Chairperson’s Report


AGM Report May 2017

A.G.M. Report 25th May 2016

Eco Savvy began year 2 as a strong and well established not for profit organisation     with pending charitable status.

The year began with a celebration of Eco Savvy’s 1st birthday with cake and sparkling juice for the volunteers and customers.

Also in April Eco Savvy funded a very successful permaculture course which was offered to the general public, furthering our aims of working towards sustainable lifestyles.

April 26th Eco Savvy hosted a collaborative skill sharing workshop with Brodick Castle Rangers, Roots of Arran, Spin Off, the Umbrella group and Eco Savvy members. This workshop was for the Woollen Woods project for Voluntary Arts Scotland. Arran was the Scottish venue for this national event. Eco Savvy naturally applied Zero Waste Arran aims to the event and through the community shop gathered many unwanted items like worn woollen blankets & jumpers, wool and equipment which was used to teach skills and produce items for the project

May saw the 1st A.G.M. of Eco Savvy where budgets were set and plans were outlined.

By June the community shop was very busy once again with summer visitors increasing customer numbers and presenting ongoing challenges for volunteers to manage the rota, the space and all the amazing shop donations arriving continuously.

25th June Members of Eco-Savvy and Arran Community land Initiative from Arran and Fyne Futures from Bute travelled to Paisley to visit the Kibble project for a very informative day where they were able to see the operation and processes of a rocket food composter and kitchen garden at Kibble School and visit other kibble social enterprise projects.

June saw the launch of a series of creative up-cycling workshops headed by volunteer Fiona Doubleday; the workshops were open to all and ran throughout the summer, leading to an Autumn Show where the up-cycling items would be showcased at an entertaining fundraising evening event.

7th July 2015 was the day we had all been waiting for, Arran Eco Savvy was delighted to announce that our application for incorporation as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) has been successful.  Our SCIO registered name is; Arran Eco Savvy Community SCIO No. SC045785

August began with an invitation to Lynne Cameron by the trustees to join the board; Lynne offered admin skills and had already been efficiently managing the shop rota for several months.   Lynne delighted us by accepting the invitation.

A volunteers social gathering at a Garden Party hosted by our chairperson Sue Weaver was held on 9th August

Launching the 1st Zero Waste Arran week required a huge amount of planning and admin and this continued right up to the week of events in September.

During this time Lynne was welcomed as our 4th trustee.

Zero Waste Arran Week was widely reported and a great success, we held a week of varied events, followed by a zero waste exhibition and a big feast from foods which would otherwise have been wasted. We were delighted with the support of both Co-op’s and local food stores and some hotels.  Local primary School Whiting Bay joined in the competitions for Zero Waste bag design and Rubbish monsters who were are huge success, we hope to give more notice to schools in 2016 and have all schools participating.

During September & October we also began moving towards green waste composting through meetings & talks with N.A.C. and the forestry.

The community shop closed for our annual weeks  holiday in October and allowed week’s annual holidays for trustees to implement changes to the members second chance system

23rd October was time for the Autumn Show, between 12 and 30 people had all worked on costumes, props and decorations ready for this event, by using various up-cycling techniques and trading skills they worked across a wide range of media. This imaginative event was well attended by an appreciative audience who enjoyed the show and were impressed by the display of costumes and creative items. Those who took part in the summer workshops and show were all very pleased and proud of their new skills and had a great fun in the process. The event was supported by a very successful raffle, a first for Eco Savvy.

Training in Data protection was added to our growing list of skills.

A public meeting was held in November to gather consensus on Green Waste and Food Waste composting, with a presentation on Eco Savvy’s plans for Arran, this was followed by discussion and an informative and inspiring talk by our guest speaker Reeni from Fine Futures Bute.

Sue Weaver resigned as a trustee but was happy to continue as an active member of our busy supporting working group.

Christmas lunch was delightful with some new members joining us.

A shop Sale was planned to move stock and ensure we avoided sending items to landfill.

January- It had become apparent that in order to obtain the necessary forestry land for composting we would also need to incorporate our second phase of the project and confirm public support and the feasibility of the project.

A new trustee joined us; Beverley Walker offers environmental planning and renewable expertise and has been welcomed to the board.

