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Beith Trust Says Yes to Eco-Friendly Living!

By Beith Trust NewsNo Comments

Today I had the pleasure of going on a day trip with our “Office Hippie”, Lisa McGuiness. We visited two schools in the area, Beith Primary and Gateside Primary School taking with us a flat packed compost bin to build with the school kids upon arrival. The idea behind bringing the compost bins to the school was for the kids to calculate carbon emissions that would be saved by composting food and keeping it out of a landfill. Having a composting bin in on school grounds means that excess food can be recycled into compost and then used for growing whatever is desired in the school ground, an excellent form of recycling and reducing waste!

We went up to the primary school and Lisa explained to the children and their teachers a bit about the composting bin, shortly after I gave the kids a quick explanation of how to assemble the compost bin (it was actually quite simple and fun to make) they quickly started putting it together. After we had finished putting it together we all went back inside to do a word search themed around composting which was a fun group activity and also let the kids know what kind of things they can compost in their brand new compost bin. After the word search Lisa informed every one of all the things that can go inside the compost bin and explained how long it takes to make compost and what the benefits are of composting your leftover food.

It was great to see such a positive response from all the kids and they all were genuinely interested in the positive effects that this would have on the environment. If children this young can understand and appreciate the benefits of recycling methods like this then maybe we can all be a bit more environmentally conscience, after all we are all children of this Earth and it’s the only one we’ve got!



Band Factory Super Star Abigail

By Activities in Beith, Community, NewsNo Comments

IMG_0139 (2)Recently I had the chance to speak to Abigail, a music super star who attended the 2015 Band Factory. She is currently finishing the work on her port folio where she did amazing things like visit the dance crew “Diversity”. I asked her about her time at band factory and what she learned and enjoyed from the experience. Abigail learned how to play the snare drum along with a rock and roll beat to play on it. On top of the snare drum Abigail can also play the Cajón drum, the clarinet and takes private piano lessons.

This is the second band factory hosted by Beith Trust that Abigail has came to, after the first one she told her mum “I just want to play gigs all the time” a worrying thing for any parent to hear but fantastic to hear that she is so musically inspired! This year I asked if she felt the same way, she told me “yeah, I can’t wait to come back next year”.

It’s good to know that young people are taking an interest in music and more artistic hobbies like learning how to play an instrument. Music is a big part of social development and culture and we should cherish and implore our youth to take and interest. “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it a rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” – Unknown

By Jonny Carruthers

Beith Trust Invited by SPGD to Give Speech on Soup Group

By Activities in Beith, Children & Families, Community2 Comments

Recently Beith Trust was invited by University West of Scotland to give a presentation at “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” an event held by SPDN (Social Pedagogy Development Network) at the Edinburgh Conference Centre about Soup Group.

Soup group is a local playgroup where children can come on a Wednesday night to socialize and play with other children in their age group. During soup group children take part in fun games, activities, make crafts, then we all sit round the camp fire and eat soup before getting in some more play time before hang to go home.

Participants at the event were very enthusiastic about Soup Group and it’s social impact and many participates described Soup Group as “Inspirational”. A lot of positive attention for Beith Trust and other organizations who strive to emulate similar activities.

Mini Gardeners Down at the Trust!

By Activities in Beith, Children & Families, CommunityNo Comments

We had a lovely morning with some very happy children having fun in our sunny garden! We spent some time in our polytunnel learning about different vegetables, meeting some of the creepy crawlies that help protect our plants and learning what plants need to be able to grow big and strong! We all had some time to help thin the lettuces and plant our own individual lettuce so we can look after them watch them grow over the next few months … then we get to taste how delicious they are! Well done to everyone for getting their hands dirty today!

