Teries encouraged to attend first Hawick climate disadvantage workshop

A project which aims to help communities most disadvantaged by climate change in the Borders visits Hawick for its first interactive public workshop next week.

The workshop is the first of three to take place in Hawick and will be held in the High School’s assembly hall on Tuesday 29 September from 6pm to 9.30pm.

The event is part of the Scottish Borders Climate Resilient Communities project, which is one of two in the UK to be funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation climate change and communities programme.

The £100,000 scheme will aim to help Scottish Borders Council (SBC) work alongside local community resilience groups, with Hawick, Newcastleton and Peebles chosen to take part in the 16-month programme.

SBC’s Executive Member for Planning and Environment, Councillor Ron Smith, said: “The aim of this workshop is to identify issues which are important to local people and are linked to the causes and consequences of climate change. We want to identify the range of people in Hawick who could be affected, then begin to develop actions to benefit Hawick.

“I would encourage members of the public and community groups in Hawick to take part in this important project.”

Food and refreshments will be provided at the workshop, and anyone seeking more information can contact project officer Esther Carmen by email at esther.carmen@scotborders.gov.uk or phone 07552 191909.

The project involves SBC alongside other key partners University of Dundee, Tweed Forum, Southern Uplands Partnership, International Futures Forum and the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

The first workshop has already been held in Peebles earlier this month, with a series of important issues identified by groups in the town.

They focused on how older people and young working families are effected by climate change in the town and less visible longer term issues which may affect the lives of members of the public, such as food prices.

Workshop participants believed good activities were already underway in the town, but felt it was important to strengthen these. They also identified another key focus as supporting people to improve the resilience of Peebles as a community.

Hawick and Peebles were chosen because of major flooding events in past years and the existing community groups’ focus on flooding resilience.

Newcastleton has also experienced flooding in recent years and was also picked due to its remote rural area. However, it currently does not have an active community resilience group.

While working with Hawick, Newcastleton and Peebles, the project will aim to share ideas with other volunteer groups in the Borders to improve resilience more widely.

The project will also look to build on the successful work already undertaken by SBC’s Resilient Communities initiative which includes over 30 communities who have active plans to ensure they are better prepared to cope with emergencies.