What a day! And Well done, Leith! A record-breaking 1,267 people (not including volunteers and some project applicants, so probably c100 more) came along on Saturday, showing a commitment in our wonderful community, and supporting all the brilliant community groups putting forward their project ideas for making Leith even better!
The sun shone, and the people came! We served delicious food from local suppliers, and many people stayed around to network and chat, after voting. It’s everything you’d hope for and expect in lovely Leith. We know that the project groups are all winners in their own ways, in who they are and what they do. The only sadness is that there is not enough money to fund all of them.
The ‘themes’ for this year’s £eith Chooses were tight, so that the only projects eligible for funding were ones that met the criteria of addressing inequalities and aiming to benefit disadvantaged people. Local community groups rose to the challenge and all put forward imaginative, creative ideas! There was also a requirement to actively include members of ethnic minority communities in project designs, and groups did this too!
This year we introduced the new idea of a ‘Boost Vote’ for a few projects that go ‘over and above’ in involving and benefiting minority ethnic communities, as some of these groups have been ‘left behind’ in previous years, due to ‘minority’ status and the fact that Participatory Budgeting is essentially a ‘first past the post’ model. We’ll have to wait for the count, to see the results of this innovation…. But it was heartwarming to see how generously the people of Leith accepted/welcomed this experiment, to make sure our community is ‘fair’ to all.