£eithChooses Gallery of Project Applications 2023-2024

Twenty three brilliant  People Make Leith projects are listed below (in random order). They are all applying to £eith Chooses, and need Leithers’ votes if they are to get funding. Have a look here and think about which you want to vote for. (The projects are also summarised on the voting site, when you get to that stage, from 16th January.) There is only £52,000 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!

Read about how to vote at https://www.leithchooses.net/eithchooses-voting-2024. (This link opens a new tab or new window.)

Click on any photo below to see it in full size, in a new tab or new window.

LeithChooses is not responsible for other websites you may reach from LeithChooses’ website.

The Men of Leith Men’s Shed
Opportunities to meet, eat and learn

Amount requested: £1400

The Men of Leith Men’s Shed provides a space for men to meet and work on construction and repair projects, both to promote their wellbeing and to serve the community. We are seeking new funding to support the development of social and educational lunch meetings at the Shed. Our 50 members currently attend at varied times for varied practical activities, and we wish to enhance the cohesion and wellbeing of the group by developing regular alternate-week lunch meetings. This would enable the whole membership to meet and interact in a supportive setting, to which we propose to add two additional elements:

  1. guided food preparation – several shed members have professional expertise in catering and can help to educate others in good nutrition and cooking, up-skilling attendees and promoting healthy eating.
  2. informative but informal presentations to the group. These would range from group members sharing their experience and enthusiasm for a particular topic or area of personal expertise but would also involve invited speakers on a range of topics including physical and mental health, promoting the health and wellbeing of members.

Funding, supplemented by Shed funds, would cover the cost of food and any out-of-pocket expenses of invited speakers.

For background information: https://www.leithmensshed.org

Back to Top

The Junction
Growing Confidence Through Comedy

Amount requested: £5000

‘People make Leith’ is a fantastic theme close to The Junction’s heart, fitting perfectly with a new creative project, ‘Growing Confidence Through Comedy’ that we are seeking funding for, in partnership with Leith Comedy Festival.

LCF aims to inspire and create opportunities for the people of Leith by joining forces with local companies and charities to unleash the power of laughter for good. The project will work with a group of up to 6 young people (14-21) from Leith over the course of 8 weeks. It will address the ‘culture divide’ that young people with multiple inequalities may experience when accessing or participating in performance comedy.

It will also explore the beneficial relationship between laughter and physical and mental health. Leith Comedy Festival will support the young people during group work to share and develop their understanding of comedy, with advice from professionals on the comedy circuit, with an option to perform in front of a small audience.

We aim for young people involved to develop increased confidence and better mental and emotional health and will devise a weekly wellbeing routine that incorporates creativity, as they meet other young people and use comedy to tell their stories.

For background information: https://the-junction.org

Back to Top

Citadel Youth Centre
TGI Citadel

Amount requested: £4900

‘TGI Citadel’ will be a new, free youth club at the Citadel for 16 to 19-year-olds on Friday evenings (7:30 to 9pm). Young people can come and hang out somewhere safe with their friends, have something to eat and take part in a variety of sports, games and arts and crafts. They also can get support and advice from Citadel youth workers on a range of issues, including mental and sexual health, careers and housing.

We want to start a new club for 16 to 19-year-olds because they’ve told us that they feel too old for our 13+ Senior Club. We also know that people in this age range are most likely to be the victims as well as the perpetrators of criminal and anti-social behaviour, especially if they don’t have enough money to access other recreational activities and have to hang out in local parks or streets. We’ve chosen Friday evenings because we know this is when there are most calls to the police about incidents involving young people.

This project matches the theme because it will help disadvantaged young people to get involved in positive activities and make a better future for themselves and their community.

For background information: https://citadelyouthcentre.org.uk

Back to Top

SHE Scotland
Mind, Body and Soul at Leith Academy

Amount requested: £3650

She Scotland and Leith Academy aim to provide a unique opportunity for female pupils, to develop additional support, inspiration and develop to positive relationships. In partnership with SHE Scotland, the ‘Mind, Body and Soul’ programme will provide a resource, sounding board and safe space for young women in S2-S4. SHE will deliver a range of issue-based workshops to increase the confidence, self-esteem and awareness of issues which affect girls and young women. The workshops will include specially designed social media education. Leith Academy MBS will be supported and enabled to engage in a programme of workshops to improve young women’s socialisation, awareness of issues and approaches which will improve their mental health.

