Did You Know

New initiative for people affected by stroke gets underway

Active Stirling and the Stroke Association are delighted to announce a new partnership that seeks to improve physical fitness and wellbeing of stroke survivors in the Forth Valley area.   

Andrea Cail Director Scotland of the Stroke Association said: 

“Stroke is a sudden and devastating condition.  It can affect peoples’ mobility, their speech and emotions and is a leading cause of disability.  This means that many stroke survivors rely on others for help with everyday activities. 

“We are delighted to be working with Active Stirling on a programme which has the potential to change the lives of those who take part.” 

The service, based at Stirling Sports Village will consist of a programme of physical activity and information sessions for people who have had stroke and their family and friends.  This aims to reduce their risk of a second stroke and develop a peer support network. The programme is the only one of its kind currently in Scotland and will consist of tailor-made exercise programmes. 

Matt Bunnell, Director of Delivery at Active Stirling, “On behalf of Stirling Council, we at Active Stirling are thrilled to have developed this unique and ambitious programme in partnership with The Stroke Association. This will widen our portfolio of person centered support programmes complementing the successful Active Living For Life exercise referral scheme. Strokes are now one of the most prevalent health risks across the globe and we are determined to ensure that people affected by stroke get the best support and care they need to lead happy and fulfilled lives.” 

Friederike Klinghammer, the programmes Co-ordinator believes the Moving Forward After Stroke programme is a great opportunity for people who had a stroke to enhance their recovery process. 

“My colleague Dawn and I are looking forward to working on the programme, supporting stroke survivors on their journey towards the recovery of lost functions and independence. We want to help them to feel better through the adoption of a healthier lifestyle, which will result in a better quality of life and also reduce the risk of a second stroke.” 

The ‘Moving Forward after Stroke’ service will be open to stroke survivors at any stage of their stroke journey and the information sessions that are included are open to carers and/or family members who may be interested. In order to join the programme, people are advised to contact their local health professional or for more information please email: Friederike.Klinghammer@stroke.org.uk  or call: 07799 436030 

woman on bike


Did You Know

Fire and Fury

Not quite an appropriate description of Stirling Council’s various committees’ deliberations and subsequent actions. 

The Wee Vine attended meetings of both the Broadband and LOIP (Local Outcomes Improvement Plan).  Both characterised by a surplus of verbiage and a paucity of actions (except by local action groups such as Balquhidder).  However, stated aims in both cases are to be applauded.  A brief summary: 

Broadband:A telling comment was made during this meeting to the effect that the provision of usable broadband underlies availability of virtually all other services.  The meeting was largely concerned with the progress towards “100% coverage” of Stirling by BT/ Openreach as agents of Digital Scotland.  The actual phrase used is “provide access to” which means that the copper cable passing a business or residence has been connected to a fibre cabinet.  This is the case for all properties in Kippen.  It does not however mean that all these properties can or do avail themselves of this.  The Wee Vine would be interested to collect statistics on the level of satisfaction felt by Kippen residents in preparation for the next meeting. 

Also discussed at the meeting was a successful action being pursued by Stirling Council to provide gigabyte facilities to the urban area of the council.  This project is approaching completion of its initial phase, which will link Council premises within the city.  This network will then be made available to businesses initially, followed by residential access.  It is hoped thereafter to extend this facility – north to Dunblane and Bridge of Allan and south towards Fallin and Plean; subsequently out the A84 towards Callander via Thornhill and Doune; and, a centre at Balfron.  No mention of a plan for Kippen. 

At a subsequent meeting, it was indicated that BT has plans to upgrade current provision to a number of areas during 2018.  These areas appear to include those parts of Kippen and Arnprior close to the A811 – from Leckie and Boquhan through to Arnprior and Garden.  As is standard BT practice, no details or confirmed dates were provided.  

LOIP:This is an initiative stemming from a 2015 directive from the Scottish Government to reduce inequalities within communities in all areas – health, crime, prosperity, education, housing, etc, etc. Chaired by Stirling Council but involving other public bodies across the area – NHS Forth Valley, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Enterprise. And, crucially, seeking active involvement from communities in decision-making involving their own community. 

 The meeting abounded in statements of statistical inequalities across communities, descriptions of how these might be addressed containing all the right words.  It was deficient in defining targets, timescales, and budgets as to how these might be achieved.  Also, in defining means whereby the desired level of community involvement might be met. 

