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Beith Community Development Trust

A Guy Fawks Street Meet

By | Community, Past Events

Beith Community Development Trust held a Guy Fawks Bonfire Street Meet party which was both very well attended and enjoyed. A very large bonfire was built in the new fire pit which is surrounded by benches made out of recycled palettes.

Families attending enjoyed healthy food cooked on the BBQ, homemade pumpkin pie and roasted marshmallows whilst children played with sparklers and glow sticks around the fire.

The children and their families from both the regular soup group and Carbon Crib stayed to enjoy the event and introduced the new participants to the many dens build in the forest on the hill behind Beith Astro.

What is a Street Meet?

Beith community development trust are engaging the community in an exciting project called ‘Streetmeets’, funded through the people’s health trust  A ‘Streetmeet’ is a ‘party delivered to your door’ which is fully organised and financially supported through the project.

This wonderful idea was created to build on social opportunities within the community with the trust providing a gazebo, arts and crafts, sports activities, a BBQ, food and drink, entertainment such as music, magicians, circus tricks and more and will provide seating areas for your comfort too.

The Streetmeets previously held have been a great success with good turnout and a great atmosphere. People who attended the Streetmeets told the trust that they felt less isolated in the community and had met new friends as a result of the project and that they would be keen to see more of these events in their area.

As a result we have planned several Streetmeets throughout Beith over the coming months, and are keen to see everybody there!

If you would like to host a Streetmeet in your street, or an indoor space at no cost of effort to yourself then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Information can be obtained through the Beith community development trust website and Facebook pages.

Carbon Crib – An update

By | Community

Beith Community Development Trust are now involved with Junior Climate Challenge Fund and keep Scotland beautiful in an exciting youth led project; the Carbon Crib, aiming to help the community of Beith lead the way in environmentally friendly living. These enthused young people are growing their own food in the community garden space, coined their ‘food classroom’ giving them a sense of where their food comes from and feel a sense of connection with food and self -sustainability. The youths are involved in planting, caring for and harvesting the food and enjoying it through social activities such as veggie BBQs and outdoor activities.

In our attempt to reduce waste, therefore landfill figures, we are also developing a strong motivation for the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle concept.

As a means of reducing food waste the people of the community are encouraged to bring food waste for our composting areas, or alternatively, they can contact BCDT and we can collect the compost material on our collection bicycle. The community are also encouraged to bring food scraps for our free range chickens, or food to share at our social events. We also hope to inspire the people of the community to begin growing food at home, or to buy locally grown food reducing air miles through food transportation, therefore reducing carbon emissions.

The youths are also leading by example in eco -friendly food consumption by eating at least 1 vegetarian meal per week. Due to the fact that 60% of the world’s grain is fed to livestock and that 80% of the deforested areas of the amazon rainforest are now used for livestock farming, we are asking the community to join us in ‘meat free Mondays’ and we would love you to share your vegetarian recipes on our Facebook page to help inspire others, one meal per week makes a huge difference, over a period of a year, one person can reduce carbon emissions by a significant amount. By eating just one les burger each week, you reduce carbon emissions equivalent to driving 320 less miles in your car.  Check out our monthly meet free Mondays’ competitions on Facebook too!

As a means of reducing household waste we have created a ‘donation point’ at the development trust. This is an area where unwanted clothes, books, DVDs, electrical goods, furniture and ornamental items can be dropped off whilst attending the ‘carbon crib’ club and the staff at the trust will be happy to transport the unwanted goods to local charity shops, injecting money back into the community, and simultaneously reducing landfill, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions produced.

The youths are keen to promote recycling at home and have been learning all about what materials can be recycled, how to buy eco -friendly products and how to buy ethical products, promoting fair trade and local businesses.

The project also aims to recycle as many materials as possible within the community garden. This may include recycling wood into structures such as tree houses, shelters and seating areas, bicycle wheels into decorations, fencing into chicken enclosures, buckets into growing spaces, stone into herb gardens, containers into water conservation areas and household waste into decorative items and practical activities.

We are striving for all households to be connected with the effect of living on the environment and to educate the next generation on ways to create a more sustainable future. We are achieving this through practical, fun outdoor activities, educational plays and workshops, which can also be delivered to your organisation. Please also tune into our Facebook page every Friday for your ‘Friday fact’ on climate change.

Carbon crib is held on a Wednesday evening, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and is open to everyone in the community, especially children from Primary to secondary school age.  Please see Beith community development trust website and Facebook page for more details.

Beith Defibrillator Training

By | Community

Throughout this year BCDT have been working hard to raise money to purchase a Defibrillator, after a number of successful fundraising event enough money was collected. BCDT purchased a defibrillator and registered it on the Public Access Defibrillator scheme through the British Heart Foundation, this means that  if someone nearby goes into cardiac arrest when you call 999, the operator can tell you if there’s a public access defibrillator now located at Beith Astro.

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To increase awareness that the defibrillator was in the town an information leaflet was delivered to every home in Beith, Barrmill and Gateside. As well as this a digital marketing campaign was set up to promote the location of the defibrillator and a training event was organised. The training event took place in Beith Community Centre and was delivered by the Garnock Valley First Responders.

BCDT do Pinterest

By | Digital Marketing

Beith Community Development Trust have a lively inspiring and full of tips Pinterest page!Pinterest_logo

To some of you Pinterest will be an old friend, a handy place to find inspiration and fun. A great place to plan creative things you want to do.

For those of you who are less acquainted with Pinterest or haven’t even been introduced then here is a quick overview from it’s creators:

Discover ideas for any project or interest, hand-picked by people like you… Pins are visual bookmarks for good stuff you find anywhere around the web or right on Pinterest. You can organize your Pins however you want and create virtual pin boards are where you collect Pins by theme or topic.

We are having a ball finding new inspiration across the web and from other pinners too. There are ideas from overseas and ideas from just down the road. Here is just a small selection of things we’ve been pinning but for a full look go to our page on Pinterest…

We’ll keep adding more ideas every week! See you soon…

5 reasons to join BCDT

By | Community

Beith Community Development Trust are a community led group of staff and volunteers who work on projects that benefit Beith and the surrounding areas. Our aim is to improve the mental and physical fitness of the Beith community, BCDT continuously develops a number of projects to create a more vibrant Beith.

The work that BCDT does is pretty useless without participation and engagement from the community, therefore it important that the community show their support through membership.

Membership is free, but if you’re still not convinced here are 5 reasons to love us and want to join us!

1. Meet Free Mondays

Every Monday all of #TeamBCDT join each other in only eating meat free meals, BCDT are encouraging the community to join them in this effort to combat climate change. Currently a competition is being held, participants are asked to simply post a picture of their meat free Monday Meal on the BCDT Facebook page accompanied by the recipe and the best entry will be picked at the end of November.

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2. Therapets

Anyone who has ever visited the BCDT office or joined in a project here will know that we are an animal friendly place. Not only do we have 5 big beautiful hens in their fantastic coop outside, the BCDT office is also a dog friendly working environment. On a daily basis Frodo, Daisy and Poppy the doggies keep #Team BCDT spirits up.

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3. Children’s education & Entertainment

Every week clubs like the Soup Group and Carbon Crib provide both educational and entertaining projects for local children to get involved with. Both groups have seen a real surge in members recently and some great progress has been made including; building a colourful ‘Carbon Crib’ sign for the garden out of recycles materials such as bike wheels and wood from old palettes, raised beds, an outdoor herb garden out of recycled concrete tunnels, a scare crow, vegetable beds and colourful chicken coop decorations which are said to stimulate chickens brains.

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4. We like you to PARTY

BCDT’s Street Meet parties are becoming more of a frequent event throughout the streets of Beith, in fact on average there are 2 parties a week at the moment. Street Meet parties are free of charge to the community and give you a taste of the BCDT fun in the comfort of your own neighbourhood.

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5. We believe in Beith

We believe firmly in not only bringing money into Beith but we also believe in keeping it here. That is why when BCDT need a contractor or are looking for an outsiders help to deliver some project work we look in before we look out. Only if we cannot find the help we need in Beith do we then look elsewhere in Ayrshire. BCDT have recently secured a project with Glasgow School of Art, you can read more about this project here, but this has allowed us to bring value into the community and keep it here. in this example, the value was brains, creativity and power through people.

Aviary Photo_130595868969058070So if you have read this and thought ‘WOW these guys are doing some awesome work’ then please do become a member, its free what’s the worst that could happen!


