Nominations open for the Inspiring Volunteering Awards 2018

Nominations are now open for the East Lothian Inspiring Volunteering Awards 2018! The Awards are organised by STRiVE, the Third Sector Interface for East Lothian, to recognise and celebrate the wide-ranging achievement and significant impact that volunteers make within our county.

This is your chance to tell STRiVE who makes a difference in your community. Take a look through the categories below and complete the nomination form to tell them why you think your volunteer or volunteer team should receive an Inspiring Volunteering Award.

Shortlisted nominees will be invited to the award ceremony in late November 2018 where each category winner will be presented with an award trophy and all runners-up will be presented with a certificate.

Nomination Categories:

1. Fundraising & Retail Volunteer of the Year

2. Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year

3. Environmental and Education Volunteer of the Year

4. Volunteer Team of the Year

5. Young Volunteer of the Year (Under 25)

6. Outstanding Trustee of the Year

7. Lifelong Commitment to Volunteering

The closing date for nominations is 17 September 2018.

Nomination packs are attached in both Word and PDF formats. Please return forms by email to admin@strive.me.uk or print and post to: STRiVE, 56 High Street, Tranent, EH33 1HH.

Alternatively, hard copies of the forms will be available from the STRiVE office in Tranent.

Take a peek at peak times

Have you ever wondered what ‘peak’ and ‘off peak’ times are on the Edinburgh – North Berwick railway line?

Unable to find an answer on their website, I tweeted Scotrail:

I didn’t find the information on the National Rail Enquiries website particularly easy to read so thought it might be helpful to set out the information clearly below:

Station

PEAK

OFF- PEAK
NBW 06:07 06:47 07:17 07:55 08:45 09:27
DRM 06:14 06:54 07:25 08:03 08:53 09:34
LND 06:20 07:00 07:31 08:09 08:58 09:40
PST 06:25 07:05 07:36 08:07 08:14 09:03 09:45
WAF 06:28 07:08 07:40 08:10 08:18 09:06 09:48
MUB 06:32 07:12 07:44 08:16 08:22 09:10 09:52
Station

OFF- PEAK

PEAK

OFF- PEAK
EDB

16:42

17:15

17:48

18:14

So, in a nutshell, if you’re heading to Edinburgh in the morning, the first off-peak train is the one that leaves North Berwick at 09:27.  Coming back to East Lothian from Edinburgh, there are two peak trains: 17:15 and 17:48.  Weekends are always off-peak.

Hope this helps but please remember, this is only my interpretation of the current timetable, if you need additional information please contact Scotrail.

East Lothian Scottish seafood firm to make a splash at Edinburgh Food Festival 2018  

East Lothian’s Alandas Scottish Seafood is representing the region at Assembly’s Edinburgh Food Festival, which takes place at Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, 25-29 July 2018.

Alandas, which is based in beautiful Prestonpans, offers a fish and chip experience; where fresh prawns, beautifully cooked salmon and mouthwatering fresh oysters are served every day.

All of the seafood used by Alandas is caught daily in local Scottish waters, including their freshly caught lobsters. Not only that, but Alandas tasty chips are made from locally-sourced potatoes, ensuring the flavour is perfect time and time again.

Alanda Black from Alanadas, said: “We’re really looking forward to bringing taste of East Lothian to the Scottish Capital as part of this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival.

“Our mouthwatering menus, unique recipes and tasty seafood will have you running back for more. Watch out for our lobster rolls, chips topped with fresh crab and spicy Haddock tacos just to start.”

The Edinburgh Food Festival is free of charge and welcomes visitors of all ages, with stallholders offering everything from ice cream and fish & chips, to street food, pies and chocolate.

Festivalgoers will also be entertained will be a series of talks and demos taking place in the gardens’ beautiful Piccolo Tent. Taking to the stage to talk all things food and drink is a range of key industry figures; including Author and Whisky Consultant, Blair Bowman.

New for 2018, Edinburgh’s Ting Thai Caravan will be cooking up a storm with authentic Thai and South East Asian street food. They will join over 20 other top local food and drink producers from and across Scotland, including East Lothian’s Alandas, during the 5-day event.

Edinburgh Food Festival has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2014, hosting top industry figures such as Edinburgh’s Carina Contini and Neil Forbes, as well as Shirley Spear from The Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye. The event welcomed over 25,000 visitors in 2017.

Entry to the festival (and the talks) is free and non-ticketed. For talk times and further information visit www.edfoodfest.com. Follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with @EdFoodFest #EdFoodFest2018.

For more information on Alandas, visit: http://alandas.co.uk

Local project leads way on understanding adoption issues in schools

A pioneering project run here in East Lothian is helping to inform a national campaign on raising awareness around attachment issues for adopted and looked after children.

