Blogs ACT Blogs How we ACT on our 5 objectives As ACT is turning 5 this year, we want to take the opportunity to reflect on how we’re meeting our objectives. Coincidentally, we also have 5 objectives! ACT was set up to benefit the people of Argyll & the Isles and our objectives are how we aim to make a difference. They guide all our projects and activities. Representatives from Argyll communities and our partner agencies helped shape our objectives when ACT began in 2014. Our mission is to sustainably maintain, enhance and promote the coast and countryside of Argyll and the Isles. Why? Because it is a spectacular part of the world that everyone should be able to enjoy now and forever. Our 5 objectives are: 1. To care for and enhance our environment - working strategically and locally. We continue to deliver projects with explicit environmental aims, from clearing invasive rhododendron in Glen Creran to ACT Argyll doing a wide range of maintenance jobs for community groups across Argyll. Caring for our environment is fundamental to what ACT does. Our work on restoring peatland on Islay is another way we do this. Specialist contractors clearing rhododendron in Glen Creran The ACT Argyll team doing some landscaping 2. To encourage people to enjoy and benefit from our environment. We encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoors for the benefit of their physical and mental health and wellbeing. For example, our Branching Out project encourages participants to get back to nature to tackle the issues people face from depression, anxiety, or other long term conditions. We have supported communities to develop projects to enhance tourism in their local areas through our ACT Hubs project. These can be viewed here and included designing leaflets for Argyll’s Secret Coast Trails and supporting the Arrochar pontoon project. We also facilitate the Long Distance Routes Forum and promote responsible access to the countryside. Cooking lunch on the campfire at a Branching Out session Enjoying the view from the Loch Lomond & Cowal Way 3. To encourage investment that will improve our environment. We have secured over £1.5m of external funding to Argyll to enable us to deliver projects which aim to develop and improve both our environment and people’s ability to enjoy our environment. We have been successful in attracting funds from national and European funding bodies. We are currently developing new projects to bring more benefits to Argyll and the Isles. The Glen Creran project receives Heritage Lottery funding Celebrating the announcement of Interreg VA funding for the CANN project 4. To share ideas and work in partnership with groups and individuals with an interest in our environment. We work in partnership with lots of organisations, businesses and community groups both in our core activities and in the projects we deliver. For example, we are one of 11 partners in the Collaborative Action for the Natura Network project (CANN) consortium working to save peatlands and wetlands across Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. We are eager to share our experiences and to encourage partnership working at any level. Our quarterly Board meetings and annual general meetings are a great platform for sharing ideas and finding out about activities within communities across Argyll and the Isles. We use social media to ensure we remain connected with like-minded groups and individuals. ACT is a community-led member organisation and we welcome involvement from our members. If you are not already a member, why not join us? Some of the CANN project partners including ACT, SNH and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. Plenty of opportunity for discussion at our annual general meetings. 5. To increase opportunities for local people such as employment, training, and volunteering. Since ACT began in 2014, we have created employment for core and project staff - 10 full time and 11 part time jobs. Through our ACT Argyll project we’ve supported trainees to learn new skills to increase their employability. We have delivered training to Argyll residents who are now qualified in Branching Out leadership and are training a graduate placement through the ScotGrad scheme. The ACT Argyll team learning about path maintenance ACT staff during a training day ACT aims to improve Argyll and the Isles, one project at a time. You can support us by joining as a member or making a donation.