Legends and Myths of Scotland

By | Uncategorized

Picture1At Soup Group last week the children were treated to a fascinating presentation on the great legends and myths of Scotland from staff member Jay Seawright. Jay has very kindly typed up his presentation and allowed us to share it with the digital world. Don’t forget to take a look at Jay’s picture slideshow at the bottom.

Scotland is a land of myth and mystery.  Our folklore dates back thousands of years and there are therefore many legends and myths in our country.  Here are some of those.

The Saltire

Also known as the St Andrew’s Cross, there is a legend of how this came to be Scotland’s national flag.  In AD 832, a Pictish army confronted a Northumbrian army in Lothian.  Surrounded by enemies, the Picts prayed for assistance.  That night, St Andrew, appeared to the Picts and assured them of victory.  The next day, when the armies were preparing for battle, an image of a white cross appeared in the sky.  This frightened the Northumbrian army and they fled in panic.  St Andrew was the patron saint of Scotland, and was martyred on an X-shaped cross, as he didn’t consider himself worthy enough to be crucified on the same type of cross as Christ was.

The Thistle

There is a legend of how this became the national emblem of Scotland.  From AD 795, Scotland was under invasion from the Vikings, and parts of the north and west of Scotland were under Norse rule.  By 1263, Viking raids had stopped, and King Alexander III of Scotland proposed to buy back the Western Isles.  However, King Haakon of Norway didn’t like this idea, and planned to attack Scotland.  Haakon’s army set sail for Scotland and landed at Largs.  The Norsemen wanted to creep silently on the sleeping Scots, so they went barefoot, but they had to cross a field of thistles.  One of the Norsemen accidentally stood on a thistle, screamed out in pain, and this woke the Scots, who went and attacked the Norse invaders.  The thistle played an important part, so it was chosen as Scotland’s national emblem.

The Salmon and the Ring

On Glasgow’s coat of arms, there is a salmon with a ring in its mouth, and there is a legend behind this.  A Scottish queen was given a ring by her husband, but she gave it to a soldier, and the king found out.  The king met the soldier by a river, took the ring, through it in the water and challenged his wife to retrieve it.  St Mungo, later the patron saint of Glasgow, miraculously returned the ring by catching the right salmon and finding the ring in its stomach.

The Loch Ness Monster

One of the most famous of Scotland’s legends, the mysterious beast was supposedly first seen by St Columba in AD 565.  Columba was staying in the land of the Picts with his followers when he met some men burying a man by the River Ness.  They told Columba the man had been swimming in the river when he was attacked and killed by a great beast.  Columba sent one of his followers to swim across the river and the beast came after him.  Columba made a sign of the cross and commanded the beast not to touch the man and to go back at once.  The creature halted and retreated, and the Picts praised God for the miracle.

In more recent times, there have been several supposed sightings of the Loch Ness Monster.  The first ‘modern’ sighting was by George Spicer and his wife in 1933, who were visiting the area.  The first supposed photo of the monster was taken by Hugh Gray that same year.  The most famous photo of Nessie, the ‘Surgeon’s Photo’, was taken in 1934 by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist.  It was later revealed to be a hoax.  Since then, there have been numerous photos videos taken of what is deemed to be the legendary beast.

Robert the Bruce and the Spider

Although Robert the Bruce did exist, there is a famous legend involving him and a spider.  Bruce became king of Scotland in 1306 and was forced into hiding when King Edward I of England took immediate action.  While Bruce was on the run, he hid in a cave.  He watched a spider try to spin a web from one end of the cave to the other.  The spider failed several times, but it kept trying until it did spin its web to the other end of the cave.  This inspired Bruce not to give up fighting the English – and he did just that.  After Edward I’s death in 1307, Bruce’s army defeated Edward II’s army at Bannockburn in 1314.

Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas of Ercildoune lived near the Eildon Hills in the Borders, in the 13th century.  According the legend, Thomas met the Fairy Queen in the Eildon Hills and she made him go to Fairyland for three years.  When he returned, Thomas had been given the gift of prophesy, and he foretold the future through songs and poems, hence his pseudonym ‘the Rhymer’.

Referred to as ‘the Brahan Seer’, Thomas the Rhymer made several predictions of the future, which turned out to be true.  Among these were the union of the crowns of Scotland and England, the Battle of Culloden, the doom of the MacKenzies of Seaforth, the construction of the Caledonian Canal and the Haig family always remaining at Bemersyde.  The last of these is interesting since the Haigs lived at Bemersyde in the Borders until 1867, and it looked like this prophesy had failed.  That was until 1921, when Bemersyde was bought for WWI hero Earl Haig, a distant relation of the Haigs who originally lived there.

Sawney Bean

One of the most gruesome of Scotland’s legends, Alexander ‘Sawney’ Bean was the head of a criminal cannibalistic family in the 15th century, during the reign of King James I of Scotland.  It is claimed that Bean, along with his wife and 46 children and grandchildren, killed and fed on over 1000 people before he and his family were captured and executed.

St Winning and the Curse of the River Garnock

A legend tells of when St Winning and his men were fishing one day in the river Garnock and caught nothing.  Winning placed a curse on the river, preventing it from having fishes in it.  The river responded by changing its course and therefore avoiding the curse.  It’s true that the river Garnock did change its course over history.

Arthurian Legend in Scotland

Most Arthurian legend native to Scotland has been passed down through Celtic speech in Scots Gaelic songs and tales.  Mordred, son of King Arthur, was raised in Orkney.  Camelon in Stirlingshire may have been the original ‘Camelot’.  King Arthur had a Scottish son called Smervie More.

The wizard Merlin, who features in Arthurian legend, is based on a real man of that name who lived in the 6th century AD.  The real Merlin was said to have been born in Carmarthen, Wales, and was driven to the Caledonian Forest around AD 573 after his pagan master lost the Battle of Adderdyd, near Carlisle.  Merlin was converted to Christianity by St Kentigern, near Drumelzier.  He died supposedly by falling off a cliff into the sea and being impaled on a fishing rod.  His grave was marked by a thorn tree, but that tree was washed away by a flood in the 1920’s.  Today, a plaque marks where the tree marking Merlin’s grave stood.

Creatures of Scotland’s Myths and Legends


Supernatural water horses said to haunt lochs and rivers.  Appearing as a lonely white or dark pony, they entice people to ride on them and then drown the rider in the water.


In the tales of Orkney and Shetland, these are beings who live in the sea and transform from a seal to a human.  Stories tell of men finding selkies sunbathing on a beach.  The man would steal the selkie’s skin and force her to marry him and bear his children, only for the selkie to find her skin years later and return to the sea.


Also found in the tales of Orkney and Shetland, these are imps who live in mounds.  They are nocturnal and enter households while to occupants sleep.  Trows are fond of music and kidnap musicians or lure them into the trows’ dens.

Blue Men of the Minch

Blue-skinned men who live in the waters between the Outer Hebrides and the mainland.  They sink boats and drown sailors.

Ghillie Dhu

A fairy and guardian of the trees, he is kind to children, but is shy.  He is dressed all in green with leaves and moss, and is active at night.


These inhabit unoccupied parts of houses and only come out at night, when they don’t like to be seen.  They will do housework in exchange for gifts or food.  They particularly like porridge and honey.  If their gifts are called ‘payments’, or the occupants abuse them, the brownies will abandon the house.


Mischievous imps or fairies found in the folklore of the Scottish Borders.  They inhabit ruined castles along the Scotland-England border and murder travellers who stray into their homes.  Redcaps dye their hats with their victims’ blood, hence the name.  They must kill regularly because if the blood staining on their hats dries out, they will die.  The only way to escape them in to quote a verse from the Bible.  On hearing it, the redcap will lose a tooth, which they leave behind.


(Pronounced bee-nee-yeh.)  A fairy seen as an omen of death.  Mnathan-nighe (plural of bean-nighe) wander near deserted streams, washing blood from grave-clothes of people who are about to die.

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Holidays Are Happy Days

By | Community

Many of you may have been hearing joyful giggling and the patter of small and medium feet coming from the garden at BCDT recently. If you’ve been getting curious as to what we’re up to here is your answer:

Play Dates!

Led by our talented and dedicated play team, youngsters from around Beith have been getting outside and playing the way only children can!

We’ve been digging and planting. The girls and boys have been really enjoying being part of the gardening work that is going on here at Beith Community Development Trust. It’s great fun as well as very satisfying to know that you have helped something to grow even if it sometimes it takes a bit of patience to wait for it to grow.