Iain Gray MSP met with representatives of Adoption UK at Holyrood to learn more about the Attachment Ambassadors’ Project which the charity has been running in the North Berwick schools cluster.

The project aims to raise awareness of attachment issues and early trauma which can put children at a significant disadvantage in schools unless handled with sensitivity, understanding and appropriate responses to challenging behaviour.

The project ran a series of workshops and training events for teachers, other school staff and parents, covering issues such as child development, inclusion and peer support. An in-service day conference on attachment, relationships and resilience was also attended by 130 teachers.

Six teachers, one in each cluster school, subsequently became Attachment Ambassadors, attending training provided by Adoption UK and receiving ongoing support in the form of group and 1 to 1 meetings.

Following the success of the project in the North Berwick cluster, the charity is planning to roll out the same project structure in schools in the Haddington and Lammermuir partnership area.

At the same time as this local project was being delivered, Adoption UK has been developing its Equal Chance campaign to make every school attachment-aware and raise awareness of the systemic changes needed to give adopted children the same chances as their peers.

The campaign launches on 27th June and Iain Gray MSP will host a reception at the Scottish Parliament on 4th September to highlight the campaign and its objectives to MSPs and the Scottish Government.

Iain Gray MSP said “I was pleased to meet with representatives of Adoption UK and find out more about its Attachment Ambassadors’ Project. The project has clearly been a big success in the North Berwick cluster, with teachers, other staff, parents and pupils themselves all benefiting from the training and support it has provided.

“We know that looked after and adopted children can face particular challenges at school, so it’s really positive to see East Lothian playing an important part in helping to increase understanding of children’s experience of attachment issues and how schools can better support them.

“The experience in schools in the North Berwick cluster shows that the project is not only beneficial for adopted children but that all children can benefit from increased awareness and understanding of attachment issues, relationships and resilience, as well as behaviour management approaches.

“I am sure that the Haddington cluster project will go on to be a similar success, and look forward to helping promote the charity’s Equal Chance campaign at their parliamentary reception later in the year.”

Fiona Aitken, Adoption UK’s Director, Scotland, said: “We are grateful to have received funding to continue our work in schools in East Lothian – our continued presence in the area allows us to offer ongoing support to teachers and schools who have implemented our Attachment Ambassador programme.  

“This programme, led by our education project manager and adoptive parent Kathy Allan, offers an opportunity for all children to benefit from school staff team’s increased knowledge and awareness of trauma and attachment issues.

“Our Equal Chance campaign is designed to offer adopted children the same chance as their peers in school, through programmes such as ours and encouragement of others to ensure their needs are better met and understood in their educational placement. Adopted and care experienced children are at a disadvantage due to their early experiences – we want to change their experiences of school to support them to achieve their potential.  

“We are delighted to be highlighting this campaign at our parliamentary event on 4th September, and very pleased to have the support of Mr Gray in the campaign and through the sponsorship of this event.

The ScotRail Alliance – taking Pride in its appearance

ScotRail Alliance brands trains with Pride rainbows to celebrate the LGBTI event

15/06/18 – 18061502 – SCOTRAIL
EDINBURGH WAVERLY STATION – EDINBURGH
Scotrail show their support for Pride Edinburgh by displaying their logo on the side of one of their trains

 

ScotRail trains have been branded with the rainbow symbol to mark Pride Edinburgh this weekend.

 

Two ScotRail Class 170 trains have been branded with Pride’s iconic rainbow symbol in support of Pride Edinburgh, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday).

 

The trains will be in service across the country, including on the popular Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street main line, and the Borders Railway.

 

The ‘Pride Trains’ are the latest demonstration of the ScotRail Alliance’s support of Scotland’s LGBTI community.

 

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, said:

 

“I’m thrilled to support Pride Edinburgh with our specially designed rainbow trains.

 

“At the ScotRail Alliance we want our workforce to reflect the diversity of our customers. We’re building the best railway Scotland has ever had, and we need the best people to do this.

 

“I would encourage anybody attending Pride Edinburgh, or with an interest in LGBTI, to get in touch with us to find out more about the work the ScotRail Alliance is doing to celebrate diversity and promote equality.”

 

Jamie Love, Pride Edinburgh, said:

 

“We at Pride Edinburgh are very grateful that ScotRail is proudly supporting and promoting our celebration of love in the Scottish capital.”

 

Helping It Happen Awards 2018

People across Scotland are being urged to highlight the work done by local estates and land-based businesses to help their surrounding communities flourish, as nominations for the Helping It Happen Awards 2018 get underway.

