Please note The Blackford Trust is now closed - this page is retained for purely historic interest
This page has provided details of Trust awards, reports from our partners, and other developments of interest to us and our readers. Now that the Trust is dissolved, it is unlikely to be significantly updated.
See the links below for individual items. The newest items are at the top.
Final closure of the Trust - We regret to announce that The Blackford Trust is now formally dissolved, and that no further applications for awards can be accepted. We are very sorry indeed that we can no longer continue to support worthwhile projects in Scotland and China, but we are glad that we have been able to help, in a modest way, some 29 partner organisations since 2008.
With this dissolution, all Trustees have now retired. We would like to pay tribute to David Atnip, Gordon Brown, David Ford, Fiona Montgomery and Stephen Thomson for their years of service with the Trust, during which they have all contributed greatly to our work.
This website will remain online, for purely historic interest. for the foreseeable future - probably at least a year - in case the information contained on it is still of value to visitors. Our general enquiry email will also remain active.
Closure of the Trust - We regret to announce that The Blackford Trust will be dissolved shortly, probably before the end of July 2016. A further announcement will be made after the formal dissolution of the Trust.
Final award package - we have made some additional awards to seven of our existing partners prior to the decision to close the Trust. These final awards were made to Cyrenians, Crisis, the Multi-Cultural Family Base, Diaosu, Hope4China, Lotusroute, and Basic Needs.
New Blackford Trust award - our 38th award is to BasicNeeds China for a microfinance project, as part of the organisation's existing work on mental health and epilepsy, in Shunping Country, Hebei province. For more details, see this page.
Enhancements to our historical timeline and other content - we began work to add additional information to our Scotland/China historical timeline. This includes mentions of new links, additional book references, more images and other information.
New Blackford Trust award - our 37th award is additional support for Diaosu, a community art company in Dundee, for their youth programme aimed at 16-24 year olds in the city. For more details, see this page.
Retirement of Trustee - Stephen Thomson, who has been a Trustee and our Treasurer since June 2008, stepped down from this role as of 19 October.
We would like to pay tribute to Steve's six and a half years of service with the Trust, during which he has contributed greatly to our work and our financial administration, and to wish him well for the future.
New Blackford Trust award - our 36th award is to the Tall Ships Youth Trust, to allow ten young people from Perth & Kinross to go on a sail training voyage. This project is in co-operation with Perth & Kinross Community Youth Learning Services. For more details, see this page.
ROKPA reports achievements - our partner has reported that construction of the workers' accommodation at the Thang Kang Ka nursery had been completed in spring 2014 - you can find more details at the bottom of this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 34th award is support to ROKPA for a project to conserve traditional Tibetan medicine, in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 33rd award is additional support for Diaosu, a community art company in Dundee, for their youth programme aimed at 16-24 year olds in the city. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 32nd award is additional support for Outf!t Moray, for their EnerG programme of outdoor activities for young people aged 7-18 who have additional support needs or who are having difficulty with their lives. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 30th award is support to Crisis Skylight, a new education, training and employment service for homeless and vulnerably-housed people in Edinburgh. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 29th award is support to the Samaritans of Kirkcaldy & District, to assist in the planned expansion and refurbishment of their building in Kirkcaldy. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 28th award is support for a new literacy and community business support project in Yuhu village, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China, initiated by Scottish charity in Dundee. For more details, see this page.
Appointment of new Trustee - we are pleased to announce that Fiona Montgomery has joined The Blackford Trust as a Trustee as of 30 June 2012, replacing Gordon Brown.
We would like to pay tribute to Gordon's four years of service with the Trust, during which he has contributed a great deal of sound advice and enthusiasm to our deliberations, and to wish him well for the future.
Fiona brings a wide range of experience and we look forward to working with her over the next three years. For more details, see this page.
Reduction in 'Sharing Knowledge' section of website - we have, unfortunately, had to reduce work on updating the 'Sharing Knowledge' section of our website due to time pressures. The 'Events' page has been removed and the 'News' page will not be updated in the foreseeable future.
Dr Thompson's photos of Edinburgh - some of Dr Thompson's amateur photos of Edinburgh from the 1960s and later are now displayed on "Capital Collections", the image library of Edinburgh City Libraries and Museums and Galleries, here.
He chose both archetypal and lesser-known views, and in many cases he returned to stand on the exact same spot some thirty years later to recapture the scene - even sometimes waiting to get a bus in the same position ! His photographs date from the 1960s and the 1990s, recording how much, and (in some cases) how remarkably little, the cityscape has changed. Dr Thompson's images also include some taken from and around Blackford Hill.
We are grateful to Capital Collections for developing these photos for public use.