There have been crafts going on too with very colourful painting and even making piñatas which we have no doubt will be as fun to smash to pieces as they were to build. We also built a volcano and watched as it exploded out of the ground – science is fun.


Of course we’ve been running, jumping and even occasionally staying very still as everyone explores outside including some very energetic time spent bouncing on the bouncy castle.


All in all it’s been another great set of play dates for all involved.

We run play dates over the school holidays and they are only £6 per day or £15 for three days together so keep an eye out for play dates when school holidays come around.

Carbon Cribs makes outdoor learning fun for all

By | Community

The Carbon Crib project continues to gather speed and more young members, the community growing project which is led by young people and supported by BCDT staff have recently been very busy outside the Beith Astro building.

Most recent endeavors include;

1. A colourful Carbon Crib sign

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The Carbon Crib’ers took great pride in creating their own colourful ‘Carbon Crib’ sign for their garden out of recycles materials such as bike wheels and wood from old palettes.

2. Recycled raised beds

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All of the Crib’ers have greatly enjoyed not only building raised beds out of old pieces of wooden decking , but also filling them with lots of stinky fertilizer and mud and planting seeds.

3. An outdoor herb garden

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A few outdoor herb and vegetable garden have been created in areas of unused land around the Beith Astro building and is recycled concrete tunneling donated by a local business.

4. A scarecrow


To protect the new herd gardens from the birds and other critters a very scary scarecrow has been built using recycled straw and plastic bags.

5 A bright chicken coop


The chicken coop has been brightened up by painting recycling bicycle wheels which would otherwise have gone to landfill. They were used to create colourful enrichment for the chickens … did you know chickens see colour better than humans do? You can even clicker train them to show you specific colours when you ask them to,they are very intelligent. If you would like to see this in action then check out this video of chicken camp clicker training.

6. Hosted a veggi bbq


Our carbon crib’ers hosted a veggi BBQ. Most of you are probably wondering why veggi? There are associations between our food consumption and our carbon footprint, if you would like to read more into this visit here. During the BBQ the cribb’ers drew beautiful rainbows and shared with each other all the fruit and veg they know that matched the colours in the rainbow. BCDT’s staff member Lisa can’t wait until the crib’ers to come back next week and tell her how many colours of the rainbow they have eaten this week.

Glasgow School of Art rocks Beith

By | Uncategorized

Beith Community Development Trust have entered into a new and exciting partnership with Glasgow School of Art, a team of 70 architect students from GSA have entered the community with the aim of helping develop an outdoor play area for local young people.

The group have split into many teams and have begun building an outdoor stage, dens and shelters, a compost heap, raised beds and fire pits.

Here are some pictures of the students in action…

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Laughter Lines

By | Community

Beith Community Development Trust have commissioned local organisation Dragon Dynamics to deliver stress management classes once each week to the local community.

Dragon Dynamics is dedicated to empowering others to achieve a greater life potential through the use of innovative and transformative techniques. To find out more about Dragon Dynamics led by Lesley visit the website here.


Every Wednesday evening from 7pm -8pm for 6 weeks from the 1st of October Dragon Dynamics will host workshops in Beith Juniors Hut at Bellsdale Park.

The Laughter Lines workshops cost just £2 per week and each workshop will look at different remedies to tackling stress. To book your spot call 01505228141 or turn up on the evening.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Chickens

By | Uncategorized


Here at Beith Community Development trust we’re no stranger to animals. As well as staff and volunteers the office is frequently home to three friendly and cheeky dogs. We are also the proud caretakers of 5 chickens who needed a safe home to love them and let them relax with their friends. The chickens, thankfully, don’t live in the office but in our great outdoor space. In honour of our feathery friends and their continued happiness here are 10 things you might not know about chickens…

1) Our wee chickens are descended from Asian jungle fowl. They were domesticated by humans at least five thousand years ago and have since become the chickens we know and love around the world.

2) We all like having pets who know us well and this usually only means cats and dogs. But it turns out chickens are really good at remembering faces and can recognise over 100 people. Try popping down some time to say hello to them.

3) The term ‘pecking order’ comes from watching chickens social behaviour. They have a very strict hierarchy in each group and every chicken always knows where they stand.

4) If you’ve ever looked after a toddler you’ll probably have played peek-a-boo or hide the toy. This works so well because (a bit like many pets) they believe that if they can’t see it, it’s stopped existing. Chickens however are not fooled so easily! They may not be so good at peek-a-boo but they’re persistent when it comes to that treat behind your back.

5) The chicken is the closest living relative to the great Tyrannosaurus-Rex. Yes believe it or not those tiny feathery birds are the closest thing you’re ever going to seeing a giant, terrifying T-rex.

6) They have such tiny heads that it’s easy to forget they have brains at all but not only are they really quite intelligent in the world of pets but chickens probably dream too. They experience REM sleep which is the state of sleep in which dreaming occurs.

7) Ever seen a chicken with a shiny sun reflector getting a nice tan? Neither have we, but chickens do love sunbathing. They don’t need sunscreen because of all the feathers.

8) You’ll have seen chickens pecking at the ground before I’m sure. Well aside from eating seeds and tiny bugs they’re also nibbling grass. Apparently (although they’ve never been noisy enough for us to hear) chickens slurp grass just like we’d slurp spaghetti.

9) Who’s seen the film Chicken Run? It’s great fun and those high fences would definitely keep chickens in! But did you know that chickens aren’t completely flightless. However they won’t get far as they can only get airborne enough to make it over a medium fence or into a tree.

10) People feed chickens seeds and let them peck (and slurp) at the bugs and grass but did you know  that chickens are omnivores. That means they eat small mice and lizards if they can get their claws on them…ewww!

If you have any more chicken facts you think we missed don’t forget to let us know!

Working Digital

By | Uncategorized

A few weeks ago a colleague and myself made our way to Kilmarnock for East Ayrshire council’s Working Digital conference. Having attended the event last year, I wasn’t too excited as I was sure I knew what to expect… I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Three days of what can only be described as absolutely fantastic entertainment, expertise and egg sandwiches were served up to us.

I was going to begin giving you a rundown of what I had taken from the amazing speakers who attended the event, but then I came across the blog posts on the Wroking Digital website from Carol Maguire – an HND student at Ayrshire College studying Web Development and Interactive Media and decided to lead you there instead. Carol has provided a really comprehensive and concise  summary of the 3 days.

However, I would like to share with you some of my favourite moments from the event, which luckily I shared with the world through Twitter.

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Community, Community, Community!!!

By | Community

As a community development trust it is really important to us here at #TeamBCDT that we are supporting other local groups, teams, clubs, organisations and businesses in Beith and the surrounding Garnock Valley. Recently we have employed an array of new measures to try to do so.

Community Meetings

A number of community meetings have taken place over the last few months, we have strived to invite all local groups, teams, clubs, organisations and businesses, although this is not always possible. The most recent meeting took place on Monday the 6th of October at Beith Community Center and unfortunately was not very well attended. However, it was still possible to derive some interesting information from the participants who were in attendance. The purpose of last weeks gathering was to encourage collaboration between all of the many organisations operating in the Garnock Valley, increase awareness of each others aims and objective and most importantly to create conversation and build friendships. One participants requested a Community Calendar be made available to all organisations to prevent overlaps in events.

Community Calendar

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BCDT introduced a Community Calendar several months back and we make good use of this tool to promote our own events, clubs and groups. We welcome any other group who wishes to make use of the community calendar, all we ask is that you send us the relevant information to We require;

1. Name of event

2. Time and date

3. Location (including address)

4. Event/ Group details (only a few sentences are needed)

5. Picture if suitable

6. Details of dates if it a reoccurring event

Community Directory

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Further to the Community Calendar we have added a Community Directory tool to our website also, this allows local organisations to enter their information such as contact details, Twitter and Facebook links, website link, photographs and opening times. This will make it easier for people in Beith to find your organisations and its details.

Details of how to insert your organisations profile can be found on the Community Directory page.

Local boy Zak receives donation from The Corey Fund

By | Uncategorized

Angela and Stephen Hamilton donated a cheque for £1500 from the Corey Fund to the family of Zak Finnigan toward the cost of a TiMband Helmet for the treatment of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, commonly known as flat head syndrome. This was gratefully received by Helen and Julie, both Zaks’ Nana’s. All Zaks’ family are very grateful to the community and people of Beith and the Garnock Valley, Angela and Stephen Hamilton and Beith Community Development Trust.IMG_6756 small

Our Communities, Our Future

By | Uncategorized


Over the weekend several of our BCDT team headed over to the annual Development Trusts Association Scotland conference to find out more about the other development trusts across the country. We were inspired by speakers from all areas of the development trust world and had a chance to get into the nitty gritty of trusts with other people who face similar problems and similar triumphs.

