Scott Haldane

Community Participation

I like being part of my community – it makes me feel good.

I am a member of the Coatbridge Network. Since joining the Coatbridge Network, my life has changed in a great many ways. My personal circumstances have changed and I have also noted differences within my own personality which I believe have been beneficial to improving the quality of my life.

Moving into my own flat is an example of one of these important lifestyle changes that have recently taken place. At first, I did not like anyone coming to my house. However learning to care for myself including cooking, cleaning and caring for my flat, gave me the confidence where I now enjoy having members around for meetings or a Friday night “takeaway”.

My life outside has also changed greatly. I have started a voluntary job within the Orbiston Community Cafe in Bellshill. I thoroughly enjoy working within this project and I have found it to be a great place to learn new skills in a friendly environment, as well as being somewhere where I can meet lots of new people.  Members from my network have visited me at work and I have enjoyed these visits very much. I enjoy their interest in my work and their support around me which gives me confidence.

Working within the Community Cafe is not my only new interest. I also have a Community Allotment where I grow fruit and vegetables every Wednesday with another community organisation called Parents Action for Safe Play in Kirkshaws, Coatbridge. As well as growing fruit and vegetables within my own plot, I sometimes help Tony the Gardiner work within the other plots around the rest of the facility. Gary and Michael from the Coatbridge Network also work in the plots with me and I enjoy the way we all help and support each other when carrying out our activities.

My cooking skills have also developed recently from participation in a community cooking class held within the Kirkshaws Neighbourhood Centre in Coatbridge. Other members of my network and many people from the local community also come to these classes. I enjoy learning and sharing new skills with both old and new friends at this facility.

As an individual, I am pleased with the way my life has changed in the last few years. I am much more confident and independent and this new found self – belief has helped me to actively participate in things that I never would have considered before another small example being learning to swim recently. I am quite active within my own community now and I travel about my town recognising and speaking to people or people stop me and ask me how I am.

I like being part of my community – it makes me feel good.