- A’ fàs eòlach air Catrìona Mulholland (Getting to know Catriona Mulholland)
- Change starts with your action, not your opinion
- Make a pledge to join #SpringCleanScotland 2024
- Team KSB's #UpstreamBattle data day along the Clyde
- Make a cleaner, greener, more sustainable Scotland your New Year resolution
- Tread lightly and make sure you leave the right impact with your footprint
- The importance of Learning for Sustainability
- Collaboration is key to becoming a climate literate nation
- More work to be done for a litter free Scotland
- A week at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- A decade and a half of environmental legislation
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
Ahead of the Wheatley Homes East's Neighbourhood Champion Day later this month, Alexander Stevenson writes about the positive difference people associated with Wheatley take in maintaining their properties.
There’s no doubt the last several years have been tough on people. As we continue to adjust to life after the pandemic, we are faced with new challenges including the cost of living crisis. Our belts are getting tighter, winters grow colder and our pockets are feeling the brunt of this. These issues do not live in isolation. They are intrinsically linked, obscuring our eyes from issues which are clear and present in every aspect of life.
The climate emergency, biodiversity crisis, and litter emergency are very real challenges that threaten life on our planet as we know it. In 2023 alone we witnessed the devastation caused by wildfires across Southern Europe, earthquakes in Morocco and flooding in Libya. Extreme weather events are increasing, and their impacts are being felt across the globe, and Scotland is not separate from these issues: Storm Babet caused serious damage across the country last year. Change is coming, whether we like it or not. How we respond, as individuals, groups or communities is what will make a difference to countering these threats.
When I joined the team at Keep Scotland Beautiful back in September 2022, I was assigned to the work we do with Wheatley Group - Scotland’s leading housing, care and property management organisation. We have been working in partnership together to assess the environmental quality of multi-storey flats and tenements since 2016. With more than 93,700 homes across the country, Wheatley covers a vast amount of territory and the diverse communities of central and southern Scotland. The work we do with Wheatley Group is based on a bespoke version of our National Award for Environmental Excellence® (NAEE) – a framework for continual improvement, recognising and awarding best practice in environmental management, maintenance, waste management and community engagement.
When asked what I did as a member of #TeamKSB, in the beginning I jokingly thought the simplest response was, “How clean is your close?” – think Kim and Aggie’s How Clean is Your House? – but it’s so much more than that. I must admit, it took some time to really grasp the scale of the task at hand and the impact the Wheatley Group’s NETs (Neighbourhood Environmental Teams) have on their housing stock and communities. The audits and assessments we do, in collaboration with them, consider the condition, cleanliness, grounds maintenance and infrastructure of the tenement and muti-storey sites assessed. From these assessments we determine aspects of good practice and make recommendations on how the properties can be enhanced.
These recommendations, over time, have helped to inform and shape the way Wheatley Group reinvests in their properties, and in doing so, the people that form the basis of their communities. The action that the group has taken, off the back of the reporting, has had a tangible impact on the standard of housing for tenants. This has been recognised, and enshrined, in the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 Equalities Position Statement, which understands the links between high quality housing, clean, well-managed properties and the connection to people’s physical and mental health and well-being.
It has been eye-opening, and inspiring, to see first hand the passion and pride that the Group, staff, operatives and managers – as well as tenants – take in maintaining their properties. There is a sense of community that is driving these efforts forward in the landings, gardens, and open spaces of Wheatley Group properties – highlighted by the NAEE®.
The NAEE® focuses on and recognises the aspirations, efforts and work Wheatley Group – “Making Homes and Lives Better” – for their tenants and communities. However, they want to take that a step further forward, and bring it straight into their communities, at a grass-roots level and showcase the contribution of their residents. In recognition of this, Wheatley and Keep Scotland Beautiful have taken steps to create and introduce the Wheatley Group Neighbourhood Champions Award to celebrate the unsung heroes in Scotland’s communities.
The people taking on this herculean task deserve recognition for their endeavours to improve their small part of the world, and in doing so, the fortunes of the people within it. The Wheatley Group Neighbourhood Champions Award will recognise individuals or groups within Wheatley communities and will review how they care for their local area, effectively use green space for community gardens, promote sustainable living, or promote repair and recycle activities. By no means is this an exhaustive list of examples but serves to illustrate a few of the notable activities being achieved by tenants.
Key to the Neighbourhood Champion Award will be the nominations from Wheatley staff members. These people are keenly aware of what’s occurring in their backyard and where people are making efforts that exceed any expectations for; community integration or participation – sustainable practices and a reduced carbon footprint – biodiversity and habitat creation – clean environments and healthy living. The intent behind the award is to raise the profile of the positive things being done by tenants, things that help to foster a community spirit, build climate conscious behaviours or as simple as it may seem, sweep their patch of ground every day.
The environmental challenges we face at the minute may seem overwhelming, and while the last few years have demanded more of us, it has also brought front and centre the resilience and adaptability of people in the face of adversity. At various points we will all face challenges in life and while it can feel like they threaten to bring us down, challenges are also an opportunity to improve our conditions for the better – to grow, to learn, to develop solutions – and to celebrate the little, unseen victories of everyday life.
We all have a responsibility to keep our corner of the world in order and to come together to celebrate one another’s achievements, no matter how small or large, in making homes and lives better. That is something worth rewarding.
To find out how the National Award for Environmental Excellence® can support your community, contact Alexander for more information.