A volunteers meeting was held to present proposals for an Eco Park & centre supported by a CHP Biomass renewable energy scheme which was followed by a highly successful forum meeting.  Continuing with community consultation, this meeting was in followed by a public meeting in Brodick and later in March a second Public Meeting was held in Kildonan.           All three meetings were very positive and resulted in many additional ideas with 98% support of CHP biomass and no negative response.

Finally in March Eco Savvy and NAC waste awareness officers worked together with  a enjoyable Love Food Hate Waste event in Brodick Co-op.

This has certainly been very busy year with membership rising to over 400 and volunteer numbers growing with the project. Thanks go to all our volunteers but special thanks must go to all of our loyal hardworking shop volunteers without you Eco Savvy would not have been able to carry out all of last years’ activities and events while remaining 100% financially sustainable.  Thank you all.

To our trustees and working group thank you for all your hours of hard work, which have allowed Eco Savvy to grow and achieve many of our aims. Thanks also to all our members for your ongoing support, this and wider community Support for Eco Savvy’s ambitious plans no doubt comes from the desire of the Arran population to join us in aims to;

“Helping to make Arran a greener and more sustainable island”

Thank you.

Barbara I’Anson & Esther Brown (acting chairpersons)

AGM  Report  20th May 2015

Eco Savvy’s first year

Just over a year ago, on 11th April,, a small group of people began to prepare the shop for opening. This involved a lot of cleaning, scraping, upcycling and painting. Shop volunteers were trained in what then seemed complicated processes of recording sales of different types. And then, on 19th April 2014 the Eco Savvy Community shop opened for business.

To our delight and astonishment we had a very busy summer with much appreciation from islanders and visitors. Members flooded in and new volunteers stepped forward. As we got used to the shop routines, we began to draw breath and prepare for some of our wider Eco Savvy tasks. Schools were visited and involved, encouraged towards environmental green flags. We had a stall at the Highland Games demonstrating our ethos and ways of saving waste and upcycling.

On 21st September we held our first Skills Share day and on 30th, our first Members meeting to look at progress so far. Throughout this period we had been developing ways of working together, with a small working group forming, to carry out the main tasks and regular Volunteer meetings for updating the wider group and helping to form policy by means of discussion and forums.

In late October, we branched out further with an evening of fun and glamour, but a serious, waste reducing purpose, the Fashion Show, immediately followed by a hugely successful Auction. After a brief pause to update the shop itself for a refit, we celebrated the close of 2014 with Christmas lunch for volunteers at Coast.

This year has been just as busy so far, starting with Understanding Social Enterprise, a Training course open to all and attended by several of us in February. This was also an opportunity for networking and sharing ideas with others in the Arran voluntary sector.

On 22nd February we held another Skills Sharing and Seed swap event with the emphasis on skills like knitting and felting which could be used for the Woollen Woods scheme. In March, we had another extremely busy weekend with the Pop-up Shop and second Auction. These events were great publicity both for Eco Savvy and for our whole aim of reducing waste, but were also extremely hard work for a large number of people and have led us to question whether we would do them again.

And so to 18th April Eco Savvy’s first Birthday party, celebrated in style with non-alcoholic bubbly for volunteers and shoppers alike, and plenty of cake, brilliant bunting and festive decorations.

Our thoughts then began to turn purposefully towards future developments. We had been discussing for some time the possibility of access to part of a field in the Arran Community Land Initiative in order to develop a community garden, and we took first steps towards this goal by funding a 2 day Introduction to Permaculture course in late April, led by Lusi Alderslowe and open to both Eco Savvy and ACLI. Twelve of us attended and learned far more than we would have thought possible, both about working with the land and with each other. A report follows.

Another Skills Sharing at the end of April focussed totally on getting ready for Woollen Woods; a report on this will also follow.

Throughout our first year we continued to establish effective ways of working together by regular meetings with volunteers, Forums, and the opening of the working group at the heart of the project to anyone who wants to be involved. Thanks are due to so many for the success of this first year and I cannot begin to name them, but there are more than a few who have given wholehearted dedication, creativity, time and energy. It has been one of the delights of my involvement with Eco Savvy, to see so many who care so much for our goals giving their individual skills and ideas, and to know that each one of us is a unique contributor.

Sue Weaver




August 10, 2015
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