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!