Soup Group in the Sunshine

By Activities in Beith, Children & Families, Community, NewsNo Comments

Great fun at soup group last night! We all made the most of the sunshine by playing some games on the pitches. One of the games involved good observation skills and good team work which we realised doesn’t always mean developing a strategy but is sometimes more about being connected and aware within our team. Then, since everyone was feeling so happy and summery we started making an arts board explaining all of the things that make us smile! It will be up for you all to see soon!! We also went a bit crazy with the face paints and had some butterflies and vampires joining in our game of hide and seek afterwards 🙂 We also enjoyed some lovely soup and thanks to our wonderful volunteer Alex for bringing some goodies for us to enjoy too.


Prince’s Trust Fun Day!

By Activities in Beith, CommunityNo Comments

We have the pleasure of having the Prince’s Trust volunteers back at the Astro for their end of course fun day. At the end of their course they were required to have a fun day and they asked us if they could hold it here, of course we were more than happy to oblige!

It’s great to have the volunteers back to have some fun with the local community after all of the hard work they put in down at the Trust. There are lots of activities for everyone to take part in, the bouncy castle is out, giant board games, bowling, beat the keeper and lots of other activities to take part in. The sun is out and everyone is having a great time, so thank you again to the Prince’s Trust volunteers for all your hard work and good company.




A Sad Day for Beith Astro!

By CommunityNo Comments

It was a sad day for us at Beith Trust as one of our most loyal and memorable employees Ryan, left the Astro for the last time! Ryan was always a pleasure to have around the office always telling stories and jokes. I had a chance to talk to Ryan today before his last day was over. When asked if Ryan enjoyed working at Beith Trust he told me that he had worked here before and this was his second time back, Ryan  said that he was very happy he was asked to come back and hopes to see more of Beith Trust in the future. Ryan said that once he has left he will miss all of the staff more so than anything else. So what’s the plan for Ryan’s future? Well for the immediate future, he’s off on holiday with his children and wife in July and enjoying life. We will all miss you Ryan, wish for your good health and hope that we will see you in the future!


By Community, NewsNo Comments

Beith Community Development Trust was in the spotlight recently thanks to an article titled “Build it and they will come” published in Third Force News written by Paul Cardwell. The article covers Beith Community Development Trust making the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Social Enterprise 100 list.

Go and check out the article and find out more on this interesting and heartwarming story!

Gardening in our polytunnel

By Community, NewsNo Comments

We have some exciting news to share with you about our amazing polytunnel!

For the past 6 weeks Lisa and Kate and a team of volunteers have been painstakingly emptying out and clearing out the growing blocks to make way for the over 10 different species of fruit and vegetables that we intend to grow!

From the crunchy carrot to the spicy radish and the tangy spring onions to the cool cucumber, we now have them growing inside our polytunnel.

But that is not all we have in our polytunnel. Coming soon we shall have a special vegetable visiting on time for Halloween – try not to waken what sleeps beneath the ground!

Stay tuned …

Written by Kate Wilkes

Easter Play Schemes 2015

By Community, News, SportNo Comments

Play Schemes has come to an end but it really was a fantastic two weeks! The kids all looked as if they had a blast and went home each day with giant smiles on their faces!

On week one we got off to a fantastic start where the kids got to play Frisbee and dodge ball and even do some quizzes with questions like ‘Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?’ and they would each have to run to the corner with the correct answer… to say no one got that question wrong.

Day two started with a game of rounder’s followed by a very intense game of pop-up dodgeball which the kids absolutely loved and went on even longer than expected because they were having so much fun!

The kids got to join in on a Scavenger Hunt on day 3 where they were given a list things they had to find the search took place in the Beith Trust Garden and the kids managed to tick everything off their lists.

Week 2 didn’t begin so well with some rainy weather but we didn’t let that stop us and we went indoors to our eco lodge to play some fun games like hot potato, pass the hoop, Chinese whispers, crafting daisy chains and colouring in.

Once the weather brightened up we went outdoors to play some pop up dodgeball again as it was such a success last week!