We would enable 30 young women to follow the MBS programme between January-April. We would commit to seeking sources of funding to enable the 30 young women to progress to the Ambassador stage of leadership training April-June.

Providing a foundation which improves the emotional and physical wellbeing of the young women will enable a stronger engagement in learning, developing core skills and creating a safe space. The programme would be evaluated, monitored and track progress and impact to feed into further funding bids or school curriculum.

For background information: http://www.shescotland.org.uk

Back to Top

Citadel Arts
Young Persons’ Company

Amount requested: £4496

We wish to develop a young persons’ company where performing arts are accessible for all local young people. Our recent Drama Group, which aimed to aid transition from P7 to Secondary, by strengthening confidence and transferable skills, was a success. It gave participants a safe, consistent space to create. We now wish to enable them to develop their chosen skills, peer-mentoring and fostering good social skills within the group.

To reduce barriers to accessing performing arts, the sessions will be free and inclusive to all young people, held locally at Custom House.

Our project will give local children abilities to work together to create a company that is shaped by them, providing space for their creative voices.

We will bring together young people from all communities within Leith to explore what social stuff means to them, how they connect and why their various communities support and shape them. Sessions will develop social interaction and creativity to explore where our connections to others shape our ideas, enabling the young people to share stories and creatively influence decisions that impact their lives. They will be able to direct, stage manage and take other background roles, if they prefer.

For background information: https://www.citadelartsgroup.co.uk

Back to Top

Edinburgh Remakery
Creative Community Club

Amount requested: £4950

Edinburgh Remakery’s ‘People Make Leith’ community project is all about bringing our community together and lifting everyone’s spirits through creativity.

Through our Creative Community Clubs, we will collectively create a fantastic piece of community art which will highlight the wonderful people that make our well-loved area of Leith so special.

At each club, the people who come along get to be artists – creating their own piece of art, with donated or discarded materials, such as fabric scraps, paper, lace, ribbons, beads, buttons, other decorative items and even pieces of old discarded tech. Our amazing artist and tutor – Isabell Buenz – will guide you through every step. Participants will learn the relevant simple techniques of cutting, sewing, binding, folding, origami, colouring, drawing, printing, and painting.

The pieces will focus on various aspects of Leith life, encompassing its industries, cultural landmarks, nature, festivals, art, and more. The goal is to celebrate the unique qualities, places and people that make Leith special.

All of this will result in an intriguing and varied collection of stories, colours, shapes, and textures. The individual pieces will be combined into a striking, a large-scale artwork. It will be proudly displayed in community venues across Leith.

For background information: http://www.edinburghremakery.org.uk

Back to Top

Leith Festival
Leith’s Got Talent

Amount requested: £1210

Leith Festival recognises the awesome talents of the people of Leith, and wishes to demonstrate that they matter and are important to the successful future of Leith Festival.

Leith Festival proposes to organise a ‘Leith’s Got Talent’ event series, aimed at adults and young people, culminating in a stage performance for the finalists at next year’s Gala Day (June 2025). Profiles can also be included in our printed programme.

Auditions will be held at two local venues for two categories. Auditions for young people age between 14 and 17 and auditions for adults. More than one audition per category might be required. A final for adults and young people will be held. Two adult finalists and two young person finalists will have the opportunity to perform at the 2025 Gala Day.

Application forms will be available at the £eithChooses voting day and online.

Judges will be invited from the local community.

Money will be spent on prizes for all participants, a compere for the events, venue hire costs and judges’ thank yous.

This project will give amateur performers opportunities to perform in a safe space, to build their confidence, to develop their performing skills and encourage them to show their talents more.

For background information: https://leithfestival.com

Back to Top

Super Power Agency
Learn how to write for computer games!

