TESCO bags of help open for applications

February 3rd, 2020 by sagswebmaster

The Tesco bags of help is managed by Greenspace Scotland and uses the money raised from carrier bags in stores to fund grants of up to £2000 for indoor and outdoor community projects. Grants are awarded every 3 months.

To get a grant you must first apply through your local Community Enabler. From all applications in your area three projects are put forward for three months. During this period the projects are voted on by Tesco customers. One grant for each of £2000, £1000 and £500 is awarded according to the number of votes gathered by each of the chosen projects. To read more about it. get more information on what is eligible and how to apply click https://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/grant-funding .

Tool Project 2020. Great News

January 29th, 2020 by sagswebmaster
Sample Package of tools
Sample Package of tools

Following on from the successful tools project of 2018 SAGS have received funding for a follow up project in 2020. Allotment associations in or near disadvantaged areas can apply for a self selected package of tools worth £500. For full details on the project, and how to apply, click on the image.

Local Potato Days

January 23rd, 2020 by sagswebmaster

The start of February heralds the start of local potato days. All round the country allotment associations and community growing groups set up an event where a wide variety of seed potatoes are sold, often including heritage or other unusual varieties. Potato day organisers usually arrange all sorts of activities that make for a great day out. The SAGS event calendar records the date and location of every event we know about.

The poster below is to remind you that while it may be slightly cheaper to buy potatoes in the super market and plant them, not only will you miss out on some exciting potato flavours, but you will also be breaking Scottish law and risking introducing diseases to our country.

Keep Scotland free from potato diseases

Funding opportunities for small projects

November 13th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There is still time to apply (and money available!) for grants of between £50 – £250 from Vounteering Matters Action Earth. This scheme is funded by SNH and grants are provided to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. These could include creating or improving community gardens, wild flower meadows, ponds or woodlands.

The scheme prioritises applications where

  • the project is in an area of social or economic deprivation
  • the project can improve the health and well being of the local community
  • the project involves disabled people, vulnerable people or those in risk of exclusion
  • the project encourages or involves people under the age of 25

For more details see the volunteering matters web page.

Consultations for Grow Your Own Believers

August 30th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There are a couple of important consultations being held in Scotland where it would be great if allotment growers and other grow your own enthusiasts could get their voices heard.

Firstly across the whole of Scotland: The Scottish Land Commission is developing a policy of community engagement in Land Use Planning decisions.  The commission is seeking the views of individuals and community representatives about community engagement in decisions relating to land.  They have developed a survey and it would be great if many individual growers could complete this.  The survey is available on line at this link.

Secondly for growers in the Scottish Borders.  Scottish Borders Council is developing its Food Growing Strategy.  They would like local people to tell the council where and how they would like to grow their own food.  You can read all about it and access their consultation survey by clicking here.



Big Climate Conversation Community Fund Open for Applications

August 8th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

The Scottish Government would like to enable a nationwide discussion about actions to tackle the global climate emergency. To ensure that the widest range of views is represented in this conversation they are encouraging community organisations to hold workshops and contribute to the discussion. The Big Climate Conversation Community Fund will provide money for communities who need financial help. The fund opened on August 7 and will support workshops held up to October 31st. Grants can be for an amount between £100 and £300.

To find out more and to get support in organising the workshop go to www.impactfundingpartners.com. This site can show you how to apply and also link you into the Scottish Government’s How To Guide.

Dundee Gardens and Allotments Competition

July 4th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

Dundee’s popular annual Garden and Allotment Competition is looking for applications.  There are many categories – many ways of getting involved, prizes to be won.  To learn more about it and to download an application form visit the Dundee Council web site at this page

Applications must be in by July 19.  Judging will take place on July 24 for Gardens and July 25 for allotments.

Why Support and Training is an essential part of Community Empowerment

June 28th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There have been recent problems and conflicts in West Law Allotments in Dundee.  These have led to a plot holder of more than 20 years experience being evicted from his site, and losing his valuable and irreplaceable collection of prize Daffodil Bulbs.  Other plot holders who have supported this man have themselves been threatened with eviction.  These events have been covered in great detail over several months by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

The site belongs to Dundee Council and was originally directly managed by them.  However a few years ago, the council decided to lease the site to the Allotment Association and leave them to manage it independently.  The association had an EGM in 2016 where the members adopted a constitution and code of conduct.  Anyone interested in Allotment Self Management should download and read these documents and think very, very hard.

How could Dundee Council grant a lease to an unincorporated allotment association with a constitution like this?  Look at the powers in clause 3.  What on earth do most of them have to do with managing an allotment site? How can such an organisation conceivably take on the responsibilities of employees pensions?  Look at clause 6 dealing with the management committee.  As far as this clause is concerned, a management committee member once elected is there for ever.  There is no time specified after which such a member must stand for re-election.  Look at clause 8 which states that when a plot holder leaves the plot any ‘equipment’ becomes the property of the committee.  In some situations this could be seen as condoning theft.

Drawing up a constitution for any organisation is a complex matter and not something to be undertaken lightly.  Dundee Council has clearly not given the plot holders of the site any support or guidance in how to develop something suitable.  In fact the constitution looks as if it has been cut and pasted from some completely different organisation.  Equally they have failed to  give the committee training in the governance required to manage a group of proud, independent allotment growers with a variety of opinions in how to look after a plot.  The dreadful results of these failures have led to a well meaning plot holder losing his health, his plot and the years of his hard work represented by the destruction of his prize daffodil bulbs.


Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants

February 13th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

These grants have been develped specially to celebrate 100 years of Tesco.  Bags of Help Centenary Grants are now open for applications for £25,000 from not for profit organisations for a broad range of projects that will provide community benefit across a whole region, or a significant part of it.  Scotland is divided into five special regions where Tesco customers can vote for their favourite project.

The Centenary Grants are two special voting rounds of the standard Tesco Bags of Help local community grant scheme and offer a unique opportunity to help more people across five regional areas in Scotland. Voting for these grants will take place in July/August and November/December 2019. Following the vote, the project that receives the most votes in the voting region will receive a grant of up to £25,000, second place receiving up to £15,000 and third place up to £10,000.

The July/august 2019 voting period will feature projects with a Health and Wellbeing theme, and projects focussing on cancer, heart disease and diabetes will be prioritised.

The Community Enabler team at greenspace scotland can help you apply. For more details please visit http://bit.ly/centenarygrantscot

Consultation on new SAGS structure and constitution.

January 25th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There have been many changes since SAGS was formed 100 years ago. The amount of lobbying to protect allotments has increased, there are more opportunities for SAGS to work with other organisations and there are also both opportunities and constraints around available funding.

Legally SAGS is currently an un-incorporated organisation. This can make it difficult, and sometimes problematic, for SAGS to carry out the activities resulting from its mission to advise, protect and promote allotments throughout Scotland.

The committee have been advised that the most appropriate form of organisation for SAGS is to become a SCIO – a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The social enterprise advice network SENSCOT has helped us to draw up a constitution to enable this. It will replace our existing constitution approved in 2008. The first intimation of this change was sent to our members in the newsletter of November 2018.  The newsletter can be downloaded here.  The article is on the last page – page 6.

The SAGS committee wishes to consult all our members about this change.  The proposed new constitution, the existing old constitution and a summary document explaining why this change is advisable can be downloaded here.  Please look at these documents and let us have your thoughts.