THE FORUM HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN NUMEROUS PROJECTS OVER THE YEARS.
HERE IS A FLAVOUR OF THE FORUM’S PAST ACTIVITIES
SAFER WHEEL 50+ PROJECT
Loneliness and social isolation is a major problem affecting the whole country with those areas with aged populations being particularly hard hit. The rural nature of the Stewartry with limited public transport exasperates the issue resulting in many not interacting with other people for days at a time. Consequently the ability to drive is essential. It maintains one’s independence and allows for social interaction with friends and family as well as carrying out other tasks such as shopping and attending appointments.
With aging an individual’s confidence can decline. No more is this more apparent with driving. When elderly people are involved in a driving incident they are far more likely to end their driving career than those who are younger. The purpose of our safer wheels 50 + programme is to address this issue by offering a self referral scheme where those over 50 can have their driving accessed in a non-judgemental fashion by a representative of the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).
At the completion of the drive participants are given tips on what they can do to improve their driving skills thereby extending their driving careers and making them safer drivers.
SENIOR USB MEMORY STICK
The Forum has recently obtained funding to undertake an Information Technology based project aimed at providing a wide and varied range of information to the senior age range of people within the Stewartry.
In partnership with a number of organisations (Age Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Fire and Rescue and Police) the Forum has undertaken to compile a selection of useful pamphlets and documents which will be saved on to a computer usb memory stick along with a list of useful weblinks to various organisations.
The Forum aims to provide the usb memory sticks to senior recipients using local schools and their pupils to deliver training in the use of both the usb memory stick and basic computing.
Here is a link to the BBC Scotland website showing the launch of the project.
An excellent project aimed at boosting community resilience. When noticing a direct link that areas with higher percentages of blood donors experienced lower levels of crime the Forum came up with their Blood Buddies project.
All this project consisted of was encouraging existing blood donors to take a non-donating buddy to the next blood donating event in their area. The Forum set themselves a target of raising donations by 10% over a twelve month period. In the end donations increased by over 20% and there was a reduction in crime of 6% within the trial area.
This was the most successful programme of its type run by the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service. It is our intention to repeat it in the future.
STEWARTRY YOUNG DRIVERS PROGRAMME
Accident rates amongst young, inexperienced drivers remains a serious issue throughout the country. To try and address the issue, the Forum came up with a partnership programme, involving the police and Procurator Fiscal, which looked at addressing the problem in a way that educated, rather than punished, those young drivers who came to the adverse notice of the authorities.
During this programme, those who were either involved in a crash or whose driving fell well short of an acceptable standard, were given the opportunity to carry out an assessed drive, under the tutelage of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, as an alternative to prosecution. Some 50 young people took advantage of this process. As a result, the overall accident rate in the area involving young drivers reduced significantly.