Virtual Community Cake

We welcomed individuals representing a number of local community groups at our first online Community Cake event last week.

There was representation from the following groups:

Scotch Hop Linlithgow Farmily
Linlithgow String Orchestra Linlithgow Churches
West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club St Peters Church
Linlithgow Twinning Association Linlithgow Folk Festival Association
New Well Wynd Garden Transition Linlithgow

We’ve had brilliant feedback from community groups that Community Cake events are a great way to meet people from other groups and do some friendly networking. We wanted to give groups opportunities to do this by trying out an online event.

Lockdown Activities

All the groups had been busy over lockdown, with lots of innovative activities taking place. We heard about music sessions over zoom, online bike time trials, community prayers, searching for hidden objects around the town, and the further development of the new community garden at New Well Wynd. There have also been quizzes, virtual dancing, throwbacks to previous years, zoom meetings, provision of support for members of the community who need it and the creation of a network of 650 families growing their own veg across the town. Busy busy!

Ideas

There were lots of ideas and enthusiasm for bringing people together in different ways and/or establishing activities which create a sense of community. One idea was small musical performances around the town, perhaps members of a street delivering socially distanced recitals. Or households decorating windows with a specific theme which can be enjoyed as people walk around the town, similar to rainbows and teddy bears during lockdown. There is already a nature trail planned for Book Week in November.

Support Needs

The following points were noted for consideration of further investigation and discussion.

  • Capitalising on volunteers who have offered their time during Covid-19.
  • How to access funding as opportunities are more limited at present. Covering how to go about it/best practice/governance.
  • Look at opportunities to formalise sharing of resources across groups within the town.

Next Event

The next Community Cake event will be held on Wednesday 2nd September at 7.30pm. The theme will be sharing funding opportunities and fundraising ideas. If you are interested in attending please contact helen@trust-linlithgow.org.uk.

Linlithgow is Open for Business Again!

After more than three months of lockdown, the moment businesses and customers have been eagerly awaiting has finally arrived. John Smith from One Linlithgow Business Initiative District (BID) shares the latest news.

It’s not only the historic High Street that burst back into life last week, but businesses throughout the town, including Mill Road industrial estate at Linlithgow Bridge.

Things are beginning to return to ‘normal’ but the Scottish Government’s vital ‘stay safe’ message has been given the number one priority to ensure the wellbeing of customers and staff alike.

One Linlithgow BID was voted in by businesses throughout the town towards the end of last year and was expecting to be working on a raft of measures to promote and support levy payers. Instead, the organisation has focussed almost entirely on providing vital practical assistance for a wide range of businesses as they try to cope with the restrictions necessary to ensure the pandemic does not return.

Eddie Linton-Smith, One Linlithgow BID co-ordinator, said they were delighted to see so many more businesses re-open. “But we need to make sure they can be sensible about hygiene and distancing,” he said.

“To that end, we’re supplying every bricks-and-mortar business in Linlithgow with bespoke PPE kits, including hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and masks, as well as distancing stickers, tapes and posters.”

The BID has secured £15,000 of Scottish Government funding, over and above part of a national support package for BIDs in Scotland. Eddie said “In the first two weeks we’ve given out over 50 PPE kits, and paid out a dozen grants, with many more in the pipeline. In total we’ve already provided £2,500 of direct support, and we’re just getting started!”

He added “To say the least, the last few months have been extremely difficult for many. Businesses in Linlithgow have shown incredible innovation and resilience. So despite everything we’re looking forward to a thriving local economy once again.”

Linlithgow’s Community of Mask Makers

From 10th July face masks will become mandatory in shops, with exemptions for children under 5 and people with certain medical conditions.

The Scottish Government has been recommending the use of face masks for some time now. As of 22nd June, face coverings became mandatory on all public transport.

Yesterday we heard new changes to ease the coronavirus restrictions. This means more places in town will open such as outdoor cafes and beer gardens, and businesses with appropriate health and safety measure in place. Leisure travel restrictions are being lifted and children under 12 will no longer need to maintain physical distancing from other households outdoors.

“As we start to interact more, it is vital we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk, and we know that face coverings can reduce the risk of transmission indoors”, Nicola Sturgeon First Minister stated.

Re-useable fabric face masks – easy access for all

Many local people have already been busy making fabric masks for themselves, friends and family. It has been wonderful to see people’s generosity to help keep our community safe.

 

If you’d like to try making a mask yourself there is a Linlithgow Mask Makers Facebook group for local sewers to support each other sharing advice on sewing, materials and patterns.

Linlithgow Community Development Trust wants to make sure everyone in Linlithgow has easy access to re-usable face masks for shopping and using public transport. LCDT is inviting local sewers to contact pamela@trust-linlithgow.org.uk who would like to help.  Financial support can be provided to purchase material. Thank you to those who have already been in touch.

A central drop-off point has been set up for donating masks. Initially these will be distributed to local people most in need of masks via links with community organisations working with vulnerable people in our town such as Linlithgow Link1st Step and Linlithgow Young People Project.

If you are a business or community group that is looking for face masks for your staff or volunteers please get in touch with pamela@trust-linlithgow.org.uk and LCDT can try to help.

Let’s help Linlithgow become and remain a coronavirus free zone.

New Board Members Wanted!

We are always looking for new members to join the Linlithgow Community Development Trust Board. It’s an exciting time to be involved as we are working closely with groups across the town to co-ordinate the community response to the coronavirus.

LCDT’s aim is ‘To make Linlithgow a better place to live and work, through a community-led plan of action which provides services, amenities and/or financial support to local initiatives.’  We want to expand our Board with people who share our vision and are passionate about our local area and our community working together.

We are looking for local people to bring their own expertise and experience to join the Board of Directors, a group of committed volunteers passionate about continuing to strengthen the Trust as a pivotal community-led organisation in the town.

If you have the time to commit; can think strategically; are committed to the Linlithgow area and have expertise in any of the areas below, we would love to chat with you.

We are keen to increase our diversity to reflect the people which our charity serves –young and old, from the town and surrounding areas, and with a wide range of work or life experiences. We’re looking for someone who can spare 4 hours a month and can work effectively as part of a small team.

As a member of our Board of Directors you will:

  • be part of an exciting, enterprising and innovative community-led organisation.
  • help to ensure that the Trust fulfils our charitable aim and vision.
  • have the opportunity to give something back to your community and make a real difference locally.

If you would like an informal chat to find out more, please email pamela@trust-linlithgow.org.uk.

£32K Funding for Linlithgow to Support the Community Coronavirus Response!

Linlithgow Community Development Trust has just been awarded £32k funding from the Scottish Government Covid-19 Supporting Communities Fund.

This funding will run until the end of September and help:

  • coordinate and support the local community response to the pandemic, particularly for groups supporting older, isolated and infirm people, and families and households in need,
  • support and promote good communication across the whole community with local information.

There are many groups in Linlithgow providing support to the community at this time. Linlithgow’s strength is the many groups, volunteers and businesses ready to help those in need. LCDT has been working with 1st Step, Linlithgow Link, Linlithgow’s Young Person’s Project and Linlithgow’s Coronavirus Support Group helping everyone work together.

Ensuring all groups work together and in line with Council, NHS and other public sector responses, will be very important to ensure we support those most in need safely, and in the best ways possible, keeping up with all national developments, throughout this crisis. LCDT, is developing collaborations with the Community Council and OneLinlithgow Business Improvement District, to help coordinate the community responses. We are also working with the Black Bitch Magazine.

Linlith-Go-Solar Target Achieved!

We are very pleased to announce we have successfully raised the £25,000 investment required as match funding for phase 2 of Linlith-Go-Solar!

Thank you very much to all the investors in the community bonds who have helped us achieve this target. Thanks also to Scottish Communities Finance Ltd who manage the bond offer and Linlithgow Sports Club, Linlithgow Golf Club and Linlithgow Rugby Club who have supported the promotion.

