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Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder Star….Wars…
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder Star….Wars…

Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder Star….Wars…

19/12/2019 (Staff Post - Alan McNiven )


My son and I went along to see the latest and last instalment of the Star Wars saga last night. First night of course so we could avoid anybody telling us that they had seen it and then doing some chin stroking about why they didn’t like such and such etc. etc. All in all the film is a two-hour plus roller coaster that does amazingly well to tie up 42 years of storytelling into a neat wee bundle…

We loved it of course and spent the car journey back talking about our favourite bits and how much we were looking forward to seeing it again. We did feel however that the build-up to it had started a long time ago, and it had, after all that waiting, went by in a flash…a little bit like Christmas always seems to.

I’m very much looking forward to Christmas and I’m really excited about 2020 which I’m sure will be just as busy as 2019 has been. Over the year we were delighted to be involved in supporting a range of important local approaches to community delivery; initiatives such as the Early Action System Change Initiative, which seeks to develop services, co-designed by children and young people, aimed at improving emotional well-being and tackling coercive control, within adolescent relationships. Karen McIntyre (@KarenMcIntyrity), our Community & Planning Partnerships Manager, was our key contact for this piece of work and it was fantastic to see so many of local third sector organisations providing support to this approach and helping to bring fantastic data to the partners.

Many of you may know Iain Cunningham here at Engage (@IainMACunningha). Iain has helped to raise the profile of many local social enterprises and the important role they play in helping to strengthen our communities. During 2019, Iain and our partners have also been working alongside a growing number of local organisations from the private sector. This has grown the range of impacts that are being achieved through corporate social responsibility agreements.

Led by our Head of Finance Jacqueline Carroll (@Jacquic3012), Engage now has a very strong track record in providing practical and responsive financial support for our members particularly around payroll and our training calendar, which includes financial governance training, continues to deliver. In 2020, Stuart Miller (@stuartengage) from our community team who leads on training, hopes to create even bigger impacts through this support by taking it ‘on the road’ – stay tuned for developments!

I should also note that this year we have been joined at Engage by Alice McBride, our new Volunteer Development officer – Alice has been a welcome addition to the team – although she has had the cheek today to win the Christmas quiz, with Kate Grant, at her first attempt!! If you’ve got any volunteer ‘asks’ give Alice a follow – @McBrideEngage

So here’s to everyone. Have a great festive time and all the best for 2020 – lang may yir lum reek!

All the best.

Alan