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The 20 interesting and worthwhile projects listed below are about Reconnecting in Leith – Nourishment, Creativity, Sustainability in Leith. Have a look here and think about which you want to vote for. (The projects are also summarised on the voting site.) There is only £56,102 available so, sadly, not all can get funding. You need to make the effort to vote for your favourites! And tell all your friends and family to vote too!
You are eligible to vote if you are 8 years old or over, and live, work, study or volunteer in Leith. You can vote online for up to four projects (including your ‘boost vote’).
Voting (online only) opens at the very start of Monday 24th January and closes at 23:59 on Monday 31st January 2022. Voting is online only, via www.edinburgh.gov.uk/voteleithchooses.
Amount requested: £5000
Citadel Arts Group wishes to launch a drama group, open to local young people. We piloted a secondary-aged Drama Group to aid transition from P7 to Secondary, strengthen confidence and transferable skills. This was a success, giving them a safe, consistent space to create. Linking with Citadel Arts writers group, we will involve a writer to help create a play that the group develop and rehearse, giving them the opportunity to perform, write, gain technical skills and leadership so all can develop during the project. Peer mentoring and fostering good social skills will be a focus. By working with Citadel Arts writers, we will link the youth drama and writers workshop allowing the generations to co-operate in a project to be performed locally. Sessions will be run at Pilmeny Youth Centre and are free, giving everyone access to sessions. We wish to ensure there are no barriers to performing arts.
For background information https://www.citadelartsgroup.co.uk
Citadel Youth Centre
Amount requested: £2900
Parents Reconnect will be a new group open to any parents/carers with children at the Citadel. The aim will be to help parents/carers reconnect with each other, the community, and nature, after the enforced isolation of the past two years.
We plan to offer a choice of outdoor activities in the local community that will promote positive mental health and wellbeing, including:- kayaking on the Water of Leith; wild swimming; outdoor yoga; woodland/beach arts and crafts; and mindfulness nature walks. We will also provide a healthy, outdoor ‘brunch’ for participants.
The final programme will be based on consultation with interested parents/carers, but we’ve already run this idea past members of our Parents Drop In, so we are confident that we’ll have lots of enthusiastic participants.
For background information https://citadelyouthcentre.org.uk
Amount requested: £2685
Leith has a rich history of migratory journeys. Our proposal is to collaborate with others (Leith Academy and Sikh Sanjog) to bring together the diversity of Leith’s communities through food.
Working with Leith Academy; Sikh Sanjog; Cyrenians Youth ambassadors and youth forums, to create a community food event. The event will be an opportunity for young people to experience making and sharing food that they would not normally make or enjoy in their homes alongside conversations that connect generations, migratory journeys and cultures; a celebration of the rich diversity and history of Leith and open to all in our community.
Drawing on a broad breath of expertise across our own organisation, our Youth engagement officer will assist in facilitating the young people to play a lead role in the planning and organisation of the event that we propose holding at Out the Blue in early summer before school holidays.
For background information https://cyrenians.scot
Dr Bells Family Centre
Amount requested: £3650
Dr Bell’s will offer ‘Connecting Communities, Sharing Cultures’ Summer Programme from July-August 2022. This will equate to two culturally themed food and creative sessions per week, based on our service users’ cultural backgrounds:
Sessions will include morning and afternoon activities for children and parents, and freshly prepared, culturally themed lunch. Each session will accommodate 8 children and parents/carers. We envisage participants signing up for different sessions, with some overlapping or doing multiple sessions.
The morning sessions will consist of a cooking group. Parents will cook while children are looked after in crèche.
Crèche activities will be linked to the country, with a sensory or arts focus. Older children will participate in similar but more age-appropriate activities in our Group Room.
After lunch, everyone will be invited to ‘stay and play’, with music, dance, storytelling and crafts related to the cultural focus.
For background information https://drbells.co.uk
Edinburgh Community Food
Amount requested: £4700
Edinburgh Community Food (ECF) wishes to support older and elderly members of our multinational communities to reconnect as we emerge from the pandemic. Older people have been particularly affected by isolation and the ongoing worry of Covid-19. Recent events have been detrimental to both physical and mental health and many are at risk of malnutrition. ECF will support older members of our community through the following activities:
For background information https://www.edinburghcommunityfood.org.uk
Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC)
Amount requested: £4985
Our ‘Green Leith Art’ project will fight loneliness, reduce social isolation, enhance wellbeing, and connect people with the environment by hosting free painting workshops and walks around the green areas of Leith.
The painting workshops will be accessible to everyone, easy to follow and will help people to connect with each other, as well as boost creativity and help people to develop greater problem solving and fine motor skills.
In addition to this, the walks will consist of going to different green areas every week and encourage exposure to nature and participation in exercises.
We aim to bring people together, who are at a risk of facing social isolation in Leith, helping them to improve mental health, specially after the pandemic, and encourage the connection with creativity and nature.