 One project has been started – in the Raploch, where there are multiple levels of inequality to be considered.  Kippen’s needs are significantly different from these, and possibly might be summarised under the designation of “communication” in all its forms – road quality, bus services, broadband provision, mobile telephony.  It can be argued that health provision, education, business opportunities, housing (both public and private), job provision, recreation are all dependent on these.  Kippen residents with concerns may relay these either to the Community Council, or via The Wee Vine.  There should not be an expectation of speedy action. 

 At a further meeting with a senior member of the Council, positivity abounded with all aspects of communication included in the friendly conversation.  Warm words and positive sentiments – to convert these to actions, please let The Wee Vine know of your concerns about the community of Kippen. 

Stuart Thomson  


Did You Know

Community Resilience Workshop

Thursday 26th April 2018 at 6.45pm –9.30pm Stirling Council Chambers Old Viewforth, 14-20 Pitt Terrace, Stirling FK8 2ET. Tea and Coffee will be served from 6.30pm

All Stirling Council Communities with Emergency Plans in place, or in progress, are being invited to attend this evening. The aim of the exercise is to provide a test of the activation and co-ordination arrangements in your Plan. There will also be a guest speaker in attendance from SP Energy Networks.

If your plan is no longer current or if you do not have a plan, but are interested in finding out more, please come along to the workshop and take part.

The Exercise Objectives will be to: 1. Verify and give confidence in the completeness, consistency and accuracy of your emergency plan. 2. Ensure that your plan dovetails with the plans of external organisations. 3. Provide all exercise participants with an overview of their own roles and responsibilities in an emergency. 4. Gain an appreciation of the roles and responsibilities of others. 5. Generate a list of plan improvements if required.

We would be very grateful if you could give us an indication of participant numbers from your Community by Thursday 1st April 2018.

sloanal@stirling.gov.uk or by calling 01786 233169

Did You Know

Do you need an affordable home ?

Rural Stirling Housing Association aims to support local communities by providing quality homes at affordable rents for families, couples and single people in housing need.

We currently have over 560 rented houses and flats.  Around 40 of these become available for rent each year.  We are in the process of building a further 23 flats in Callander and 12 flats & houses in Killearn.   We currently have properties in the following communities:


Aberfoyle Doune Kinlochard Stronachlachar
Balfron Drymen Kippen Tyndrum
Buchlyvie Gargunnock Lochearnhead  
Callander Gartmore Strathblane  
Deanston Killin Strathyre  


We may be able to build in other communities in the future – please let us know if you want to live in a village that is not listed above.  Information on local housing need and demand helps us plan for the future.

If you are interested in renting one of our properties when they become available please contact us:

Rural Stirling Housing Association

Stirling Road, Doune

FK16 6AA

Telephone: 01786 841101

Email: enquiries@rsha.org.uk



Did You Know

Impressions of Kippen from Outsiders


We arrived in Kippen on a cold, crisp, and sunny Friday afternoon in February for a 10 week stay following the recent birth of our twin grandchildren.  They say that first impressions are everything; and ours was of the breathtaking view northwards across the valley with the snow-capped mountains of Ben Vorlich, Ben Ledi and the Trossachs bathed in the winter sunshine beneath a beautiful blue sky peppered with puffy white clouds.  We never tired of this view with the colours of the fields, the hills and the sky changing with the weather throughout the day.

Coming from Liverpool, a major tourist attraction with a thriving cultural scene, to Kippen, a village with two main streets, two pubs, one church, a post office, a café, a hairdresser and a garage, our initial reaction was “Is that it, how are we going to spend 10 weeks here and stay sane?”  However, size is not everything, and any village which names one of its only two thoroughfares Main Street without having a Disney parade at 3 o’clock each afternoon is not lacking in self confidence, and on looking beneath the surface we soon found that Kippen has so much more to offer.

What has really impressed us about Kippen is the strong community and sense of communal spirit in the village.  The number and diversity of communal and sporting activities is truly impressive for a village of this size; with clubs and societies for cricket, tennis, bowls, shooting, fishing, golf and bridge, to name just a few and, of course, not forgetting “The Wee Vine” and the Village Facebook page, both of which cement the community and keep the village informed. These organisations would not exist and flourish without the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of those who volunteer to run them.