On day 2 we kicked off the day with some outdoor games as the weather was much better. We played Hockey, Golf, Dodgeball and some more football. The kids also all got a chance to make their very own key rings to take home – there were some awesome designs!

On our very last day of play schemes we brought out the bouncy castle and the kids spent the morning bouncing around and playing tennis and some more dodgeball!

During the afternoon they all got a chance to play Tug-of-war and do some group building games which they all loved!

All in all everyone had a fantastic week and there were happy faces all round! We can’t wait to see everyone again for our next round of Play Schemes so keep an eye out on our facebook page for more info!



By Community, NewsNo Comments

Spring is finally here! And when spring comes you can bet all your favourite (and unliked) insects will soon return to the countryside’s of the UK.
Insects (hexapods), millipedes (myriapods) and many others – even crabs – are members of the arthropods. They are the largest (and one of the oldest) collection of organisms in the world, the first recorded fossils dating back to Cambrian era, approximately 550 million years – yes million years ago!!!
Every insect and similar species today are the result of the evolutionary process from the ancient anthropods.
Last week we were surprised and ecstatic when we found a very rare seven spotted ladybird in our polytunnel. Ladybugs are important in removing pest species such as greenfly when you are growing food fruit and vegetables. They predate upon these pest species, so whenever you see one in your garden, leave it there to take care of your plants!
Other important anthropods include bees and butterflies. Bees, sadly are becoming endangered in the UK due to climate change and overuse of insecticides so please look after your bees and they will look after your flowers! Bees and butterflies are vital in pollination and are the reason that all plants grow. Bees also use the pollen to make a very important and natural product that millions of people around the world enjoy!
Spiders have been plentiful throughout the winter and spring months. These ‘pests’ are actually very helpful in ridding you of those pesky flies and midges in the house and garden. In the winter spiders head inside to escape the cold so even if you don’t like them, you should leave them alone to let them work their magic! Whenever you have one of these insects, always identify them before deciding on what to do with them incase hey are important. In the case of the bees, worms, and butterflies, leave them to work and your fruit and vegetables will be blooming in no time!

Stay tuned to learn more about your natural environment….

Written by Kate Wilkes

Beith Astro’s Easter Play Scheme is a Big Hit!

By Activities in Beith, CommunityNo Comments

So we are just starting our second week of the Easter play scheme and after a very successful and busy first week the kids are back down at the Astro! Unfortunately the weather is a bit colder than we would like today but that’s not going to stop us! We spent a bit more time doing inside activities because of the rubbish weather starting of the day in the new eco-lodge playing some fun games like hot potato, pass the hoop, Chinese whispers, crafting daisy chains and coloring in.

After that we had everyone get ready to play some dodge-ball outside on the Astro. After attacking each other with rubber balls it was time for everyone to have a break and grab some food. We had the tv and video games set up to keep everyone occupied while they were inside hiding away from the bad weather.

A great start to the second week of the Easter Play Scheme, the Astro is buzzing with energy and everyone is having a good time! If you would like to get involved please don’t hesitate to get in touch!



This week sees the start of Beith Trusts fantastic Band Factory 2015!

By Community, NewsNo Comments

Beith Trust brings together talented young musicians, singers and songwriters from all over the Garnock Valley and far flung places like Kilwinning for a week of intensive work that will produce top quality performances in a one off gig this Saturday night, 11th April 2015, upstairs at the Garnock Valley Health and Fitness Centre.

I got a chance to go and visit all the awesome and insanely talented kids taking part in Band Factory this year. Many of the kids are returning for a second year running after having such an amazing time at last year’s event.

On day 2 the kids are all gaining more confidence and are all a lot chattier than yesterday. They looked like they are having a blast and even on their lunch break are still talking about musical arrangements and harmonies.

They are split into 4 different bands depending on ages and talents and they get a chance to play lots of different songs from Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson to Should I stay or should I go by The Clash.