For background information https://www.elrec.org.uk
Hibernian Community Foundation
Amount requested: £3600
HIBEEATS (Hibernian Lunch Club) We will host a lunch club to re-connect the people of Leith at our home of Easter Road Stadium. Hosting 30 people every two weeks, we hope to engage with at least 200 citizens of Leith and break down barriers to participation, decrease social isolation and loneliness and promote a healthy diet. Our fortnightly lunch club will be free of charge for a full 12 months and will take on various themes throughout the year to promote our fully vibrant and inclusive community. We will also provide information and resources from the football club about the importance of a balanced and nutritional diet.
For background information https://www.hiberniancommunityfoundation.org.uk
Homestart Leith & NE Edinburgh
Amount requested: £3250
Operating year round, The Home-Start Garden Group will welcome families and their children once a week to explore a walled greenspace together, growing plants, vegetables and trees. Children can engage in play within the space and also help plant and care for the environment.
Parents can play alongside their children, enjoying the safe outdoor space, or have a hot drink and chat with other local parents. The families can take home plants and vegetables to either cook with at home or plant in their own garden or window boxes.
We know how important it is to families to meet other people, build friendships, and support one another. This group will enable this as well as provide opportunities for adults and children to connect with and experience the benefits of nature within an urban space.
For background information http://homestartleith.org.uk
House of Jack
Amount requested: £4900
House of Jack CIC will provide free weekly dance socials for older people, to fight loneliness in those who have become isolated, to aid physical rehabilitation of those recovering from surgeries or prolonged ill-health, and to support healthy brain function and levels of physical activity into later life.
Dance offers a multitude of benefits to older adults, improving health and wellbeing by not only increasing mobility, strength and balance – which help reduce risk of falls – but also by providing shared experiences, connection with the community and opportunities to be creative. Research shows regular dance sessions for older adults benefit those with a variety of conditions including Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, dementia and depression.
The weekly sessions will include coaching in a variety of Ballroom, Latin and other social dance styles by an experienced instructor, and time for tea, biscuits and music with the instructor on hand for further guidance.
For background information https://www.ashleyjackdance.com
Amount requested: £5000
Kin Collective is a social enterprise based in Leith supporting parental wellbeing in pregnancy and early parenthood at our Family Wellbeing Hub. We will provide funded places at our antenatal and postnatal groups, classes and workshops. Our support is offered in person, online and outdoors ensuring new parents stay connected, reducing social isolation. We will also set up a library for parents to lend, swap and share including slings, carriers and reusable nappies.
For background information http://kincollective.org
Amount requested: £4990
‘Picturing Leith’ is a community art and heritage project led by LeithLate which aims to bring people together and celebrate Leith’s community spirit. The project will centre around Leith’s much-loved History Mural located at the corner of Ferry Road and North Junction Street next to Leith Library. It was painted in 1986 by Tim Chalk and Paul Grime who gathered oral histories from Leithers and incorporated these stories into the final mural design, illustrating snapshots of Leith’s heritage.
The mural is now badly degraded, therefore LeithLate will work with the original artists, contemporary artists and local people to spark a community conversation about its future. We will take the same approach as Tim Chalk and Paul Grime, inviting Leithers from all walks of life to share their reflections on Leith’s past, present and future. We will work in partnership with community groups and Leith residents to capture Leith’s diversity and unique spirit. This project will be documented on film to create a shared community vision for the future of the Leith History Mural.
For background information https://www.leithlate.co.uk
Amount requested: £4900
LifeCare will cook and deliver FREE hot nutritious meals to isolated older people in the Leith area who for various reasons are unable to cook for themselves.
Our successful Meals on Wheels service supplies nutritious home cooked meals that are freshly prepared each day by our catering team in our professional kitchen. There is a choice of two dishes (one is vegetarian) and all dietary requirements are catered for. The two-course meal consists of either soup or a desert and a main meal delivered hot at lunchtime.
This also serves as a vital ‘check-in’ service – a friendly call to take orders, a hot and nutritious meal delivered with a chat from a familiar friendly face checking on their well-being.
We know that a hot nutritious meal is essential especially in the colder weather to keep an older person nourished and healthy.
For background information https://www.lifecare-edinburgh.org.uk
Amount requested: £4800
Milan has been delivering services from Leith for over 24 years, the heart of where most of our clientele reside. We have had a recent change of premises to Gilmerton and through this project we would like to give Leith residents an opportunity to come together.
Due to the pandemic, our services remained closed, we now want to build up the confidence of elderly clientele to both attend and travel to the new premises by taxi as due to ill health are unable to use public transport.
Build resilience by providing opportunities and ease in coming together for older people suffering from isolation and poor mental and physical health because of lockdown
Participants will take part in activities to promote good health and wellbeing and creativity.
Participants will share here a healthy nourishing hot meal, not otherwise possible as many are too frail to cook themselves.