Who on earth are DTAS and what do they do?

Well their website says this:

Through the provision of information, resources and a variety of direct contact, DTA Scotland assists interested communities explore the benefits and relevance of the development trust approach.

We also provide useful resources, training and limited support to communities wishing to establish a development trust.

DTA Scotland’s vision is to have a successful development trust in every community that wants one.

What was the conference for?

During the weekend we took part in discussions, seminars, and even world café’s. Our very own Jane Lamont ran a seminar about sport as a tool for regeneration. We got to know other Scottish groups and were able to offer advice for those just starting up or thinking about becoming a development trust.

What is a development trust?

Development trusts are community organisations which are owned and managed by the local community aiming to achieve the sustainable regeneration of a community or address a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues within a community. They exist throughout the UK and can take on many projects, causes and names, but always they are for the community.

So what did you get out of it?

We came away not only inspired but having had fun too. We are full of new ideas and possibilities for the things we can do in Beith. We were also inspired to hear what is going on in the rest of the country including a trust in Huntly that bought a farm to solve thier problems.

There were members there from Northern Island who shared their highs and lows of working in communities affected by fighting and hatred but which are also full of love and strength.

There were speakers from England who inspired us with tales of growing food in public places, defying councils and even writing to royalty to help win back a building from the council.

All in all we had a great time, made some new friends, and are looking forward to the future of Beith Community Development Trust and all development trusts everywhere!


A Look Into How We Work…

By | Uncategorized

Throughout my time spent volunteering with Beith Community Development Trust, helping out with marketing, I have used several different websites which are all very helpful when sharing information and different opinions within the social enterprise industry.

Social Media is now arguably the best way of monitoring the latest developments and information within the industry and gives a platform for discussions and networking.

The benefits presented by social media mean that we put a great deal of emphasis on the monitoring and sharing of information through various social media sites and therefore use several websites which allow us to do this effectively.

Hootsuite is a brilliant website which allows us to follow lots of activity on various social media websites at the same time as well as plan and schedule outgoing posts allowing the users to plan their messages and information to reach the target audience. Using Feedly along with Hootsuite means that we can keep up to date with what’s happening in the third sector by following blogs and news sites which we can then pass on to our followers.

Huddle is another good website that we use. This allows the team to communicate as well as share assignments and documents in the one forum.

The use of these websites makes it possible for us to communicate, inform and provide a valuable service within the community.

Swimming Pool Popped Up In The Public Park

By | Uncategorized

10387106_736319113098000_498294887490202793_oAs part of the ‘Pop Up’ Beith project, we decided that it would be fun to take advantage of the great weather and bring a swimming pool to the public park. So on the 23rd of July 2014, that’s what we did!

Pop Up Beith involves the organisation making use of free space throughout the town such as shops, and outdoors areas etc, and ‘Popping Up’ within these spaces for a short space of time.

On this occasion, with the great weather we decided it would be good to pop up in the park with a swimming pool for all of the community to enjoy, and enjoy they did!


Pop Up has taken many different forms before this, with different ideas such as Pop Up shops and cinemas. Some of the benefits of this initiative are explained here.

For more info concerning Pop Up Beith and any future Pop Up ideas, visit Pop Up Beith page on the website or like the Pop Up Beith Facebook Page .




Volunteering With BCDT

By | Uncategorized

Voluntary workers are very important to Beith Community Development Trust. Volunteers are needed to ensure that the wide range of work required throughout the community can be completed effectively. Therefore, a great deal of emphasis is placed on volunteers to ensure that they can be attracted to the organisation and also that their time is spent productively, enhancing their job prospects afterwards.

There are many volunteers currently working with us, all of which have very varied roles within the organisation depending on their  interests as well as their personal goals. There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer with us, students can gain valuable experience in their specific area of study which can be essential to gaining employment after graduating. It can also serve as an effect way for people who are unemployed to find work. By gaining experience and skills working with us, volunteers can become more employable to potential employers. Not only does voluntary work help to increase employability among volunteers, but it can also serve as a platform to give back to the community of Beith. By helping with the various initiatives that we run for kids in the Beith area, volunteers can make a difference within the community in a fun and rewarding way.

At Beith Community Development Trust we value all voluntary workers and do our best to meet their needs so that their job prospects are enhanced through their time spent with us. Voluntary workers benefit in many ways, they are given experience which helps to develop skills. Another benefit is the guidance available to our volunteers which can help them to improve their skills as well as advice when applying for paid employment.

If you are interested in volunteering with us then please contact us at

Trust in the Pitch

By | Uncategorized

When the BCDT Team woke up on Saturday morning to clear skies we knew it was going to be a good day. We donned our bright hoodies and with plans in our hands we set about making Beith Astro pitch into the site of our very first Trust in the Pitch family festival.

Over 400 of you came to join us as the DJ’s music wound it’s way over the pitch past the bar and the hot dog van, past the candyfloss and icecream. There were so many free activities on offer that it wasn’t long before everyone was having fun…


There were toys and crafts to bring out the artist or the architect in everyone who enjoyed them. Bead necklaces and models were presented to proud parents and grandparents throughout the day


There was free face painting which was enjoyed by young and old alike and even managed to stay on while they worked up a sweat on the bouncy castle.


The Astro Balls proved to be both popular and fun with a great combination of silliness and skill required to remain standing up. They weren’t the only game which reminded us we were on a football pitch. There were penalty shoot outs, astro tots and good old fashioned kick abouts too.


The bar meant that adults got a chance to relax and chat with a wee drink in the sun and a sit down. There was even a bit of dancing both next to the DJ booth and in the silent disco.


All in all a great time was had. We’ve had so much positive feedback from you that we can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Volunteer Friendly Award

By | Uncategorized


Beith Trust are currently finalising the application which, if successful, will mean that we will achieve the ‘Volunteer Friendly Award’.

The Volunteer Friendly Award is given to organisations that are seen to be effective at involving volunteers. Volunteering is beneficial both socially and within the community. Therefore this award aims to support, recognise and reward organisations which involve volunteers.

At Beith Trust we have a large number of volunteers who work with us to try and achieve our goal of improving the mental and physical fitness of the community of Beith. By involving volunteers we believe we bring benefits both through involving many individuals and also through helping the community as a whole.

We therefore feel that this award will be very beneficial for the Beith community, Beith Community Development Trust as well as the volunteers themselves.

Band Factory

By | Community


How many of us when we were younger dreamed of being a rock star or being in a band? Well on Friday 15th this dream got a little closer for 20 young people from our community.

Louis, Robbie, Rachel, Rahael, Abigail, Antonia, Morven, Gregor, John, Lily, Sarah, Emily, Paul, Craig, Calum, Erin, Eilidh, Jay, Rebecca and Euan from across Garnock Valley put on a brilliant gig at the Function Suite in the Eglinton, Beith. After only a week of rehearsals with performances by 4 bands, and 4 solo singers the guys were real professionals; impressing the audience and making the most of their sudden rise to musical stardom.

So how did it all come about? Well it all started when these two creative groups decided to work together and make music:

Unlicensed Events is a community project, part of Beith Community Development Trust, based in Beith, North Ayrshire. They are devoted to stimulating imagination and creativity in the community.

Model X Media is a Community Interest Company that delivers Creative Projects to those who want and uses the profits to provide for those who need them.

With Unlicensed Events spearheading the Band Factory project Model X Media provided the talented Tosh, Graham and Neal, three skilled musicians to mentor and work with our musical prodigies over the course of 5 days.

What a night! Band Factory gig was amazing – well done to all our performers, absolutely superb! The week flew by and all you young people should be really proud with what you achieved this week.’

Over the course of the week it was great to see that all of our musicians grew both in confidence and skill. They qualified for the opportunity by having a ‘skill or talent’ either being able to play (whatever level) a musical instrument or the ability (again whatever level) to sing.

