Six local community groups in Glasgow are being recognised with a KeyStone quality award for adopting best practice in managing their local facilities.
The KeyStone Awards, a scheme developed by SCVO, is designed specifically for organisations running community facilities like halls, community centres, youth and heritage centres.
The training supports groups, not used to long-term management of establishments, how to make sense of legislation and regulation, managing money and resources and working with users of the facility.
Ultimately achieving this award gives confidence in the management of a centre, can help strengthen an organisation and assist in securing the long-term future for the facilities.
The local groups including Mount Vernon Community Hall, Cranhill Development Trust, DRC Generations (north west Glasgow), Larkfield Centre Govanhill, Toryglen Community Hall and the Pearce Institute in Govan were awarded their KeyStone completion certificates at networking event in City Halls, on 27 June.
Although originally designed to be used in a rural context the scheme, supported by Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Third Sector Forum and Jobs and Business Glasgow (JBG), has been adapted to be used in an urban setting.
Feedback from this pilot cohort will now be sought with a view to rolling out the scheme across more community run facilities in Glasgow in the future.
Councillor Soryia Siddique, executive member for communities and citizenship, who presented the certificates, said: "Offering groups the chance to gain a KeyStone award is an important step towards empowering our local communities - allowing them to run facilities in a way which has the needs of local communities at its heart.
"Achieving this award gives both the management and the users of the facility a confidence that it's being run correctly, has a long-term future and can help an organisation engage with other community members and local groups in the area.
"Well done to the first six groups in the pilot and I hope that they can use their experiences to support other groups running community facilities."
Linda Wilson, chairperson of the board of Toryglen Community Hall, said: "We thoroughly enjoyed working through the KeyStone course. We were quite lucky in that because we have a manager we already had some processes in place but this is definitely a handy tool to have to make sure things are being done correctly and our mentor was really helpful.
"Groups operate at different levels and so can take more or less from the course depending on how established they are - and I think it would be essential training for new community groups, to assist them in starting-up."
Mark Donohoe, chairperson of the management committee at Mount Vernon Community Hall, said: "For us, a relatively new committee, we knew that our volunteers provided a good service but it focused more on the delivery of that service rather than the governance, administration and management of the hall, essential to make it run smoothly.
"KeyStone highlighted that we weren't fully aware of our responsibilities around health and safety, risk assessments and licensing. Since the training we have had positive feedback from the local community and more people using the hall as a result of that."
The KeyStone Award aims to encourage continual improvements within the community groups. The levels are set out so that all groups involved will work to achieve the first level of the award that focuses on good governance, looking after volunteers, staff and users, legislation and managing resources.
Award levels can be renewed every two years assuming a certain standard is maintained. Each group is also supported by a KeyStone mentor, who can assist when required.