In June, we launched an initiative to connect more communities in Berwickshire with services and support.
At the heart of the “About Berwickshire” project is a minibus that will visit every town and village in the region over the next two years.
We were awarded a £56,827 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund for this new project.
A minibus formerly used for group transport has been reallocated as a mobile community hub, which will host or take part in at least 50 events in local areas.
A series of roadshow events and taster sessions will be held in community venues, in partnership with other third sector organisations in Berwickshire and beyond.
The mobile hub will be used as a venue for services in areas where there is no community space, or to complement events in village halls or other local facilities.
We appointed two part-time Development Officers – Beth Landon and Kelly Brown – to deliver the project, with the support of other Bavs staff and volunteers.
The mobile hub will also enable statutory and third sector services to reach more remote communities to provide information and support, rather than residents having to travel to central locations.
And it will provide a platform for national and Borders-wide charities to work with rural communities where there has been little engagement in the past. The bus will carry resources and information from a range of organisations, and Bavs will be supporting the setup of new community groups and activities.
Events will include Berwickshire in Lockdown exhibitions, which will provide a record of the pandemic, and will be used to help Bavs consult with local people about how they would like their communities to recover.
About Berwickshire will develop an interactive map of with bus-stop markers to inform the public where the mobile hub has been and where it is going. This will also enable villages to request a visit and can be used as a tool for us to plan events with them.