And what about the people of Kippen.  We were surprised to hear an equal amount of English and Scottish accents in the village and, having survived the ignominy of England’s defeat at Murrayfield and the inevitable taunts which followed, we were delighted that in Kippen there is harmony between our two great nations and cultures.  If the dour Scot does exist anywhere, he and she most certainly are not in evidence in Kippen, where we have been welcomed warmly by everyone we have met. We were here for the “beast from the East” and were heartened by the community spirit, with everybody pulling together to ensure that the elderly and infirm were safe.  Together with the spirit imbibed at your two wonderful pubs, its people represent the true spirit of Kippen.

The future of any community is in the young.  As the parents of a young couple newly settled in Kippen and the grandparents of twins who will grow up here, we were delighted to see so many young couples in the village, and to hear children playing happily outside, which sadly it is no longer safe for children to do in our large cities.  To hear that the local Primary School is held in such high regard is also a great source of comfort to us.

We will be sorry to leave at the end of April but to paraphrase one of Arnie’s sayings: “We will be back” and that’s a promise, not a threat!

Did You Know

Capping the price on energy bills.

In Westminster, I am a member of the cross- party Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. Consumers’ energy bills are one of the most important issues we are dealing with, which is why   this new legislation, which will introduce an energy price cap for domestic energy supplies, is so important. The committee reported last month that it was overwhelmingly in support of this policy. The Bill will require the regulator (OfGEM) to introduce a price cap for all customers, which would run until 2020, with provision to be extended if needed. There are already caps in place for those customers on pre-payment meters and for certain vulnerable groups, this would now introduce a cap on the price any customer would pay if they were on a variable or default tariff.  There will be opportunities for Green Energy tariffs to be exempted from the cap to ensure they can be made available. Although switching suppliers is encouraged, a recent report stated that only 18% of customers do so on a regular basis and that many customers remain with the ‘Big 6’ energy companies, despite there now being over sixty suppliers operating. We must make it far easier to switch between suppliers. This is an important opportunity to stop many customers from paying a lot more than they need to and ensure we have a consumer led marketplace. I will continue to support this legislation as it progresses through Parliament.

John Bennett

Communications Officer for Stephen Kerr MP

Did You Know

William Wallace signs up to become a friend of The National Wallace Monument

6 March 2018 – Stirling – Mr William Wallace, from Mount Melville, St Andrews, becomes one of the first friends of Stirling’s famous landmark, The National Wallace Monument, as it officially launches its membership programme.

The namesake of the Scottish hero that the Monument commemorates joined the newly launched membership scheme that gives visitors the opportunity to pay admission once and enjoy visiting as many times as they wish over the next 12 months.

Relying on public admission fees to maintain and operate The National Wallace Monument, Stirling District Tourism will also be able to reclaim 25p on every £1 that is spent via the membership programme at no extra cost to the visitor, when UK tax payers choose to Gift Aid their membership.

William Wallace commented: “I am proud to share a name with a Scottish icon and to be invited to become a member of the important landmark.  I have regularly visited The National Wallace Monument over the years with family and friends and look forward to many more visits!”

All income generated is re-invested into the attraction and its facilities for the enjoyment of all visitors who come to discover the story of Scotland’s National Hero.

The new membership scheme has been introduced specifically to encourage regular visitors to come to the historic monument more often, and to bring their friends and family.

Ken Thomson, The National Wallace Monument Marketing Manager added: “Giving our visitors the opportunity to visit as many times as they like throughout the year with just one entry fee is our way of saying thank you for all the support we’ve received over the years.

It’s an exciting time for us right now as we make plans for investment and improvements at the National Wallace Monument.”

Visitors can follow the ‘Wallace Way’ up to the 220ft tower and discover more about Stirling’s fascinating history, told through a collection of exciting woodcarvings.  In the Monument itself they can trace the story of Wallace’s life and legacy in three galleries, one of which features his legendary battle sword.

On the third-floor visitors can discover the facts and figures behind the building of the Victorian tower and children can build their own miniature version of the Monument before reaching the Crown – which offers breath-taking 360-degree views across central Scotland and the Highlands to the North.

A top visitor attraction, The National Wallace Monument also features the family-friendly Legends Coffee House and free onsite car parking.

Contact Katie Goodfellow / 0131 526 3190
The National Wallace Monument