Arran Eco Savvy Community
What is Eco Savvy?
“To make a positive contribution towards achieving the island’s potential, a happy thriving community living sustainably, with clean air, zero waste and an unspoilt, unpolluted beautiful environment, enriched with a healthy population of wild life, flora & fauna on the Isle of Arran”
Trustees are trusted to look after the charity’s assets and are responsible for making sure that the charity fulfils its charitable purpose.
“The advancement of environmental improvement on the Isle of Arran by identifying and accomplishing environmental projects, which benefit the local community, increase environmental sustainability and support sustainable living, whilst working towards zero waste for Arran. The advancement of education by providing learning opportunities for vocational skills and training which are of benefit to all ages and abilities, increase employment opportunity and allow individual enhanced contribution towards improving lifestyles, the local environment and environmental sustainability.”
Where did we come from?
When the idea of an environmental group for the island was first discussed in early 2013, Arran was fighting a proposal for a huge industrial Biomass plant.
Some of the objections were not that it was biomass, but that the community was not involved and would benefit nothing from it. The proposal was on a scale totally inappropriate for a wee island. Eco Savvy was formed to give the environmentally aware population of Arran a voice, representation and a place to discuss what we the community could do ourselves. Over the years we have slowly grown and become a well-known name that hopefully is respected in the community.
March 2013 began as a small not for profit group that just wanted Arran to have a green voice.
April 2014 opened a community shop run by volunteers.
July 2015 granted charitable status by the charities regulator OSCR managed by trustees supported by a volunteer open working group.
Until April 2017 Eco Savvy has been 100% financially sustainable through funds raised from the community shop.
Where are we now ?
April 2017 Climate Challenge Funding (CCF) made a grant of £63,436 to run the Micro Hubs Project. Part funded by the European Development Fund and the Scottish Government, we delivered a year long project creating hubs in each village around the island. The hubs have many purposes, bringing awareness of Eco Savvy closer to all the communities around Arran.
April 2018 Arran Energy Challenge project was launched, receiving CCF funding of £112,151 to target domestic energy reduction to improve our carbon footprint.
July 2018 we were awarded £27,387 of funding by Volunteer Action Scotland over three years to support our project to recruit, train and look after our volunteers.
March 2019 saw Eco Savvy awarded two years funding from CCF to deliver the “Sustainable Island Life’ project. This multi-faceted project will continue existing focus on energy efficiency, but additionally target two other low-carbon strands, namely, sustainable food and sustainable transport.
We are working on future projects. We have identified a need for continued climate awareness on Arran with hands-on projects that the community can be inspired to take action through. A renewable energy project is also under discussion and potential projects are being developed. For these plans to succeed we must grow, and find suitably qualified and enthusiastic trustees and volunteers.
Our annual reports with audited accounts are available online with the Scottish Charities regulator OSCR. They can be viewed here
How do we work ?
Our Structure is a SCIO
We are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).
This means we as individuals are protected and we are formed under the structure that is recognised by the Scottish Charities Regulator
We have a two-tier structure of Trustees and Members. Anyone over the age of 16 can be a member.
Trustees are appointed at the annual general meeting.
A minimum of three and a maximum of seven trustees are allowed.
The trustees meet every 4 to 6 weeks and are in regular contact.
- Esther Brown, founder trustee of Eco Savvy. After a career in the media industry working as a director, researcher and presenter she moved to Arran 14 years ago with her young family. Esther has worked part-time for the local Arran Art Gallery for the last 12 years. Esther has been involved with many community groups, was previously Chair of the private local nursery and Chair and Treasurer of the primary school parent council. Member for Arran Theatre and Arts Trust, member of the Arran Arts Forward subcommittee and volunteer and member of the Whiting Bay Improvements Committee.
- Hilary Maguire, Treasurer. Hilary moved to Arran in 2017 after spending family holidays here for over 30 years. A chartered accountant; trained with Price Waterhouse Coopers and when newly qualified, worked in audit in Rome, then in London as financial controller of a hospital for women and children and after that as a manager with Grant Thornton. Has run her own practice which has mainly featured the provision of an outsourced finance function for new technology companies for the past twenty years.