‘Band Factory was fantastic, it was amazing to watch the progress the participents made in just 5 days, getting together for the first time on Monday and being ready to perform on Saturday night.  During Band Factory, one of our new bands wrote a song, composed the music for it, and played it at the gig – incredible!   At the gig, each and every one of the performers was brilliant, and the crowd loved it.  What a lot of young talent in the Garnock Valley!  It wasn’t just about the music though, some of the kids were quite shy to begin with but as the week went on their confidence grew, and friendships were formed.  They really supported each other throughout the week and at the gig, real teamwork. Superb! ’


More videos from the gig can be found on our YouTube page and the Unlicensed Events Facebook page.


If this sounds like something you or someone you know would have loved to be part of – never fear:

‘It was the first Band Factory, but definitely not the last

Great news is that we’ve spoken to Model X Media, and have booked them for another Band Factory which will be week beginning Monday 6th April 2015, and will run Mon-Fri with a gig on Saturday 11th April 2015. Cost will be £10 for the full week. Venues to be confirmed. Places can be reserved now, and will be confirmed when booking form and £10 fee is received. Please contact to book a space.

Don’t miss out on your chance at musical stardom!


By | Uncategorized

Beith Community Development Trust are currently in the planning stage of a summer festival which will be held at the Beith Astroturf. ‘T in The Pitch’ will be a fun day held on the 23rd August with the aim of bringing the Beith community together to have a great time!

This event will have lots of fun activities for people of all ages. T in The Pitch will kick off at 11am and run to 5pm. We will have many activities such as coaching sessions, craft areas, a silent disco tent, a barbeque and a beer garden where the parents can relax while the kids have fun during their coaching sessions!

For more information about T in The Pitch and the different activities visit the T In The Pitch page.


Celebrating our Celebrate Smugglers

By | Community

Last night BCDT hosted a very informal reward ceremony evening for the wonderful volunteers who joined us in becoming smugglers for a day.

Just a few weeks back these kids hoisted themselves back in time, through fancy dress and delivered both a thrilling and wonderful tale to a small audience. They told the story of Beith’s smuggling history, of the boats that would sneak and snake silks and teas into our waters, of the men that would then transport these wonderful treasures across the land, stopping at Beith as that was as far as a horse and carriage could go back then.

10258691_713443295385582_1846113644935124420_o 10287048_713443835385528_7922901572671177778_o

The Smugglers story telling event is just one of many fabulous event that Gill Ritchie the Arts Coordinator here at BCDTG has organised in Beith as we celebrate the 2014 Commonwealth Games and our connections with the other commonwealth nations, for more info see here.

We have to thank our wonderful volunteers as without them there would have been no play, no tale and no fun. So last night we invited them along to the Beith Juniors Hut and not only rewarded each and every one of them with a beautiful certificate but also an envelope with some of their own loot.

Sorry there no opportunity to get a shot of the food before it was gorged.

Sorry there no opportunity to get a shot of the food before it was gorged.

Following the awards giving we treated them all to a great feast of pizza, chips, garlic bread, giant onion rings and fizzy juice. Because although we encourage a healthy lifestyle, theres always space for a treats when you help your community like these kids have.[portfolio_slideshow id=2548]

Beith’s Activaters Graduate

By | Uncategorized

Last night saw our group of Activate students graduate from The University of Glasgow, the group were joined by other Activate Graduates from institutions from all over the country;

Glasgow Women’s Voluntary Sector Network

CVO East Ayrshire

The Whiteinch Centre

Community Links Scotland

Calton Heritage & Learning Cnetre

Nghomes North Glasgow



Parkhead Youth Project

Branchton Greenock

Community Alliance Trust Edinburgh

The evening was hosted in The University of Glasgow’s Kelvin Gallery, which provided a stunning setting for a fabulous evening. Following the ceremony an array of snacks and drinks were provided, whilst the recent graduates socialized with their peers. [portfolio_slideshow id=2331]

BCDT give Bigotry the Boot

By | Community, News

BCDT Anti-sectarian Award Ceremony at Beith Astro

Children from all over the Garnock Valley came together at Beith Astro in a football festival which was a culmination of a 7 week programme of activities designed by Beith Community Development Trust.

‘Give Bigotry the Boot’ covered the meaning of anti-sectarianism, how to challenge sectarian behaviour, how to resolve situations in the community and much more.   One class from each year group from  Garnock Academy, St Bridgets, Gateside, Beith, Moorpark, Glengarnock and St Palladius took part in sessions which  covered the meaning of anti-sectarianism, how to challenge sectarian behaviour, how to resolve and negotiate differences and much more.

The children really enjoyed exploring the subject  and feedback from participants has been excellent, with comments from children such as “It doesn’t matter what religion you are when you’re playing football or anything else”, “you should treat people the same as you would expect to be treated”, “you can be friends with someone from a different town”.

The anti-sectarian festival was very well attended with around 180 participants, representatives from Paisley St Mirren FC, Celtic FC, Rangers FC and Strathclyde Police. Beith Community Development Trust volunteers and staff turned out in force to ensure that the day ran smoothly by delivering skills programmes, mini football games and supporting all the children.  The programme was funded by Voluntary Action Fund.

My 1st Month Volunteering with BCDT

By | Community, News


Starting Off

My name’s Billy Walker (you can learn more about me here) and I recently joined the Beith Community Development Trust in a voluntary role.

It may seem like a cliché or cheesy thing to say but volunteering here has been brilliant so far and very rewarding. The atmosphere is awesome and it’s such a nice, upbeat place to spend time. The experience I have gained so far in the workplace could potentially be pivotal in helping me to land job roles in the future. It’s already helped me to get interviews that I wouldn’t have probably gotten otherwise!

Putting Skills to Good Use

I have studied Radio Broadcasting to HND level for the past 3 years and had been struggling to find work that would put the skills I had gained, media-wise, to any use. In my NQ year of college education, the course wasn’t focused solely on Radio but rather let the students experiment with different areas of the creative industries such as film production, photography, desktop publishing, journalism and, of course, radio and presenter skills. In my first week here, I have been able to put 3 of those skills to good practice.

In today’s world, it’s important to be a jack-of-all-trades type, especially if you’re focused on a career in the media industry. It used to be that people were hired for specific job roles at companies such as the BBC and STV, but that’s no longer the case. I currently have an active job application with the BBC to join their production talent pool which would see me work across 3 platforms if successful. This involves online, radio and TV production. I would highly recommend checking out courses at West College Scotland (formerly Reid Kerr) or City of Glasgow College as they offer introductory courses that open up options for university. It’s also a very fun subject and involves lots of practical work. The majority of the assessments do NOT involve handwriting or typing which was a big relief for me as the only writing I like to do is fiction/creative (or these types of mad ramblings).

So that’s a little more on my background but you don’t have to be media driven in order to volunteer here at the BCDT.


Getting Involved

There are many options available. Everybody knows that work isn’t something that’s easy going right now and so, to improve your chances, volunteering is the way to go. It doesn’t hurt that you can have fun and enjoy yourself in the process here.

If you’re just considering volunteering or have an interest, don’t be shy and get in touch. I’ve been here 3-4 weeks in total now and have already had the privilege of covering the Corey Cup Football Tournament as a photographer and blogger. It was a great experience that will no doubt help me somewhere down the line in my own career path.

The calendar is jam packed with activities and we can always use some helping hands. If you’re keen on sport, interested in admin, love media (like me) or even just want to find something fun to do in the community, come on down to Beith Astro and have a chat! The people here are friendly and laid-back. You’ll probably even get a free cuppa tea or coffee for even expressing an interest! Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Just don’t give them anything embarrassing as ammo… my “ex-X-Factor contestant” status has just come up! I think I’ll be fine until someone finds out about my old modelling gig…


Job Satisfaction

In all seriousness, the opportunities are phenomenal and I couldn’t recommend it more highly to just throw your name in the hat and see what happens…

I said at the beginning of this post that the voluntary role is very rewarding. I had hit a low point before joining up with the BCDT. I had officially finished up with college work in September 2013 and had struggles from that point on-wards to find anything that would help me to continue to develop my skills. Which, after a while, caused me to lose confidence. I managed to get a brief seasonal role in my local supermarket for Christmas but I’ve never been interested enough in retail to ever consider a career in that field. My passion is creative media and so I was grateful when my jobcentre found that the Trust could offer me a place as an Events Press Officer.  Content creation is something I’m major league confident with, so when the opportunity appeared, I had to grab it. I’ve had a resurgence in confidence, I’m no longer staring constantly at a job site full of dead-end, irrelevant jobs (to me at least) and I’ve gained a lot of friends and met new people who have made it so easy to fit in.