I got a chance to listen to one of the band’s first run through of Uptown Funk and I cannot wait to hear the finished version at the Gig on Saturday. The boys were not too happy about having to play Uptown Funk instructor Neil says ‘It pushes them outside their comfort zone and helps them learn new skills that they didn’t know they had.’

I spoke with Lily who attended Band Factory last year she says it has ‘really improved her confidence’ and she looks very excited for the week ahead.

At the end of the week after all their hard work the children will be awarded an Arts Award through Beith Trust which is the equivalent to a Standard Grade.

I can’t wait for the Gig on Saturday and hope everyone else can make it! It is set to be a fantastic night full of talented kids and great music!

Beith Trust Band Factory returns

By Activities in Beith, Beith Trust News, News, Upcoming EventsNo Comments

The super awesome talent production line that is BAND FACTORY returns to the Garnock Valley this week.

Beith Trust brings together talented young  musicians, singers and songwriters from all over the Garnock Valley and far flung places like Kilwinning  to join up with the amazing Model x Media  for a week of intensive work that will produce top quality performances in a one off gig this Saturday night, 11th April 2015, upstairs at Garnock Valley Health and Fitness Club

As usual for Day 1, folk were a bit nervous but keen to get started, the crew from Model x Media  got everyone organised and down to work.

Last years Band Factory set the bar very high with their extraordinary performances at The Eglinton Inn in the autumn, check them out Beith Trust You Tube Channel 

For more information check out Beith Trust 

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

By Community, News, Sport

This Monday the 6th of April is International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and at Beith Astro we will be celebrating this day of annual sport recognition. We believe that an integration of sport in the community is a social and economic asset to our local area. Down here we are around sport every day but not every community has local access to sport facilities and for low income families they are not able to afford transport to their nearest sport facility.

This newly adopted day of recognition signifies the increasing recognition by the United Nations of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

Monday marks the 2nd International Day of Sport Development and Peace and the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace is organizing an open video contest with the intent of showing off the works of organizations all over the world that committed to uplifting their communities through sport.

“Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development” – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General 




Easter Sunday Funday at The Saracen Head Hotel

By Activities in Beith, Children & Families, Community, Gallery, NewsNo Comments

Easter Sunday got off to a cracking start today at The Saracen Head Hotel, 10 – 12 Eglinton St, Beith,  who kindly hosted an Easter Streetmeet for local children and families.

Children and familes who came along were  treated to tea & toast before they got practicing with  lots of different arts and crafts materials and then started to decorate their very own Easter Eggs.  The kids spent a lot of time an effort creating their cheerfully decorated colourful eggs.


Even the Bellsdale Badger popped in for a visit and helped out with the egg decorating.


Lots of very happy children and families left The Saracens Head at lunchtime all set to roll their eggs up the Bigholm just as the sun came out,   hopefully they went on to have a great time with their eggs and treats.

A big well done to The Saracen Head Hotel for their kindness and generosity this Easter Sunday.


If you would like to host your very own Streetmeet for a community get together, get in touch with Beith Trust who will help organise something special for you

For more pictures check out our facebook albums 


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Volunteers Down at the Astro!

By Community, News

The DofE gives young people aged between 18-24 an opportunity to learn skills that can greatly benefit their lives, help them obtain employment and achieve a brighter future. I had the opportunity to speak to some of these young adults while they spent time here and they nothing but good things to say for the DofE and the opportunity they have been given. They are confident that the skills they’ve learned will help them obtain employment and start a career. In summary the DofE provides an excellent service for young people and can leaving a positive and lasting impression in your local community.

Recently we had volunteers from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award down at the Beith Trust helping out and making beautiful crafts to decorate the place and improve the grounds. Everything they created for us was made from recycled wooden decking and pallets. They built flower beds to go in the poly tunnel, a metal throne, beautiful paintings on the walls and they even made an excellent gift for the local primary school. They drew the silhouettes of famous characters like Olaf the snowman from the Disney Film “Frozen”, Butterfly’s and flowers onto pieces of wood, cut them out and then painted black board paint on them. They took these uniquely shaped blackboards to the local school to be used.

The whole time they were here it was a joy and thanks to their fantastic craftsmanship and keen artistic eye they have left a visible impression on our place of work.

 By Jonathan Carruthers10698576_828684597194784_8269741306550881673_n




Breakfast Club!!

By Community, News, Upcoming Events

Beith Astro is starting its new Breakfast Club on Tuesday 28th of April! It will be held twice a week on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Bring your kids round to Beith Astro at 7.50am to enjoy breakfast with other children. Everyone will take part in some fun activities at 8.10am until 8.30am where staff will accompany everyone up to school. If you have a busy morning, work early or your children would like to come along then please give us a call!

Breakfast Club is £1.50 a day and don’t worry it’s nothing like the movie!

Excellent Prince’s Trust Courses You Should Check Out!

By Community, News

Prince’s Trust is launching the new “Get Into” and “Get Started” courses which may just the thing for you if you’re looking to improve your CV or get a taste of career path before you commit to something? Here’s a list of their courses, if you’re interested check the details at the bottom of the page for how to apply!

Prince's Trust Icon

Get into Customer Service

In partnership with HSBC

Deadline for application: 2nd April 2015

Course starts: 5th May 2015


  •  6 week course, 5 days a week
  • Must be aged between 16 – 25
  • Able to pass a credit check and PVG

    Full training provided in all aspects of telephone banking including customer service skills, sales skills, product awareness and complaint handling

  •     Gain experience in a live call centre environment
  •     Employment opportunities available
  •     Develop interview & CV skills
  •     Help and support towards securing employment
  •     Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •     Benefits will not be affected (there is a training allowance for those not eligible for benefits)

Person Specification:

  •    Be employment ready
  •    Have an interest in customer service
  •    Be professional and have strong communication skills
  •    Be able to work the hours expected of this industry once employment secured including evenings and weekends
  •     Able to follow instructions

Get into Customer Service

In partnership with Revival Retreat

Deadline for application: 19th March

Course starts: 30th March 2015


  •    4 week course, 5 days a week
  •    Must be 16 – 25 to apply
  •     Chance to gain certificate in Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.
  •     Learn about personal grooming (manicures and make up etc)
  •     Training received in relation to sales, reception skills and customer care
  •     Work placements available in Spa’s etc
  •    Develop interview & CV skills
  •    Help and support towards securing employment
  •    Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •     Benefits will not be affected (there is a training allowance for those not eligible for benefits) 

Person Specification:

  •    Be employment ready
  •    Have an interest in gaining customer service experience for the leisure and beauty industry
  •    Be well presented and professional
  •    Be able to work hours expected of this industry once employment secured including weekends etc
  •    Have good customer service skills/be customer focused
  •     Able to follow instructions

Get into Retail

In partnership with Marks and Spencers

Deadline for application: 20th March 2015

Course starts: 30th March 2015


  •    4 week course, 5 days a week
  •    Must be 16 – 25 years old to apply
  •    Receive training from an experienced team
  •    Gain in-depth training in the retail industry by completing work experience with Marks and Spencers
  •    Learn about stock rotation and control, good customer service and selling skills
  •    Improve your confidence, interview skills and your CV at the same time
  •    Guaranteed interview on successful completion of the course
  •    Direct employment opportunities available with Marks and Spencers
  •    Receive up to six months support after the programme
  •    Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •     Benefits will not be affected (there is a training allowance for those not eligible for benefits)


Person Specification:

  •    Be employment ready
  •    Have an interest retail/fashion/cafe work etc
  •    Be well presented and professional
  •    Be able to work hours expected of this industry once employment secured – late/shifts/weekends etc
  •    Have good customer service skills/be customer focused
  •     Able to follow instructions

Get into Hospitality

In partnership with City of Glasgow College

Deadline for application: 12th March

Course starts: 23rd March 2015


  •    5 week course, 5 days a week
  •    Must be aged between 16 – 25 to apply
  •    Chance to gain REHIS Food and Hygiene, REHIS Health and Safety and Scottish Certificate for Personal License Holder
  •    Training from qualified professionals in Bistro training, Non Alcoholic Cocktails preparation, Licensing, Police and Drug Awareness
  •    2 week work placement available for on the job training suitable for front of house experience
  •    Attend hotel visit and tour of City Chambers
  •    Develop interview & CV skills
  •    Help and support towards securing employment
  •    Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •     Benefits will not be affected (there is a training allowance for those not eligible for benefits)

Person Specification:

  •    Be employment ready
  •    Have an interest in gaining front of house and customer service experience
  •    Be well presented and professional
  •    Be able to work hours expected of this industry once employment secured – late/shifts/weekends etc
  •    Have good customer service skills/be customer focused (Front of house)
  •     Able to follow instructions

Get Started with Cooking

in partnership with City of Glasgow College

Deadline for application: 16th April 2015

Course starts: 27th April 2015


  •     1 week course, 5 days
  •     Must be between 16 – 25 to apply
  •     Learn basic cooking skills such as;
  •     Easy to follow recipe completion
  •     Nutritional value of food
  •     Gain more confidence in a training setting
  •     Build your own team working experience and confidence

Get Started with Hair & Beauty

in partnership with City of Glasgow College

Deadline for application: 31st March 2015

Course starts: 13th April 2015


  •     1 week course, 5 days
  •     Must be between 16 – 25 years old to apply
  •     Learn basic hair & beauty treatments such as;
  •     Nails
  •     Hair conditioning
  •     Makeup
  •     Tanning

Get into Cooking

in partnership with City of Glasgow College

Deadline for application: 23rd April 2015
Course starts: 4th May 2015


  •    5 week course, 5 days a week
  •    Training from qualified professionals
  •    REHIS Food hygiene qualification and Health & Safety
  •    Develop interview & CV skills
  •    At least 1 weeks work experience
  •    Help and support towards getting a job
  •    Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •    Benefits will not be affected (there is a training allowance for those not eligible for benefits)

Person Specification:

  •    Be employment ready
  •    Have an interest in cooking
  •    Able to follow instructions
  •    Be able to work hours expected of this industry once employment secured – early/late/shifts/weekends etc
  •     Able to work as part of a team
  •     Be able to work in a fast paced environment

Get Into Security

Deadline for application: 9th April 2015
Course starts: 20th April 2015


  •    5 week course, 5 days a week 9-5pm
  •    Aged 18 – 25
  •    Training from qualified professionals
  •    Gain qualifications such as; Door supervision, CCTV training, first aid and fire marshal
  •    Gain an SIA Door Supervision and CCTV Licenses
  •    Develop interview & CV skills
  •    Help and support towards getting a job
  •    Travel expenses will be reimbursed
  •    Benefits will not be affected
  • Must have a passport, driving license or original birth certificate and have no convictions, including fines, in the last 2 years.

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Prince’s Trust Group Working Hard at Beith Astro

By Community, News

Another day of hard work for the Prince’s Trust Group at Beith Astro! Recently I have had the pleasure of meeting the hard workers from the Prince’s Trust group that have been traveling down to Beith Astro to build a chicken run and a hut with log burner in the centre.

The weather has left a lot to be desired but has not dented the morale of these young workers! I asked around to find out what these young volunteers expected to get from their experience here. Despite being from the North, East and South Ayrshire all had come for similar reasons.Most of the young adults I spoke to expressed that they were here to gain work experience for future work and to put on their CV’s. Many expressed that they desire a future vocation working outdoors. It was fantastic to see such a large group of young people from all over Ayrshire working together and enjoying socializing.