Amount requested: £4838

We want to run a free, week-long summer writing programme for P7s to S2s in Duncan Place, with healthy meals and snacks, creating a positive, warm, welcoming and fun environment to learn in from the 15th to the19th July 2024, between 10am and 4pm (which is 30 hours in total)

The topic will be Computer Game Stories!

  • Day 1 – Setting – World Builder, Game Designer, Cartographer, Concept Artist
  • Day 2 – Character building
  • Day 3 – High Level Design – Narrative Design
  • Day 4 – Writer
  • Day 5 – Coding

(We will have lots of fun break out activities throughout the day)
Each child will receive a perfect bound book and USB with the game on plus a fantastic launch party for friends, carers and the community.

We know this will work because teachers at schools in which we have delivered before have told us that the children feel a pride and enthusiasm they have never seen before. We notice literacy and self-esteem boosted from the beginning of our time with them. We want to help children’s mental health and wellbeing through creative writing and expression and know our free workshops really work. Thank you for considering us.

For background information: https://superpoweragency.com

Back to Top

Edinburgh Tool Library
The Edinburgh Repairmongery

Amount requested: £4920

Help us start ‘The Leith Repairmongery’, our very own version of ‘The Repair Shop’, in Leith.

Edinburgh Tool Library provides many services to Leithers – open workshops, tool lending, community builds for local groups and charities, and outreach work with people who benefit from our support. You may even have seen some of the ramps and little free libraries we have built.

Across the city, we have partnered with Repair Café Edinburgh to take repairing out to communities. This has been very popular and has prevented over 3·5 tons of carbon being produced and avoiding landfill.

To grow this repair culture, we believe repair needs a ‘home’ in Leith. Our proposal is to pilot The Leith Repairmongery. We will fix things for free or a donation, and we will even do it with you if you want to learn new skills!

We will work with existing repair services – complementing them not replacing them – and expect to get small electrical items, tools, lamps, toys. If successful, our aim is to make The Leith Repairmongery a permanent addition to our services.

Funding would allow us to promote the repair café and pay for workshop space, staffing and free refreshments.

For background information: https://edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk

Back to Top


Spit It Out
Leith Community Day

Amount requested: £4300

Leith is set to take centre stage as the backdrop of the 2024 Spit It Out Festival by Edinburgh-based, women-run consent and mental health charity Spit it Out (SiO). SiO uses the creative arts as a way to raise awareness around the issues faced by marginalised communities.

The festival in June will offer up an exciting day of activities in partnership with Leith Depot, Leith Cricket Club, Duncan Place, LGBT Health Scotland, The Croft, Lost in Leith, Sett Studios and the Edinburgh Open Workshop to create events celebrating the people and places of Leith.

There will be a wide range of workshops including: ‘How to DJ’; ‘Cultivating land & growing your own crops’ & ‘LGBT Health’; a big free community lunch; outdoor activities on Leith Links; and will welcome the evening with a night of performances in collaboration with the Ramshackle Queer Club night, 249 Parties, showcasing and array of LGBTQIA+ talent as well as offering an open mic at the Cricket Club!

The money provided will ensure we are able to pay all our collaborators, artists and workshop leaders fairly.

For background information: https://www.spititoutproject.com

Back to Top

Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain
Connecting Cultures

Amount requested: £5000
Qualifies for boost vote

We invite you to spend this event with us, share joy, and discover the richness of Scottish and Ukrainian cultures.

We wish to hold a family-friendly event, for people of all age groups that will celebrate traditional Scottish and Ukrainian music, dance, and food. It will end with a Ceilidh dance and Ukrainian folk dancing that all can take part in.

Whilst the displaced Ukrainians of Leith are very proud of their heritage and culture, they are also very keen to learn more about Scottish heritage and culture. We are proposing a fun, exciting and inclusive event that will give the Ukrainian and Leith communities a greater understanding of each other’s heritages and cultures. We have confidence that it will highlight the similarities between the two cultures that most will not realise, whilst also gaining awareness of some of the differences between the two.

As ‘People Make Leith’ we will invite Ukrainian and Leith ‘local’ people to perform at the event as we know the importance of creative originality and its way of achieving social and cultural development. It will provide all performers and attendees with a sense of pride in their culture and a feeling of well-being in themselves.

