Fintry residents welcome new community and environment initiative as part of new Centre of Childcare Excellence and Community Hub

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS), the only charity in Scotland to champion flexible childcare, has been awarded a grant of more than £8,000 from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF), to reduce local carbon emissions by delivering range of community and environmental initiatives in Fintry, Dundee.

The charity, who have recently completed a community asset transfer with Dundee City Council giving them access to the old Fintry Nursery, will use the funds to establish a unique outside space within the nursery gardens. Initial plans include the development of a community garden but there are also future plans to create a community workshop.  The garden will also include a completely outdoor Out of School Club and the funding will enhance the services that FCSS are already delivering.

“Food poverty in the community is a growing challenge, which has been raised repeatedly by members of the local community”, explained Lesley Tait, Head of Childcare Services and Regional Lead for Tayside and Central. “The Community Climate Asset Fund will allow us to create a community garden where children and families can grow their own food, reducing food poverty and empowering local residents. The workshop will provide facilities for the local community to repair, recycle and reuse which will reduce waste and provide valuable experiences to local residents.”

The grant will enhance FCSS’s hopes of creating a Centre of Childcare Excellence and Community Hub within the grounds of the former Fintry Nursery.

On top of their existing daycare service, which is already delivering flexible by-the-hour bookings, FCSS will shortly open a new Out of School Club; and now this new funding will help the charity to create a range of community services which will enhance the skills, experiences and wellbeing of the individuals and groups who use it.

The space has been designed to be as inclusive as possible with boardwalks for individuals with additional support needs, child height planters and compost bins to make the garden as accessible for individuals of all ages and needs.

Lesley Tait continues:

“Many of our service user families do not have access to gardens and garden equipment, therefore the children will not only benefit from learning how to grow their own food but also learning about nature and our natural environment. This initiative also aims to strengthen our local community, providing them with a means to work with one another and for one another.”

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said,

“Communities across the country are playing a vital role in responding to the pandemic crisis and in maintaining our resilience, our sense of spirit and our local support network.

“In what remains an exceptionally difficult time for us all, this funding is providing fast, tangible support to deliver long-lasting benefits to community based organisations while also helping them tackle climate change as we accelerate our just transition to a net zero society.

“I am particularly pleased that the successful recipients of the Community Climate Asset Fund come from right across the country, meaning many thousands of people will benefit from the projects and help play their part in ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change.”

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful administer the CCAF on behalf of the Scottish Government and Barry Fisher, CEO said,

“We congratulate all the community-based organisations across Scotland awarded Community Climate Asset Fund grants.

“We are committed to making Scotland clean, green and sustainable, and through the Community Climate Asset Fund, we are delighted to support communities to tackle climate change and contribute to a green and just recovery from COVID-19.”

The CCAF is designed to support communities to reduce usage of petrol and diesel cars, cut waste, grow local food, and reduce emissions from community buildings. Community-based organisations have secured funding for items including electric vehicles and bikes, energy efficiency measures in community buildings, and equipment to grow food and tackle waste.