This is the second selection of Dr Thompson's photographs we have made available - see below for details of a collection donated to the John Muir Trust in 2010.
New Blackford Trust award - our 25th award is support to the Multi-Cultural Family Base (MCFB), Edinburgh, a voluntary organisation providing a range of services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
The new project we are helping to fund involves outreach support to vulnerable ethnic Chinese families in Edinburgh, and in particular, to support a Mandarin-speaking 'Early Years' worker. For more details, see this page.
New Hong Kong links for Scottish education - Scotland's education and cultural links with Hong Kong have received a significant boost with the launch on 13 January of the Hong Kong Scotland Education Connection (HKSEC). Teachers from Morrison's Academy, Crieff High School and business and education leaders from Hong Kong attended a reception in Edinburgh hosted by the Scotland China Education Network.
Nigel Fong, a Hong Kong businessman educated at Morrison's Academy, inaugurated HKSEC with a passionate speech, drawing from his own experiences of developing education charities in Hong Kong and Guangdong province of mainland China. His slogan is “Make it happen”, and this was repeated by Patrick O'Kane, his former teacher at Morrison's, who stressed the enormous value of cross-cultural opportunities for both Scottish and Hong Kong pupils visiting each other's schools and homes.
Archie McGlynn, a former Chief Inspector of Schools and now Director of the Hong Kong Schools Self-Evaluation Network, explained how he had helped to transfer Scottish experience of school development to the Hong Kong system. Through such initiatives as 'Student Voice', this has helped Hong Kong students to contribute to their school's growth in a way that the traditional Confucian style of teaching does not usually allow.
The launch's host, Judith McClure of SCEN, said “HKSEC has a powerful vision and inspiring leaders”, adding, “ I am confident that it will enable teachers and pupils in Hong Kong and in Scotland to learn from each other and that it will grow”.
The launch of HKSEC was also supported by a wide range of Scottish organisations, including the Confucius Institute at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow Confucius Institute, the Scotland China Association, The Blackford Trust and several leading businesses involved with China.
Year end website housekeeping - we have made some minor "housekeeping" changes to our website. Our main news page now contains items from 2011 and 2012. Older material from 2006-2010 is on our archived news page.
We've also tried to tidy up broken and outdated links - we think we have got them all, but do
let us know if you find any that we have missed !
Dr Bell's Family Centre cook's school - the cook's school has been formally opened by renowned local chef Martin Wishart and pupils from Trinity primary school - for more details, see the bottom of this page.
Second Confucius Institute opens in Glasgow - a second Institute opened on 4 October 2011, the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow - its website is here. It is a partnership with Nankai University in Tianjin, supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Office for Chinese Language (Hanban). It builds on long-standing research collaborations between the two universities and is strongly founded on research on China across the University of Glasgow in the social sciences, arts, and business, in particular through the activities of the Scottish Centre for China Research.
Trust re-opens to applications - after a brief pause, the Trust has re-opened for applications. In addition, we are developing a particular interest in "social enterprise" - for more, see this new page. Regular users of the website will also note we have re-classified four of our existing awards under this new heading.
New Blackford Trust award - our 22nd award is support for Outf!t Moray, for their EnerG programme of outdoor activities for young people aged 7-18 who have additional support needs or who are having difficulty with their lives. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 21st award is a second grant for the work of Hope4China. This is to continue our support of this Scottish-based charity working in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to assist children into foster care and education. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 20th award is a second grant for the work of the Global Heritage Fund in Pingyao city, China. This is to continue our support of a programme of training and market development for traditional woodblock handicrafts in Pingyao. For more details, see this page.
John Muir Trust reports achievements for 2010 - our partner has provided us with details of their achievements for the project funded by our second year of support, including 296 John Muir Awards for young people. See bottom of this page for more details.
Senior Chinese government delegation in Edinburgh - a high-level Chinese delegation was in Scotland 9-10 January as part of a four day UK visit - various reports can be found here on our 2010 news page.
New website page - Scotland/China historical timeline - we have added a new page to the site, here. This is a "timeline" of historical connections between Scotland and China.
Many Scots have lived and worked in China as government officials, soldiers, business people, missionaries and travellers since the early 19th century, and even earlier. As heritage is one of our "charitable purposes", and as both Scots and Chinese value the past and past connections, we hope you might find the information in this section of our website interesting as background to the long (and generally friendly) association between the two countries. Students, teachers, business people and tourists may also find it useful as context for research and visits to China and Scotland. We hope you enjoy it !
New Blackford Trust award - our 19th award is to Autism Initiatives Scotland for their horticulture-based training and employment scheme for autistic people in Edinburgh and the Lothians. This is based at the Hermitage Golf Course, right next to Blackford Hill. For more details, see this page.
