Notes to Strangers and the Corra Foundation Result

Here at Blueprint100 we are always keen to try new things and explore ideas in order to better understand the world around us. In November 2018, we applied to the Corra Foundation for their “Let’s Change That” Grant.

For the past 33 years, the Corra Foundation has contributed to improving the lives of individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage across Scotland and in developing countries. The foundation has given out over £138 million in grants and made almost 15,000 awards to charities. Their vision is for a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives. Their mission is to make a difference to people and communities in Scotland, by encouraging positive change, opportunities, fairness and growth of aspirations, which improve quality of life.

The Let’s Change That Grant connects with Corra Foundation’s vision of a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives. This was a competition which aimed to shine a light on the difference people can make, often with small amounts of money. It helped the Corra Foundation and their partners to reach groups they might not otherwise, and it offered a great platform for groups to promote the work they do and the issues that matter to them.

To enter, Blueprint100 had to send a short video entry telling the Corra Foundation what they wanted to change and how. We decided on a “Notes to Strangers” idea, where young people would create and make signs to put around Dumfries town centre, contributing to brightening up the town and bettering mental health. This video was then placed in to the “Place” category and the public had to vote for which project they thought deserved the prize of £1000 which would put their plan into action.

Unfortunately, we were not successful in winning this competition but we congratulate winners from Lockerbie Academy on their fantastic school bags idea – well done! We also thank each and every one of you who voted for our idea – your support means very much to us and maybe we will have better luck next time!

We are planning to continue implementing our idea because we are aware that this is something the public would highly benefit from. Have you ever read something while you were out and about that has stuck with you? Did it make you stop and think? Was it the sign you'd been waiting for? Or did it simply make you smile? Well, we know that we certainly have, and we want to ensure that you have the chance to too.

On the 27th November, we held our very first Notes to Strangers workshop at The Stove, during one of our Melting Pot sessions. The plan was to create temporary paste-up signs and put them around the town, but the weather was too bad for this to happen. We changed the plan slightly and made some positive signs for indoors and put these up in The Stove. These are still available to read throughout the building, so be sure to come in and have a read! Although these signs are a very small gesture, they certainly do contribute to making you feel something good and change the way we are feeling at that moment in time. We envision these becoming something much more regular and permanent – professionally put up and kept so that the people of Dumfries can feel proud of the place they live. This ongoing project is a collaboration and made up of people’s feel good quotes, thoughts for the day or words of wisdom. Keep a look out for future Notes to Strangers workshops and be sure to get involved and add your own thoughts and ideas to this. Together, we can make things happen.

Notes to Strangers has been inspired by art work from Andy Leek who started the project after experiencing a mental health issue. He decided to try to help strangers that might be having a hard time. You can find out more about his project by following this link:


© 2020 Blueprint100 in affiliation with The Stove Network

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