£eith Chooses has received 67 valid applications for funding, which is an all-time high!
It shows how many dynamic organisations and individuals, and exciting new ideas there are in Leith. Also, it has to be said, it shows there is a desperate need for money to take projects forward, in these difficult times of cuts and inequalities.
The projects are divided into three separate groups (small, medium and large), so in the vote, projects are only up against others in their group, not the whole 67.
When you come to vote, on 3rd March you’ll find that the three groups are in three different rooms at the Community Centre. You’ll cast 4 card votes in each room.
People who make the effort to come and vote in person get an extra online vote. (And free drinks and snacks, a great chance to find out about all the project groups, chat to other voters, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon modelling!)
We have received many, many applications, and these are being processed and checked right now. With so many great projects applying, some will get funding but – sadly, inevitably – some will not. So, how is the money allocated? Well, YOU CHOOSE! Please come along on 3rd March and vote for your favourite projects, or vote online.
Leith (as defined by the Neighbourhood Partnership and Community Councils) is bigger than you may think! Any community project to be delivered within the area bounded by the black line is eligible for £eith Chooses funding. Apply now!
Also people who live, work or volunteer within the black line are eligible to vote.
Submitting your application form is not the end of the process of seeking funding for your project idea – it is just the beginning! You need lots of people to vote for your project, or it may not win funding, however wonderful it is…
Don’t wait until the Voting Day – start early to engage with the community to make sure people have heard of your group and your project!
Have you come up with a catchy title? Can you describe your project briefly and clearly so people can quickly understand its aims? Have you got an attention-grabbing poster, logo or banner? Have you got a presence on social media? Could you circulate a wee leaflet to relevant people / groups? Could you get interviewed on local radio?
In these days of wall-to-wall advertising, you do need to be prepared to ‘market’ and ‘sell’ your project, a bit, if possible. This may seem over the top, but on the other hand you can’t expect voters to know all about your excellent project if you don’t tell them!
Do please come along to discuss your ideas for a project, and to make sure you’ve covered everything, in your application.Support sessions are being held as follows:
Mondays: Leith Library, Ferry Road, 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm
Tuesdays; McDonald Road Library, 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm
Wednesdays; Leith Community Centre, 12-2 pm (Persevere Room) and 5-7 pm (Cafe)
Thursdays: The Hub, Restalrig Road, 12-2 pm only.
These will run throughout December and January (but NOT the weeks beginning 25th and 31 December)
Applying to the £eith Chooses fund is more of a ‘process’ than one-off act.
- You will be thinking about projects you / your group are keen to put into practice.
- Have a read of the Themes, the Rules and the Guidance , so your project will ‘fit’.
- Think about how much it might all cost and therefore which ‘pot’ of money you think you should apply to.
- Come and talk to us about it! This is a chance for you to ask questions; ‘brainstorm ‘ about how best to frame and present your application; and to get help, if you need it, with developing a Constitution and getting a bank account (not required for Small grants, but necessary for Medium & Large grants). It can be useful to use other people, who are slightly more detached, as a ‘sounding board’ for shaping ideas.
Our Help and Support Sessions are running through December and January (with a wee break for Christmas and New Year holidays). These are very informal. Their aim is simply to encourage groups to apply, and to provide whatever support is needed. They are taking place as follows:
Mondays – Leith Library (Ferry Road) 12-2 pm and 5-7pm
Tuesdays – MacDonald Road Library 12-2 pm and 5-7pm
Wednesdays – Community Centre, Newkirkgate 12-2 pm (Persevere Room) and 5-7pm (cafe)
Thursdays – The Hub, Restalrig Road 12-2 pm only
If you start having a conversation in one of these places with a particular person /team, it makes sense to go back to continue the conversation with the same people, in the same place.
You can apply to one of three funds:
- Small Grants (up to £500)
- Medium grants (£501 – £5,000) constituted groups only
- Large Grants (£5,001 – £10,000) constituted groups only
You don’t have to apply for the maximum amount, just what you estimate your project will need.
Look through the page tabs along the top and you’ll find the basic ‘need to know’ information about how to apply for funding to £EITH CHOOSES. We’ll be adding to these pages and filling out further details, as time goes along, so please do keep checking in.
If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We’ll also be posting the exact dates, times and venues for Help and Support Sessions through December and January that you can come along to, as often as you wish, for an informal conversation that hopefully will help you to sort out any issues and to get a good application form together.
We were delighted to welcome so many people to the Launch and first Funding Workshop of £eith Chooses last night – nearly forty Leithers came along to hear what it’s all about, ask questions, discuss ideas, and take away a set of Guidance Notes and Application Forms, hopefully to start preparing project applications.
Leith Walk Councillor Marion Donaldson opened the event with a short but inspiring speech about how Leith has been an early player in the development of participatory budgeting, (PB) which is now a worldwide movement giving local people more control over how funds are spent in their own areas. She stressed that the benefits of PB are not merely financial. Arguably, the biggest benefit is that of increasing local community engagement and strength – the chance for people to come together, find out what’s happening in their area, think about their own values and what they want for their community.
John Tibbitt, Vice Chair of Leith Links Community Council, explained briefly the differences between past PB events in Leith (£eith Decides, and, last year, the Leith Links Community Links Fund). To qualify for our generous grant from Scottish Government, we needed to show that we were developing our model of PB.
- Partnership – the three Leith Community Councils are working together with City of Edinburgh Council as equal partners, to deliver a more community-led event and with more funds than ever before to allocate to local projects.
- Themes – All project applications need to demonstrate how they fit the themes identified as priorities for Leith (through consultation by Leith Creative, NE Locality Plan etc.)
- Access for small and unconstituted groups to small grants aimed at ‘Encouraging Neighbourliness and building community spirit’
- Simpler voting system – An easier and more direct way of voting..
What is £EITH CHOOSES?
£EITH CHOOSES is a way for local people to choose the projects in their area that they want to see getting funded. Funding depends on how the community in Leith votes.
Everybody over 8 years old, who lives, works, volunteers or studies in Leith can vote. We want as many people as possible to take part. But voting is not until February/March 2018.
For the moment, applications are being requested from groups that have ideas for projects that would benefit people / the community in Leith. Help to get an application together is available – see Help and Support Sessions page.
BIGGER & BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE
For 2017/ 2018 there is an amazing £116,000 altogether available for projects. That money comes from funding obtained by Leith Links Community Council from Scottish Government (Community Choices Fund) put together with £44,000 from the Community Grants Fund monies that is allocated to the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership by City of Edinburgh Council. See our Grant Pots, Themes, and Rules pages.
The Launch and first Funding Workshop is tonight, Wednesday 22nd November 2017. Do please come along and hear what it’s all about, discuss ideas and meet possible (project) partners, grab a set of Guidance Notes and Application Forms, have a Tunnocks teacake….