Community day with a difference

Some of the groups at the North Carrick event.
Some of the groups at the North Carrick event.

WOW! It was a community day with a difference in North Carrick earlier this month.

One hundred and forty seven people turned out to ‘participate’ in the PAR (Participate, Activate, Regenerate) North Carrick Project’s Decision Day, which took place in The Carrick Centre, Maybole.

A massive £80,000 was up for grabs which had been awarded to the North Carrick Community Benefit Company (NCCBC) from the Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund.

The award was to be allocated via a ‘Participatory Budgeting’ (PB) process, which is becoming more familiar across South Ayrshire with a number of events having taken place across the localities, where local money, for local projects is decided on by local people.

An energetic buzz surrounded the day as, for the first time in North Carrick, applicants were able to bid for sums of money up to £20,000 enabling them to present projects that would make a difference and provide a legacy within North Carrick.

Twelve projects were successful in getting through to the decision day and with ‘Dragons Den’ style pitches, ‘X-Factor’ style electronic voting, a raffle, local entertainment and a complimentary lunch, it was an exciting day for everyone involved.

As the day commenced it was serious business for the 12 groups, consisting of adults and young people from across North Carrick, who had worked hard and given of their time and passion to prepare pitches for projects for their community.

The projects were wide and varied:

‘Fresh Air Fitness’ - Cairn Parent Council; ‘Taking Pride in our School - Carrick Academy; a new group looking to provide safe interactive sensory play – Carrick Sensory; a Rowing & Kayaking Club - Dunure Community Council & Harbour Committee; a Community Playground Development - Gardenrose PS & Early Years; Maidens Shore Re-generation - Kirkoswald, Maidens & Turnberry Development Trust; McCosh Hall Re-generation - Kirkmichael Village Renaissance; Maybole Town Hall Re-generation - Maybole Community Association; Clubhouse Re-generation - Maybole Juniors; Band Uniform Upgrade 2017 - Maybole Pipe Band; ‘Food for Thought’ Community Kitchen - Minishant PS; and the Glebe Pavilion Development - North Carrick Community Sports Hub.

With excellent pitches, who would win the votes? Which groups would receive a fantastic award? As the audience waited with anticipation the results were revealed and four successful groups were awarded their share of the £80,000!

Carrick Sensory - A new group providing safe interactive sensory play sessions for children with specific needs - £16,985.92;, Maybole Pipe Band - Band Uniforms 2017 – £19,500; Minishant Primary School - “Food for Thought” – Community Kitchen Project - £20,000; and North Carrick Community Sports Hub - The Glebe Pavilion Development - £20,000; totalling £76,485.92.

The remaining £3,514.08 was awarded to the 5th most popular vote, Dunure Community Council & Harbour Committee for a Rowing & Kayaking Club.

A key aim of PAR was to engage young people from across North Carrick in the process and thanks goes to the North Carrick School Cluster, for their support and participation and The Carrick Centre’s Youth Innovation Project (YIP), which is funded by the William Grant Foundation and the Robertson’s Trust, who filmed the event.

A big thanks also goes to the North Carrick Community, for taking the time to ‘participate’ and ‘decide’ how this money was awarded, to the groups who put their time and energy in to applying and participating in the project, to everyone who volunteered and helped the day run smoothly, to the wonderful entertainers: [Carrick Children’s Theatre & Voices, Rebecca Cameron (Carrick Academy) and Maybole Concert Party], to Gab Audio (sound), Lawrence Solutions (voting), MontraMedia (graphic design), Ayrshire Leader and The Carrick Centre Staff.

A final thanks goes to The Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund and the PAR partners (NCCBC, South Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership, The Carrick Centre & Carrick Academy), who made it all possible.