Kilmarnock Town Centre Partnership, SC047064

Building a Common Agenda

It is with sadness I intimate my decision to formally step down as the Chair of the ‘community led’ regeneration Kilmarnock Town Centre Partnership, known better to us all as Celebrate Kilmarnock. Our Treasurer Gayle Watson did not seek re-election as treasurer. Unfortunately, trustees have been unable to fill these important leadership roles. In addition, securing funding for our activities and future development has been enormously difficult. Trustees therefore have taken the decision to wind down the charity.

We anticipate the day-to-day operation of Celebrate Kilmarnock to conclude by 30th September 2023.

Unfortunately the issues in Kilmarnock remain challenging for us all.

The crucial role of building connections and giving voice to community concerns is daunting and draining especially when advocating for change.  We have seen significant social, political and consumer change, it has been rapid after the pandemic although an apathy has also set in. The impact this has on our town landscape is there for all to see.

You as volunteers and stakeholders under the umbrella of ‘A Common Agenda’  have committed to demonstrate how best we can work together to discover, connect and mobilise the building blocks that exist in our communities. “Local people know their towns best and we need to trust and empower our communities and local businesses to thrive.”  How often have we said that?

Our Common Agenda has been our most fundamental piece of work to offer a pathway to be the change we want to see; entirely based on Celebrate Kilmarnock’s understanding, discernment, wisdom and experience formed and evolved through our long established relationship with our stakeholders and community participants. Relationship-building was the purpose of our work to build a social movement of self-reliant community led regeneration in Kilmarnock.

We all know how crucial relationships are and how our connections to each other really matter. These come under our headings Active Citizenship, Community Wealth Building and Quality of Life. It has always been our strong belief that leadership is not about knowing all the answers or finding solutions for others. Instead, it is creating the space for others to engage and be the change. If connecting people to become resilient communities is a goal, then how we make decisions must change.

I hope the new Kilmarnock Strategy Town Centre Strategy Group headed by East Ayrshire Council can deliver that.

I also wish to record my thanks and appreciation to you for your support and encouragement as volunteers and stakeholders from private public, business, retail and volunteer sectors of our town. It has been a blast! Sadly there is a time and season for everything and the season for Celebrate Kilmarnock comes to an end.

‘Be the change you want see.’ has often been quoted by us. It is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi who once challenged his people to ‘be the change that you want to see in the world.’

The whole quotation is the conversation that led to the familiar quote.

It went like this –

‘I ask you: what change do you want to see?
To figure that out, I ask: what bothers you?
If nothing bothers you, I am deeply saddened.
Complacency and selfishness are the core ingredients to a fading soul.
If something, anything, bothers you, I challenge you to do something about it.
You ask, “Can I make a difference?”
With confidence, I say absolutely.
You ask, “But how vast could that difference possibly be?”
That’s the beauty of making a difference, my friends.
It is not judged on extensiveness; it is judged on what comes from the heart, dedication, and patience.
Be the change you want to see in the world.’

I strongly believe we have made a difference.

Rev David S Cameron
Chair – Celebrate Kilmarnock Board