Again, I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

So that’s my story, we look forward to hearing yours!

Brainstorming Ideas/Writing Fiction

By | Uncategorized


This will almost be a direct follow up to the blog, “Writing Creatively”. Writing for fiction is one of the most difficult, challenging things that anyone could tackle. Anyone can write a story but not every author can come up with an intricate, imaginative, original piece of content. Nor can they create an entire fantasy epic on the spot. Tolkien literally took years to plan out Middle Earth and the entire Lord of the Rings saga… however, the results speak for themselves. Originality is something that is rare now-a-days, which is a shame due to the amount of Hollywood movies which now rely on separate source materials. Comic books, novels, even cartoons are now being used as the starting point for most Summer Blockbusters. Even Postman Pat is getting his own outing on the big screen this year! The point is, if you’ve got some really unique narrative ideas, there hasn’t been a better time to get them on paper and to pitch them studios.

The Process

Most writers tend to find inspiration in the smallest of things. Top director, Ron Howard, has famously confessed to finding entire stories budding in his imagination brought on by hearing a single song lyric. Sometimes an idea can just “pop up” in someone’s head. JK Rowling claims that the character of Harry Potter simply just arrived in her mind whilst taking a train trip from London to Edinburgh! A popular process for writers who are attempting to find inspiration or want to write for a certain genre find different levels of success by playing word association games. If they have a subject matter or a theme or key plot turn that they want to involve, they simply write the words in the middle of a piece of paper and then link up words that subsequently arrive through relation. They then take ALL of the text they have and see if they can arrange a plot from the results.

Wild Imagination

You can’t be afraid to let your imagination take you places. That way, your own reaction will inform you wither or not your story is engaging enough. If you can’t get into it, how can you expect anyone else to? Horror writers say that before you even thinking about releasing a story that’s supposed to scare other people, you must first scare yourself with the content. Wes Craven says that he himself could not sleep after creating the Freddy Krueger character. Write for yourself and no-one else. Of course, nobody wants to give themselves nightmares but who knows, there could be a big money pot that accompanies them!

The Pay-Off

Ask any writer and they will tell you that finishing a story that you are 100% happy with is the best feeling in the world. If you can read your own narrative upon completion and remain entertained throughout, chances are you have something magical on your hands.

We Need You!

By | Community, News


TeamBCDT are looking for volunteers to assist with community projects at Beith Astro.

The projects include Disability Football, Girls Football, Community Classes and Summer Camps.

Volunteers must:

  • be enthusiastic and confident to assist with leading a group
  • have experience of working with children
  • either hold, or be willing to work towards holding Scottish FA Coaching Badges

Furthermore, it is essential that you are able to commit to a certain number of hours each week.

This opportunity will allow you to gain valuable experience of working with the community and children, and give you the opportunity to attend a coaching qualification course, amongst other qualifications.

If you are interested or know some who is please contact Scott Moffat, Beith Astro’s Commercial Manager on 01505 228141 or email

Champions Awards Ceremony

By | Community, News

Tuesday evening saw Beith Community Development Trusthost the first ever Champions Awards Ceremony to celebrate and recognise the achievements of local children and young people who have completed  Sports Leader UK

Leadership courses involving volunteering in a range of community projects.

The event was a huge success and was widely supported by parents, local councillors, representatives from Sports Leader UK and Beith Juniors Community FC.

Young people received Playmaker Awards, Sports Leader Level 4, Community Sports Leader and a range of Saltire Awards from 10 hours up to 200 hours in recognition of volunteering.

Laurene Edgar, Development Officer for Sports Leader UK in Scotland presented trophies to the Sports Leader Level 4 and Community Sports Leader Level 5 groups in recognition of their extra commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and involvement in the development of the local community and congratulated Beith Trust on the support they have given to the young achievers –   Laurene said ‘I often highlight the work of Beith Trust as an example of best practice in sports leadership pathways for young people, this is a great example of how a community based organisation can promote and support  culture of leadership in their  local community.

Amy McKeeman, 19 from Kilbirnie, who volunteers with the Outdoor Education group weekly and was receiving her 200 hours of volunteering award, opened the evening. Todd Norris and Adam Walker, age 10 from Beith, both of whom recently completed their Playmaker Awards spoke at the event, introducing people and giving the close and thanks.    sOther speakers included Sophie Millan and John Nelson who completed their Level 4 Sports Leader Awards and Shaun Craig, Andrew Ferguson, Craig Walker, Scott Watson and Rhuaridh MacDonald from the level 5 Community Sports Leader team.

Certificates were presented by Laurene Edgar: Sports Leader UK, Alex MacFie: BCDT Development Manager, Caroline Watson: BCDT Tutor, Kevin Nelson: BCDT Director, Gordon McLeod: BCDT Chairperson and Brent Norris: Beith Community Football Club Chairperson.

Playmaker Awards (Age 9+): Connor Bates, John Boyd, Taylor Burns, Lewis Christie, Timo Dobson, Andrew Gemmell, Dylan Jackson, Calum McDonald, Todd Norris, Balazs Szommer, Adam Walker, John Barrie

Sports Leader Level 4 (Age 14+): Michael McNaughton, Sophie Millan, John Nelson, Amy Pollack

Community Sports Leader Level 5 (Age 16+): Shaun Craig, Ruhuarid McDonald, Andrew Ferguson, Craig Walker, Scott Watson, Simon Webster

Saltire Awards (Age 12-25): Amanda Burns, Catherine Burns, Nicole Burns, Shaun Craig, Andrew Ferguson, Mollie Kerr, Ruairidh Kerr, Ruhuarid MacDonald, Kayleigh McIlree, Sophie Millan, John Nelson, Kevin Nelson, Amy Pollack, Darrin Purkiss, Craig Walker, Scott Watson, Simon Webster

[portfolio_slideshow id=1853]



By | Uncategorized

Taking Pictures

Photography is something that is easily accessible for anyone with a phone now-a-days. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most competitive job roles in the entire world. It used to be that news reporters would have photographers on speed dial for whenever a breaking story required snap shots. But, to use a recent example, if you look at the tragic events that unfolded in Glasgow back in November 2013, when a malfunctioning helicopter crashed into the Clutha Bar, the majority of the photos that made the front pages the next morning were taken on smart phones by eye witnesses. But that’s not to say that you couldn’t have a career in photography, just be prepared to fight and claw for potential work projects…

The Professionals

Professional photographers tend to cover pre-appointed events such as football matches or concerts. One of the best ways, however, to make money by taking pictures, is to successfully become known as a wedding photographer. Which, again, is obviously a very competitive area but very lucrative once you have established yourself. There are professionals who work one day out of the week and make a packet in the process! Not a bad way to live, even if it is an occasional Saturday you’re giving up!

How to Get Noticed

Photography is essentially a talent that can be improved on. Many people aspiring to get noticed tend to get creative and come up with innovative ways to get their images in public view. A popular modern method is to display pictures personally taken as banners on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Another, more “old school” means, is to put together your own calendar and distribute them as much as possible. No-one’s going to see your work if you don’t put it out there…

If you’ve got ambitions to get into this line of work, there are plenty of courses available at local colleges that could help improve your prospects and give you hands on experience with expensive state-of-the-art, SLR cameras. Of course, the competitiveness must be taken into account, but if you’re determined and can dedicate your time to improving and showcasing your skills to finding the best angles, then a bright future as a photographer may await!

Night of Champions

By | Upcoming Events

Sports Leaders UK presents Night of Champions at the Beith Juniors Hut on Tuesday, 15th of April.

Starting at 6pm, youngsters will be rewarded and celebrated for their efforts as sports leaders, receiving awards for being inspirational, positive figures in a sporting role.

Bring along a family member and show some support for the kids in the community!

Writing Creatively

By | Uncategorized

The Skill

One of the most common questions that arise when telling someone that you have a talent for creative writing, is; “What exactly IS creative writing?”

The answer is very vague and broad.

Creative writing is any type of written text that conveys thoughts, expresses feelings or shows imagination. You may have written something yourself, brought on by your own emotional stance… That’s creative writing! A blog, a story or even a love letter!

People who consider themselves to be creative writers as a job title, tend to be involved in the media industry. They could be script writers for programmes or film; they could be musicians who write lyrics for a song. They could even be professional bloggers or journalists writing articles for print or online.

The Talent

Generally speaking, creative writing is underestimated as an art form. When you think of the word “talent”, you may think of a singer, actor, comedian or any other type of act that you may have seen on Britain’s Got Talent!

