Beautiful Scotland competition cancelled

In light of Covid-19 Keep Scotland Beautiful has taken the difficult but necessary decision the cancel the 2020 Beautiful Scotland competition. As with other bloom groups, Beautiful Perth has already cancelled its meetings and work sessions, but is continuing to stay in touch with, and offer support to its volunteers during this difficult time. We fervently hope it will be safe for us to get back to work soon, and that we can see if we can repeat last year's winning ways in 2021! KSB's message to bloom groups is below:

 Dear Beautiful Scotland group, I hope you are all keeping well in these challenging times. A few of you have been getting in touch so we wanted to update you on the current situation with regard to Coronavirus (COVID 19) and the impact on this year’s Beautiful Scotland programme. The RHS Bloom Federation had a teleconference meeting last Thursday and we wanted to wait until after that to work out our plan in Scotland for the ‘bloom’ year ahead. The health of our volunteers, groups and staff are our priority right now. We know a lot of groups are already stopping their usual activities, with others scaling back and coming up with innovative ways to garden/carry out community actions while still taking the Scottish Government’s advice on board. With this in mind, we think it is only fair to cancel the 2020 competition element of Beautiful Scotland. However, we would still like to encourage groups to register (there will be no fees this year) to keep in touch, be connected with each other and so we can celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they are. So, what does this mean for 2020 and for your Beautiful Scotland group?

What will stop in 2020

  • No guidance and advice visit
  • No judging visit
  • No award ceremony
  • No seminar (unless Scottish Government advice has changed by then)

What will carry on / what’s new for 2020

  • We will continue to keep in touch with you via email and the newsletter
  • We will work out ways our groups and judges/assessors can share photos/stories with each other and keep connected and part of the Beautiful Scotland/It’s Your Neighbourhood/Bloom/Keep Scotland Beautiful family.
  • We will find other ways to celebrate your achievements through the year e.g. through our website/social media channels etc.

Britain in Bloom, Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood are about ‘growing communities’ as much as growing plants.  This is where we see our wonderful groups, like yours, coming into their own at this time of crisis. You already have a ready-made, local social network and these could be used to support group members who are undergoing social distancing or self-isolating.  Whether this is by phone calls, emails, messaging or leaving groceries and essentials on the doorstep.  Of course, if resources, and health, permit, this voluntary support could be extended to the wider local community. KSB can be the conduit for sharing your stories of how you are helping your group members/your community which could then inspire/give other individuals and groups ideas of how they can help those in their own community without putting their own health and the health of others at risk. 

Currently the advice is for social distancing of 2 metres (we will keep a close eye on the advice provided by the Scottish Government and let you know if this changes). We all know how good for our health and wellbeing getting out in the fresh air, and doing something meaningful, is.  With this in mind, here are a few ideas you may wish to consider:

  • Could your group set up a rota so that individuals/families can go out and garden at a set time?
  • Could members start their own window boxes/working in their own gardens and share hints/tips/photos with each other on-line…you could turn it into a ‘best window box’ / ‘best private garden’ competition, with the Chair of your group judging via the photos.
  • Could you set up a whatsapp or skype group and stay in touch with each other regularly – e.g. you could schedule a 11am ‘coffee’ chat, where you all sit down in your own home with a cuppa and chat to each other via skype/whatsapp/phone

I would love to hear from you if your group has any other ideas I could share with everyone.

We also don't want to lose the Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood ‘community spirit’ at this time when we are staying apart for everyone's benefit. Do you have any good ideas about how we can all stay in touch, or have a chat? Let me know. Best wishes to you and all your group members,

Juliette

Juliette Camburn
Community Projects Officer
Keep Scotland Beautiful

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