History of May-Tag

Maybole Community Council had first become involved with Youth Training Schemes in the late 1970s and over the years developed into Community Programme sponsors with several projects including:

Home Safety (carrying out safety checks in homes);
Pride in Our Community Scheme (PIOCS) - identifying local sites for improvement and carrying out the work.
Community Aid (employing people for DIY for the elderly and disabled);

Maybole Community Council was granted what was called “Agency Status” for Community Programmes in June 1988 and May-Tag Ltd was incorporated as a company on 10th August 1988, becoming known as the Community Council’s training wing. with its registered office in a former factory in Society Street, Maybole. In September 1988 all funding arrangements changed with the start of Employment Training and Community Programmes finished completely at the end of February 1989. Over £500,000 in government funding had been obtained. May-Tag’s initial contract for Employment Training ran for one year with a further one year contract to run until September 1990.

The transition from Community Programmes to Employment Training had been a difficult process. Initially, it had not been envisaged that direct recruitment would be necessary but in fact 48% of all May-Tag’s trainees had been recruited that way rather than through the local Training Agent (Work-Start). It was the only way to meet the profile. It also meant that trainees were volunteers rather than conscripts By May-Tag’s first AGM, the company had contracted with 29 employers to provide practical and directed training and 39 trainees were involved in this. The majority of training offered was project-based despite the fact it should have been employer based. Projects were necessary for many trainees who were not ready for placement with employers. By August 1989 May-Tag had 106 trainees and the total number of jobs carried out during practical work experience training was 3,624. Jobs ranged from restoration of the local West Church wall to collecting pensions for the housebound.

May-Tag then became a registered charity and moved to establish its headquarters in Maybole's 400 year old Castle (c 1560) leased from the Marquess of Ailsa and had two other local bases working on a number of local projects in South Carrick with the company attracting £150,000 from the National Lottery Charities Board for a three year project (painting & decorating, and gardening). A 12-month extension was approved to allow the scheme to expand into Girvan and local villages Other funding applications included £48,000 to the Scottish Office's Rural Challenge Fund for three-year match funding for an extension to a project which helped local unemployed to get back to work (in one year for example 33 into work, 34 into further education/training, and others set up as self-employed).We also worked with young people very closely and set up links to Carrick Academy with South Ayrshire Council funding £12,000 for each of two years for this; and provided support for a Community Profile project to establish the issues in the town which were fed in to the Local Plan. The project, called Signposts, was taken over and mainstreamed by South Ayrshire Council. An independent evaluation by Strathclyde University said it was an excellent value for money project. May-Tag was also instrumental in creating the local Charity Shop with its unique method of working.

May-Tag led the formation of the Maybole Community Development group which attracted over £160,000 over three years and over 50 local groups took part working in various initiatives including the local Business Association’s “hanging baskets” project.