It is great to see that £eith Chooses projects funded by the votes of the local community back in March are now taking shape, for the benefit of the community. Leith Primary School sent a photo of the ‘Trim Trail’ recently installed outside the school on Leith Links, with the following ‘Thank You’ message:
Thought I’d drop you a note to say thank you on behalf of Leith Primary Parent Council, staff and pupils for the funding we received from £eith Chooses. As you can see from the photo below our wooden obstacle course is now complete and the children love it. The contribution from £eith Chooses, along with over £3,000 we fundraised, has allowed us to greatly improve the outdoor space. Not having had a gym hall for four years, and a large temporary unit housing the nursery in our playground has been very frustrating. Having this obstacle course completed will mean the first stage in improving the outside space for the pupils even further.
If you’ve come here ready to vote online, there’s good news and bad news….
Good news – right place – you are absolutely in the right place!
This is where you’ll get the link to the voting site.
Bad news – Wrong time – you are too early (it’s good to be keen, but…)
Voting does not go live until 3 pm on Saturday 3rd March.
Please come back here after that and vote.
To vote, you need a special Access Code and Password- these are printed on special Voter Cards. ‘How to get a Voter Card?’ I hear you ask… There are various ways:
Best way is to come to the Kirkgate on 3rd March if possible, because that way you get 2 sets of votes. Next best way is to pick one up in one of the Leith libraries (MacDonald Road or Ferry Road) for one set of online votes.
Full details of voting procedures are here
£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.
Please get your application in NOW for £EITH CHOOSES (small medium or large grant) as time is marching on (deadline is 31 January).
There is £116,000 available, so a good chance of success for many Leith projects.
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.