There are many more organisations and volunteers to thank for all their input, too many to mention, but thank you to them all – a real ‘community team’ effort!

Following Linlith-Go-Solar on Facebook to stay updated with plans for phase 3 of the project!

Halfway to meeting the Linlith-Go-Solar target!

We are halfway to meeting our target!!

With the installations now complete, we have one final hurdle and we need your help …..

We’ve raised over £12.5k – halfway there – towards our match-funding target of £25k. Thank you for the incredible generosity of people who have already purchased bonds – especially in such unprecedented times.

Now we need to raise the rest of the funding to match the financial support already secured thanks to CARES at Local Energy Scotland to support our Phase 2 of Linlith-Go-Solar.

For full details of the Bond and how to apply visit the Scottish Communities Finance website.

The application process can be done seamlessly online and you will receive a certificate as a keepsake for your investment.

Please share with anyone that may be interested in investing in the community and the environment!

Thanks also to AES Solar for their fantastic efforts installing the solar panels at Linlithgow Golf ClubLinlithgow RFC and Linlithgow Sports Club. We’re so pleased to have met the end of March installation target!

Linlith-Go-Solar Phase 2 Community Bond Offer is Open!

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our second Community Bond Offer for Phase 2 of Linlith-Go-Solar!

This is your chance to make an ethical investment which will support community and climate benefits for the people of Linlithgow.

You can apply to invest online at the Scottish Communities Finance Ltd website.

We are looking to raise £25,000 which will fund the installation of Solar PV panels at Linlithgow Golf Club, Linlithgow Sports Club and a secondary system at Linlithgow Rugby Club, who were involved in Phase 1 of the project.

We are also pleased to be able to offer an increased interest rate for all investments, compared with the first Community Bond offer.

Here just some of the reasons to invest:

  • Profits from the project will be reinvested back into the community to support local projects.
  • Local clubs will get electricity at a lower price.
  • Solar energy will reduce the environmental impact of community sites across the town.
  • Local clubs will be supported to become sustainable, enabling them to offer better benefits to members.
  • Your investment will be returned in full with interest when matured.

Follow us on Facebook to keep updated with all the latest news about the Community Bond Offer and the Linlith-Go-Solar project. We have big plans for Phase 3!

This project has received funding and support through a CARES grant to help us fund a Project Manager from Locogen, and CARES loans towards the development and installation costs. Scottish Communities Finance Ltd manage the Bond for us and we would also like to thank them for their support with marketing the Bond Offer.

This support has allowed our small group of LCDT volunteers to make this project happen. Thank you!

We did it – thank you!

An incredible £33,015 was raised for the West Lothian Cycle Circuit crowdfunder which will be used to erect 27 floodlights around the perimeter of the circuit. This will enable cycling can continue all year round, throughout the whole day. Phase two will extend the circuit to a full km with an additional two loops. Thank you so much for all the donations and thanks to all our hardworking team that made the crowdfunder a success.

We are really grateful for the ongoing support from our main funders, West Lothian Council, SportScotland and Scottish Cycling. We are now in discussions with them to finalise funding so we can push ahead with building phase 1 of the circuit as soon as possible. We anticipate construction commencing later in the Summer and look forward to the circuit being open to the public by Spring next year.

Linlith-Go-Solar Phase 2 is coming soon!

We’re almost there with the launch of Phase 2 Linlith-Go-Solar!

Today we signed our agreements with Linlithgow Golf Club to install 2 Solar PV systems on the Golf Shop and Greenkeeper Shed roofs. The documents were signed after months of hard work, technical and other assessments in developing the project.

Pictured here are Liam, Dougie and John – trustees of the club, with Fraser, our Trust Chair, Neil the lead volunteer for LgS, and Ken, special guest and President of the Rugby Club, where we installed our pilot solar project last year.

Watch this space for the launch of our 2nd Community Bond. This will be another great opportunity to invest in local community renewable energy projects to help reduce Linlithgow’s carbon footprint, reduce our local clubs energy costs and help create a surplus of revenue for other good community initiatives.

We’ll be sending you all more information soon . . .