The Leamy Foundation is a small charity with a big community. During 2014, we asked people about their well being and circumstances and what was important to them. They shared their desire for new activities, based in their communities accessible for all. Some highlighted their desire for accessible support in times of need due to challenges associated with loneliness, or anxiety/depression.
As a result, the ‘Better Views project’ was established in 2015. Better Views puts access to Self management approaches and positive community activities at the heart of our community. We provide our fellow residents and neighbours with access to a network of social activities and resources which provide opportunities to create social contacts, and friendships.
We work with our neighbours community groups, partners and our volunteers to:
Increase access to self-management approaches and skills
Increase the choices available to people to make positive changes in their lives and communities
Help each other to make our communities great places to live.
Maximise our collective delivery; work with community, local authority and national organisations to improve the difference we make.
“Volunteering with Learn and Grow makes me feel I am contributing something worthwhile to my community.” - John B. Learn and Grow Lead Volunteer
Residents tell us they want access to positive activities on their doorstep.
In response, the Leamy Foundation established the Better Views project; opening our first social gardening space in the beautiful grounds of St. Mungo’s Episcopal church in Alexandria.
Established a second growing space in the very heart of Alexandria. Working with the Blue Triangle Lomondside project, we established new links and events between residents and community groups. Working with WDC Green Space, we formed Growing West Dunbartonshire providing support and advice to residents wishing to get active in their community via community food growing.
Established our first Self-managed group ‘St. Mungo’s Growing space’ group with all activities planned and managed by residents. We established the first annual 'Levenfest' event, bringing together community groups and residents in a celebration gala day in the heart of Alexandria.
Established the first Growing West Dunbartonshire Spring event in Dumbarton with 20 community allotment and gardening groups attending. A second Self managed group started at the Central Alexandria Community Growing Space.
We set up a second community hub in Bonhill Community centre to support residents wishing to create a ‘Bonhill Community Gardens’ site. Working with WDC Greenspace we helped residents to conduct community surveys and events eventually leading to residents securing a 750m2 derelict space to create their Community growing space.
With increasing partnerships and community engagement, we continue to see a growing number of residents wishing to make positive changes in their lives and communities. As a result, we established a pilot project called Learn and Grow increasing the number of different activities available to residents on their doorstep.
The pilot activity leads to the establishment of a Learn and Grow Project development team including partners from community, local authority, national organisations. The support of residents and families is key to its delivery. Their success leads to additional investment from our funding partners putting our community at the centre of creating a 15 year project vision.
Establish our third Social activity in Alexandria. Better Views launches the Alexandria Community Food Growing network and a community plan for its delivery and legacy. Learn and Grow commences it first full year of activities across 41 schools and nurseries.
How we work
We are a registered charity (No. SC045684) in Scotland. Our Management Committee meet monthly to guide our work and is made up of residents and neighbours from participating communities. Each Leamy Foundation project is advised by a team of residents, volunteers and friends from relevant partners groups or organisations.
Leamy House (formerly known as Leamy School)
Located in the Georgian Quarter of Limerick City, the school was built in 1843 out of the proceeds of a trust set up by William Leamy. In 1814 he bequeathed £13,300 for the education of poor children in Limerick and thus it continued until 1953 when the school closed. The school established access to education for families which would not routinely have had the opportunity.
It is now the site of the Frank McCourt museum. Frank attended the Leamy school before emigrating to America where he worked as a Teacher before he became a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes.
The need for increased access to education and opportunity remains. We will not be limited by perceptions of place or background. We will strive to ensure all our children and families have access to positive activities and support in the very heart of their communities. We will help each other to challenge and change negative perceptions which if unchecked limits our capabilities and potential.
There are many routes to be the best we can be. As residents, our role is to help each other be aware of the choices we have... and to have the confidence to do it.
"We work with and on behalf of our neighbours and communities".