- Helen Ross received a good grounding in public service and administration in the Civil Service before working in the voluntary sector placing people for work experience, planning community care services, providing an information service and developing community projects with older people in rural areas. She has a Masters and 19 years of experience in Public Health, working at local and regional level to develop sustainable Public Health services that address the social, economic and environmental factors that influence our lifestyles and health. Improving insulation, installing renewable energy systems such as solar and air source, cycling and walking instead of driving, sourcing and growing food locally and organically, recycling, composting, and constructing environmentally friendly buildings can all contribute to our health and wellbeing as well as helping to reduce our carbon emissions and impact on Climate Change. Helen moved to Arran in 2017 and is an allotment holder on the Arran Community Land Initiative, and a volunteer on a regular basis in the Eco Savvy Hub in Whiting Bay
- Elsa and her family split their time between Arran and Glasgow. Having lived on Arran for many years, work opportunities and interests have for the meantime drawn Elsa back to the Big City. While in Glasgow she spends quite a lot of her time playing games, not only with her young son, but with lots of children in primary schools as a facilitator for the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre’s Peace education and conflict resolution programme. She is passionate about helping to create more peaceful communities, including how we can act in more peaceful ways towards our beautiful planet. As editor of the monthly online magazine, Voice for Arran, a publication which covers social, political and environmental issues around the island, her interest in the work of Eco Savvy grew, and Elsa is really excited and privileged to be able to join the team and be a part of inspirational projects that are moving Arran towards a sustainable future.
What does it mean to be a Trustee?
All charity trustees have legal duties and responsibilities under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.
For a detailed look at what is involved you must look at the charity regulator OSCR.
It is vital any new trustee is familiar with these facts, please follow this link:
We state here an overview of these duties:
- We must act in the interests of the charity
- We must seek in good faith to ensure the charity operates in a manner consistent with its purpose
- A charity’s purposes are what your charity has been set up to achieve and are the reason your charity exists.
- When the charity makes plans, the charity trustees must make sure that any decisions or actions fit with the purposes and powers set out in the governing document, our constitution. (Our constitution is attached)
- We must act with care and diligence
- As charity trustees, we must all work together to advance the charitable purposes, including making sure the charity is run properly, responsibly and lawfully.
- We should have a clear, up-to-date picture of how the charity is doing financially, and the charity should have procedures in place to reduce any risks. All the charity trustees should know what assets the charity has and understand any restrictions on how money can be spent. The charity must keep clear financial records and share them with all the charity trustees.
- We must make sure that the charity has enough money to pay staff and other costs.
- We must make sure that any staff and volunteers are treated properly and fairly.
- We must make sure that the charity’s name and any logo are not used without the charity’s permission.
- We are responsible for making sure your charity complies with any relevant laws. For example, health and safety, employment, data protection and equality laws.
- Trustees must make sure Charity details on the Scottish Charity Register are up to date.
- We have to report to OSCR every year and if we are making changes to the charity
Financial records and Reporting
Every year, every charity must:
- Keep proper accounting records.
- Prepare a statement of account, including a report on its activities, at the end of each financial year.
- Have the statement of account independently examined or audited.
- Send a copy of the accounts, along with the annual return, to the Scottish Charity Regulator.
As charity trustees we are responsible for taking control of how our charity raises funds.
There is information that we must to give to the public: our accounts and reports.
The Scottish Charity Regulator, does work with charity trustees to make sure these duties are understood and complied with. They also have powers to take action where they have concerns about particular charities and their trustees. If we fail to comply with these duties then this is misconduct and they do have powers to take action against charity trustees, where appropriate
“We are a group of people who have come together to support and grow green community projects that have useful and beneficial environmental effects. Everyone who wants to be savvier about being eco-friendlier is welcome.
The aims of Arran Eco Savvy are to provide a base and funding to further a positive community on Arran that will work together.
The purpose is to explore all the possibilities for education, inspiration and hands on endeavours with green credentials that improve our contribution as a community.
Eco Savvy wants to motivate and nurture environmental projects that the community of Arran supports and enhance the Arran Experience for the benefit of residents and visitors.”
That is a statement that was written on the 12th Dec 2013, we would like to share it because it is still our view of what our charity is.
To discuss being a trustee further please contact us on:
Many Thanks from,
Trustees of Arran Eco Savvy