Reports from Link Person to Organisations 2018/19


Reports from Link Person to Organisations 2018/19


Craigsbank Stepping Stones:- Paul Spencer

The average number of Children in attendance continues to fall to a level of between 2 to 4 per week, which is a little concerning but understandable with all the additional alternative activities now available for children on a Sunday morning and the general fall in adult attendances in Church.

However they still see some new faces visiting on occasion which is great to see. 

The format for all the Children who do attend, young and older ones together in the large hall is still working well. 

Over the last year or so, the Stepping Stones Leaders and helper's commitments have meant that they sometime struggle with maintaining a required supervised rota. A few parents of the children who do attend have stepped in to help on occasions, which is very much appreciated by the Leaders.

A number of people, within the Church community have been approached to see if they would be interested in helping out with Stepping Stones, but to no avail. If anyone can think of someone who might be prepared to go on the rota please let me (Paul Spencer), Jackie Rankine or Lesley Lawrie know.

Recently, there have been a few teething problems with the teaching material and the all age talks matching up on a Sunday morning, but Peter and the stepping stones Leaders have met and had a chat and are now working together to resolve the problem.  The Leaders and helpers all give as much as they can and are doing a splendid job, as the few children that do attend seem to enjoy coming.

The Children agreed to donate £15 towards supporting three of the Congregation with Craigsbank Church who undertook the Big Sleep Over last year in Princess Street Garden's. 

Keep up the good work everyone, it is very much appreciated.


East Craigs Stepping Stones:  Carol Turnbull

Nothing has changed from last year with another difficult year for Stepping Stones at East Craigs Church Centre. Catriona continues her leadership with only her son as a regular attender. They stay in the Sunday service until children leave for activities and then usually go home as activities on your own is neither stimulating nor fulfilling. Occasionally there are other children come but this is intermittent and often cannot be planned for. What has changed is that Rev Peter Wood has joined us as our Locum Minister and has a great rapport with Catriona’s son which encourages his attendance. Catriona was thanked for her continued endeavours.


Craigsbank Singers: Christine Laurie

We give thanks for this dedicated group of singers led by Moyà. Year after year we are blessed to have a group who faithfully lead us in worship. A variety of different hymns and music are used in ways to enrich our worship time. Many thanks  to all who meet each week to make this possible.

Network Report: Alison Mackay

Network continues to flourish with consistent numbers regularly at fortnightly meetings. Some excellent speakers this session but the two highlights were Sir Tom Farmer a true Edinburgh man who gave a very engaging talk on his life. The other fascinating talk was the Jute lady from Dundee. The last visit was a musical evening with and an excellent visiting choir. Social outings have included bowling at the start up of the new session and excellent meals at Christmas and spring to end the terms at Turnhouse Golf Club.


East Craigs Fellowship:  Margaret Adair

The Fellowship has continued to offer friendship, interesting speakers, tea, coffee, biscuits and most importantly time for a blether on alternate Thursday afternoons at East Craigs Church Centre.

Pat Hardie and her committee have been committed to keeping the Fellowship operational but unfortunately Pat has decided the time come when she can no longer run the Fellowship

At the time of writing no-one has come forward to step into her shoes.  An appeal will be made to the congregation at East Craigs in the near future to try and encourage someone to come forward.  It would be a great loss to members if no leader can be found.

Our thanks are extended to Pat for all that she has done as Leader, Secretary and latterly also Treasurer of the Fellowship.

From September 2019 Julie Wilkinson has agreed to organise the afternoon meetings as a time for sharing friendship, conversation and refreshments.  We wish Julie and her helpers well.


Lunch Club: Viv Kelly

The lunch club which meets at Craigsbank Church continues to attract a regular attendance of about 30 people. This includes men and women and it is an opportunity for members from East Craigs and Craigsbank to gather together in a relaxed and sociable situation. The lunch itself consists of delicious homemade soup and sandwiches followed by cake and washed down with cups of tea or coffee.

The success of the lunch club is very much due to the team of willing workers who put a lot of thought and effort into planning and preparing the tasty food. The highlight of the year is the Christmas lunch which is held in January.

 New members will be made very welcome and the lunch club meets once a fortnight on a Wednesday at 12.30 and runs from September to April.


East Craigs  Playgroup: Marion Cockburn

The playgroup is thriving with 15-17 children attending each day. There are, at present, 33 children on the register but this will change when the older ones take up their school nursery places. There is a waiting list, but it will be at the start of the autumn term before actual numbers are known.

 As ever it is a noisy, busy place with happy children. When I visited, they were looking forward to their sponsored ‘bug’ walk as the hall will be in use for the European election.

As the windows cannot be opened and the fans are noisy the Leader of the playgroup asked if there was any way a guardfence could be put in place so the doors could be opened.

There is more information about the playgroup on their website.


Toddler Group at Craigsbank: Penny Greig

My visit to the Mother & Toddlers was very pleasant.

There was a lovely atmosphere  with plenty to occupy the children. All the Parents and Grandparents appreciate Lesley’s hard work and are delighted with the friendship and facilities.

