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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The First Quarter

It's been three months since 2011 took hold, and it's been quite a whirlwind.

Firstly, we at Bute Community Links have been asked to help with the Digital Switchover, which sees all television signals converted from analogue to digital.
  • On Bute, the switchover takes place in two stages in June - the 8th and 22nd. After the 22nd June, no televisions will pick up analogue - so if you, or anyone you know, has yet to switch to digital ... there's no time like the present! 
  • If you're over 75, have lived in a care home for six months or more, if you're entitled to DLA, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement, or if you're registered blind or partially sighted, you may be eligible for help with the switchover. 
  • You may even be eligible for free help, if the above applies to you AND you get pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, or income-related employment and support allowance.
  • Call us at Bute Community Links with any questions, or call The Switchover Help Scheme on 0800 40 85 936
 We'd also very much like to ask our community to look out for anyone you think may be isolated, or ill-informed, and unaware of the Switchover. For many, television is a constant companion and one of the only ways in which they interact with the world. Losing it could be a massive blow. Please do look out for anyone who may get left behind - and, if you can't help them yourself, try and inform someone who can. We at the Links will be glad to help.

After the staff at BCL undertook Digital Training, we then turned our eyes to the next event: the 3rd Sector Forum. This was held on January 27th, at Rothesay Castle, and was generally held to be a great success. As well as enjoying some smoked cheese and nibbles from Taste of Bute's Plan Farm and a few glasses of wine, the order of business came in the form of four syndicate groups giving talks on their particular areas to the assembled Brandains. We were lucky enough to have Reeni Kennedy-Boyle from the Bute Community Land Company, Charles Dixon-Spain from Brandish Bute, and Sam Tweedley from Argyll College in Rothesay, as well as our own Janet Skillin from BCL, all speaking passionately about the rĂ´le they play, and would like to play, in Bute society. The event was well attended, feedback positive, and we hope for a repeat performance very soon.

Funding has been very much on our minds, recently. In the current economic climate, many organisations have had their budgets cut, and many more may be uncertain as to where to find the means to carry on. At BCL, we have access to a great deal of funding information, and can help put together application forms for those pressed for time, or simply uncomfortable with the whole process of form-filling. If your organisation is in need of funding and you don't know where to look, just call or drop in, and we'll be glad to look through some options with you.

Further training was given to Janet, and to Fiona, in Charity Law and Regulation. It was run by EVOC and provided us with extremely useful knowledge of OSCR, and how to go about creating, running, and maintaining a charity. This puts BCL in a strong position to help out any charities - new or old - on the island that may be in need of guidance. Just give us a shout, and we'll help you out.
Many of you know that the Jazz Festival has undergone several trials and tribulations. For a while it seemed it was going into hibernation for a year, but the local community has, once again, come up trumps, and the line-up is looking plump and juicy. Click on the link to see what's in store. Bute Community Links will be helping out with transport, via our vehicle with the Bus User's Group, and by providing an office for ticket sales in our Gilford Square shop.

So that's a brief run-down of just some of the work we've been doing, here at BCL. I'll be back with an update in the next quarter. In the meantime, best wishes and remember - we're here to help.

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