Newton Stewart Inititiative

Newton Stewart Initiative, Working for you, in green and red text.

NSI Spring Newsletter 2022

Dear Member
We hope 2022 has been treating you well so far. We have been kept busy here at NSI with lots of various projects finishing up or getting started up.

Our aim with these newsletters is to keep you as a member, user, or other associate with NSI updated as to what we are doing.

We would also like to stress the point that the Newton Stewart Initiative was set up to “advance community development” and that since we are aware that demand changes over time, we would like to welcome ideas and suggestions for future projects and needs in the community and will commit to consulting with the communities we work for, to ensure we are working towards our own aims.

If you have an idea or suggestion to a project or any comments or concerns, please contact us on or phone 01671 401449

We are always keen on getting more members, volunteers and Trustees onboard. If you are interested in becoming a member, Volunteer or Trustee please visit our website at or contact us.

Staff/Trustee news
We are delighted to welcome Allan Marshall as a new Trustee. Allan has wide experience from previous work and volunteering engagement, and we look forward to having him on the board.

Ewan Cuthbertson has also joined us as a youth worker, which has meant we have been able to expand on our youth work even further.

Katrina Dick is also now working full time for NSI which means she will have more time to deliver projects for NSI and develop new ones.

Newton Stewart Centre
Bookings at the Newton Stewart Centre have increased in line with the lessening on COVID restrictions and we now have some interesting bookings! From Dancers to support groups to sewing groups! A new group is starting up for adults.

We have some space available at scattered times and welcome groups or people thinking of starting a group to contact us to discuss how we can help.

We are committed to your safety and will continue to provide hand sanitising and wash facilities for any group using the centre once restrictions end in March, for those wishing to use these.

The Newton Stewart Centre has also become a drop off point for donations in relation to the crisis in Ukraine. You can drop off your donations any weekday between 9-5

Douglas Park
We are pleased to announce that we have made a huge step forward in terms of moving on the Inclusive Play Park build at Douglas Park. Contractors should be starting up work sometime in March/April. The plans for the play park will be put on our website later this week.

We are also working hard to get a Changing Places toilet unit installed in Douglas Park, this is taking longer due to us having to have a proper lease in order from the Council in place to be able to get some of our funding applications approved. We will keep you up to speed on the process!

The path that our young people have been diligently working towards was finished on the 2nd of December 2021. Our young people were relieved to have finished it and also won an award at the Dumfries & Galloway Youth Awards where they won the Environmental Category award and also ended up overall winners!

Douglas Park Path Opening
On the 14th of February 2022, Newton Stewart Initiative and Youth Work Services held an opening event for the path in Douglas Park. For months, a group of hard-working young people worked tirelessly to finish the path project, so we decided to celebrate their achievement with BMXing, football, laser clay-pigeon shooting, crafts, and a bouncy castle. The event was well-attended with over 100 people dropping in. We were also blessed with (mostly) dry weather, which was a great relief it was a really nice event that showed the young people how appreciated their dedication and hard work was. During the event we asked for feedback from event goers in relation to what would make Newton Stewart better, which highlighted that family events and benches were a high priority amongst people and which is something we will work towards achieving.

Youth work
NSI are delighted to carry out Youth work either independently or in partnership with other organisations such as D&G Youth Services. We are always keen to hear from other groups who would like to work with us on youth initiatives. Just get in touch!

Newton Stewart Initiative has started a new youth group called ‘Space’, a group for young people who are looking for somewhere quieter to go to hang out and socialise. We set out table-top games, as well as a gaming console and some colouring-in, and it’s a very chilled environment where
everyone can choose what they would like to do. Hopefully we will begin organising different activities every week (baking, crafts, sports etc.), depending on what the young people want to do and what numbers we get.

Lunch Club
We are continuing to help out at the lunch club at the Douglas Ewart High School with Youth Work Services. It seems to be a great way of meeting young people in the community, and it provides them with a place to hang out at lunch time, play pool, cards, and board games.

Bird Boxes
On Saturday the 19th of February, Newton Stewart Initiative and Youth Work Services worked together with RSPB to build bird boxes with 6 local young people. It was a great day, and the young people loved the opportunity to work with tools and build something that will be used for years to
come. 10 bird boxes were made on the day, and hopefully in the next few weeks the young people will go out and put them up in and around Douglas Park.

Community Shop
With help from our amazing volunteers, the community shop has been very successful since opening again. We have begun to provide free school uniforms for young people, which has been successful so far. Every Friday, there is a table outside the shop for Freebie Fridays, where everything on the table is free for anyone to take. We do our best to get the worth out of everything donated, and even if we are unable to sell it, we recycle using Nathan’s Recycling, which gives us a bit of money back for everything we recycle. Every Saturday, the same table is available for individuals or groups
to use for free to sell things or promote their business/charity. If you would like to book a slot, just pop into the shop! Please remember that we are always accepting donations, and all donations are to be left in the shed to the right of the front door.

The grant scheme ran successfully again this year and were able to give money to the Galloway Music Festival, Cree Valley Resilience Group, John McClelland, Galloway Thistle, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Cairnsmore, Food Train and WOMANS Group, as well as donating some money to the
Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes and the Psycho Track Fairies. Any money spent at the Community Shop goes straight into the community again either through our project work or through grants.

NSI are proud supporters of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and are helping to promote them in what we do. Furthermore, we are keen to support Newton Stewart Becoming part of a Biosphere Cluster, which will involve opportunities for the community of Newton Stewart and
surrounding area to partake in workshops to talk about our heritage and culture We have also signed up as supporters of a National Park in Galloway. If you are interested in signing up visit Galloway National Park Association Galloway National Park Association Introduction.