Categories
News

Community Recovery Funding

Funding to help the community recover from COVID

The Scottish Government’s Community Recovery fund is supporting community groups in Dunbar and East Linton to recover from the effects of the pandemic. The application was coordinated by Sustaining Dunbar and benefits around 30 groups and organisations across the Dunbar and East Linton Ward.

The award of £32,000 will enable Sustaining Dunbar to support the What If Network of local groups to create and deliver a community-led recovery plan for the area, working alongside the Community Councils and the Area Partnership. We believe that the recovery must go beyond just getting back to where we were before the pandemic. We are therefore working together for Dunbar and district to be a home to thriving people, in a thriving place, while respecting the wellbeing of all people, and the health of the whole planet.

As part of the What If Network, Sustaining Dunbar will coordinate networks focusing on specific themes: the first two are the Local Good Food Alliance and the Community Halls Network. Future themes will depend on the interest of members and partners, but may include supporting a living and lived in town centre, and mental health and wellbeing.

The practical support we can provide to members includes organising and facilitating meetings; promoting members’ work locally and beyond; and help with fund raising.

In addition to the above, five members of the What If Network have been awarded funding for specific activities:

  • The Ridge: The management time involved to develop the business model to deliver premises as a National Traditional Skills training centre based in Dunbar accessible to all, and review and revise all systems, policies and procedures in light of COVID-19 as well as the salary of temporary part time admin-support worker. £26,000
  • Dunbar Basics Bank: The trial of voucher scheme with local food retailers. £11,340
  • Dunbar Dementia Network: The staff costs for coordinator to support households coping with dementia. £2,340
  • Dunbar Day Centre: Computer equipment to enable staff to work safely and efficiently from home. £2,000
  • Lynton Day Centre: Food packaging for the delivery of freshly cooked lunches to clients. £1,200

Read more about the What If Network and how you can get involved.

Categories
News

‘What If?’ workshops

What If Visioning Workshops (1st session, Thursday 10th December, 7.30-9pm)

As part of the Dunbar and District ‘What if?’ project, we are planning to run a series of workshops based on the Transition Network’s What if exercise. This is a 3 stage process to enable us to visualise and discuss the changes we want to see in our locality in the context of the climate and nature emergencies and the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is? To explore what is already happening, unpack what isn’t working, discuss what needs to change and what needs to be retained.

What if? To use the Transition Time Machine to fire our collective imagination to come up with a vision for our community (or an aspect of it).

What next? To explore the pathways that can get us from the ‘What If?’ questions we have generated, to some firm ideas for future actions.

Please join us to try out this approach in a series of 3 online workshops. We are planning to run the first ‘What Is?’ session on Thursday 10th December from 7.30 – 9pm

Please register in advance for this workshop: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqc-yvrzsuEt3dN33uvaepvDrQUcKd3Yae

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the session.

This initial workshop series is aimed at members of Sustaining Dunbar and Climate Action East Linton.

Categories
News

1000 Better Stories

Two more episodes in the Dunbar and District ‘mini-series’ from Scottish Community Climate Action Network’s ‘1000 Better Stories’ podcast are now available:

1000 Better Stories 06 – A Garden of Plenty Our final stop in our virtual visit to Dunbar is Belhaven Community Garden, before hearing some final thoughts on the power of community from the volunteers of Tyninghame Village Hall.

1000 Better Stories 05 – Making and Mending We chat cooking with the Community Carrot and repair and renewal with the East Linton Repair Cafe.

Listen to more episodes below:

Our final stop in our virtual visit to Dunbar is Belhaven Community Garden, before hearing some final thoughts on the power of community from the volunteers of Tyninghame Village Hall.
  1. 1000 Better Stories 06 – A Garden of Plenty
  2. 1000 Better Stories 05 – Making and Mending
  3. 1000 Better Stories 04 – Infinite Imagination
  4. 1000 Better Stories 03 – Black Lives Matter
  5. 1000 Better Stories 02 – Lost Woods and Forgotten Orchards
  6. 1000 Better Stories 01 – Fashion and Food
  7. Introducing 1000 Better Stories from SCCAN
Categories
News

Belhaven Community Garden in Autumn

Over 30 volunteers lend their green hands to developing and caring for Belhaven Community Garden which has been a favourite local place for over 8 years now. As a Sustaining Dunbar project, in the three acres of grounds at Belhaven Hospital, BCG is nurtured and run by this enthusiastic group of volunteers who manage the site under an agreement with NHS Lothian and their community gardens steering group. We have recently asked Joseph Flower, a student filmmaker from Dunbar, to capture the garden in the Autumn.

Belhaven Community Garden in Autumn

Categories
News

‘What if?’ podcast 1

We are thrilled to share the first What If? podcast with you!

Paul, the ‘Story Weaver’ from the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network, has expertly started weaving our story together. Enjoy listening to Part 1 today. The next two parts will be released over the next two weeks.

The first part of a virtual visit to Dunbar to hear about the work of development trust Sustaining Dunbar and the life and resonance of conservationist John Muir.