It is a very popular group with 25 to 30 children attending each morning.


Parent and Toddlers East Craigs: Anna Robertson

These groups continue to be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Both are well organised and provide space for children to play and parents/carers to meet and socialise.  Alan, who has been in charge for several years, is now leaving and we hope that someone else will step forward from those attending to enable both days to continue.


Craigsbank Rainbows & Brownies, East Craigs Tuesday Rainbows & Brownies:  Julie Wilkinson

All groups are doing well, with some Rainbows moving to Brownies and Brownies to Guides.  Leaders are fine and groups even have waiting list.


East Craigs Friday Rainbows & Brownies: Catriona Inglis

It’s nice to report that the Friday Brownies at East Craigs are thriving, currently they have 18 children as regular attenders, and they have also had a number of older ones progressing on to Guides.  They have, in addition to Brown Owl, three regular young helpers  During this session they have  been working on badge work, and also had a visit from a lady from The Soapy Bubble Company who helped them to make presents for Mothers  Day.

On the 21 June they will be going on Pack Holiday to Bonaly.  Let’s hope that the sun shines for them.

The Friday Rainbows have twelve regular attenders, and a good waiting list, but are desperately short of helpers.  This is a really thriving unit, and the adult leader has recently been awarded her adult leaders warrant.


East Craigs Guides: Paul Spencer

I met up with the leaders at East Craigs Church during one of their Friday meeting to discuss how things are going with the group.

The East Craigs Guides and leaders continue to meet together between 7:30-9:30pm in the Large Hall at East Craigs Church centre and there are currently no spaces available, which still goes to show just how popular this organisation still is. 

The Leaders continue to keep the girls active each week with numerous activities and themed evening events such as a Cheerleading/Fitness night a Children in need fun night a Burns Night Theme and a Silent Disco. I was shown a video of the girls performing in the silent video and along with fancy flashing shoes they looked like they were having so much fun

Some of the outings they have attended include a Roller disco at Ocean Terminal, Volcano Falls Adventure Gold and are currently planning to visit Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park for a sleep over with the lions (Well - near the Lions enclosure - which will be scary enough).

I look forward to keeping in touch with the leaders, and indeed, the Girl Guides and hopefully join them one Friday night, assuming they are happy for me to take some part in one of their many weekly activities.


26th Craigalmond (Craigsbank) Scout Group: Jean Mowle

The 26th Scout Group continues to have a good number of youth members, however the group is struggling to recruit leaders in both the Beaver Scout and Cub Scout sections.

The Group Scout Leader continues to help regularly with Beavers and the section runs with one other leader plus a rota of parent helpers. One additional Beaver leader would make a great difference. Beaver numbers are good with around 19 Beavers who continue to enjoy a varied and active programme including a few of the older Beavers looking forward to their first sleepover when I visited.

The Cubs have lost two long serving leaders during the past year and currently have one leader and one Explorer Scout helper who are assisted by a leader from District plus a parent on a rota basis. The Scout District is able to help the group until the summer break after which a decision must be made about whether the Cubs can continue and therefore it is essential to recruit at least one additional Cub Scout leader. Currently there are about 19 Cubs enjoying a range of activities.

The Scout Section has the highest numbers, at 16, that it has had for some time and two long serving leaders.

All sections provide good and varied programmes reflecting the Scout awards and it is clear that the members enjoy the activities provided and that the leaders have good parental support.

If you are interested in helping with the group or know of anyone who may be then please contact the Group Scout Leader to find out more.


16th Craigalmond Scouts: Ian Ridland

Once more it is pleasing to report that that the three groups ie Beavers, Cubs and Scouts are thriving, with strong numbers in all sections.  The Beavers amongst other activities had a sleepover with the 88th Beavers at Carricknowe and were out at the park at the time of my visit.  The Cubs have been away for two camps this year one at Canty Bay near Tantallon Castle and one at Bonaly.  Although there are no explorers at East Craigs they do have a clear path into other explorer groups in the area.  A group camp is to be held at Beamish, with the group sleeping overnight in period tents.  One of the young leaders going to the USA for the 24th World Scout Jamboree, he will be accompanied by a leader.

Finally, the current situation with leaders is generally healthy, but they could do with some help with the Beavers.


Anchor Boy Section of The Boys’ Brigade: Margot Brown and 63rd Edinburgh Boys Brigade Junior Section: Jim Douglas

I visited the Anchor Boy and Junior Section on Thursday 21 February and I was pleased to see that the Boys who were there were having a wonderful time.  They were all wearing their appropriate uniform and were very well behaved.

They played some games which were energetic and also designed to make them think.  After a brief time playing with a huge selection of Lego they sat with Mrs Inglis who discussed with them what they would do in the next few months until the end of the session.  The Boys came up with some interesting ideas for the next few weeks.  It was good to see that they are interested in planning their programmes and not just leaving it to Mrs Inglis to make the plans along with the other adult Leaders and Helpers.

The two Sections are now meeting together due to the lack of trained Leaders and this seems to be working well. 

This report is now being submitted on behalf of Jim Douglas and Margot Brown as the two Visiting Elders for the Sections.