Pucheng County Women's Sustainable Development Association reports progress - our partner has reported a second round of loans to its microfinance clients - for more details, see update at bottom of this page.
Dyslexia Scotland reports on media training - our partner has reported on the outcome of their media training this summer, and plans for Dyslexia Awareness Week - for more details, see update at bottom of this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 17th award is support to 'The Step Up Project', run by The Rock Trust in Edinburgh and the Lothians, creating opportunities for young people to volunteer in the community and gain work ready skills for moving onto further education, training or employment. For more details, see this page.
Launch of Young Chinese Professionals Scotland - we attended the launch of the Young Chinese Professionals Scotland, alongside representatives of the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, SCEN, CBBC, the Confucius Institute, Ricefield and many other organisations active in Scotland/China affairs. This new network aims to unite and promote young Chinese professionals in Scotland, and to facilitate the positive developments between Scotland and China through linking with all groups interested in Scotland-China partnerships.
New Blackford Trust award - our 16th award is support towards media training for volunteers with Dyslexia Scotland, to assist them in their mission is to help people with dyslexia to reach their full potential. For more details, see this page.
Scotland-China Education Network meeting, Dunfermline - we attended this meeting at the new Confucius Classroom hub at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline, and gave a short presentation on the work of the Trust.
Perhaps most notably, at this meeting SQA reported that 251 Scottish school students would be taking Chinese language exams in 2010 - Access 3 - 157 ; Intermediate 1 - 27 ; Intermediate 2 - 19 ; Higher - 36 ;
Advanced Higher - 3 ; and Access 3 Mandarin for work purposes - 9. This exceeds the target of 200 set by the Scottish Government in the 2006 'China Plan'.
Article on Dr Thompson's landscape photos - an article about a collection of around 3,000 photographs taken by Dr Gordon Thompson during his many hillwalking trips around Scotland, which has been donated to the John Muir Trust can be found here, in the online version of the John Muir Trust Journal for spring 2010 - it is on page 27. This collection includes shots of mountains, forests, islands, wildlife, rock formations and standing stones, and these are now being indexed. We are grateful to the John Muir Trust for taking on this collection and developing it for public use.
See also above for news of a second collection of Dr Thompson's photo we have made available.
Hands on Shanghai reports results for 2009 - our partner has reported significant organisational developments, assisted by our award. These include 1,384 student volunteers trained in 10 Shanghai universities and 4,011 of volunteering hours. For more details, see bottom of this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 15th award is an additional grant towards the John Muir Trust's ongoing three year programme to support eight partner organisations across Scotland, all of whom specialise in helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in the creation and delivery of its John Muir Award programme. For more details, see this page.
Launch of new SCEN website - the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) has launched new website, which you can find here. This provides lots of great information about all aspects of their work, and links to many other relevant organisations.
New Blackford Trust award - our 14th award is support towards the Cyrenians Farm, a small community enterprise located just outside Edinburgh, and specifically the development of their organic egg farming business. For more details, see this page.
Blackford Trust article published in NIDOS News - the January issue of NIDOS News, newsletter of the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland (NIDOS), kindly carried an article about the Trust.
New Blackford Trust
award - our 13th award is funding towards a woodland volunteering and youth training project run by The Borders Forest Trust. This will provide training and practical experience in woodland management for unemployed young people, and support volunteering opportunities in community woodlands in the Scottish Borders. For more details, see this page.
New Blackford Trust
award - our 12th award is towards the winter 2009-2010 activities of the Dark Sky Scotland programme, Scotland's first nationwide programme of astronomy events. For more details, see this page.
Sunrise Library reports achievements in 2009 - our partner has reported significant organisational developments, assisted by our award. These include a new website, a children's film library, and training sessions for village librarians. For more details, see bottom of this page.
New Blackford Trust award - our 11th award is to provide support towards the work of the Global Heritage Fund in Pingyao city, Shanxi province, China. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Pingyao was the first banking capital of China. It is now renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall and buildings, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our specific support is towards a programme of training and market development for traditional woodblock handicrafts in Pingyao. For more details, see this page.
John Muir Trust reports project achievements for 2009 - our partner has provided us with details of their achievements for the project funded by our support, including 264 John Muir Awards for young people. See bottom of this page for more details.
Blackford Trust article published in SCA magazine - the September 2009 issue of Sine, the magazine of the Scotland China Association, kindly carried an article about the Trust, based on Graham Thompson's talk to the SCA AGM on 6 June 2009. This is available for download as a pdf here.
New Blackford Trust award - for our 10th award, we have agreed new funding for three places on the Access course run by Fairbridge in Scotland for their centre in Dundee. This will help young people who face multiple issues of social exclusion to develop the self-confidence and skills they need to change their lives.