Listen to more ‘1000 Better Stories’ episodes below.

Our final stop in our virtual visit to Dunbar is Belhaven Community Garden, before hearing some final thoughts on the power of community from the volunteers of Tyninghame Village Hall.
  1. 1000 Better Stories 06 – A Garden of Plenty
  2. 1000 Better Stories 05 – Making and Mending
  3. 1000 Better Stories 04 – Infinite Imagination
  4. 1000 Better Stories 03 – Black Lives Matter
  5. 1000 Better Stories 02 – Lost Woods and Forgotten Orchards
Categories
News

John Muir – Earth Planet Universe

Outdoor Exhibition now at Dunbar Battery

John Muir and humanity’s 21st century challenge 

This exhibition – John Muir – Earth Planet Universe – is one of a number created by the Friends of John Muir’s Birthplace over the years. Previous exhibitions have focused on Muir himself, for example as a writer or a geologist. This one is different. We wanted to look at Muir’s legacy and his role as an environmental activist and campaigner and his relevance for our situation today. We quickly came to see that in this time of climate crisis and biodiversity loss, Muir had a lot of important things to say. He wrote in one of his journals in 1875, “Pollution, defilement, squalor are words that never would have been created had man lived conformably to nature”. Our original aim for the exhibition was to show how one individual, John Muir, changed the world and how he directly or indirectly influenced others to do the same. Muir himself was influenced by others before him and had read the books and papers of Alexander von Humboldt, the amazing 18th C polymath and explorer. Muir’s best known quotation is “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe” and is reminiscent of Humboldt’s idea that “In this great chain of causes and effects, no single fact can be considered in isolation”. Muir loved and was influenced by Robert Burns: he carried a book of his poems with him on his first walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico and records that he sang them all the way, no doubt including “ I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion Has broken Nature’s social union. An’ justifies that ill opinion Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor, earth born companion An’ fellow mortal” from ‘To a Mouse’.

Categories
News

St Baldred’s, Tyninghame

Sustaining Dunbar’s Local Good Food Alliance talks to Danny Wight and Erica Wimbush of St Baldred’s smallholding, Tyninghame, about quality produce, community and aspirations for improved links between local growers and consumers. Interview by Rosie Harrison.

Categories
News

Dunbar Town Centre -What if?

Dunbar’s town centre is pretty special. There are few towns in Scotland of a similar size with such a range of independent shops, eating places and other local businesses – and with museums, community centre, harbour and much more so close together.

Even before COVID, town centres across the UK have been affected by the rise of ever bigger supermarkets and online shopping, and Dunbar has not been immune.

And now businesses, museums, community projects and others have all been affected by COVID. Some have really struggled, and continue to do so, while others have been able to change they way they operate and carry on. COVID has certainly meant many people have rediscovered local businesses. Will this continue in the future, or is it just a blip?

We have no way of knowing what’s coming next. But we don’t have to wait and see what happens. Instead we can think big, and imagine the town centre we need now and in the coming decades. And work together to make that vision a reality.

In this article we offer some initial thoughts about the challenges and opportunities. These are based on a response to a Scottish Government consultation about the future of town centres, submitted on behalf of Sustaining Dunbar, Dunbar Trades Association and Dunbar Community Council. Due to the short timescale, these ideas where pulled together quickly, without the opportunity for wider consultation – but hopefully they are a useful starting point for discussion.

Categories
News

Ola’s Diary 2 -Food for a Better Future

During all my recent meetings -some with those of you I have known for a while but never previously had a chance to talk with at length- a few themes have emerged and food has been a recurring topic. So many of you have helped organise hot meals for local people during lockdown, baked delicious scones for coffee mornings in the village halls or dream about nutritious food being grown in front (and back) gardens and public spaces everywhere across our community.

Since early September we have got to know over thirty local groups which work tirelessly to make, grow and share food. It became clear that there was an appetite to share dreams and work together to make them happen. These groups have formed the Local Good Food Alliance to do just that.

A few years ago Sustaining Dunbar put together a comprehensive Local Resilience Plan which included recommendations for a Local Food strategy  which is still very relevant today. Another project called Incredibly Edible Dunbar & District is also worth revisiting and reflecting on.

Based on groups ambitions, and inspired by past projects, the Local Good Food Alliance has agreed on our priorities, developed a collective Action Plan, and made some new friends along the way.

Our colleagues at Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership have been happy to adopt this initiative and we at Sustaining Dunbar continue to facilitate meetings and help move things forward.

If you’d like to join the Local Good Food Alliance, don’t be shy to get in touch!

Ola Wojtkiewicz, Community Engagement Manager at Sustaining Dunbar: ola@sustainingdunbar.org

Categories
News

Belhaven Lobster

Sustaining Dunbar’s Local Good Food Alliance talks to father and son, Eddie and Lawrie McFarlane of Belhaven Lobster about fishing during a pandemic, Brexit, sustainability and hopes for the future. Interview by Rosie Harrison.