• Trust News

    FACT accredited as a Living Wage employer

    On 4th October 2021 Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) became accredited as a Living Wage Employer. The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Forres Area Community Trust receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50 in the UK or £10.85 in London. Both rates are significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour. 

    In Scotland, more than 15% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage – around 350,000 jobs. Despite this, Forres Area Community Trust has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work

    The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay. 

    Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 45000 people in Scotland and put over £240 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers. 

    “FACT’s aim is to create a better place to live, work and visit” said Debbie Herron Development Manager for FACT, she continued “by making the commitment to our staff to pay the real Living Wage, we are actively delivering this vision. The timing of this achievement now is particularly important as this week is Challenge Poverty Week.” 

    Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said: Too many workers in Scotland are in the grip of poverty and employers choosing to pay at least the real Living Wage can loosen that grip. Payment of the real Living Wage allows those in work to become more included in society, better meet their everyday needs, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer. Congratulations to Forres Area Community Trust on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.

    Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager said: “We’re delighted that Forres Area Community Trust  has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of over 1900 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need to thrive. 

    Our Living Wage employer network includes lots of smaller employers as well as larger and iconic brands like SSE, Standard Life Aberdeen, Barrs, Brewdog, & D.C. Thomson. We hope to see many more employers following their example.” 

    Activities Assistant

    • Job Title: Activities Assistant
    • Employer: Forres Area Community Trust
    • Pay Scale: £9,984 plus pension
    • Hours of Work: 16 hours per week
    • Responsible to: Facilities Co-ordinator
    • Contract Length: until 30th September 2022 – extension subject to funding.

    Project Description and Aim

    Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) has secured funding through the Beatrice Fund, Peoples Postcode Lottery Fund and the Strengthening Communities Recovery Fund to provide activities and resources to address social isolation and increase connectivity (both digitally and socially) across the Forres area

    The project contributes to the following outcomes:

    • To improve the quality of life and resilience of the community
    • To improve the skills of volunteers through training and engagement
    • That people in the Forres area are less isolated and make connections

    FACT will manage a programme to provide activities, responsive digital help and services to the Forres community. The programme includes free drop-in sessions, outreach sessions, evening classes, talks and community events and activities.

    Person Specification

    Essential

    • Excellent IT skills (including proficiency with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS)
    • Excellent communication skills and an approachable manner
    • An organised approach to work and excellent time management skills
    • Experience of working with and supporting people
    • Ability to work as part of a team and on own initiative
    • Cooperative attitude
    • Experience of working with volunteers
    • Ability to undertake marketing and promotion of the project

    Desirable

    • Familiarity with 3rd sector organisations
    • Knowledge of local Forres community and organisations in the area
    • The ability to travel to various locations in our catchment area
    • An understanding of event management

    Key Tasks

    • Supporting the Project Coordinators to deliver key project objectives
    • Supporting the development and delivery of activities and events
    • Supporting the marketing of the programme through social media and printed matter
    • Maintaining records of attendance and recording other key information as required
    • Updating and maintaining project equipment
    • Attending outreach sessions to deliver activities in the Forres area
    • Attending evening programme sessions when necessary
    • Supporting volunteers to learn new skills
    • Undertake reception duties in Forres Town Hall
    • And any other relevant duties that may arise as the work of the project evolves

    This job description reflects the major tasks to be carried out by the post holder and identifies the level of responsibility at which they will be required to work. In the interests of effective working, the major tasks may be reviewed from time to time to reflect changing project needs and circumstances. Such reviews and any consequential changes will be carried out in consultation with the post holder.

    Applications

    For more information please contact on info@forresarea.org or 01309 674 388.

    • Closing Date Wednesday 13th October 2021 at 12 noon.
    • Interviews on the 18th October 2021

    Find Out the FACTs

    An activity day where people can try their hand at drumming, listen to children’s storytelling sessions and enjoy a spot of Highland dancing and piping is taking place this month.

