Network event – Community Growing Network

3 September 6-8pm

From walled gardens to allotments, guerrilla gardening to pocket orchards, community fridges to cooking lessons... Come along to share your experience of community garden and growing projects, or just to find out more about what is going on in other places. Book here to guarantee a place.

Online Workshop – Inclusion 

Join Eden Project Communities and community-minded people from across the UK in a free online workshop about inclusion and what it means for you.

Tuesday 24 September 6-8pm and Friday 27 September 12-2pm

You'll be invited to share your experience, and have the chance to talk with and learn from others who are in the same boat. If you've not joined one of our online workshops before, they are really easy and relaxed, all are welcome!

We will be running the workshop twice, an evening and a lunchtime, to make it as accessible as possible to all.

West Fife Networking Event - 26 September

If you spend your time thinking about or trying out interesting ideas that aim to make a positive change in your community and would find it useful to meet up with others from West Fife who are thinking about and trying our similar things... Then come and join us at Blair Castle in Culross on Thursday 26 September for an afternoon of skills sharing, networking and resource mapping of all the different community initiatives. Book your place here.

Network Event – Autumn Gathering2 November 

Are you involved in making good stuff happen in your area? Perhaps you’ve attended Community Camp, volunteer in a group or have an idea for a project? Come along and join other network members for the day to share, learn and connect. The theme will be ‘creativity’, in all its forms! Watch out for more details on social media, or register your interest by emailing Katie

Save the date!

Network events in Edinburgh (Thursday 10 October 6-8pm) and Glasgow (Wednesday 23 October 6-8pm) are coming up, keep an eye on the website for more details.


So long, Marion!

This month, we’re saying goodbye to our lovely Inverness-based Community Network Developer, Marion. Marion’s off to take up an exciting new post in the Highlands, and we wish her all the best! Here she is brightening up the day with her fluorescent yellow jacket with the crew of the Big Lunch Community Walk, who visited Inverness on the 24 May. We are currently recruiting for a new member of the team, so watch out for exciting news of our new colleague in the next newsletter. 

The National Lottery Community Fund appoints new Scotland Director

Our partner, The National Lottery Community Fund, is delighted to announce the recent appointment of Neil Ritch as new Director for Scotland.

Neil said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Scotland Director. The work we are doing is as interesting and exciting as it’s ever been in all the time I’ve been here. It is a great place to be and I am excited I now get the opportunity to lead on our work across Scotland.”

Neil attended our national exchange hub event in the Macroberts Centre in Stirling last November and we know he’s a fan of The Big Lunch and of our network so we’re very much looking forward to working with him in the years to come.

Community Camp 2019

We’ve been delighted with the response to our call for applications for this year’s Community Camps at the Eden Project. An unprecedented number of people, who are all doing amazing things in their community, have been in touch to find out more, so much so that the September places are now fully allocated, and November is well on the way to filling up as well!

There was a series of articles in papers such as the Falkirk Herald which helped us reach people who haven’t heard about us before, so we’re really looking forward to meeting everyone over the coming months.


Accelerate: Exploring new ways to generate income

Accelerate is a free programme of support for community groups in Scotland who are seeking new ways to generate income. It offers a free enterprise health check and some support to help develop your ideas. It is aimed at community organisations that currently do not have any trading element. 

Previously known as the Enterprise Accelerator programme, Accelerate is a partnership between Scottish Community Alliance and Community Enterprise.

  • Level 1 support involves getting to know your organisation and helping to identify strengths, aspirations and challenges. This will result in an action plan being agreed
  • Level 2 support will consist of a short input of more intensive, specialised support and be based upon what is agreed in level.

You can apply here.

New Comic Relief Grants Announced 

Corra Foundation are pleased to share news of a new programme delivered by Corra Foundation working as an intermediary partner with Comic Relief in Scotland.

The #ShiftthePower Scotland Comic Relief Programme aims to support groups in Scotland with an income of £250,000 or less to make meaningful changes in one of the four areas below. Eligible groups can apply for grants from £1,000 to £8,000.

  • Children Survive & Thrive – early years development for children facing disadvantage
  • Gender Justice – contributing to gender equality by reducing violence and discrimination based on gender and sexuality
  • A Safe Place to Be – supporting people who have experienced homelessness or have been forced from their homes in order to live safely
  • Mental Health Matters – improving mental health provision and tackling stigma around mental health

The closing date for applications is 2pm on 30 September 2019. For more information, including how to register for one of the upcoming information sessions, please see their website.


Link Up Flourishing Communities Report

Since Link Up became operational in 2012, it has engaged almost 22,000 people in some of Scotland’s most challenged communities, helping to transform the lives of so many of this number. The ‘Flourishing Communities’ report brings together analysis of the key factors which have enabled Link Up to deliver this impact. The conclusions have important implications for policy areas spanning place-based working, social care, health and wellbeing, community safety, community empowerment, inclusive growth, public sector reform as well as aspirations for a Fairer Scotland. 

Research Report: Principles for community empowerment

For those who like a bit of research... This recent report from Audit Scotland aims to raise awareness of community empowerment and promote a shared understanding across scrutiny bodies to support high-quality scrutiny of community empowerment. Read it here.