For background information: https://www.augb.co.uk/augb-branch-pages/edinburgh-augb-branch

Back to Top

Hibernian Community Foundation
Monday Matchdays & Memories

Amount requested: £4000

HCF, in partnership with Hibernian Football Memories (HFM), Pilmeny Development Project (PDP) and Leith Timebank (LTB), wishes to offer weekly activities sessions at HCF, supporting social inclusion and new opportunities for the Leith community. HCF, PDP and LTB will work in partnership to further develop ‘Monday Matchday Club’ taster sessions. These will include quizzes, board games, table tennis and pool, following a community lunch, offered within the Community Hub. In addition, Football Memories sessions (delivered in partnership with HFM) will provide opportunities for Leith community members to meet together in a warm welcoming space to look back on old Edinburgh, sport, music and more. The proposed activities sessions will run bi-weekly and will be open to all across the Leith community.

Leith Chooses funding will support refreshments, activity resources and costs associated to 48 delivery sessions throughout the year. In addition to the sessions offered, HCF wish to host Summer and Christmas celebration events with participants, as an opportunity to engage with wider community. These events would also a be key source of information on additional services available in the Leith community, with partners across the third sector invited to offer support.

For background information: https://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/we-are-all-hibs/community-foundation

Back to Top

Boys Thrive project

Amount requested: £4926

A weekly health and wellbeing group for young males aged 8-12 years, living in Leith. Sessions will promote positive masculinity, raise confidence and aspiration, build self-esteem, and reduce anti-social behaviour in Leith. Participants will be empowered by building resilience through learning a range of tools to manage their emotions, increase their support network by making new friends, and by mastering new skills (sports, cookery, STEM, music, arts). Referrals will be sought from existing links with local schools, social work and youth agencies.

We will use an educational toolkit developed for youth organisations in Scotland to promote positive masculinity by delivering fun and engaging workshops and activities. Participants will critically analyse negative stereotypes of young males portrayed in the media, challenge pressures to behave in a certain ‘masculine’ way, challenge unrealistic beauty ideals and broaden young males’ world view to become more accepting of those in Leith who have different genders, identities and ethnicities.

The project will benefit through direct links to our existing additional 1:1 supports when required.

People make Leith and we want to provide opportunity for young males to flourish and become the best versions of themselves, whilst exploring and understanding the difference of those in the community.

For background information: http://www.ymcaedinburgh.com

Back to Top

Dr Bell’s Family Centre
Family holiday programme

Amount requested: £4980
With funding from £eithChooses, we will be able to run holiday programmes in 2024 for families in Leith with a child under 5.

  • Over the summer school holidays, our 4-week Summer Programme will offer fun and free activities for families including day trips, workshops, arts and crafts, and cooking groups.
  • Going into the end of the year, we will host a Halloween party over the October break, giving families a fun free event.
  • We will end our year by spreading Christmas spirit to ensure that families are able to make memories and enjoy the festive period by easing financial pressures.
  • Over all these holiday breaks, we will offer extra support to families, including food, supermarket vouchers, household items, and meals to take away.

We know school holiday periods can be some of the most challenging times for families, especially for those already struggling. At Dr Bell’s we want to ensure that families have the resources they need to not only endure these periods, but thrive and make memories too.

For background information: https://drbells.co.uk

Back to Top

Leith Athletic
Club Equipment

Amount requested: £4000

Since lockdown was lifted, we have worked hard firstly to get our boys’ and adults’ teams back to playing football. We then welcomed into the club our girls’ section, along with a specially created training session for Ukrainian families who arrived in the area. Lastly, in the last few months we welcomed the Leith Athletic Giants to our club. This team is made up of oversized players with mental/physical issues who still want to play football. Our membership has now exceeded 550 players, which is amazing for our community club.

The reason we are now looking for funding is because we have so many players now but we don’t have the equipment to allow them to play when they should, so we need to invest in new goals for our youths and young adults.