    Forres Area Community Trust is staging a ‘Find Out the FACTs’ event in Grant Park on 21st of August.

    The event is to showcase what the Trust does and how the Forres Town Hall is used.

    Kirsty Williams, who is the Old Persons’ Project Co-ordinator with FACT and who is organising the day explained: “We are really looking forward to Find Out the FACTs which is really an opportunity for people to come along, have some fun and find out more about what we do.

    “FACT works with so many different partners and we have a very busy schedule with loads of activities that support many different groups in the community. All we want to do at our Grant Park event is spread awareness of what’s available to do in the area, not just by ourselves but those organisations and groups we work in partnership with to make the area a better place to live, work and visit.”

    “Through the pandemic, FACT really came to the fore and we worked with a range of partners to support those who were vulnerable or struggling during the lockdowns, but now things are getting better and restrictions are easing, we are working on promoting our classes and workshops and just want to showcase what we and our partners have to offer the people of the area.”

    In March, it was announced that FACT had taken ownership of Forres Town Hall after a successful community asset transfer process. The Trust had been managing the building since 2018.

    It is now pushing forward with a fundraising strategy to raise the £3.4 million for a regeneration project to redevelop the building as a thriving venue and facility fit for the 21st century and to provide services and resources for the area into the future.

    Kirsty said: “FACT is delighted to be the custodian of the Town Hall on behalf of the community, and our event will also allow us to talk to the public about the hall and what the plans are for its future. We can also share with attendees about all the great activities that take place in the hall.”

    Find Out the FACTs will take place between midday and 4pm on 21st of August.

    FACT secured funding from the Scottish Government, via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), from the Communities Recovery Fund.

    Kirsty said: “HIE is co-ordinating the Communities Recovery Fund in the Highlands and Islands, on behalf of the Scottish Government, for all eligible community organisations, who are implementing changes to reintroduce the delivery of existing services and activities that have been suspended or severely reduced because of COVID-19 and/or deliver new services identified as a priority by the community as a result of COVID-19.”

    “We are delighted that our event is able to go ahead after securing this funding. There will something for everyone. We have some great entertainment lined up and there is something for all age groups. We have drumming with Active Minds Moray, Forres Online will be there to explain how they can help people improve their digital knowledge, we will have storytelling from Margot Henderson, Scottish country dancers and pipers from the Forres and District Pipe Band.

    “We invite people to come along and bring a picnic and spend the afternoon with us. It’s a real community event. Wave Radio are supporting us by handling the announcing and the organisers of the Forres Highland Games which have been hit hard by the pandemic are lending us tables and chairs.

    “If a picnic is not your thing, we will be situated near Mather’s so there will be an opportunity to grab something from there as well, and for kids to not only enjoy what we have on offer but have fun at the playpark and in Grant Park too.”

    We are hiring

    Volunteer and Community Engagement Co-ordinator

    • 35 Hours per week – to be worked flexibly
    • 12 month fixed term post, extension subject to funding
    • Immediate start available.
    • Probationary Period of 3 months
    • Salary: £26,026 plus pension

    Closing Date Wednesday 9th June 2021 at 12 noon.
    Interviews on the 14th June 2021

    For more information please see the attached application or contact info@forresarea.org | 01309 674 388.

    FACT is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland SC412275 and a registered charity in Scotland No; SCO44953

    This post is funded through the Adapt and Thrive Programme provided by the Scottish Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    FACT’s Co-op Fund Appeal

    Forres Area Community Trust would like to buy equipment and crockery to stock the kitchen in Forres Town Hall, for use at community meals and coffee mornings.

    About this cause

    Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) is a development trust that works within the Forres area to support community development and empowerment. We run various projects that include befriending for older people, digital connectivity and running Forres Town Hall to benefit the community. This includes support groups, charities and activities including coffee mornings and events.