However, creative writing is something that some people are just naturally born with a specialty in. Granted, you’re unlikely to see anybody with a sane mind go out on stage to show off their “pen to paper” skills to Simon Cowell anytime soon, it is just as important a skill in the world of entertainment as having a set of lungs like Whitney Houston.

Without the writing phase, the sing-a-long’s that we all know and love wouldn’t exist. The quotes that we hear repeated so often from our favourite blockbusters would never have been uttered by the actors on screen.

How to Improve

The comparison between creative writing and a talent like acting or singing is an appropriate one. Everyone can do it. And like singing or acting or any other type of performing, some folks are better than others. It can also be improved and honed through practice. Creating a piece of fiction, using your imagination to fill a piece of paper, can be both a fun and trying experience. You can learn a lot about yourself from writing one page of text.

So grab some notes, get to typing and who knows; maybe you’ll surprise yourself and write the next big novel. Look at JK Rowling for example. Writing was merely a hobby until a certain wizard popped up in her mind and look where that got her!

Make no mistake, writing is a difficult practice. But there is nothing more satisfying than having a complete story born totally of your own creativity.

So go on and have a go!

BCDT Gain Funding to Meet Local Aspirations

By | News

431194_313347782061804_790052832_nBeith Community Development Trust are delighted to announce that they have secured funding for the amount of £80,280 through the Scottish Government’s Strengthening Communities Programme. This sizable amount of money will be used to fund a development manager, with the aim of both strengthening and building the sustainability of BCDT.

Margaret Burgess, the Welfare and Housing Minister announced the list of around 50 community-led organisation that will receive investment to support regeneration throughout Scotland. Among the list is one of BCDT’s partner organisations, Linwood community Development Trust, both BCDT and LWCD have become strong community organisations and owe thanks to the Grow Trust, a local incubator organisation offering support where possible.

The Strengthening Communities Programme investment allows community organisations to increase their resilience and sustainability as a community anchor organisation; which aims to address the community’s needs and meet local aspirations. To date BCDT’s biggest and most successful enabling project has been the refurbishment of Beith Astro, a state of the art third generation Astro pitch, finding such as this allows the community led organisation to build upon this success.

The Corey Cup

By | Gallery

All pictures taken on the day of the Corey Cup.

Pop-Up Beith’s Eco Driving School

By | News

This month #TeamBCDT celebrated all of Beith’s fabulous drivers by hosting an Eco Driving School, in an attempt to help the community save some cash by being more energy efficient both at home and in the car. Pop-up Beith, our temporary shop front, located on Beith’s Main Street, was transformed into every money saving experts dream for 3 days from the 6th – 8th of March.

Fabulous support from Energy Saving Trust

We were joined by the wonderful Energy Saving Trust who not only provided us with a eco driving simulator, but also brought along their own home energy saving and renewable energy experts.


And a Fuel Efficient Driver Trainer

The Energy saving Trust also organised for local certified FuelGood trainer Kevin McFadzean to take willing participants out for eco driving lessons over the 3 days, which was a roaring revving success. 6 participants per day took full advantage of the lessons, which challenged them to travel two identical journeys and reduce their miles per gallon score on the 2nd journey. Some people were massively improved by over 20%, one participant Brent Norris was so impressed by new found skills he send a thank you text message detailing his improvement in his own car (a very fancy and fast sports car).


Each participant was also provided with a certificate celebratuing their success during the FuelGood driving lesson, like this one Amanda received. As you can see it shows financially how much can be saved just by changing your driving style slightly. 

Screenshot (28)

Simulating some Fun

The driving simulator attracted crowds during the event and provided a lot of entertainment, both adults and children completed to see who could reach the highest miles per gallon driving the car simulator. 1622761_677520612306806_651558905_n 1796564_665597840170128_126492089_n 1798772_677517265640474_317006960_nAn electrical good time

Peugeot were also very generous and provided us with an electric car for  the duration of the event, which Amanda from #Team BCDT enjoyed driving, although she did incur whiplash after continuously trying to put her foot on the imaginary clutch pedal when stopping, leading to a two footed emergency stop. To add to the cool look of the Ion we had some BCDT branded stickers plastered all over it.


A little healthy Competition

As if we weren’t giving away enough, what with all the free driving lessons, energy saving knowledge and the laughs, a number of competitions were held over the 3 days.

Firstly, a raffle was held in which every individual who entered the event was automatically entered into.

Secondly, a prioze was offered to the person who acheived the highest mpg on the eco driving simulator.

And thirdly, there was a prize the person who improved their mpg most during the eco driving lessons.

The Winners

Rose Brown won our entrant raffle.

Evelyn McVay acheived the highest mpg score on the eco driving simulator, scoring a fantastic 111mpg.

Susan Nelson improved her mpg on the FuelGood driving lesson the most to an amazing 81.5mpg.


The Corey Cup

By | News

The Very First Corey Cup

Exciting. Dramatic. Entertaining. These are just some of the words one could use when describing the inaugural Corey Cup which brought together schools from across the Garnock Valley to play in a football tournament in memoriam of Corey Hamilton at the Beith Astro.

Corey sadly passed away last year due to rhabdoid sarcoma, at the age of 9. Yesterday would have marked his 10th Birthday and so it was touching to see so many of his friends and peers come together to celebrate the memory of their fellow class-mate.

Coach Brent Norris described how the concept for the event came about; “The idea for the cup was really about finding a way to mark something that had brought the Garnock Valley communities together. We had some ideas, such as a bench, but then we thought of having an annual football tournament involving all the schools and the kids of Corey’s age group. What better way to mark it than that?”

Before the festivities kicked off, there was a minute’s applause to pay tribute to Corey.

Then, it was game time.

Football Crazy, Football Mad

The teams were made up of the primary 6/7 age group whilst the primary 5’s created their very own fanzone in the centre of the Astro park, sandwiched between the active match pitches. The fanfare was in full effect when it was time for kick off with many of the kids starting their own chants and cheering each other on.

Passions and emotions were running high, however, as Beith Primary lost their first match to eventual 2nd place finishers, St Bridgets. It was evident on the faces of the youngsters that they were desperate to win in order to honour Corey’s name, and so a competitive edge accompanied each individual contest.

All teams displayed great sportsmanship and grace in defeat, remembering to shake the hands of the opposite team, no matter what the outcome.

Eventually, Beith Primary achieved 3rd place and earned bronze medals.

The finale was played between Dalry Primary and St Bridgets of Kilbirnie. This match was special as it was moved into Bellsdale Park, home of Beith Juniors, as a treat for the finalists. In a great sign of respect, the teams that didn’t reach the final, provided the support, as they were divided, 50/50, cheering both sides on.

In a tense and tightly contested game, it took a penalty to edge the win as Dalry went on to lift the trophy, which was fitting, as they had been one of Corey’s former played for teams.


Everyone’s a Winner

The trophy presentation was, again, an emotional affair as Corey’s dad, mum and brother presented the medals and trophy to the victorious sides. It was also announced that the money that had been raised in Corey’s name will benefit, not just the Beith community, but the entire Garnock Valley.

Although not every team left with medals, all sides were winners on the day. Congratulations to all teams for a great day!

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Unlicensed Events Headphone Disco

By | News | No Comments

Last weekend played host to Unlicensed Events Headphone Disco event on both Friday and Saturday. Friday night was organised for the youth of Beith (i.e the under 18’s) and Saturday night was open to all.

The evening was fantastic fun, what a laugh it was watching all your friends dancing and singing to the music being pumped through their earphones. At times some were rocking it out to a Limp Bizkit track, whilst others were gently swaying to Abba. When taking off the earphones, it was bizarre as the room was silent other than the sounds of people feet dancing and those who were brave enough to sing along out loud to the sounds on their headset.

Each set of headphones had two channels, so party-ers could switch back and forth depending on what song they preferred, this itself also brought a lot of hilarity. On one channel a massive hit might come on whilst you were listening to the other, and all of a sudden all your friends are jumping about, waving their hands in the air and all singing (or screaming) to the anthem. This left those on the other channel totally confused, as they thought to themselves this song isn’t that good, then realisation would hit that the other channel was playing a completely different song.

Below are the pictures from Friday and Saturday’s Headphone disco, to add to the hilarity of the night, there was also a photo booth where party people could dress up in fancy dress and partake in silly poses for the camera. For the kids who wanted a break from the music an arts and crafts table was set up, so they could create something to help them remember this weird and wonderful evening for ever.