For background information http://milanswo.co.uk
NEPAL Scotland Association
Amount requested: £5000
We request Leith to help us extend Taekwondo martial art lessons among BAME groups and the wider community to promote a healthy body, healthy mind lifestyle. The impact of Covid-19 has hit us all hard. So NSA started a language class every Saturday and Sunday over zoom with over 80 students from all parts of Scotland. We wanted to promote healthy living and healthy thinking. So to get them more active and physical, NSA started this initiative with master Surath Thokar Lama, founder of Highland master taekwondo academy, who is a registered British Taekwondo instructor. Surath believes he can teach more people from their age and background and progress far in 12 months. Due to budget restrictions, NSA could not get this running in physical space as it requires safety materials, a safety mat etc. A few days ago, we trialled a physical class, but safety was a concern for all. Please support this project to learn taekwondo in a safe environment with the proper equipment and promote and spread healthy body and healthy mind messages among everyone.
For background information http://nepalscotlandassociation.org
Amount requested: £4860
Our project will nourish and sustain older homeless people in Leith by helping them learn to cook and eat better.
In partnership with Edinburgh Food Social we will run cooking classes for 12 older residents, encouraging them to cook and share healthy food.
These individuals have spent years rough sleeping and have many health issues linked to poor diet. The isolation of Covid lockdown has increased health problems including depression. Childhood poverty or trauma means they may never have learned how to cook or eat well.
Research shows people who eat together feel better about themselves. We will help older people improve their diet and be more social. They will have new skills to help move on from homelessness and be more confident going out in the community.
“To sit in the park with a nod hello or the clap of a dog, makes me feel part of Leith again.”
For background information https://rowanalba.org
The Edinburgh Remakery
Amount requested: £4970
The Covid pandemic has taken its toll on people’s mental health, especially older generations who may feel anxious about getting out and about, and meeting and connecting with friends and neighbours like they used to. To reduce this social anxiety and restore confidence, The Edinburgh Remakery will introduce ‘Reconnect at Edinburgh Remakery Community Clubs’.
We are creating a vibrant community space where people can socialise, take part in creative activities, learn new skills, or simply enjoy being with others. From Spring 2022, our monthly clubs will give people the freedom to chat, laugh, share a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits and cake, with others in a safe covid-compliant space outside of their homes.
We can run numerous creative activities, such as visible mending, sewing, repurposing books, crocheting, and more, and will work alongside club members to understand what they would like to do and create activities tailored to them.
For background information https://www.edinburghremakery.org.uk
Amount requested: £3620
‘Inspiring Myself, Inspiring My Community’ a creative project with 10 disadvantaged young people from Leith/NE Edinburgh. Supporting them to explore their identity within their community and their aspirations for both. The project will develop young people’s creativity, understanding of community and self-esteem.
6 weeks of Groupwork will culminate in a Leith based exhibition/event – bringing people within the community together to celebrate, reflect and connect; whilst raising awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing and the Junction’s services. The exhibition will be hosted in partnership with Junction Youth Advisor volunteers and will be held in a public community space.
In addition, each participant will receive a pre and post project one-to-one session and an individual creative self-care pack. This project will be creatively nourishing, offering sustainable skills for young people to support their health and wellbeing.
For background information https://the-junction.org
Amount requested: £5000
After a challenging time, Leith families deserve a celebration of creativity and children’s potential. We will provide a programme of free circus workshops for 64 children, leading up to an outdoor circus event for all residents to enjoy.
The post-pandemic society is now striving for normality. People of Leith should be supported in rebuilding social connections and restoring their mental health and wellbeing. Research shows social circus can boost self-esteem and sociability. By offering circus to Leith residents we will help to build stronger connections, kindle a creative spark for all ages, and nourish minds and bodies.
We will provide six weeks of workshops in aerial dance, hula hoop and juggling. Our celebration event will take place on Leith Links, and will include circus performances, students showcase, and possibility for everyone to be involved in the circus fun. Bringing families together with creative, confidence-boosting activities will better connect our community.
For background information https://www.thinkcircus.co.uk
Amount requested: £5000
In the arts world people with learning disabilities are underrepresented; we want to help the Leith community see beyond disabilities with our Art Exhibition designed to emulate a traditional college experience. We will showcase the talents of around 50 students and show their resilience even though they have struggled with the pressures brought on by Covid-19. We will involve our students in all aspects of this exhibition from helping to plan out the exhibition space, building displays; gardening students will provide fruit and vegetables that will be used in refreshments (winter storage permitting); our community café in Leith Victoria will support our catering; our music and dance will provide entertainment; and our IT students will help provide a video diary of the exhibition’s creation. We want to support our students to broaden their potential for social interests and develop their skills so they can take as full a part as possible in life.
For background information https://www.upmo.org
Vue the Art
Amount requested: £5000
Our project reconnects people in Leith through creativity. We have recently negotiated access to the hoardings at Coatfield Lane for people to use as an art space. Building on work that we have been doing in Leith around public and street art, we would like to offer accessible workshops for people in Leith to come and try out spray painting. An artist and a community worker facilitate each workshop, ensuring that all participants get the time and attention they require. During the workshop the participants will learn about the history and culture of graffiti art, spray painting techniques and have the opportunity to create their own street art piece on the hoardings. We will also provide healthy snacks. Barriers to participation will be overcome wherever possible.
For background information https://www.vueart.co.uk