    How this cause brings people in the community together

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked with many groups to reach those that are the most vulnerable and isolated. Going forward we know the Town Hall will open again to the public. We know many people will be looking forward to meeting friends and getting out. We aim to provide a safe and comfortable space for this to happen and having equipment to ensure changeovers will be essential

    Letter of Commendation

    Here at Forres Area Community Trust we are delighted today to receive this letter of Commendation for our efforts in assisting the community over the past months! A big thank must go to all staff, Board Members, Volunteers and members of the public for their contribution!

    A First For Forres Area Community Trust

    A bid to buy Forres Town Hall and turn it into a venue for community, business and training events has been successful in the latest round of grant applications to the Scottish Land Fund.

    Forres Area Community Trust has been awarded £116,365 to purchase the hall, which has been a feature of the town’s High Street since 1829, in order to provide community facilities, meeting rooms, study and workshop areas, training facilities and co-working hot desks.

    Debbie Herron, Development Manager Forres Area Community Trust, said:

    “We are delighted at the news that Forres Area Community Trust has been awarded the SLF funding to buy Forres Town Hall on behalf of the community. This endorsement of our work means that we can continue to work to support the development and resilience of our community into the future.” 

    Securing the Town Hall into community ownership and having the support of the Scottish Land Fund is the first step in redeveloping and refurbishing the building for the benefit of the community.

    Fabio Villani Chair of Forres Area Community Trust said:

    “The Scottish Land Fund’s generous support enables us to purchase Forres Town Hall as well as to further develop our plans for its future. It marks an important milestone in the history of Forres, as one more key element of the town’s heritage is fully returned to the direct care of the local community. It also marks an important milestone in the development of FACT as a key organisation in helping the people of Forres make the most of the Town’s many assets. ”

    If anyone would like any further information, please do get in touch on 01309 674388, info@forresarea.org or pop into the office between 10am and 1pm through the week.

    FACT working on three projects for Forres

    by Forres Gazette

    During January’s meeting of Forres Community Council, Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) officer, Debbie Herron, talked about the campaign to get a local skate park built, plans for a Community Asset Transfer of the Town Hall and the ongoing digital support service, Forres Online.

    She said: “We have been working to get a new skate park since 2012. With support from AJ Engineering, BAM Nuttall and Forres Tesco, we now have a pop-up ramp currently in use at The Loft in Kinloss.”

    Forres Skate Park Initiative outsource the ramp by arrangement. It is hoped to set it up in Tesco car park in the Springtime.

    Debbie added: “We will work with the 2020 Vision green spaces group to find a permanent spot for a skate facility over the next few years. Fundraising will begin in earnest once we have a clear plan agreed.”

    FACT has approached Moray Council about a CAT of Forres Town Hall and carried out costings for major improvements including raised seating similar to that at Nairn Community and Arts Centre.

    Debbie explained: “We want to have have movable raked seating to enable us to use the space as a open hall for dancing, band practice, coffee mornings etc, and to have seating for things like Film Forres, the panto and youth concert. There could be office space at the far end of the building, a studio and multipurpose area, and lifts at both ends. We estimate the upgrade would cost around £3 million in total.”

    Around 4500 people currently use the Town Hall every week. FACT is scoping support for its ideas among the user groups.

    It is hoped financial support could come from local fundraising, online crowd funding and organisations such as Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund and Big Issue Invest.

    Finally, Debbie appealed for volunteers to help the FACT Forres Online scheme which already provides: free access to computers in a safe and encouraging environment; one-to-one development in customer support and engagement skills; and access to online courses to develop skills gained while volunteering.

    She said: “Forres Online has recorded 610 attendances from 185 individuals/groups over the period September, 2016 to November, 2017. These include people over 55, unemployed and benefit claimants, small businesses, community groups, social enterprises, young families, vulnerable adults and refugees.”

    Last year, FACT was awarded £149,427 to develop its volunteer base, as well as a social enterprise centre/hub to facilitate more partnership working in the area.

    “FACT has 250 members and is free to join,” finished Debbie. “We have a strong board and a sustainable business plan. To get involved, please contact 01309 674388 or vemail info@forresarea.org”