a feature of the site. We have proposed to use art to work with groups of young people to create a series of informal play facilities across the site. On bin day, the area is dominated by upwards of 130 bins so the design of the area needs to account for these and ensure that such areas can be of wider use to the local community.