Following a successful inaugural year in 2017, Scottish Land & Estates has declared the Helping It Happen Awards 2018 open for business. The national Awards, which aim to recognise the role of estates, farms and rural businesses in enabling and supporting success in rural areas, will once again be sponsored by The MacRobert Trust, with entries being considered in the following nine categories:

  • Rural Business Award
  • Tourism Award
  • Rural Housing Award
  • Education Award
  • MacRobert Trust Award for Working with Communities
  • Conservation Award
  • The Iver Salvesen Green Business Award
  • Innovation in Farming Award
  • Enhancing Our Environment Award

To nominate, people are being asked to share how their local estate, farm or rural business has made a positive contribution to their area. Entries can be submitted here before the closing date of 13 July 2018.

Entries for the Helping it Happen Awards 2018 will be reviewed by an independent judging panel with three finalists selected in each category. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony which will take place at The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh on 3 October 2018.

NFU Mutual’s Inspirational Young Person Award 2018

Entries and nominations are being sought for a new award that recognises the incredible talent and dedication being shown by Scotland’s young people within the food and drink sector.

This brand-new award is designed to bring out the inspirational stories of young people aged between 16 and 26 who own, work or study within businesses in the food and drink sector, and are driving success within the Scottish food and drink industry.

The winners of the ‘NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018’ will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight in September 2018 as part of the Year of Young People celebrations. The award aims to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.

 

Enter here: http://fooddrinkfort.scot/get-involved/nfu-mutuals-inspirational-young-person-award-2018/ 

Parliamentarians meet local farming representatives

Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP have met with local representatives of the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) for any update on topical issues, including the potential implications of Brexit for farmers in East Lothian.

The county politicians met with Willie Thomson and Kelvin Pate at Wheatrig Farm. One of the matters discussed was Steps for Change, NFU Scotland’s discussion document on the need for a new agricultural policy for Scotland ahead of Brexit.

Speaking after the visit Iain Gray MSP said:

Farming remains a crucial part of East Lothian’s economy and I try and have regular meetings with local farmers’ representatives. NFU Scotland does a fantastic job representing farmers and standing up for rural interests and it was good to catch up with Willie and Kelvin.

This meeting was an opportunity to discuss a number of important factors which are set to affect farming here and across Scotland, not least the uncertainty around Brexit. The Steps for Change discussion document highlights a range of important issues NFUS feels are necessary for developing a bold Scottish agricultural policy for the future.”

Martin Whitfield MP said:

East Lothian’s agricultural sector is such an important part of the local economy and jobs. The sector currently faces many challenges, including adapting to life outside the European Union, and I was pleased to meet with Willie and Kelvin to talk about some of these issues.

Nearly two years on from the vote to exit the EU, many important questions remain unclear. NFUS has been proactive in ensuring the voice of farmers is heard and they are at the forefront of shaping the future of the agricultural sector. I will continue to listen to their concerns and speak up for the sector’s interests in parliament.”

NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink encourage young people to enter new award

Entries and nominations are being sought for a new award that recognises the incredible talent and dedication being shown by Scotland’s young people within the food and drink sector.

Last month, specialist food and drink insurer, NFU Mutual, joined forces with industry leadership organisation, Scotland Food & Drink, to create a brand-new award, designed to bring out the inspirational stories of young people aged between 16 and 26 who own, work or study within businesses in the food and drink sector, and are driving success within the Scottish food and drink industry.

The winners of the ‘NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018’ will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight in September 2018 as part of the Year of Young People celebrations. The award aims to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.

Brian Lochhead, Sales Development Consultant with NFU Mutual, said:

“As I travel throughout Scotland representing NFU Mutual, I frequently see how integral young people are to Scotland’s food and drink sector. Whether it be in primary production, utilising their skills to develop modern and appealing graphics and packaging or serving some of Scotland’s iconic products in our fantastic restaurants, young people thoroughly deserve a recognised place in our country’s food and drink story.”

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said:

“With this being the Year of Young People, I was incredibly keen that we afforded young people even greater recognition by working with NFU Mutual to seek out the most inspiring young foodies in Scotland. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight this year will be a celebration not only of Scotland’s wonderful produce and outstanding producers but also of those people under the age of 26 who are helping to secure an exciting future for the food and drink industry in Scotland.

“I very much encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate any individual who is worthy of recognition for the way in which they contribute to Scotland’s worldwide reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.”

How to Enter

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018 is open for entries until 31st July 2018, with winners announced in September 2018. Entries, which should comprise the submission of up to 750 words, can be submitted online at http://fooddrinkfort.scot/get-involved/nfu-mutuals-inspirational-young-person-award-2018/ or by clicking the relevant button on http://fooddrinkfort.scot/. Any individual between the ages of 16 and 26 who owns, works, or studies within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution can be nominated or enter on their own behalf. The winner will receive £500, with the second and third place finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively.