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OCA office at 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso KW14 7SW.
Tel. 01847 891789.
Chairperson - Brian Leonard
Vice chair -
Diane Holmes
Treasurer -  Iain MacGregor, Marr Terrace, Thurso
Secretary -
Helen Allan


Latest From Ormlie

15 September 2013
See the new Ormlie Page on Caithness.org new community section

30 March 2010
Ormlie Manage Moves On After 8 Years

Ormlie Community Association said farewell to their Company Manager Lorna Simpson on Friday 19 March 2010. Lorna has worked in Ormlie for over 8 years and handed over to Helen Allan who will be overseeing the work on a temporary basis until such time as a replacement Manager is found. For more information please see OCA's website www.ormlie.org





Ormlie Book
Ormlie Community Association has just produced a book based on the last 12 years of community development and regeneration within the Ormlie area. The book entitled 'Swings and Roundabouts' 'the highs and lows of a community association' has been written by Robert M Sutherland, ex-Community Safety Police Officer and a former Chairperson of Ormlie Community Association. It is a history of the regeneration project and gives a very objective view of the journey which Ormlie Community Association went through over the 12 years and is written from Robert's perspective. There are numerous photos going back from 1997 to the present day and include the visit to Ormlie by Donald Dewar, First Minister for Scotland in 1999 and HRH The Prince Charles' visit in 2002. The book also gives an insight in the lessons which OCA have learned over the years which could be beneficial to other community groups.
The cost of the book is 7.99 (plus postage) and copies are available at the Ormlie Office, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW and at various locations throughout the County.

24 July 09
Ormlie has a new web site - check it out at www.ormlie.org

16 May 09
Ormlie’s Busy Bees Clean Up Day - Go Along and Give A Hand
Ormlie Community Association will be holding its annual clean up day in Ormlie Estate, Thurso on Sunday 17th May between 2pm – 4pm. Volunteers have worked hard over the last few years to maintain and re-plant over 25 flower tubs throughout the area and the spring clean day will give the community the opportunity to plant summer flowers in the containers, the wavy wall, magic circle and garden area beside Ironside Place. The recently renovated Macaulay View garden will also be included in the planting programme and has become a real showcase for the community. The children will also have the opportunity to plant a sunflower seed and the tallest plant will receive a prize during the annual fun day which will be later than usual this year in August.

This event will also give residents the opportunity to tidy their gardens and get rid of all their garden rubbish. The Highland Council is supporting the clean up day by providing rubbish bags and gloves along with a skip for garden waste which will be at the centre from Friday 15th May.

For the fourth year running Ormlie Community Association has successfully obtained a small grant from CSV (Community Services Volunteer) Action Earth – an organisation which recognises and funds environmental projects – and this will go towards light refreshments for the volunteers after the clean up event.

Lorna Simpson OCA manager said. “This event is very much for the community benefit and we welcome input from residents of all ages. It will be a family event which will be finished off by a small ‘do’ for the volunteers’ to thank them for all their hard work, support and commitment.”

19 April 09
Ormlie Youngsters Raise Funds For Marie Curie
Young people aged between 7- 12 years who are all members of Ormlie Community Associations CPP groups (Community Partners Programme), recently took part in Marie Curies ‘Mini Pots of Care’ fundraising scheme. This was a fun and creative way for children to find out how daffodils grow while helping people affected by cancer in their local community. Each participant looked after a daffodil bulb and also designed a pot wrapper, the winning design from the CPP groups has now been entered into a nationwide art competition which will be judged later this month. The young people featured in the photograph raised the sum of 74 between them which was a tremendous effort and OCA are very proud of their achievement. To find out more about the CPP groups contact Sue on 01847 891789 or e-mail ormliecpp@tiscali.co.uk

15 October 2007
Catching Up With Summertime  2007 Activities AT OCA
Summer Workshops
Ormlie Community Associations summer workshops this year were held during the last 3 weeks in August. Nearly 50 children registered between the ages of 4-12 years old. Local artists Paul Smith, Shelagh Swanson and Irene Clyne helped to produce graffiti art, junk puppets, photo frames, monster eyes, mobiles and much more with the young people who had great fun getting
creative and messy!! The workshops depend on the help of volunteers to run the events too so a big thank you to them and especially to some of the young people who attend Ormlie's CPP regular sessions for the 8-14year olds. They are Arlene Sutherland, Gordon Clark, Logan Mathers, Leah Malcom, James Mathers and some of our youngest members Nathan Mathers, John McGeachie and Reece Smith. Your help was very much appreciated!

Fun Day
During the three weeks, Ormlie held its annual Fun Day on August 4th, we were lucky with the weather and had a good turnout of stalls, helpers and visitors. Music from local band Diesel 'n Dust livened up the event, a bouncy castle kept the younger ones happy and the variety of stalls provided something for everyone. Fancy dress competitions, chalk drawing, burgers, face painting and all the usual 'fun of the fair' made this a great family day out. Thanks again to all the volunteers who gave up their time to make
this such a success.

Sponsored Walk
A small group of girls (10-11yrs) who are members of Ormlie's Community Partners Programme (CPP) completed a sponsored walk of 5 miles to Scrabster and then back to The Ormlie Centre to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. The initial idea had come from Kimberley Farquhar, one of the girls who took part and they raised 90 which will be handed over to Louise Shakespeare, Macmillan Nurse for Caithness next week. This was a great achievement for the girls who took part and we would like to say WELL DONE!!

24 May 07
Ormlie Community Association held its annual clean up day on Sunday 20th May 2007 when members of the community got together to collect litter and re-pot some of the flower tubs that brighten up the estate. The event gave residents the opportunity to get rid of all their garden rubbish. The Highland Council supported the clean up by providing rubbish bags, gloves and a skip for garden waste for which we would like to thank them. We also obtained small grant from CSV (Community Services Volunteer) Action Earth - an organisation which recognises and funds environmental projects - this went towards light refreshments for the volunteers after the event. All ages took part and we were delighted to have many of the Global Xchange Volunteers who are curently working with different sectors of the community coming along to help. The children painted pots and planted a sunflower seed and the owner of the tallest plant will receive a prize at Ormlie's fun day in July. The sun shone and everyone enjoyed themselves while working hard to clear the litter and plant shrubs and flowers. Thankyou to everyone who took part - for their support, hard work and commitment.

14 September 06
Ormlie Summer Play Scheme 2006
During three weeks in July, Ormlie Community Association ran its annual jam-packed and varied summer playscheme for children and young people aged between 5-14yrs.  The scheme always proves very popular, registration for this year exceeded 70 with the majority of children attending the under nine's morning sessions.  Activities ranged from making windmills with Gavin Lockhart and puppets with Irene Clyne, karaoke in dressing up clothes which was a lot of fun and mosaic design with Paul Smith.  Arts and crafts are always popular, Diane Holmes led a stone design workshop while the older ones created a garden or beach design using natural materials collected from the wood and beach by Irene Clyne. These were judged at our Summer Fun Day following the play scheme. Tattie printing, clay modelling and mask making all went down well as did the fun and games outside on the last day!
Learning how to use stilts was one of the popular attractions
during the Circus Skills Workshop for the over nines while the African Drumming Workshop was a huge success with all ages.
We took 33 children to Lyth Arts Centre followed by games on the beach and a walk in Dunnet Woods.  Lyth's exhibition this summer includes 'junk sculpture' created at Ormlie's Easter Workshops earlier this year so seeing this on public display was really exciting for the children.
One highlight was a planned exchange visit to the Wick Family Centre for the children to share in each others summer activities. What a fantastic facility and very spacious, with activities and crafts to suit all ages. The 27 children who came on the visit did not want to leave as they were having so much fun!
We would like to thank Ann Beveridge and Janie for making all of us so welcome and putting on such a lovely spread of food.
However the playscheme could not take place at all without the hard work and commitment from the volunteers who give up a lot of their time to make sure that the children have a fantastic time. So a big thankyou to all who helped.
Home baking, handmade goods for sale, a pet show, raffles, competitions, face painting, tombola and much more all helped to make this a successful fun day. Bargain hunters had plenty of items to search through on the bric-brac stall and if you were hungry there were hot dogs on sale. Something for everyone including a Bungee Run for the more energetic, courtesy of Careers Scotland and a hands on demonstration of how renewable energy works that captured the young peoples imagination as well as the adults!.
Over 400 was raised which will be going towards the Macaulay View site at Ormlie.
Sue Rainbow CPP Co-ordinator
ps. The photos are not titled so hope they are self explanatory- the last ones will be for the Summer Fun Day.!
Thanks again. (the ones that have a yellow background are taken in the Wick Family Centre.)

5 July 06
Ormlie Judges Orkney Playpark
Ormlie Community Association made a special trip to St Margarets Hope, Orkney last Friday to visit the Hope School Trim Track. The trustees of the Nancy Ovens Award for Play contacted OCA and asked if some young people would be willing to assess the play park as part of the judging for this year’s Nancy Ovens Award for Play. OCA won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Play’ award at last year’s event, so the Trustees of the awards felt it would be appropriate for young people from Ormlie to give their input into the assessment process for the St Margaret’s Hope application.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager and Sue Rainbow, CPP Co-ordinator accompanied Stacey McGinlay, Kimberley Howie, Danny Ellington and Thomas Deighan across the Pentland Firth to St Margaret’s Hope School. The group were met by a representative from Orkney Council Community Learning & Leisure Services, the local Head Teacher and a member of the Hope School Track Association who gave a brief overview of the background towards the project. The community project began approximately 7 years ago when the local residents and school board decided that outdoor play facilities were required for all sectors of the community.

The Ormlie contingent tried out all the pieces of equipment and then held a group discussion on the four sections of the scorecard ie Involvement by children/young people; the physical environment; the play experience and access to the play space. The scorecard is then forwarded to the Trustees of the Nancy Ovens Play awards for consideration by the panel.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ‘it is a credit to the children and young people from the Ormlie Community Partners Programme (CPP) that they were invited to take part in the judging of another play space. The Nancy Ovens Trustees recognise and acknowledge the good work that has been undertaken by OCA for the benefit of children and young people in Thurso. Our group were very professional in their approach to the assessment of the play area and we are very proud of them. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day and were made extremely welcome by the staff and representatives from Hope Primary School.

23 May 06
Ambitious plans to regenerate a Caithness community by harvesting energy from the sun, wind and hydrogen are to receive financial support from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The NDA, through UKAEA, is to invest 60,000 over the next three years to help Ormlie Community Association Ltd develop its green energy scheme.

It will support the appointment of Thurso engineer, Louise Smith, who also chairs the Caithness Renewable Energy Forum, as project manager. She returned to the area two years ago, previously working for Jacobs Babtie on UKAEA projects.

The funding has been made available as part of the NDA's remit to help communities adjust to the social and economic consequences of accelerated decommissioning.  OCA Ltd believes successful development of the scheme could serve as a model for other communities, with the profits being reinvested in the community.

The charitable body set up by residents of a Thurso council estate in 1997 has attracted over 3million to date to fund improvements to the neighbourhood.

It believes that the income from small-scale renewable generation can sustain its programmes in the long-term and provide a source of grant-aid for householders in other neighbourhoods in Caithness to develop their own green energy schemes.

OCA Ltd chairman Brian Leonard said: "The residents of Ormlie have made a major difference to their community since coming together in 1997, and this proposal is about taking the project onto the next level.

We are already implementing the first stage, working with Pentland Housing Association and the Highland Council to test six different types of solar energy heating systems in rented houses. The next steps involve harnessing the wind and converting some of this energy to hydrogen, and I am delighted that we have been able to secure funding from Dounreay to appoint Louise to help us take this forward."

Louise Smith said: "I am pleased to be given this opportunity to put something back into the community and am keen to speak to people all over the north about ideas for community and household renewable energy schemes as well as energy efficiency. We hope to be able to reduce people's fuel bills, enhancing their quality of life and also protecting the environment.  We hope to help create jobs and training opportunities for local people as a result of this move towards renewables."

John Farquhar, regional director of the NDA, said: "The NDA is delighted to support this project. The ultimate aim must be to replace all of the jobs that will be lost from Dounreay over the coming decades and community projects like this represent a vital step on the way to achieving that objective. Congratulations to the Ormlie Project."

Norman Harrison, Dounreay director, said ?UKAEA want to play their part in the regeneration of the area and projects like this one is a good example of a community taking ownership of its own destiny. UKAEA are pleased to have played a part in making this happen?.

Other funding for the project has come from Communities Scotland, through Pentland Housing Association, The Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company and Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise.

17 May 06
Ormlie’s Buzzy Bug Clean Up Day
Ormlie Community Association will be holding its annual clean up day in Ormlie estate on Sunday 21st May between 12 noon and 4.00 pm. Volunteers have worked hard during the last year to install over 25 flower tubs throughout the area and the spring clean day will give the community the opportunity to plant summer flowers in the containers, the wavy wall, magic circle and garden area beside Ironside Place. It is envisaged that some of the older tubs will be repainted and children and young people will have the opportunity to plant a sunflower seed and the tallest plant will receive a prize during the annual fun day in July 2006.

The event will also give residents the opportunity to tidy their gardens and get rid of all their garden rubbish. A litter clean up will also take place and residents are asked to think about their environment and ensure that they clean up their dog’s dirt. Poop scoop bags are available at the Ormlie office free of charge and children and young people have been actively promoting the use of the bags to the local community.

The Highland Council have fully supported the clean up day by providing rubbish bags and gloves along with a skip for garden waste. Ormlie Community Association has successfully obtained a small grant from CSV (Community Services Volunteers) Action Earth - an organisation which recognises and funds environmental projects and the proceeds will go towards lights refreshments for the volunteers after the clean up event.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ‘this event is very much for the community’s benefit and we welcome input from residents of all ages. It will be a fun day and a family day, which will be finished off by a small ‘do’ for the volunteers to thank them for all their hard work, support and commitment’.

4 April 06
Politicians Visiting Ormlie
Ormlie Community Association were delighted to receive Maureen MacMillan MSP and Peter Peacock, MSP, Minister for Education and Young People to Ormlie. Maureen MacMillan visited on 17 February 2006 and met with residents who gave her a tour of the estate and showed her all the awards that Ormlie had won over the last year including the Nancy Ovens Award, Dynamic Place Award (commended) and the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) Award - runner-up. Mrs MacMillan was keen to hear the views of the residents on the improvements that had been made and the impact they had had on the whole community.

Peter Peacock visited on Monday 13 March 2006 and visted the Ormlie Pre-School centre and talked to staff about the pre-school facility in Ormlie. Mr Peacock also spent time with children and young people from the Community Partners Programme (CPP). They explained that the CPP is aimed at 9 - 15 year olds with a view to giving them a voice in their community and working on specific projects. Part of the visit included meeting some of the young mothers whose children attend the Ormlie Pre-School. Mr Peacock was able to hear first hand their concerns about the possible cuts in nursery provision in Caithness and the impact that it would have on the Ormlie Centre, if cuts were ever made.

As a finale to the visit the Minister was given a guided tour of the estate to see all the improvements, ending at the new playarea in Provost Cormack Road. He was extremely impressed at the whole estate, in particular, the playarea and commented that it was 'one of the best in Scotland'. He had previously visited the Ormlie estate in 2000.

28 January 06
Ormlie Awards - BURA
Six members of Ormlie Community Association travelled to London on Monday 9 January 2006 for the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) Awards. OCA has been chosen as runners up in the British community development section. The assessment procedure was extremely thorough and in-depth, involving a two stage procedure. This first stage was a general visit with the BURA representative gathering information on the whole project since its inception. The second stage was far more in depth and involved the Chairperson of the assessment panel, Dan Sequerra, meeting with a wide range of people including Ian Hargrave, THC Area Manager, OCA directors, staff, young people, older residents, the local shopkeeper, young people using the playarea during the lunch period and anybody else who happened to be walking through the estate. Mr Sequerra's findings were then presented to a steering group who made the final decision.

OCA attended the award ceremony on Tuesday 10 January 2006 in the House of Lords, London and were presented with their award by Lord Jenkin. Lunch was provided in Portcullis House where members of OCA will be able to discuss the project in more detail to invited guests.

The six representatives from OCA attend the event were Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager, Pauline Mathers, OCA resident and Vice-Chairperson; Isobel Reid, OCA Administrator; Diane Holmes, OCA resident and volunteer; Eleanor Pratt, OCA volunteer and Naomi Begg, OCA resident, volunteer and member of the CPP group.

28 January 06
Ormlie Awards - Dynamic Place

Ormlie Community Association attended the Dynamic Place awards on 24 November 2005 at the Ratho Adventure Centre, near Edinburgh. Six members of OCA attended the gala dinner including two young people, James Mathers and Shannon McPhee, from the Ormlie CPP group. OCA was awarded a 'Commended' in the community development section. Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ' it is a great boost to the community when all their hard work is recognised by agencies from outwith the county'.

17 October 05
Ormlie Community Association Shortlisted For Dynamic Award
The search to find the winners of this year's Dynamic Place Awards, the only awards in Scotland that recognise the country's leading design, innovation and regeneration projects, has taken a leap forward with the announcement of this year's shortlist of entries.

The awards judges have reduced the list of nearly 100 entries down to 26 projects. Judges are currently visiting each of the remaining contenders to identify the winners in the three award categories; Built Environment, Community Development and Connections.

Ormlie Community Association (OCA) has been shortlisted for the Community Development category.  The Association was formed by residents of a housing estate in Thurso to work in partnership with the public and private sector to improve the well-being of the area.

A recognised charity, OCA is implementing a regeneration programme designed to create new opportunities for economic and social improvement, while at the same time addressing environmental issues affecting the estate. Its efforts have secured social inclusion partnership (SIP) status for young people in the area and were recognised by Business in the Community when it named OCA as the winner of the small projects category for Scotland in the 1999 Times/Nat West Community Enterprise Awards.

Eann Sinclair, head of strengthening communities at Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, said: "We're delighted to see the efforts in Ormlie being recognised at a national level.

"For us Ormlie has been a dynamic place for quite some time. Over the last six or seven years this community has worked to rid itself of an unwanted label as "problem estate", a process which has been led from the start by its residents, who formed Ormlie Community Association to give themselves a voice outside their estate. Our hope is that the advice and support they have received from CASE and other partners has helped achieve their aims."

The awards are organised by Scottish Enterprise and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Communities Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

This year's winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony to be held on 24th November at the Adventure Centre, Ratho, home of the National Rock Climbing Centre and the world's largest indoor climbing arena.

28 September 05
Ormlie Group Takes Home Zone News From Thurso To Edinburgh
Ormlie group who took part in the Home Zone Scotland Network conference in Scottish Executive, Edinburgh on Monday 26 September 2005. Ormlie's presentation went down particularly well, in particular the speech by Diane Holmes on left of picture who spoke about her life in Ormlie before the regeneration project began

22 September 05
Ormlie to Speak at National Home Zone Conference

Ormlie Community Association has been invited to speak at the annual Home Zones Scotland Network Conference on Monday 26 September 2005 in the Scottish Executive building, Edinburgh. This will be the second time that OCA has given presentations at the prestigious conference, as Colin Punler, ex-Chairperson was given rapturous applause at the first conference in 1999. Lorna Simpson, OCA Company Manager and Diane Holmes, Ormlie resident and volunteer will speak at this year’s conference.

15 September 05
Ormlie Wins Play Award
Ormlie Community Association won the Nancy Ovens Award for Play in the following category - Outstanding Contribution to Play. The award ceremony was held in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire on Friday 9 September and the awards were presented by Patricia Fergusion, MSP Minister of Culture Sport and Tourism. Two young people for Ormlie - Jodie and Cassandra McPhee gave individual speeches on the play area and how it has been of benefit to Ormlie and the wider community (written by themselves!). They were a credit to Ormlie.

26 August 05
Ormlie goes to Holland
Three members of Ormlie Community Association are attending the four day international Childstreet 2005 conference in Delft, Netherlands. Lorna Simpson, Company Manager; Charlotte Lowe, OCA Director and Diane Holmes, OCA volunteer are part of a Scottish contingent attending the conference. The other members of the Scottish party are from Stirling and will be lead by Sue Gutteridge, founder member of the Home Zones Scotland Network.

Childstreet 2005 is an international, interdisciplinary, interactive work conference which looks at the evaluation, design and development of a child-friendly public space, geared for playing, walking and cycling. It will also consider how children’s needs for playing and independent mobility can be addressed. Particular attention will be paid to the Dutch woonerf which is where the concept of Home Zones originated.

Tim Gill, Writer and Consultant from London has been invited to give an overview of how Home Zones have been progressing in the UK. He has carried out research into the impact of Home Zone schemes on children and young people throughout the UK and will present his findings at the conference. Ormlie was invited to complete a survey on the progress of the HZ initiative and has forwarded photos of various aspects of the project to Mr Gill.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ‘this conference is one with a difference as we were invited to submit individual CVs with information on our background and motivation to join the conference. The applications were then judged by a panel who confirmed that we had been selected. We also applied for a reduced fee but had to provide arguments justifying our claim and these were then forwarded to the conference steering committee that made the final decision.

Charlotte Lowe and Diane Holmes are both residents on the Ormlie estate and the conference will provide them with an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, to share ideas and discuss the different types of Home Zones in different countries. Charlotte is one of the founder members of OCA and has been part of the Ormlie Regeneration project since the beginning. She has seen Ormlie develop into an area where residents are interested in the estate and are proud of the improvements that have taken place over the last six years. Diane has lived on the estate for four years has taken an active part in the Home Zone project. She is a member of the environmental sub-group which has been responsible for the plantings which have taken place throughout the estate.

Summer Fun Day in Ormlie - 13 August 2005
Saturday 13 August 2005 sees the finale of the summer activities in Ormlie with a Fun Day being organised by the volunteers who have organised and ran 6 weeks of games, crafts, sports, drama and media work for children and young people.   It has been an exhausting period for the volunteers but they were keen to end the summer with a jam packed day of fun for all the family.

Ormlie’s local piper Hugh McPhee will pipe in Lizzie Mappin, Henderson Street, Thurso who will officially open the event at 2.00 pm.  Lizzie successfully won a gold medal at the Special Olympics in Glasgow this year.

The Fun Day will cater for all ages and will include chalk drawing and clay modelling competitions, beat the goalie, bouncy castle and games.  There will also be a novelty pet competition so anybody who has animals is more than welcome to bring them along.  The judge will be Catherine Woods who has organised the pet competition and is keen to see lots of interesting animals.  There will also be the usual stalls including bottle, baking, raffle and bric-a-brac.   OCA would welcome any donations for the various stalls from any member of the community.

The event will be held at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso and as a special treat children, young people and parents will be able to see the work that was undertaken during the summer activities.   A short video has also been produced by Gavin Lockhart, of all the various workshops and can be viewed in the computer room at the Centre throughout the afternoon.

 Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager, said ‘this year’s summer activities have been very successful and credit must be given to all the volunteers who planned, organised and ran the workshops.  We are delighted that so many people are taking an interest in the community and want to get involved in the Ormlie project.  This is the first year we have opened the event to people outwith the Ormlie area and it is very encouraging that over 60 children and young people have registered throughout the summer’.

3 August 05
Ormlie Young People Give Presentation in Edinburgh

Three young people from Ormlie will make the long journey to Edinburgh On Wednesday 3 August 2005 to give a presentation on the new playpark in Provost Cormack Road to delegates from all Scotland attending the event organised by Save the Children in Scotland. Emma Mackenzie, Toni Easson and Naomi Begg will be accompanied by Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager, Pauline Mathers, Vice-Chairperson OCA and Helen Allan, The Highland Council.

The conference will mark the end of Save the Children in Scotland’s Community Partners Programme (CPP) in which Ormlie was one of four areas chosen in 2000 to pilot the initiative. The event will give delegates the opportunity to see first hand the findings from the all four pilot areas and hear young people’s perspective on the CPP initiative. Save the Children in Scotland will also launch their toolkit titled, ‘DIY Guide to Improving Your Community – Getting Children and Young People Involved’ which has been produced as a result of the CPP. The final report ‘Improving Communities – How Children and Young People Were Involved’ will also be available for delegates and again includes sections on the work undertaken in all four pilot areas.

Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for children and young people, and Ian Mitchell, Director of Regeneration at Communities Scotland are the keynote speakers whilst Lorna Simpson and Helen Allan have been invited to give a presentation on the partner’s perspective of the CPP initiative.

The aim of the CPP initiative is to support children and young people to become active in their local community and true partners in community life, with a real say in services and their environment. The project concentrates on building grassroots awareness, commitment and capacity for participatory ways of working with children and young people. It is issue based and gives children and young people opportunities to improve their quality of life and open doors that they did not know existed. The project allows active participation of children and young people, especially in communities experiencing disadvantage, to help combat their social exclusion. It also gives children and young people the opportunity to play an effective part in their local neighbourhood and the benefits this brings to them and to communities and society as a whole.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ‘this is an excellent opportunity for the children and young people who have been involved in the Ormlie CPP for over 3 years to meet young people from the other pilots areas and exchange experiences. It is also a real chance for decision makers in Scotland to hear first hand how valuable this work has been and how it will continue in Caithness through Ormlie Community Association’.

Helen Allan, Community Learning and Leisure Officer added ‘the toolkit which is based on practical experiences is a marvellous resource for youth workers all over Scotland. It has been a rewarding experience to have been involved in such a worthwhile project. The OCA will be rolling this initiative out to other areas in Caithness which can only be beneficial to the wider community’.

29 June 05
Summer Fun in Ormlie
Ormlie Community Association has organised a jam-packed programme of summer workshops for children and young people, throughout the school holiday period.  The scheme will run for six weeks and will include video/new media work, mosaics, mask making, mural design, banner making, circus skills, African drumming, T-shirt design, puppet making, football coaching and sports activities and games.   A trip to Achvarasdal Forest and Melvich beach has been organised for the under 9 age group, whilst the older children will be given the opportunity to try their hand at indoor bowling.

As a special event OCA has organised The Ross-shire State Puppet Circus to visit Thurso on Friday 22 July 2005 in Thurso High School beginning at 6.30 pm.  Zenwig Puppets run the family show which caters for people aged between 3 and 108 years old!

This year OCA is delighted that a number of professional artists will be working with the children and young people.  Gavin Lockhart who was responsible for the amazing video project where images were projected onto the dome at Dounreay and JCG’s building at Janetstown will be giving children and young people the opportunity of using video recorders and new media equipment to produce short films, presentations etc.  It is hoped that the end results will be shown at an OCA open meeting in September.  Paul Smith, Public and Community Arts professional will also visit   communities.

Lorna Simpson, OCA Manager said ‘this year’s programme is extremely varied and there should be workshops to cater for most young people’s interests.  The summer programme has been planned, organised and run entirely by volunteers who live within the Ormlie area.  They have shown dedication and commitment in developing a summer scheme which will benefit children and young people of all abilities, between the age of 5 and 14 years’.

Enrolment for the summer programme will be held on Monday 4 July 2005 at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso between 2.00 and 4.00 pm.  Enrolment fees are 1 per child and each session will cost 50p.  For further information on the Ormlie Summer Workshops please contact Lorna Simpson, Ormlie Community Association, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW – 01847 891789 email ormlieca@tiscali.co.uk .  See Also Kids On Holiday page

26 June 05
Ormlie Young Folk Create Biggest Art Project Ever In Caithness In The Early Hours
In the early hours from midnight onwards young people from Ormlie Communty Association visited a number of large structures to create the biggest art show ever devised in the county.  Taking video footage made earlier they then used it to beam pictures on to large structures and filmed the results.  Earlier they had captured digital images on DVD and then later beamed them out in the dark on to the largest structures they could find in the county.  We managed to be there for two of them - the dome at Dounreay and the JGC building at Janetstown.  Unfortunately most of our photos are not too great but here are three to give you the idea.  If you happened to have been passing Janetstown at 2.00am it may have looked like the biggest picture show ever from the main road.  Images included goldfish, trees, Windmills and a butterfly that hatched on Saturday, play park, and water.

8 June 04
Ormlie Summer Gardening/Clean Up Day - Can You Spare Some Time

Ormlie Community Association Ltd are holding a summer gardening/clean up day on Sunday 12 June 2005 from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm. A skip will be available at the Ormlie Centre for garden refuse only, which will give residents the opportunity of tidying up their gardens. We will be planting flowers and shrubs, painting pots and generally tidying up the area, which will include High Ormlie, Low Ormlie and the Moorside estate. Children will be invited to paint a pot and plant sunflower seed and a competition will be held during our Fun Day on Saturday 13 August 2005 to see who has grown the biggest flower. We are also inviting people to 'Adopt a Pot' as we intend putting some planters in all three areas of the estate and would like residents to look after them, by watering and caring for them. If any green fingered residents have any spare flowers that they would like to donate to Ormlie Community Centre they should contact Lorna Simpson on 01847 891789 - ormlieca@tiscali.co.uk or call at 108 Marr Terrace.

A small gardening sub-group has been formed and the fruits of their labour can be seen at the 'wavy wall' and garden area opposite the wall. They are keen for more volunteers, so if anybody has a few hours spare a week, please contact OCA. Any assistance will be gratefully received.

A Wavy Wall For Ormlie Home Zone
The Ormlie 'wavy wall' (under construction) which is one of the environmental features being installed as part of the Home Zone project.  The Ormlie Home Zone project has been designed by Pentarq architects with input from the children and young people living on the estate.  The 'wavy wall' feature was based on designs undertaken by children and young people from the Community Partners Programme using model clay to show what features they would like to see in Ormlie.  The wall is being built by master drystone dyker, George Gunn and the workmanship and quality is excellent with the Caithness stone being hand picked by George from various Caithness stone quarries around the County.  Response from the community on the feature has been extremely positive and residents are keen to view the finished feature.

Ormlie Looking At Energy Projects
Students and Professor from Flensburg University, Germany who undertook a consultation study on behalf of Ormlie Community Association with the Thurso community on renewable energy.  The students were based in Ormlie for approximately 2 weeks during Aug/September and presented their findings at an open meeting in Thurso Town Hall on Friday 17 September 2004.  OCA is currently working closely with a number of organisations and agencies on a community renewable energy project.  Brian Leonard, Chairperson OCA (back row, left) and Pauline Mathers, Vice-Chairperson OCA (front row, right)

9 April 04
Ormlie Volunteers Run Craft Workshops
The three girls in the foreground are having fun at the recent Easter Craft Workshop which was held in the Ormlie Centre by volunteers from the original Summer Workshops which are now a regular feature in out-of-school activities in Ormlie. The volunteers so enjoyed providing the summer workshops that they decided they wanted to keep the joy going for everyone by running events during other school vacations too.  These events are now planned, organised and staffed entirely by the volunteers


15 December 03

Pre-school children in Thurso will receive a welcome addition to their play facilities today (Mon 15th Dec) when Maureen MacMillan MSP opens an outdoor play space and garden at The Highland Council’s Ormlie Centre.  The 30K development which is jointly funded by The Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage includes a range of play equipment - flag-pole, wig-wam, cairn tunnel, play house and landscaping and storage facilities.  The Ormlie Centre offers services to children under 5 years old through Highland Pre-School Services but is also used by Social Inclusion Partnership projects, Save The Children, Homestart, People First and older residents of Ormlie. Although aimed at the under 5’s, the whole community will benefit from the outdoor play space and garden.

20 November 03
Highland Councillors have agreed to give 150,000 over the next two and a half years to Ormlie Community Association for Scotland's most northerly Home Zone project. This money comes from the 1.214 million that the Scottish Executive gave the Council to spend on 20 mph speed limits around school and related capital projects over the next two and a half years.  The Ormlie Estate in Thurso is one of four areas to successfully bid to pilot Home Zones in Scotland. Home Zones are people friendly residential streets with reduced vehicle speed and integrated safety measures for children, pedestrians and cyclists.  The Ormlie project involves far-sighted plans to re-design and re-allocate road space........

28 October 03
Ormlie Community Association has successfully secured 50,000 from the Transforming Your Space initiative for Phase 2 and 3 of the Ormlie Home Zone Project.  The aim of the Home Zone is to make the streets in High Ormlie safer for children, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.  One of the main issues on the Ormlie estate was to address concerns relating to speeding cars, the stark environment and the neglected state of the playareas.  As a Scottish Executive pilot Home Zone area, these issues are slowly being addressed and the boost from Transforming Your Space will play a major part in implementing the scheme.

An open meeting of Ormlie Community Association will be held on Thursday 30 October 2003 at 7.30 pm in the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso to discuss the Home Zone project and the progress that has been made.

Ormlie Community Association has also been given some recycled computers from the Highland Council for distribution to residents interested in improving their IT skills. Residents were invited to write or draw a picture explaining why they would want a computer and how they would use it. The successful residents will be announced at the Open Meeting on Thursday night.

Should anybody require any further information on the Ormlie Community project please contact either Lorna Simpson, Manager OCA, 01847 891789 or James Sutherland, SIP Co-ordinator, 01847 891737 at 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW

27 August 03
Ormlie Meeting To Show Summer Workshops

On Thursday 28 August 2003 at 7.30 pm OCA will be holding an open meeting for residents and interested parties to come along and see a powerpoint presentation of the Ormlie Summer Workshops and PlayZone Day. The presentation has been produced by one of the residents involved in the two projects and will give the community the opportunity to see the type of work that was undertaken during the five week workshop programme. It will also show the wide variety of activities available on PlayZone Day which was held on 6 August 2003. The meeting will also give residents the opportunity to bring up any issues or concerns that they might have, relating to the estate.

Ormlie will have another chance to get rid of their garden rubbish as a skip will be available from the evening of Friday 29 August through to Monday 1 September 2003. It will be situated in Low Ormlie this time, at Shebster Court. So hopefully residents will take the opportunity to clean up their gardens and surrounding areas

6 August 03
Convenor David Flear Opened The Play Zone Day At Ormlie

4 August 03
Latest Update from Ormlie
Ormlie Community Association in conjunction with Save the Children in Scotland and the Social Inclusion Partnership are organising a PlayZone Day on Wednesday 6 August 2003 at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso beginning at 2.00 pm with Convenor David Flear opening the event.

The main aim of the event is to celebrate National Play Day and to raise awareness of the Ormlie Regeneration Project in particular the Home Zone initiative which links with using the street for play, the environment and the reduction in the speed of traffic within the estate. Music, exhibitions, displays, children's games and competitions will feature throughout the afternoon and will include a Kerbie competition and Chalk Drawing Competition, both of which have been sponsored by Ian Murray the new owner of the Mace Shop in Ormlie. Artists will show residents how to decorate their Wheelie bins (must be clean and empty - black bags are available from the Ormlie Office as bins get emptied on Fridays !!) and an arts and crafts session. The Ormlie Senior Residents group will mann a range of stalls whilst children and young people from the Community Partners Programme will show the video which they made and produced as part of their Home Zone visit to Manchester and Leeds last February.

As a finale to the five week workshops which were held during July and August, the children and young people will display the work which they produced including mosaic work of street names and house numbers. Again this links with the Home Zone project ie improvements to the environment. As this is the second year that OCA have run a PlayZone Day our inflatable palm trees will take pride of place beside the Centre to show how colour can make a difference to the environment and emphasis the lack of trees on the estate.

Funding for artists to work with the children and young people was secured by the Highland Council Childcare Partnership and has been particulary successful in making them more aware of their estate.

Should anybody want any further information on the PlayZone Day they can contact me at the Ormlie Community Office, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW - telephone number 01847 891789 - email ormlieca@tiscali.co.uk

4 July 03
Summer Fun At Ormlie
Workshops in Arts and crafts and sport and music are all on offer at the Ormlie Centre.  Activities for children aged five to eight in the mornings.  Children aged nine and over in the afternoons.  Children under five can attend in the mornings but must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information on the Summer Play Scheme call 01847 891789

17 June 2003
The Jungle Clearances

An area which is commonly known by the children and young people of Ormlie as 'The Jungle' appropriately so, as the weeds were as high as the wall in the summer.  The Highland Council kindly removed the top surface and provided plastic sheeting to cover the weeds, whilst MM Miller, Building Contractor, Wick provided...


7 May 2003
Ormlie Community Association Gain Youthlink Scotland Funding
Ormlie Community Association has been awarded funding of 11,849 from YouthLink Scotland through their Capital Venture Fund. The funding application was a joint initiative between Ormlie Community Association, Save the Children in Scotland and the Social Inclusion Partnership. The money will be used to enhance the multi-media project being undertaken by the CPP and SIP for children and young people aged between 9 - 25 years.

24 February 2003
Young people in Caithness will have the opportunity to change the look of their local communities due to a new grant from the Scottish Arts Council.  The Highland Council has been awarded 40,000 to encourage young people who live within Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) areas of the Highlands to work together with their peers, artists and voluntary organisations to create public artworks...................

23 December 2002
New Play Area Opens
Colin Punler officially opened the Play Area that was the originasl idea behind the formation of the Ormlie Community Association.  Councellor Deirdre Steven stood in for her father John Rosie who is recovering after a heart attack.  Pauline Mathers chair of the association expressed the delight of everyone that the new play area was finally here.

11 December 2002
"You may be aware that the community of Ormlie has been working towards the provision of safe play spaces for its children. You've probably seen, or been told about the construction work going on in the area alongside Thor house on Provost Cormack Drive. Now the patient work of four years of planning and fundraising is going to culminate in
The Official Opening of Ormlie's New Play Area on Saturday 21 December at noon.
Everyone is welcome,
so please join us in celebrating our achievement. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Ormlie Centre in Henderson Street while the kids get down to the important business of enjoying themselves on the new play equipment!  We hope to see you there.

30 November 2002
Home Zone Plans - Consultation
Proposed plans for the pilot Home Zone project for Ormlie are currently on display in Cormacks Shop, Provost Sinclair Road. The display is part of the on-going consultation between residents and Ormlie Community Association and gives an idea of how the estate could be changed into a Home Zone area.
Lorna Simpson, Manager of OCA explained ' the plans are for discussions purposes and we urge residents to go along to Cormack's shop and have a look at them. We need to get comments, ideas and suggestions from the community in order that the project meets the needs of the residents living in the area. The consultation period is vital as it gives residents the opportunity to have a valuable input into the project before final plans are drawn up. The draft plans will be displayed until the end of next week after which they will be placed in the OCA office at 108 Marr Terrace'.

7 November 2002

22 October 2002
Progress At New Play Area

Things are looking good for the opening of Ormlie's new play area, multi-sport and skatepark in the very near future (no date set yet!), and a great deal of excitement and interest is coming from the children and young people of the area (and further afield!). A group of young skateboarders from Thurso are in the process of forming themselves into a club which will be based in Ormlie - if you would like more information on this or any of the Ormlie projects, please contact James from the Social Inclusion Partnership - he is based in the community office, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso (01847)891737.

23 August 2002
After four long years of campaigning, consulting and seeking funding, Ormlie Community Association can now see their efforts coming to fruition with the construction of the new community playarea. Ormlie Community Association was reformed in 1997 to specifically address the inadequate and dangerous condition of the play areas and the problem of speeding cars within the estate.  From these early beginnings a huge regeneration project has been implemented with a community office, staff and partner agencies all working closely to address the issues.

The new play area is a major milestone in the Ormlie Regeneration Project and will be situated adjacent to Thor House, Provost Cormack Road, Thurso. It will contain Caithness’s first skateboard area, a multisport arena, play facilities for younger children, a play trail and seating and picnic benches for all members of the community. All eyes will be on Pentland Construction Ltd who has won the contract to provide the first class facility for Thurso. Jupiter Play and Leisure Ltd will supply the equipment and the Highland Council Street Lighting service will provide innovative lighting throughout the park area.

A competition was organised for children to design a logo for the park signs and Ormlie Taxis sponsored the event. Anna Cassidy, Weydale was chosen as the High School winner whilst Michael Matheson, Miller Academy was successful in the primary school category. The winning designs will feature on the contemporary signage situated outside the park and lighting columns required for the multi-sport area. Community participation has been a key to the success of the project with children and young people involved in the consultation and planning process.

The overall cost of the project is 200K and funding was secured from a wide range of agencies and organisations both national and local, including the Community Fund, Comic Relief, The Highland Council, CASE, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Inverness Medical Ltd, Scottish Co-op , Thurso Community Council, Royal Hotel, Thurso Ladies Circle and Round Table.

Lorna Simpson, Manager of OCA said ‘ this is a tremendous day for the Ormlie community who fought long and hard to provide quality play facilities for their children. Through partnership working with a number of agencies and organisations we have shown that small communities can become active players in the decision making process to the benefit of the whole area. Ormlie has become an important pilot area in the field of regeneration and the construction of the play area is another step forward in the overall plan. The Ormlie PlayZone Day clearly identified a strong community spirit which can only go from strength to strength’.

23 July 2002
Just a little update for Ormlie - We are holding a special event on Wednesday 7 August 2002 in the Lord Thurso Road area to raise awareness of Ormlie's status as a pilot Home Zone area. It is also National Play Day which links with the Home Zone concept of safe play for children in their street. The event is called Play Zone Day and will begin at 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm and in the evening from 6.00 - 8.00 pm. There will be a variety of events based on play ie hopscotch, kerbie competition, skipping and a range of traditional play games. We are also holding a junior talent competition for children and entry forms can be obtained from Ormlie Community Association Ltd, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW Telephone 01847 891789. For older people there will be live music (traditional and modern), bottle stall, baking stall, and refreshments.

There will be exhibitions of the new play area which is due to begin construction in August after Trades Fortnight and a consultation with residents on the Home Zone project.

The Global Footprints bus will be in attendance and will be showing videos of the work being undertaken on the estate by children and young people.

Throughout July the children of Ormlie have been attending a range of workshops based on play, art, crafts, drama and music and their work will be on display during the event. There are also a few interesting and fun surprises for visitors - all relevant to the estate!

The evening period will see a number of young, local bands performing a range of music.

More information on the event can be obtained from Lorna Simpson at the above address.

9 May 2002
Ormlie Community Association will be holding their AGM on Monday 20 May 2002 at 7.30 pm in the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso. Everybody welcome - refreshments after the meeting.

A group of older residents have set up a small social club and meet at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso on a fortnightly basis (Wednesdays) . Next group will meet Wednesday 22 May 2002. The group are keen to go on trips and the first planned outing will be held on Thursday 13 June 2002 to Wick Heritage Centre followed by high tea in the Seaforth Motel, Castletown. Further information can be obtained from Lorna or Isobel at 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso - telephone 01847 891789. A whist drive to raise funds will also be held on Wednesday 5 June 2002 at 7.00 pm again in the Ormlie Centre.

Funding has now been secured for the playarea next to Thor House. The contract has gone out to tender and it is anticipated that the playarea will be complete by September 2002. The playarea will provide a range of facilities including a small multi-sport arena  - skateboard area, play equipment for smaller children and seating, picnic benches etc.

Home Zones
Home Zones are streets designed to give pedestrians priority over vehicles. Home Zones are more than just traffic calming as the street is opened up for social use by the residents, making it possible for children to play outside in the street.  They develop a sense of community, as they change the use of space in a residential area. To be successful community input throughout the development is vital and Ormlie has been designated by the Scottish Executive as one of the 4 pilot home zone areas in Scotland. A working group has been set up to progress the project and involves residents including children and young people and representatives from various agencies.  It is hoped that a 'mock Home Zone' will be set up during the summer to give residents and the community a clearer idea of the concept of Home Zones. Will keep you posted.

Action Team for Jobs
The Employment Service's Action Team for Jobs hold regular fortnightly sessions in the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso to assist unemployed people find work.

If anybody wants more info on any of the projects contact -
 Lorna Simpson, Manager, OCA, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso - 01848 891789

Some Pictures of High Ormlie

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Ormlie Community Association is a voluntary group formed by residents of a deprived housing estate in Thurso Britain's most northerly mainland town to work in partnership with the public and private sector to improve the well-being of the area.

A recognised charity, OCA is spearheading a holistic regeneration programme designed to create new opportunities for economic and social self-improvement while at the same time addressing environmental issues affecting the estate.

Its efforts have secured social inclusion partnership (SIP) status for young people in the area and were recognised by Business in the Community when it named OCA as the winner of the small projects category for Scotland in the 1999 Times/Nat West Community Enterprise Awards.

Manchester Visit

Home Zone Speech