All of the volunteers were split into teams and managed by their excellent team leaders. I spoke to the team leaders to find out what their daily role working with these young people entails. They provide support and encouragement for these young workers and help work on their team building skills. To help show the importance of working in a team and to support each other. They explained that work like this can help to instill a work ethic in youths and show that it can be rewarding and fun to work as part of a team and obtain a goal together.

Overall the Prince’s Trust seems to provide a very valuable experience that can help young people build upon skills and experiences to help establish a career and find future work.


To get involved or learn more about the Prince’s Trust visit:

Easter is Coming!

By Community, News

Beith Astro is holding an Easter Play Scheme filled with lots of exciting activities for all your Easter needs. If you’re looking for something to do during the Easter holidays and fancy getting involved come on down! There’s so much on there will definitely be something on for you!
We have football, rounders, hockey, dodge ball, Frisbee, arts and crafts, plus many more! If you want to get involved check the details below, need any more information just give us a call!A3 Play Schemes

Another Awesome Evening at Soup Group

By Community, News


Another night of fun games, getting messy and drinking soup for the kids of Beith this week at soup group where fun was had by all!soupgroup1
Thanks to the good weather everyone got to enjoy the sun tonight and have a break from the miserable rain. Everyone split into groups on the astro and started with a relay race, followed by some footy games and an exciting game of rounders.

With all of the games and activities finished we all gathered round the camp fire and enjoyed soup together, then into the trees for a wee bit of hide and seek.

Soup group is a great opportunity for your kids to socialize with other local kids, play games and there’s soup of course! If you’d like to find out more or get involved, please get in touch with us.

Kids Getting Artsy at Crafternoon

By Community, News


Are your kids looking for something to do after school? Or an activity you can take part in together? Well Beith Trust’s Carfteroon could be the just the thing you’re looking for!


Crafternoon inspires your children to get involved with new skills and become more creative. Each Tuesday is a new and exciting experience, from painting with watercolor and pastels to knitting scarfs for the icy weather.

Why not stay with you child and get involved, perhaps create a work of art together. Kids of all ages and adults are welcome to come for tea, cakes and a creative crafting time.

Due to start up again soon with even more fun activities Crafternoon will be held on Tuesdays from 3:30pm till 5:00pm, come join us for an afternoon of fun soon!

Check out the pictures below to see how much fun the last block of Crafternoon’s were!

Beith Trust in RBS SE100

By Community, News

Beith Community Development Trust was in the spotlight recently thanks to an article titled “Build it and they will come” published in Third Force News written by Paul Cardwell. The article covers Beith Community Development Trust making the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Social Enterprise 100 list.

Go and check out the article and find out more on this interesting and heartwarming story!

Food Talk with CCF

By Beith Trust News, Community

This December Climate Challenge Fund hosted a food project network event  which two of our team went along to.

Drinking camomile tea

Drinking camomile tea

We love growing things here at Beith Community Development Trust and always look forward to getting ideas for new ways to grow food!

CCF has been involved with projects across Scotland which grow food, develop skills and land to grow food and even run cookery classes and deal with food waste. So for this one day representatives from projects across Scotland, with one lady coming all the way from Barra, came together to share ideas and encourage each other.

We also heard from the organisers of the Nourish conference back in October (we loved being at this too) and refreshed our memories and talk about the big picture of Scotland and food or lack of it.

So aside from getting to have good ol’ chin wag what did we learn?

Well among many other things we learned that you can grow mushrooms in a book and that garlic needs to sit in the ground during a frost before it can grow and make our meals so delicious!

We also learnt a bit more about foodbanks and why we shouldn’t just accept that they’re here to stay but do something about it, we talked about all the food that big companies throw out which could be eaten and we talked about getting to know our communities by having big meals together!

All in all it was an interesting and inspiring day.

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 Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News


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 Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News


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 Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News

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 .




Trust in the Pitch

By Beith Trust News

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 Beith Trust News


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!

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