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Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives

A blog post by Shelley Hague
Shelley Hague
Guest blogger
Posted 21/07/2022

Shelley Hague, Arbroath FC Community Trust Chairperson, tells us how our support to develop Arbroath's Community Climate Action Plan is helping translate the high-level goals of COP26 into climate action in the Arbroath community. And, ultimately, achieve the Trust's vision - improving the life chances of the people of Arbroath.

Arbroath FC Community Trust was launched on 13th November 2020 and along with Arbroath FC is a central pillar of the Arbroath community. The Trust was developed during the COVID 19 pandemic and has provided essential support to the local area. 

A key part of this vision is to protect and preserve the natural environment we have here in Arbroath. Arbroath is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus, Scotland, with a population of 23,902. It lies on the North Sea coast some 16 miles ENE of Dundee and 45 miles SSW of Aberdeen.

As Arbroath is on the east coast, there are currently some issues around coastal erosion and litter in the sea. Our community has developed a community action plan to explore solutions and opportunities to reduce the impact on climate change. The Arbroath FC Community Trust led on the development of the plan through its youth forum but this was very much a partnership initiative involving local groups and statutory agencies. Prior to this project the youth forum had been campaigning around reducing littering and encouraging local people to have more pride in their town.

This process enabled us to focus in on what really mattered to local people and the areas of greatest impact.

Working through the Keep Scotland Beautiful process was extremely useful for the partnership as a lot of this work was quite new to us. We had seen the ongoing work through COP 26, but translating it to a local level can seem daunting due to the scale of the challenge. Our group found the action planning very useful - with the use of action cards, we were able to identify what was already underway and the areas that we could realistically deliver in the short, medium and long term. 

Hearing from the other groups around Scotland was also a high point for us as there was a feeling of togetherness and some great ideas shared.

 

For the next steps on our Community Climate Action Plan, we have appointed a full time Communities Coordinator, as part of the wider growth of the Trust. Our initial plans are to raise awareness of the local issues and also of the opportunities to get involved with the plan, in order to gain more community input. Recently, our Youth Forum held a session on recycled art and made posters to raise awareness of local challenges. We will also soon be organising sessions for other local community groups to help them get involved. Next we'll kick off our initiative to encourage healthier, more environmentally friendly modes of travel and working to prioritise the other key actions going forward.

Getting the support from Keep Scotland Beautiful was definitely the catalyst we needed following the pandemic to bring everyone in the community together. This action plan will now give us the resource needed to engage with other local groups and increase the momentum of the work needed to make the area a great place to live, work and visit.

We look forward to continuing to work with Keep Scotland Beautiful going forward!

Find out more about our work supporting communities to develop and deliver their own Community Climate Action Plans

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