Falkirk Community Trust celebrates a Decade of Champions with a public thank you

Falkirk Community Trust has marked the occasion of its tenth anniversary with a commemorative video, released on social media at the beginning of July, with a heartfelt public thank you to all of its staff and volunteers, hailing the successes of the last ten years as a result of a “decade of champions”.

Falkirk Community Trust was established by Falkirk Council in July 2011 with the purpose of giving a new lease of life to the delivery of much valued Community Services. Since then, the Trust has been at the forefront of the development of culture and sport in the Falkirk area, delivering inspiring services and encouraging widespread participation. In April 2022 Falkirk Council will resume control of these services and Falkirk Community Trust will cease operations.

Maureen Campbell, Falkirk Community Trust’s Chief Executive announced in June that she is to step down from the role at the end of August. She opens the video address by commenting:

“If you were to ask me, what the secret to our success has been over the last ten years, then my answer would be first and foremost: our people. From our team members and partners to our small dedicated army of volunteers and, of course, our fantastic customers. You are the champions who have made all this possible.”

Over the last decade customer income has grown by 69% to over £7m annually, and over £5million has been raised in grants and external funding by Falkirk Community Trust. They reversed an annual loss of £250,000 in the catering and retail company, it has generated profits of more than £1.4 million over the last five years, all of which have been re-invested in service delivery.

The Trust has also led the delivery of a great many projects directly benefitting the local Falkirk area, including the development of Helix Park and the Kelpies, a 5 star visitor centre which has positioned Falkirk on an international stage, with tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe flocking to the town to visit the sculptures.

There has been significant investment in the region’s sporting facilities since 2011 including the redevelopment of the Mariner Centre, Grangemouth Stadium, Bo’ness Recreation Centre, Carron Gymnastics Centre and Stenhousemuir Gym. They have also been at the forefront of the development of arts and culture in the region, proudly operating a range of venues, from Town Halls steeped in tradition to a unique cinema. Income from the region’s arts venues during that time has increased by 84% over the last ten years and the area now boasts a range of popular events including HippFest and Fire & Light, a popular feature in VisitScotland’s Winter Festivals programme.

Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Trust commented:

“As we bring this chapter of our journey to a close, and the organisation looks forward to its future within Falkirk Council, I want to personally thank everyone for the passion, dedication, and commitment they have put in over the last ten years. I believe they can take a real sense of pride in everything we have achieved together, it has truly been a decade of champions and we couldn’t have achieved any of this without our dedicated network of team members, partners, volunteers and, of course, our customers. It’s hard to capture everything we have achieved in just a short two-minute video, but I hope this will capture the very essence of the life-enriching connections we have made and the pride we all share at having been very much a part of that success.”

This video has been shared on Falkirk Community Trust’s digital channels and is supported by a digital marketing campaign that will share highlights of the Trust’s achievements through the voices of the people who made it all happen.

Falkirk Community Trust says Thank you to over 1000 Local Volunteers 

Falkirk Community Trust said a very big public thank you to over 1000 local volunteers from the Falkirk area who have contributed to the successful delivery of programmes such as Active Schools, Step Forth and Care Words, by using its social media channels to profile the work of these volunteers during the nation’s 37th Volunteers Week (1-7 June).

One of the highlights of the week was learning that Lynn Boslem of Tamfourhill Community Hub was named Volunteer of the Year at the online ceremony of CVS Falkirk’s 2021 Volunteer Awards. A fantastic achievement for Lynn who has proven that she has gone above and beyond to support the local community.

Volunteers’ Week is marked nationally by thousands of charities and voluntary organisations who recognise the contribution volunteers make across the UK and thank them for all they do. The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, the coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by the UK’s volunteers.

Falkirk Community Trust works with over 1000 volunteers every year to deliver essential community programmes like Active Schools, Step Forth, Great Place and Care Words. It also offers volunteering opportunities at all of its venues including the libraries, The Kelpies, Helix Park, Callendar Park, Falkirk Town Hall and Muiravonside.

Hanna Rennie volunteered her time at Muiravonside, she commented on the benefits of volunteering with Falkirk Community Trust:

“Volunteering at Muiravonside has been a hugely rewarding experience! I learned so much about countryside and conservation management which has been so valuable in my studies and in gaining further employment within the environmental industry. Aside from the professional advantages, volunteering has been great for my mental and social well-being by allowing me to meet new people and have regular access to the outdoors.”

Tanya Milligan is Project Lead for Falkirk Community Trust’s Care Words, a National Lottery funded programme which supports and trains volunteers to work with individuals in care settings to read and reminisce. She commented on the impact volunteers can make in their local community:

“The National Lottery supported us to go into care settings for older people and run Care Words groups.  Many of our clients lived with dementia and our volunteers made a huge difference – one lady recited a poem she learnt at school – when most days she hardly spoke.  Our clients would chat and sing happily because of our volunteers. They really do an incredible job.”

Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Trust commented:

“Volunteers’ Week is our chance to celebrate and recognise the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. Thanks to them, Falkirk’s local community has benefited from a whole range of life enriching services. From enhancing our parklands, to creating new exhibitions, organising guided walks and coaching football and gymnastics, our volunteers are at the heart of our success. Their passion, commitment and dedication are genuinely appreciated by our whole organisation and the community. This week it’s our turn to shine a spotlight on them and the marvellous work that they do. From me it a very big thank you indeed.”

Volunteer Scotland Chief Executive, Alan Stevenson said:

“Volunteers’ Week is a time to thank all the volunteers in the UK, for the support and services they provide each year. The pandemic has changed volunteering with many more of us helping others within our local neighbourhood than ever before, so taking the time to thank them for this critical contribution and connection to the most vulnerable in our society is essential. In the last year, countless volunteering programmes have paused (we hope not closed), so this year it is especially important to also recognise those who have been unable to volunteer, or volunteer as regularly, or those who may be anxious about resuming. Remember, they are Scotland’s volunteers, we celebrate them and look forward to their full return.”

The Thank You video can be viewed on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/eb_FJxWRgV0