Aberdeen City Council hosted an excellent volunteers networking opportunity this week as a thank you to all the groups who have contributed to the Council’s It’s Your Neighbourhood efforts.
The event was hosted in the Duthie Park and featured some exceptionally fine cakes and bakes, or affa fancy peeces if you prefer.
2016 marks GFAA’s third year in the It’s Your Neighbourhood Scheme. We achieved a Thriving assessment at our first go and now we have an Outstanding ranking to defend in 2016 after our success last year. Outstanding is the highest award possible. Taking part in IYN has been a source of good advice on growing, the environment and building a better community, but just as importantly, it has helped us open doors to getting more external funding for our site and facilities.
This last month Norman and I took part in a workshop to help us prepare for this year’s assessment. It’s an important year as 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of Britain in Bloom. The workshop was hosted jointly by IYN, The Royal Horticultural Society and Aberdeen City Council.
Juliette Camburn hosting and appearing for IYN
Stephen Shaw for Aberdeen City Council
Liz Stewart for RHS
Karen Allan for Aberdeen City Council
Some of the key messages for our preparation included:
- keeping in touch and seeking advice
- using online resources from IYN and RHS
- using print and digital comms to get our message across
- have a vision of where we want to go
- marking the 50th Anniversary in some way
- building partnerships with others
- seeking Council officer and elected member involvement
- celebrate our successes and good news stories locally and nationally
- get all ages involved
- use the council media office to help with the press
- think about sustainability and long term vitality
- don’t stand still and get stuck in ruts.
So, we have lots to get on with then! I and any of the committee members will welcome all suggestions and discussions about our key developments and plans for the future – and of course help to prepare our site for the upcoming IYN Assessment visit.
I am delighted to report that following our IYN assessment last month GFAA has achieved an Outstanding level assessment. Gill and Norman attended the Keep Scotland Beautiful Awards Ceremony in October to receive our certificate.
Sincere thanks go to all plotters for keeping their own plots in excellent order this year, to the growing band of Community Sunday participants, our volunteers, collaborators and partners and to all those individuals who helped around the communal areas of the site and so contributed to this superb result.
In only our second year of participation, GFAA has achieved an “outstanding” award for our site as part of the It’s Your Neighbourhood Assessment Exercise.
Awarding us a total of 89 points, Assessor Jim Henderson noted especially our successes in community participation, as well as improvements in the areas environmental responsibility and gardening.
Jim’s Full Report is available and makes interesting reading. Thanks to all who gave of their best on their own plots and looking after our communal areas and so contributed to this achievement.
Garthdee Assessment 2015
Stuart asked me to pass on this story:
Jim Henderson visited with us this week to complete his IYN assessment of our site.
It is always a pleasure to meet with Jim who is never short of a story or two to tell or good advice to pass on from his own plot or others he visits. We were not blessed with the best of days (surprise, surprise), but our whole site did look wonderful as did many of the plots. Thanks go to all those who helped get the site and their individual plots into shape for the visit.
GFAA achieved a “thriving” grading last year and we have high hopes for this assessment after adding many new features and activities over the last 12 months. We should have the final result in a few weeks. Watch this space.
Jim Henderson has been in touch to say he hopes to visit our site 10.00am August 4 2015 to carry out his annual assessment of our progress for the, It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards. We hope Jim will be able to meet with as many of our plotters as possible, so please put this date into your diaries if you can make it along. We are hoping to have a tea and scone social event at the end of the visit.
If you think you might be able to help us prepare for Jim’s visit, please let Stuart, or a member of the committee, know as soon as possible.