SCCAN January Newsletter
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In this month's newsletter:
Make sure to come along to our

Annual gathering on February 4th 2017

in David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh.

Book your ticket at 
We will also have a free social gathering on the evening before, register at

For both events we will be joined by Paul Allen, Director of Zero Carbon Britain, the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, showing that a modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today. 

The day will include keynote speeches and workshops such as
  • Building regional momentum – learning from Fife CCAN network - and applying it to your region
  • Community Energy / Community Enterprises experiences - How we got stuff done - feeding back from existing projects
  • Update and consultation - what's going on with policy in 2017?
  • Adaptation projects - what are they and support for getting them started
There will also be an Open Space where you have the choice to bring and discuss the topics most urgent and interesting to you and your group.

Do you have something you would like to share at the gathering?
There will be space to exhibit information about your project/group, so please bring it along.
We're also looking for SCCAN members to be part of a small panel giving short presentations (5 minute) on one of their projects. This will be a friendly informal session for sharing learning and experience, so even if you've never done something like this before, please do consider it. Let us know if you are interested as soon as possible.

Additional information and detailed programme is available on our booking page.

Connecting Communities Roadshow in Ullapool

Our Connecting Communities Roadshow made it to Ullapool Community Trust. Representatives from SCCAN and Carse of Gowrie Sustainability Group were well received in UCT’s very own charity shop and hub. Despite snow, hail, and grey weather we had an enlightening day, discussing the issues and opportunities of rural community groups, whether it be relations to distant councils, broadband access, or local entrepreneurial possibilities such as the great example provided by Lochbroom Woodfuels.

Ullapool Community Trust have the following announcement and invitation they want to extend to the SCCAN membership:
Would anyone be interested in a free community engagement training, hosted by UCT in Ullapool and delivered by Scottish Communities Development Centre? It is still at the planning stage, but if you are interested, get in touch with Ben on

Keen on being the next stop on our Roadshow, learning from others' experiences, or do you have a place and group you want to visit? We would love to hear from you. Simply get in touch by sending an email to

Fire Starter Festival, all over Scotland, 23rd-30th of January

Workforce Scotland will be hosting and supporting the Fire Starter Festival, a week-long festival of collaborative learning events, illuminating creative, disruptive and innovative ways in which we can all transform ourselves, our organisations and the wider system.

The First Minister has provided a clear commitment to empowering individuals and communities to become involved in designing public services. Many people across Scotland are currently lighting their own small fires by exploring genuine, participatory methods of engagement, creating innovative and transformative changes.

The Fire Starter Festival provides a unique opportunity to share the stories of these fires of change, as well as deepening our knowledge and skills that underpin transformation. It allows people from all aspects of public service to share innovative and creative ways that we are all making a difference to Scotland.

Information about all Fire Starter Events and Registration

See especially this event:
Sustrans Walk/Hack 
Friday 27th Jan, 11.30 – 13.30, Edinburgh
A short session with discussion about how as a charity Sustrans Scotland is using the learning from our first public/community hackathon (Walk Hack) to influence the work we do, garner and prototype new solutions for our challenges; namely getting everyone to change their behaviour and travel habits to walk, cycle and use public transport more often.
Register now

Transition Scotland Updates

Demain - showing in a community near you?

Everything you need to know re. the UK community-led rollout of the film Tomorrow. Premieres take place 24 January in Totnes, Bristol and Todmorden.

It is a hugely positive, affirming and inspirational film. It visits permaculture farms, urban agriculture projects, community-owned renewable projects, local currencies, creative schools, ambitious recycling projects.

Find out about organising your own community screening with the Transition Network’s new free guide.

A Guide to doing Transition in your University or College

is the newest publication from the Transition Network, which heavily features Scottish universities.

It is a practical guide to how the Transition approach can be used to achieve huge change in a university environment, on ecological, social, and academic levels. The guide is available for free here.

A workshop exploring how the guide can be put into practice will be held on April 7th in Dundee. Email Maria on for more information.

Communities influencing policy - Climate Change Plan paper published

Working closely with the Development Trust Association Scotland and the Scottish Community Alliance, SCCAN convened a small workshop at the end of November to discuss the unique contribution of the community sector in tackling climate change; the barriers which hold the sector back; and the opportunities available for our sector to contribute to the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan. This paper is the output from that meeting and is intended to inform and support the Scottish Government in the development of the Climate Change Plan.

Enhancing local collaboration among green groups - seeking invitations to host a free workshop in your area 

Calling all local low carbon, sustainability, and environmentally-focussed groups from Westray to Melrose! There are literally hundreds of you across Scotland doing fantastic things to create resilient community, lower carbon footprints, and increase sustainable options locally. But far too often our groups work independently even though we may exist in close proximity to other groups. In an effort to forge new local collaborations across a whole range of groups – whether transition towns, zero waste, permaculture, eco-congregations, development trusts, or community gardens – a group of scholars and facilitators from the University of Edinburgh will be hosting free all-inclusive “finding common ground” workshops this Spring. We’ll do all the work planning and even reach out to other groups in your area, but are first looking for invitations from local groups that have a desire to forge new collaborative partnerships with other groups in their local area. Anyone is eligible, just write via email to express your interest to Jeremy Kidwell ( 

Calling all small food growers in Europe! 

The GROW Observatory is an EU funded project that aims to underpin smart and sustainable custodianship of land and soil, whilst meeting the demands of future food production. 

We’d like to invite you to take part in a 15 minute survey to help inform how the GROW Observatory develops. It’s a short questionnaire that has been put together to make sure that the project reflects and represents the needs, wants and desires of a variety of growers across Europe. 

A range of exciting elements are being developed in the Observatory -  citizen science experiments, online learning and collaboration opportunities, distributing soil moisture sensors to growers and establishing a Europe-wide citizen observatory and network of growers. 

This survey is the first step in putting the project together. There will be many future opportunities to be more involved in the project, make it relevant to your communities and to take an active part in experiments and other exciting aspects of our soils. 

Low Carbon Transport and Travel Challenge Fund open for applications

Transport Scotland’s Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund is now open for applications.  Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Transport Scotland to administer the Fund on their behalf. 
Public, community and third sector organisations can apply for funding under the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 Programme to facilitate the delivery of active travel and low carbon transport hubs.
Organisations can bid for up to 40/50% of their total project costs, up to £2M, with the remainder of project costs provided through match funding from other non-European public sources.
Read more about the LCTT Challenge Fund and the application process.
Please note, the deadline for all applications is Tuesday 28 February 2017. 
Webinars and surgeries

Energy Saving Trust are hosting a series of events to help you develop your application. 

For an explanation of the application form and key requirements join an online webinar on:

To discuss your project on a one-to-one basis with specialists, join a surgery in Glasgow or Inverness:

  • Glasgow - Thursday, 2 February, time tbc
  • Inverness - Tuesday, 7 February, time tbc

If you would like to receive information about these events by email, please contact

New European Funding for Social projects

Some major new European funding programmes have been launched by Scottish Government’s Third Sector Unit. The £9.7m Social Economy Development Programme is comprised of:
the Social Economy Growth Fund,
which aims to enable the third sector/social economy to improve and increase services and support for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage. It will help organisations to increase their capacity to support disadvantaged people – for example by expanding existing services and employing additional staff;
and the Social Innovation Challenge Fund,
which aims to enables social economy organisations to work in collaboration with research institutions, the public and private sector to develop, test and scale up new ideas and solutions to tackle poverty and disadvantage.

The closing date for the first round of applications is 17th February. These ESF funds will run alongside and compliment an additional ESF fund - the £18.9 Aspiring Communities Fund – to be launched later this month.

While this new funding is very welcome, SCA and other third sector stakeholders are concerned as to the practicability of the scheme and about one aspect in particular.

Do you want an intern?

SCCAN sometimes gets requests for internships. It is not something we can provide in our core organisation, but perhaps a project in our membership could? On the request of some members, we are experimenting with what an internship programme might look like. If you are interested, get in touch, and we can help to set up the internship and forward contact details to possible future interns.

Upcoming events

Transforming our World: Responding to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals through Education
19 January 2017 1pm - 4.30pm
Moray House School of Education

Learning for Sustainability Scotland will hold their popular AGM with the theme this year being around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information and to book, click here
Making It Happen - SCCAN's annual gathering
4 February 9.30am-5pm
(with social event evening of 3 Feb)
David Hume Tower, Edinburgh

Join us for our annual gathering to take part in inspiring and informative workshops, meet and get to know other members, and get support for your projects. It will be a day packed with workshops and exchanges, but also space for you to make your unique contribution. We will also meet for a social event in the same venue on the evening of February 3rd. Tickets will be available shortly. In the mean time, up to date information can be found here.
Free Participatory Budgeting Masterclass
7 February 1pm to 4.30pm
The Studio, 67 Hope St, Glasgow G2 6AE
The Scottish Government is promoting Participatory Budgeting (PB) through the £2m Community Choices programme. Over 20 Scottish Local Authorities have already begun using PB within their community engagement work, much of it reported on the PB Scotland website.

The participatory format of the workshop allows for plenty of opportunity for interaction and group exercises, with the aim of providing a stimulating and informative experience. It will include a review of existing tools for community led PB, and debate opportunities for inclusive and responsive local commissioning.
This 1/2 day masterclass will seek to:
  •  Increase participant’s knowledge of PB, including experiences in Scotland to date
  • Explain the difference between ‘participatory small grants’ and ‘mainstream’ models of PB
  • Explore the role of community organising and good community development principles within PB.
It will be suitable for both those considering PB for the first time, or looking to extend their existing knowledge.
More information and registration
ECOLISE General Assembly
6-8 March
Amalurra, Spain
SCCAN is part of this European Network and shared platform for learning, action and advocacy of community-based initiatives on climate change and sustainability in Europe, and we are planning on taking part in the General Assembly. If you are interested in joining and learning more about ECOLISE, get in touch as soon as possible!
We regularly update our facebook page and twitter with the latest news and events, make sure you are following us!
Community Empowerment Act Free Workshops
 25th January, 1:30pm-4:30pm,
SCDC, Suite 305, Baltic Chambers, 50 Wellington Street, Glasgow G2 6HJ 9
9h February, 1:30pm-4:30pm
CGate, Dundee Carers Centre, Seagate House, 132-134 Seagate, Dundee, DD1 2HB

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act is about to come into force. The final stages of its development are almost complete with statutory guidance drafted and regulations going through Scottish Parliament Committees. 

This free workshop for community organisations is a chance to find out what the Act contains and how to make use of it in order to do the sorts of things you want to do as a community. The workshop will introduce you to:

  • New opportunities to be part of community planning processes in your local area.
  • How to use 'participation requests' to start a dialogue with public bodies about things that matter to your community.
  • Other parts of the Act, such as provisions around asset ownership and community food growing
For more information contact Andrew Paterson at Scottish Community Development Centre, Register here
Local Energy Challenge Fund Showcase 2017
15 February, 11:30am – 4:30pm,
The Academy, Cochrane Street, Glasgow

The Local Energy Challenge Fund is holding its first free-to-attend showcase event, where you can hear from current and completed projects at the forefront of local energy.
The day will hear from the inspiring projects, and will cover the policy context and the value of the local energy approach. There is then an opportunity for you to meet the project teams, ask questions and see (and even touch or smell!) some of the innovative materials, equipment and software used in the projects.

This will be a very popular event so register your interest now!
Community Planning for People & Planet” - environmental priorities for Edinburgh's Locality Improvement Plans 2017-22
Transition Edinburgh, Nourish Scotland and Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership invite YOU to participate in exhibitions and evening events which provide a great opportunity for you and your organisation to contribute to the Locality Improvement Plans.

6-8pm Wednesday 8 February, City Chambers for South East including City Centre. 


   6-8pm Wed 15 February at Wester Hailes Education Centre for South West Locality.    


   6-8pm Wed 22 February at North Edinburgh Arts for North West Locality.    


   6-8pm Wed 1 March at Craigmillar Library for North East Locality. 


+ Free Exhibition all week at each venue: launch 10am Mondays.

Invitation to contribute to our next newsletter

Do you have a project, event, or story that you would like to share here? Please email us on with your text and image before February 13th


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