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Beith Trust News

Nurture Group – mini gardeners!

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Another fun filled morning at Nurture Group this week consisting of exciting outdoor activities with friends!  First of all we began with checking up on our previously planted tomato seeds in the poly tunnel, then with hand trowels, hand rakes and gardening gloves intact we went onto planting more bulbs in the fresh soil aswell as planting some fresh flower beds which we will observe over the coming weeks as they sprout from bulbs to beautiful flowers!

After putting our agricultural skills to use we began a game of hide and seek.  We set off running through the garden peering and ducking behind every facet of the forest and tree houses in search of the perfect hiding places – some successful some not so much! To finish off a great morning we raced back to school to get in our exercise for the day of course. We can’t wait for next week to check out the progression of our plants in the polytunnel! Well done everyone!



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Girls football club do their PlayMaker Award

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to watch the Beith Juniors Community Girls Football Team do their PlayMaker Award. This week’s activity was ‘Area Size’ – the girls were put into pairs of two with one ball between a pair they then had to meticulously pass the ball to each other the first pair to get to 5 passes had to shout a word one of the girls said, we had great fun with this shouting words like ‘Bingo,’ ‘Victory’ and ‘Unicorn.’ After each round each girl took two steps back until they were at opposite ends of the hall and again started to pass the ball to each other – this time the balls were going all over the room and no one was really in control.

After we gathered together to have a group discussion the girls talked about how difficult it got the further apart they moved as it was harder to stay in control and get the ball to their partner. They discussed what would be a good solution to their problem and decided that the younger girls were not to move back just the older ones and this seemed to work perfectly for them. The girls at the end had a great understanding of area size and different people having different capabilities. Well done girls.

Band Factory rising star!

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Today we invited Lily who attended our band factory sessions last year, to the office for a brief interview on her experience on performing live at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, whilst supporting the band ‘dogtooth’.


How was your performance at the Barrowlands? Can you sum it up in three words?

My performance at the Barrowlands was an amazing experience, I feel so lucky to have had that opportunity! in three words, I’d say it was incredible, surreal and inspiring.


Did band factory encourage/ help you to pursue your musical talents?

Band factory definitely helped me because before doing my first one in 2014 I had hardly any confidence in performing live, and the one in April last year was actually the first time I’d ever played guitar and sang for an audience. I think it gave me an opportunity to perform and to realise that it was something I loved.


What did you enjoy about Band Factory?

I really enjoyed working with others to put together a set list we all liked, and I especially liked with my last band where we would do covers of songs, but change them to fit our own personal style, I liked having the freedom to choose anything and seeing the hard work pay off at the end of the week.


How did it feel performing solo in front of a live audience?

It was terrifying to stand there completely alone and play, but it was so worthwhile seeing the audience’s reactions and I’m so pleased I was able to do it.


Did band factory improve your confidence in performing over all?

Band factory definitely improved my confidence, I remember my first band factory I hardly spoke to anyone for the full week and I didn’t even play my guitar for the gig, but now it’s my favourite thing to do! The constant support and encouragement of everyone involved has really helped me realise my passion for music and I think I’ve come out of my shell a lot recently.


Do you prefer performing solo to performing with a band?

I like both, as long as I’m playing music! I really like playing with others because it gives more depth to a song- when I’m playing solo I can’t incorporate harmonies or anything! but I love playing solo and relying on myself so I know if it goes badly or goes well, it’s just down to me myself.


Throughout the interview Lily agreed that our Band Factory group improved her overall confidence and improved her live performance skills, great answers Lily thank you!


Lily interview photos

Discussing team size and playing tag at PlayMaker

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This week at PlayMaker with Beith Juniors 2003’s we worked on team size. We played ‘Toilet Tig’ for the first game one person was het and the other 10 were being chased it took ages for that one person to catch everyone. After this we changed it so 4 people were het and the others were being chased but this time within 20 seconds everyone was caught.

After we got our breaths back from all that running about we came in for a group discussion we talked about how both these team sizes didn’t work and it was unfair on the other players. When there was only one person het it was too much for that person and they had no energy left by the end but when there were 4 people all the other players didn’t get the chance to run. We discussed that the perfect number of players would be two het and the rest being chased. We talked about considering team size when we are coaching and that it can be different for all sorts of games but that we have to make sure that is fair for all players.