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BCDT’s Office Makeover

By | News

We have been super busy down at Beith Community Development Trust,  some nice new office furniture has helped us relax a little. A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited down to Irvine where North Ayrshire Council were recycling office furniture following some renovations i their buildings.

What a laugh team BCDT had, we were allowed to rummage through a warehouse of second hand desks, draws, filing cabinets, chairs, cupboards, whiteboards, pin-boards and just about every other item you would expect to find in an office.

At one point Alex our Development Officer, found an Aladdin’s Cave of Pin-boards hidden behind a stack of four or five desks, unlucky for her getting into Aladdin’s cave was much like the film as it proved harder to escape from it.

Take a look at our new wonderful desks and computer units, the attractive new filing cupboards the array of pin-boards…

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BiRecycle Scheme

By | News

On Saturday the first ever BiRecycle Scheme in Beith went down a storm. The event was a fantastic success with 29 people joining in the fun; from 5 month old baby Aaron to some of Beith’s fittest Grannies and Granddads and nearly every neighbourhood hound.

Volunteers and staff from the BCDT managed to collect 23 complete bikes and 19 incomplete frames. A great success as our volunteer door knockers only visited 4 main streets. The collected bikes will now be refurbished and rehomed with help from the young people of Beith.

After collections were complete, all involved made their way, by bike and feet, to the old Speirs School. Where the whole gang had fun learning some new outdoor activities including; learning how to use a flint and steal to make fires; then some basic carving skills were used to perfect our marshmallow roasting sticks. The kelly kettle was used to boil up some tea for all, whilst fruit and flapjacks were shared from the picnic.

The star volunteers of the day, who we owe many thanks to are Julie McCarney and Michael Zabransky.

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Team BCDT get crafty!

By | News | No Comments

Over the past few weeks team BCDT have been working on perfecting the Beith Community Development Trust and Beith Astro website. Brent our resident Web Developer; Nicole our Graphic Designer and Amanda (me) our Marketing enthusiast have been working together to populate each site and make sure the design and usability suits all of our possible users.

The BCDT website has been launched and live for a few months now but improvements continue as we continue to add information and pictures. Its really starting to look fab, some of my favourite additions have been the introduction of the an ‘Our Team’ page.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.34.07There is still much debate over the final look of the Beith Astro website, and today Nicole and Brent are experimenting with a whole new look to compare with the existing design.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.52.27Go take a look at and let us know what you think.

BiRecycle Scheme

By | Upcoming Events | No Comments

This week plays host to the Beith Community Development Trust’s first ever BiRecycle Scheme event.

Taking place on Saturday at 11am, volunteers will be collecting scrap, unwanted bikes from the beith Community. These bikes will then be donated to Kilmarnock charity Killie Can Cycle, who will refurbish and re-home them.

Anyone is welcome to help in the collection of scrap bikes, participation with qualify you to possibly receive a refurbished bike. After collection is complete we will be taking a group cycle and enjoying a picnic, bikes are available to borrow.

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You are invited to West Coast Paddlers Fundraising Ceilidh

By | Upcoming Events | No Comments

The West Coast Paddlers are throwing an event this weekend, in the form of a fundraising ceilidh. The night will kick off at 7.30pm at the Beith Community Centre, all are welcome but please bring your own refreshments (i.e. bottle).

Tickets are priced at £7.50 for adults and £5.00 for children, the night will also include a raffle, auction and supper.

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Spiers Fright Night

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On Friday night Friend of Spiers (FoS) held their second annual Fright Night in the parklands, FoS had invited the community to join in the scare night antics and the turn out was fantastic.

As can be seen from the fantastic pictures everyone was in the mood for some spooky fun and even better the rain stayed off so everyone could enjoy the evening.

Beith Amateur Dramatics and Gateside School of Dance were also on hand to perform some ghostly displays, which were highly appreciated the the audience of local families.

Beware – Email Scam

By | News | No Comments

This post has been designed to warn you all about a spam email that is being distributed around the community, the spam email appears to be from Tesco and offers a raffle prize of at times up to £2000.

However, Tesco have confirmed that although at times they do send out emails similar to this, these emails are not from them and are spam emails.

I would ask that you share this post to warn friends and family not to follow the instructions detailed in the email.

A couple of example email are shown below, as you can see they appear to be legitimate and are very convincing.Atmail - (2) Atmail - (1) Atmail - (3) Atmail - Atmail - (4) Atmail - (5)

Pre-loved Football Boots

By | Community, News | 2 Comments

We have some fantastic second hand football boots available just now down at Beith Astro.

If you take a fancy to any of these boots take a note of the number (which is detailed below each and get in touch either through the BCDT Facebook or by calling 01505 228141.

548969_599057506824162_1656495086_nImprove your accuracy with these Umbro football boots, designed with Shot Shield technology to the instep, enhanced by shape correcting memory foam under the first metatarsal and tongue and raised TPU fins for improved swerve, control and accuracy on every strike.

The Umbro Football Boots also utilise a carbon fibre soleplate with firm ground TPU studs designed for optimal structural reinforcement and stability, finished off with a synthetic Teijin material to the upper for a more responsive touch. These are a size 13 and labelled as number 7.555502_599057380157508_953021804_nSondico
Play another killer through ball in the Sondico Football Boots, complete with a padded and shaped ankle designed for complete comfort and support out on the pitch combined with the laced front for a secure fit.

These Sondico kids football boots benefit from a moulded stud formation to the sole plate designed for maximum traction on firm ground pitches with stitched detailing to the forefoot and the Sondico logo completing the look. These football boots are a size one and labelled as number five.

562294_599057603490819_1499817636_nThe adidas Mens Football Boots provides terrific performance on the ball thanks to a series of Lethal Zones to the upper, designed to improve trapping, precision and power.

These mens adidas football boots offer superb grip on firm pitches thanks to a durable Traxion soleplate of moulded studs, and is adidas miCoach compatible, offering the option for you to record your in game statistics such as distance covered and top speed. These are a size 5 and labelled #6 935129_599057236824189_106039184_n (1)The Nike Kids Football Boots provide a comfortable fit thanks to a padded finish to the heel and ankle collar, and sport an eye catching galaxy print finish to the upper for a terrific look.

These kids Nike football boots offer a lightweight fit designed to enhance acceleration, and benefit from a durable moulded outsole with a formation of shaped studs for excellent grip on firmer pitches. These are a size 12 and labelled as number 1 1376630_599057256824187_2035757980_nThe adidas Turf boots provide a comfortable fit thanks to a padded heel and ankle collar and sport a smooth synthetic upper for a streamlined performance, perfect for quick wingers.

These adults adidas football trainers provide a terrific look on the pitch thanks to the traditional 3-Stripes to the sides and staggering styling to the heel, and are rounded off with a durable Traxion soleplate with low profile grip for stability on astro pitches. These are a size 5 and labelled as number 3. 1378095_599057456824167_1123151594_nThe adidas Goletto III TRX FG Junior Football Boots offer great performance on the pitch thanks to a stitched finish to the forefoot for a sweet connection on the ball, complete with centred lacing and adidas 3-Stripes styling.

These kids adidas football boots benefit from a shaped, padded heel and ankle collar, and feature a moulded Traxion soleplate housing shaped studs for grip on firm pitches, perfect during dry weather. These football boots are a size 2 ½ and labelled as number 11. 1378756_599057396824173_1919440142_nPlay one touch football in the kids football boots, made with off-centre lacing creating a large instep panel containing a PU shot shield for brilliant ball control.

These kids Nike football boots sport a comfortable fit with padding to the shaped heel and ankles, a TPU soleplate with bladed studs for excellent grip on firm ground, and are complete with traditional Nike styling. These are a size children 12 and labelled as number 4. 1383016_599057240157522_610983277_nThe Adidas F50 adiZero TRX FG Kids Football Boots offer a super lightweight fit at just 165g thanks to a synthetic Sprintskin upper complete with a delicate 3D texturing to the forefoot, a smooth striped styling to the sides and heel, and centred lacing for a streamlined finish.

These kids F50 football boots sport a Sprintframe system with an external heel counter for complete support, a breathable lightweight insole for comfort and benefit from a durable moulded outsole with shaped studs to provide amazing grip on firm pitches, rounded off with miCoach technology capabilities. These football boots are a size 13 and labelled as number 9.

Events Calendar

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Mon 24

Mindfulness Course

April 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm