After the biggest community buyout in the UK was completed and Bannockburn House became publicly owned in 2017, a group of local volunteers have worked hard to make the project a success. Unfortunately, no one could have foreseen that in just two years, a pandemic like COVID-19 would put a halt to their ambitious plans.
“Covid-19 has presented us with many challenges, however, as a team, we wanted to focus on something positive. With funding assistance from the Climate Challenge Fund, we have put together some incentives to encourage people to make and grow their own food at home and in turn reduce their carbon footprint.” Sheila Taylor, Project Support Manager at Bannockburn House Trust.
Since the lockdown, Bannockburn House Trust has connected the community by:
- Providing 10 volunteers with a raised bed, compost, seedlings and ongoing guidance from the Trust’s head gardener, allowing them to provide their families and neighbours with fresh produce this summer.
- Providing 50 people with a bag of compost, seed potatoes and guidance on how to grow their own crop of potatoes successfully.
- Providing 35 of their volunteers with bread making kits and guidance to help them make bread and pizzas.
Yvonne Rawlinson, HR Advisor at STEP who supports Bannockburn House Trust said “Although they’ve have been forced into new ways of working, it’s been amazing to see how the Trust has found innovative ways to continue to support their community and volunteers. One of their new initiatives is to have a virtual weekly coffee morning with all of their volunteers, new and old. They’re encouraged to grab a cuppa, a cake and enjoy a catch-up. With COVID’s potential impact on people’s mental health being one of the most pressing issues, it great to see local companies like Bannockburn House tackling this head-on with these virtual meetings “
Another new community-driven campaign the Trust has launched is ‘Battle of the Bannocks’. To commemorate the 706 anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn the team have come up with a ‘lockdown challenge’.
Members of the community have been given the ingredients they need as well as video guidance to help them make their own Scottish Skillet Bread Bannocks. Pictures will be shared amongst the community on Social Media.
“We know that this remains an unsettling and difficult time for many people and that the outbreak of COVID presents a range of challenges for our community. We hope we can help bring a sense of community to Bannockburn and help everyone get through this together, so let the Battle of the Bannocks commence!” Sheila Taylor, Project Support Manager at Bannockburn House Trust.
To find out more about the project and get involved, join them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BannockburnHouse/