We finished off our session by playing the game with the amount of players we suggested and it was much better.

Astro Tots returns!

By Beith Trust News2 Comments

Our Astro Tots has officially made a comeback!  After starting back this week, we kicked off with some warming up games with friends and then progressed onto practicing our football skills and techniques which we will of course, inevitably perfect.  Our training included; fun running drills to the small yellow cones and back again, then weaving the ball meticulously through the diagonally positioned markers, practicing our shooting skills by aiming then kicking the ball and watching it propel with velocity striking down the cones.  Our final technique of the day was to practice our header skills by lining up beside our team mates, awaiting our coach to individually throw the ball to each of us and then hitting it with force back to our coach again.  After all of our hard work and activities we finished off with a game of tag chasing each of our team mates one at a time around the sports hall lots of laughs all round – a striking success! See you all next week!


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Nurture Group – teamwork and tomato planting!

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With the sun making a shining appearance yesterday morning at Nurture Group we carried out a multitude of outdoor activities and practiced various new skills with our friends, all of which was made more successful by working as a team (dogs included of course).  We started off with building up our agricultural skills by planting some tomato seeds which we sprinkled thinly on the surface of good quality seed compost then eventually watered, after all of our hard work all that was left to do is to now watch them grow into fresh produce in the coming weeks so that we can enjoy!  We then moved onto practicing our dog training skills with Poppy and Daisy such as learning how to pet them properly and how to walk them on the lead which also, linked into our safe dog handling training – well on our way to becoming leaders of the pack! After a tiring morning of team work tasks and activities we finished off with nurturing the garden by watering the plants, an overall success in terms of learning new skills and working in a team with friends.  Well done everyone see you next week!


Keep Scotland Beautiful – Re-use and repair event

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This week at BCDT we hosted a Peer Learning Event solely surrounding the current issue that is climate change and focused on a theme of reusing and repairing which was held by the Climate Change Fund, (part of the keep Scotland beautiful charity).  Anyone connected to a community group that is taking action to reduce carbon emissions in the area was invited to attend – whether a member of staff, volunteer, board member or community member.  This event was and is an opportunity to bring awareness and action towards tackling climate change by celebrating the benefit that combining as a community has in terms of progress towards reducing carbon emissions in Scotland’s communities.

We took the time to walk around the garden and forest area focusing on the objects and projects that have been created from recycled matter such as; our series of colourfully painted wooden pallet benches outside, our large tire wheels which are used as seating, our poly tunnel where we grow a multitude of plants, vegetables and much more.  All of which contributes towards looking after our environment and encourages our community to make use of old resources which our visitors were thoroughly impressed with.  We shared many creative project ideas and discussed common problems which we believe will inevitably continue to breed awareness towards climate change in a positive fashion.  A fun and informative day for all who attended – an overall successful event!


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Nurture Group – Scavenger Hunt

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Today at Nurture Group we braved the cold and frosty winds in order to began hunting for specific objects in the wilderness!  Wellies and waterproofs intact we set off through the garden and throughout the diversity of the forest in search of our treasure hunt objects such as; sticks, round objects, blue objects and much more mysterious findings before gathering them in a pile as we went along.

Once we had successfully ticked off the items on our Scavenger Hunt list we then began using our ground chalks to express our creative talents by using our imagination to draw with a multitude of colours and shapes.  

As the adventurous goings on for the morning came to and end we then finished up by checking up on our wormery.  Luckily the weather did not dampen our spirits as we enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny of the wilderness – well done to all inquisitive adventurers involved!


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Crafternoon – Festive Fun

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Our Crafternoon classes are back!  Getting into the Christmas spirit early this year we started off with creating some coffee stirrer star decorations – oblivious of the mess to come – we set off merging together our wooden sticks with meticulous precision using pva glue.  Once we had a sturdy structure we were able to begin the creative process of tearing up a multitude of coloured tissue paper (mostly festive colours of red, green and yellow) and papering over the hollow triangle shapes.  To finish off our Christmas decoration we tied some green thread through the wooden sticks to create our finished project.

Using a method of recycling, reducing and reusing we began building the structure of our owl bodies from cardboard toilet roll cylinders by folding each end inwards in order for our desired shape to take form.  Now for the fun part!  Using our imagination we began building up the quirky features of our owls such as; some large comical googly eyes, vibrant coloured card wings, acuminated beaks and fluffy tissue feathers – all of which contributing to our uniquely crafted animals.   Well done everyone!



Amateurs To Professionals – Kids Cooking Classes!

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Yesterday our series of bake offs came to an exciting end as we finished off our Kids Cooking Classes with baking a festive bread and butter dessert inspired by Christmas pudding – and it was delicious!  To begin we put all of our ingredients into our mixing bowls starting off with our dry ingredients; breadcrumbs, brown sugar, dried fruit and mixed spice we then combined those ingredients together with our butter, milk and eggs.  Using our wooden spoons – and strength – our ingredients eventually combined together creating a smooth consistency with our dried fruit laced through the sweet mixture.  Our ingredient of mixed spice consisting of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and more all supplied our bake with a certain spicy flavour.  With not much technique involved all that was left to do was to distribute our smooth, not yet pudding into paper cases onto our baking trays,  some spillages involved which only contributed to the homemade charm of our bakes.  With patience required, we waited on our smooth raisin filled mixtures transforming in the hot oven, into a sweet, slightly spiced bread and butter pudding.  Our last (but not least) session of Kids Cooking Classes was a soaring success, from amateurs to professionals – well done Chefs!



Kids Cooking Classes – Savory Samosas

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This week at our Kids Cooking Classes we were faced with our most technical baking challenge so far – creating some flavorsome samosas.  The first steps in forming our vegetable samosas was to begin finely sieving the flour into our mixing bowls then, combining the water, egg and dry ingredients we began to weave the flour through the water using only our hands as utensils, eventually forming an elastic dough.  Using our muscles we started to roll out our pastry dough into our desired thickness in preparation for the shape cutting stage.   Once we had our shapes of dough cut and developed it was time to make a start on the delightful filling!  Using a fork, we began to mash together some potatoes, garam masala and peas until the vegetables came together as a mixture (which took more elbow grease than we anticipated) check out our photos here.  After all our hard work it was time to assemble our samosas by inserting the mashed vegetable mixture in the middle of the pastry, then delicately crimping the edges with our fingers to create the traditional samosa presentation – well done little chefs!

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Astro Tots – skills and drills!

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Another fun skill filled evening at Astro Tots!  In order to get warmed up we took part in numerous exercises consisting of competitive races where we gathered in a line among friends (or competitors in this case) and set off with speed.  Also to get our hearts warmed up we took part in running drills such as high knee jogs, extended leg skipping and more.  Learning to work together we marked ourselves at the cones then we meticulously approached and successfully passed the ball to our teammates.  We then moved on to our skills and drills where we practiced our pro techniques of touching the ball around the cones in preparation for the big shoot! And of course scoring.  With practice comes perfection therefore after our inevitable victory goals we moved on to a full game where we made use of our eagerly practiced skills in hopes of overcoming our opponents which involved; technical tackles, successful striking and diligent defence.  Check out our photos here.  Another fun week at Astro Tots – well done everyone see you next week!


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Baking Up A Storm

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This weeks cooking classes had a certain spark as we kicked off our baking with creating some firework biscuits – getting into the spirit of Guy Fawkes Night as we mixed together our basic ingredients of flour, butter, sugar and water. Once we had sieved, stirred and rolled out our mixture – and eventual dough – to perfection we began the process of inserting the blue food colouring into our dough and rolling into a sausage shape.  After this process we then sliced our dough, revealing a marvelous spiral firework shape!  Check out our photos here.  We certainly finished off this weeks class with a bang – well done everyone!


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Spooktacular Soup Group Fun

By Activities in Beith, Beith Trust News, Children & Families, CommunityNo Comments

This week Soup Group took a scary turn we started off with colouring in some scary pictures to hang on our walls – we coloured in everything from witches and cats to haunted houses.

Next we all took part in some ‘apple dunking’ it took a lot of tries for some of us to catch one, some of us got it on our first try and some of us found it to tricky and had to use a fork to catch one but in the end we all had a delicious apple to eat.

After we got put into groups of two and were given a pumpkin each to share and carve into some scary faces. It took a lot of effort to scoop all the slimy guts out of the pumpkins and then carefully use the carving tools to create our spectacular scary masterpieces.

After all that hard work we lit the pumpkins and turned the lights off to have our soup and tell some spooky stories.

Check out our pictures here

Kids Cooking Classes – Baking Utensils at The Ready!

By Beith Trust NewsNo Comments

Our cooking classes are back! Just the thing for any little chef’s in your family.  Yesterday at Beith Community Centre we all got together and baked up a storm consisting of pumpkin scones and apple decorating – getting into the spirit of a fast approaching Halloween!  We started off by putting our dry measures of flour, baking soda and brown sugar into to our mixing bowls, then adding the butter, pumpkin and egg we began to mix together with our wooden spoons – elbow grease was unfortunately required.  Once our mixture had eventually come together, we began to roll out the dough with our rolling pin using our muscles to create a flat dough in preparation for cutting into our desired shapes.  After all of our hard work all that was left to do was to patiently wait on our dough shapes transforming into fluffy risen pumpkin scones in the oven (easier said than done).  As the sweet smell of our scones drifted from the kitchen we knew our hard work had paid off; perfectly shaped and delicious scones to take home.  Check out our photos here.  Well done everyone, see you next week for another bake off!



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Train Like a Pro

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As the boys and girls geared up for another session of pro training at football camp they began with some skillful keepy-ups; balancing the ball with precision in order to shoot the ball repeatedly into the air without it hitting turf on the way down, as the saying goes “what goes up must come down” is certainly not the case in this skill of training.  Moving onto another vital drill of training we proceeded forth to the marker cones and with using the inside of the foot we shot the ball with force, propelling it straight into the back of the net.  A clean shot!  And of course followed a multitude of well-deserved victory celebrations.   Another essential expertise needed to become a pro is the ability to work well within a team, we thoroughly practiced this skill by partnering into teams of two and passing the ball between each other, touching the ball with the foot as it propelled and arrived at our feet.  Then, using the inside of the foot to then pass it back to our team mate as efficiently as possible. To see our pro’s in action check out our photos here.  Well done everyone! One step closer to becoming a professional.


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October Play Scheme – The Finale Of Fun!

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As the October Play Scheme came to an exciting end we finished the week off with a day packed full of activities.  Firstly learning to work in teams within our sports we started off with a morning of scoring, (with success) in hockey (including victory dances), as well as a game of dodgeball which, needless to say brought to front our competitive streak.  Last but not least of the Play Scheme series of events we followed onto an afternoon of bouncy castle fun, dancing with friends and more sports of course.  Where we ducked, dived and bounced till our hearts were content; keeping fit and having fun a winning combination!  Another successful October Play Scheme taken place at Beith Trust.  Many new friends and memories made with lots of laughter and smiles all round – a great end to a week of fun and entertainment for all involved, thanks everyone!


Bugs and Beasties Galore!

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This morning we gathered in preparation for a marathon of activity – a bug hunt!  As we proceeded to the astro turf we started off with team building exercises.  Our diverse garden of wildlife creates a home for all of nature which we pursued on our hunt today.  To tick off our checklist of mini-beasts we explored every inch of the garden using our hunting tools; a magnifying glass, bug net, and bug jars. We turned over rocks, shining a ray of sunlight upon many oblivious earth worms and woodlice (or as the children referred to them – rollie pollies) holding them captive in our bug jars before setting them free again – it’s safe to say we ourselves aren’t timorous beasties! After we had collected our squirming earth worms, beetles and spiders we gently picked them up and closely observed their distinctive features; their protruding antennae, transparent wings and their copious wiggling legs for more photos check out our facebook.  Another adventurous and exciting day that took place at Beith Trust – well done everyone!



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October Play Scheme – Ready, Set, Go!

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Staying active whilst having fun today at Beith Trust as we joined together on our quest for the treasure hunt objects!  This morning we gathered together in teams in preparation for our spectacular treasure hunt – another event in our October Play Scheme this week.  With meticulous care we peered high and low for our desired treasure hunt objects, scaling the murky grass, blooming flower pots and tree houses.  Through searching tires, trees and forest we successfully found our treasure, well done team!  As the morning came to a close we used the last of our energy for a game of tunnel tag another fun and activity filled day at Beith Trust.

Our October Play scheme – Time to Scavenge!

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Adventurous events taking place at the Beith Trust October Play Scheme! Today we had an activity filled morning consisting of sports such as dodgeball and an exciting scavenger hunt which left us with some head-scratching and puzzled expressions check out the photos here.  Where the kids used their thinking caps whilst having a blast.  They also used their initiative to focus closely and see the environment in a different light to find specific objects on the scavenger hunt list such as; a heart-shaped rock, a stick with two leaves and a rubber band etc.  Hunting with our eyes and creativity only we explored the autumn leave-filled forest floor, leaped over logs, and conquered the what seemed like mountainous hills leading up to the tree houses. Through doing this fun activity we also learned to work positively in a team by sticking together and using each other’s creative ideas to complete the task at hand.  By scouring every nook and cranny within the forest and garden we had successfully ticked off and completed the scavenger hunt list  – well done everyone!

Beer Festival Success for Beith

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On Saturday the 29th August the doors opened to Beiths’ very own Beer Festival. Ian Martin a local CAMRA member says “It was a festival for all, it included the whole family, face painting for kids and a kids zone, outdoor area, music all day from acoustic, rockabilly, rock, food of great quality, and a group of volunteers that put everything they had into making the day a success.”

The festival was a sellout. 11 kegs of real ale and 4 boxes of cider sold out completely – Beith drank the bar dry! Local musicians and great homemade food made it a really enjoyable event. Throughout the 8 hours we were open over 500 people visited and enjoyed real ale from all over Scotland.

It really was a fantastic day and we hope this will become an annual event becoming even bigger and better next year.

Geilsland becomes reality for Beith Trust

By Beith Trust News12 Comments

Geilsland campus

Community dreams and aspirations for Geilsland Campus are now becoming reality as the Scottish Land Fund announces today (8 September) a handover of over £1/2 million to Beith Community Development Trust. Thanks to an award of £512,200, Beith Trust will now be able to purchase Geilsland House and School Campus, and secure its future as a community asset. Beith Trust would like to thank the Scottish Land Fund for funding this project. Working with the community we hope to position the campus as the ‘Gateway to North Ayrshire’. Geilsland Campus will enable the delivery of a range of local economy boosting activities such as business incubator units, accommodation and the provision of training opportunities and creation of new jobs.

Find out more click here

Alex Neil Visits Beith Trust

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Beith Trust are delighted to host a visit from Alex Neil MSP,  the  Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners Rights to Beith Astro today.

He took the opportunity to launch the Town Centre Communities Capacity Fund  and  commended Beith Trust on their regeneration work within Beith.

He discussed the work of Beith Trust  with local  parents, young people, school representatives, members of the board  and volunteers who explained how the work of the Trust has benefited the local community and he enjoyed a tour of the polytunnel, astroturf, eco-hut, outdoor shelter and reviewed the Trusts’ community consultation document.

Another Awesome Soup Group for All!

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Another great Soup Group last night down at the Astro, we had a night of arts and crafts and awesome games inside the eco-hut. We had a very creative time making decorative bowls by blowing up balloons, covering half of them in glue, sticking tiny pieces all over them and waiting for them to dry. All of our young artists made beautiful creations as always and had a great and super messy time doing it! Once they were all finished we left them to dry and played some activities and games together like, Chinese whispers, charades and of course the old classic eye-spy! The weather may not have been great but we all had fun and of course we all got to have a nice cup if soup! There’s lots of fun things planned for next week and we look forward to seeing you all again.

Soup group changing the world

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We had great fun at soup group last night! The session began with a game of pop up dodgeball which always brings out a competitive streak in everyone! We then played a dangerous game of cat and mouse which resulted in all of the mice being eaten and then we played another game called splat which helped to keep the kids on their toes and improves observation and timing skills.

We then played a game called cups and saucers which involves 2 teams, some with normal standing cones and some with upside down cones, with the aim of the game to have the cones turned in your teams favour when the time is up. This is a great game which helps to improve team work.

Before our soup on the fire, we went into the eco hut, split into pairs and drew our perfect world! We illustrated what we would like in our world and what we would rather not have if we had the power.

These were the ideas they came up with:

We would like: Rainbows every day, more sunshine, the moon to be a disco ball, more chocolate, multi coloured stars, real life unicorns, more oxygen, wish trees, world peace, more bouncy balls, more kind people, more animals, more bikes and scooters and more people smiling. Sam also drew a happy land which looks like a lovely place to live.

We would not like: Unkind people, violence, poverty, carbon dioxide, bullies, litter, less rain and less sick people (unhealthy).

Sounds like a nice world to me, hope some of these kids stand at the next election !!

Thank also to Alex who made some delicious soup from vegetables we grew here in our very own polytunnel … it went down a treat and helped us as a community to reduce our carbon footprint !!

Don’t ‘dodge’ the breakfast club

By Activities in Beith, Beith Trust News, Children & FamiliesNo Comments

This morning we had lots of fun in the sun playing dodgeball! This game is like no other game of dodgeball though … it is much faster, involves everyone having a ball and relies on your tagger getting tagged to get you back in … confused??

There was fierce competition (and not just from the children) which involved dodging some good shots and some head to head stand offs but in the end Callum was crowned the dodgeball champion taking Emily out with a bomber shot!

The walk to school was full of excitement as some of our kids were preparing for their school trip to the beach. We hope their breakfast gives them enough energy to build the biggest sandcastles and jump the biggest waves!

Can’t wait to hear all about it tomorrow!

Playmaker Scheme, Behind the Scenes!

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Recently I posted a blog about the Play Maker Scheme, an hour a week 6 week course to improve social skills and leadership qualities while working towards a Sports Leader Qualification. It’s a great opportunity for the kids that attend soup group and it couldn’t be made possible without our fantastic volunteer Alex Tattersall.

When Alex isn’t waiting tables or studying in University, she’s volunteering here for soup group and helping the children achieve their Play Maker Award. I had the opportunity to ask Alex a bit about her role in the Play Maker Scheme and she described it as such; “I prepare the activities beforehand and prepare a session plan which makes it easier for me to deliver the sessions. I help the kids to understand important qualities needed to become a good leader through different activities including sports and arts and crafts. This makes it more fun for the children instead of just standing there giving them information, they get to experience it for themselves.” Alex clearly puts in a lot of effort to provide the children the best experience and opportunity possible. The sessions usually last around 30-45 minutes, Alex says she loves to take suggestions from the kids and put them into practice, making it a more interactive experience for them. I asked Alex what she gets out of volunteering here and how she plans to implement these skills in her future. She told me that she has gained a lot of outdoor experience and also gives her experience with planning her own sessions which has improved her confidence. Alex is studying to be a teacher in University and she is going to use her experiences here to help her along that path. When Alex was completing her teacher training placement she came here to volunteer as well as lots of other groups, after completing that part of her course we still have the pleasure of having her here!  

Alex is arguably the best student we have ever had here and has been a fantastic volunteer, we thank her for all of her hard work with Soup Group and the children who attend. Why not bring your kids to Soup Group and you can see firsthand all the fantastic work our volunteers do, why not bring your kids along and see for yourself.

taosting marshmallows

taosting marshmallows


Soup Group Fun

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Last night we were very pleased to see some new kids coming along to learn about the fun we have every week at soup group. The sessions started off with the group being split into two teams and playing a competitive card game of pairs. This game is a great way of improving memory skills, but it was also really nice to see the kids working together and helping their team mates win points.

We then moved onto a different game … with just as much hilarity. This game involved the kids standing in a circle, and passing a rugby ball around the circle anti-clockwise with the aim of the ball beating a runner around the circle. We saw some fast running and some fast passing … and lots of laughing!!

Next we made a campfire and while we were toasting marshmallows the kids were each given a scenario about a dangerous situation and were asked to give us ideas on how to stay safe in each situation. This included things like getting lost, meeting strangers, fire safety and road safety. This game was inspired through the initiative being driven by the Scottish Government about teaching kids to become responsible citizens … and everyone earned their marshmallows for showing exactly that!

Thanks also to Angela Morris for making some delicious sandwitches. Looking forward to next week everyone!

Breakfast Club Fun!

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IMG_3242IMG_3243We were blessed with some sunshine this morning which was perfect for our cereal fuelled outdoor fun! First we played a game of hide and seek (which is quite a challenge with all the trees, dens and hiding holes in our garden). Me and Claire were the seekers and thankfully found everyone on time to make it to school (joking)!

Next, we played some sports games! We did balance competitions (which Emily won hands down), some backwards races, crawling races and some skipping races … though I am sure I saw some cheating during this one!

Then after all that fun it was time to walk to school … but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Each child was given a task to carry out on the walk to school like ‘count how many houses we pass’, ‘count how many feet you see’ and ‘count how many lamp posts we pass’ as well as our physical challenge of keeping hands above our heads walking up big hills! Lots to concentrate on!

Glad we set everyone up for a productive day of learning. See you all again on Tuesday!


Little Chef’s Culinary Delights

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P1120595 P1120600 P1120601 P1120584 P1120585 P1120586 P1120587 P1120588 P1120590 P1120594Yesterday afternoon we saw some very excited and talented kids come together to practice their cooking skills and learn more about the food they eat. These wee stars put a lot of effort into weighing, mixing, chopping (and sneaking tastes of) a list of ingredients! Getting messy was well worth it though because we ended up with delicious raspberry cakes which went down a treat … we just hope the little chefs managed not to eat them all on the way home so people at home can taste how yummy they are.

While the cakes were baking we had a bit of time tasting and learning about different types of berries including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with some mixed reactions! Did you know that the strawberry is the only fruit that’s seeds grow on the outside of it?, or that different shades of blueberries have different tastes?

We also did a fun activity organising different fruits and vegetables into the seasons that they grow in, a task the kids loved and showed a growing knowledge on eating in a way which helps us protect our planet. Great job guys, see you all next week

Bread Wars! Home Grown vs Shop Bought

By Beith Trust NewsNo Comments

In the last few days I have spoken to Kate our volunteer gardener about various things to do with food and health, one thing we have been discussing is the benefits of home grown food over commercially purchased food. Kate was telling me that recently her father made some homemade bread with her and she was surprised to see how few ingredients went into it and how great it tasted when it was finished. The three necessary ingredients in bread are yeast, flower and water, when you look at the ingredients on a loaf of bread bought from your local shop you will notice there are many, many more ingredients in it. Why is this? Well first of all when you bake your own bread you can eat it right away, this is not the case with shop bought bread which has to baked, packaged, transported and put on the shelves before you can buy it. In order for the bread to stay fresh and still taste good by the time you get it home most companies will add extra ingredients like preservatives, sugar and salt.

Sadly in our country homegrown food has definitely declined over the last hundred years which is not the case for many other countries like France and Italy who have a thriving food culture with homemade products sold nearly everywhere! Homemade food tastes good, is good for you, cheap and most importantly making our own food is a part of our culture and history! It can be a great hobby and something that you can get your kids involved with in the kitchen! Make your own bread, put something crazy in it if you like and please leave me a comment on how it turned out. Happy baking!


Beith Trust Petition for Geilsland School

By Beith Trust NewsOne Comment


Recently we have been trying to raise awareness and gather signatures in order to get enough community support for Beith Trust to buy Geilsland School and hold it in in trust as a community asset. We will need signatures from at least 10% of the registered voters that reside in Beith before we are able to make the plan we have for Geilsland School and its place in the community a reality. The loyal Beith Trust employees have taken to the streets in an effort to raise awareness of our petition and gather signatures from our local community.

So far we have been met with a very positive response by almost everyone we have spoken to, I personally have received great feedback from all the people I have spoken to and they were on board as soon as they found out that Beith Trust was interested in finding a positive community use for the school. Their used to be another beautiful school in Beith named “Spier’s School” which opened in 1888 and closed in 1972, it was a very beautiful and old building, it was undoubtedly a piece of Beith’s colorful history.

With this opportunity and the support of our community we can make sure that the future of Geilsland School supports something positive for the community. If you have any interest in this cause, have any suggestions or would like to help out with our position please give us a call or drop by!

Geilsland Usagediagram



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!



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 

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.

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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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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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.

twitter from working digital 1

twitter working digital 2

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.


By Beith Trust News

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.


Beith’s Activaters Graduate

By Beith Trust News

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]

Brainstorming Ideas/Writing Fiction

By Beith Trust News


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.


By Beith Trust News

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!

Writing Creatively

By Beith Trust News

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!

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