For background information: https://leithathleticeos.co.uk

Back to Top

Leith Rugby
Developing Women’s Rugby

Amount requested: £4568

We have recently started a women’s rugby team, and have a project to ensure that it can continue to operate and grow. Leith is a wildly diverse place, full of lots of different people, but does not have a lot of opportunities for women to participate in team sports. We want to ensure the team we have begun to create can continue to grow and develop and attract more of Leith’s great people. We also want to have a pathway for our girls’ team (Leith Vixens) to continue to play rugby in Leith once they have finished high school. This team gives them the chance to do that.

As well as the physical benefits playing sport can bring, being part of a team can bring many more benefits. For many it can mean new friends, a safe space to be you, a place where your teammates will help you out with life challenges, meeting people that can help you settle into a new city or even just a place to have fun! We want to ensure we can continue to operate that place for women of all backgrounds.

For background information: https://www.leithrugby.com

Back to Top

Hermitage Park School Association
Community Playground

Amount requested: £3486
‘People Make Leith’ and we want to invest in Leith’s future by supporting our kids to improve their wellbeing and health, though active play.  We need funds to develop our community playground.

The grant will pay for the installation of bright, durable ground markings, so kids can enjoy physical, imaginative activity and improve their cycle and road safety skills.

Our plan includes:

  • A ‘mock road’ track, with roundabout and junctions, which children can use for open play and to develop road safety and cycle skills.
  • Giant snakes and ladders
  • ‘Mirror me’ circles
  • Giant Twister
  • Throw target
  • ‘Danger Track’

Our project will benefit all Leith kids: it will be open through evenings, weekends and holidays.  It will enhance a much-needed/used play space within this densely populated area.

1 in 4 Edinburgh children live in poverty. Our catchment area includes some of the most deprived areas in Scotland. The cost of living crisis has hit many families hard, leaving many with barely enough money for food and heat, let alone play activities. Children in poverty have far poorer health outcomes. Developing our community playground would bring joy, and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for kids who face the highest barriers to thriving.

For background information: https://hermitageparkprimary.com

Back to Top

People Know How
Supporting Leith to access the online world

Amount requested: £3456

Digital poverty is a pressing issue, particularly with the growing digitisation of education, work and essential services. Getting online can seem daunting or expensive, but having the confidence, skills and tools to get online can help reduce household costs, increase access to public services, and reduce isolation.

People Know How wants to help people in Leith who are struggling to be digitally connected access the support and advice they need to confidently and affordably get online, helping the community thrive in an increasingly digital society.

In April 2024, we want to deliver leaflets to 25,000+ households in Leith with practical advice about getting online including: online learning resources to improve digital skills, staying safe online, cost-saving advice on data/broadband packages and how to access affordable/free digital devices.

It will also include details about our free digital support in Leith: our weekly Reconnect digital group in Leith, where all are welcome to come forin-person support to get online and use devices, and our free national helpline for anyone in Scotland needing support with digital: 0800 059 0690.

£eithChooses funding will let us produce and deliver these information leaflets to 25,000+ households in Leith and help fight digital poverty.

For background information: https://peopleknowhow.org/reconnect

Back to Top

The Conscious Weaving project

Amount requested: £4600
Qualifies for boost vote

Weaving workshops that aim to bring the Leith community together to create art with a positive impact on mental health through giving opportunities for creative work, socialising, learning and self-expression.

The positive feedback from the wellbeing activities of last year’s Conscious Living Project at ELREC motivated us to create separate weaving workshops for the Leith Community that will engage more people in Leith but also will put more effort towards reaching people with mental health issues from ethnic minorities and other organisations in Leith such as ‘Thrive’.

The project will provide three 3-hour tutored workshops and open weaving sessions per month from March to November 2024. Participants will have an opportunity to learn how to create their own tapestries using handlooms, while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Each participant is provided with a starter kit and a wide range of sustainably sourced or recycled yarns and fabrics during the workshop.

The project would benefit the Leith community’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as help to build weaving community. The end of the project will be celebrated with a local exhibition in Leith, with voluntary participants showing the effects of their work and its impact on their wellbeing.

For background information: https://www.elrec.org.uk

Back to Top

Dunedin Fencing Club
Pride Fencing Leith

Amount requested: £1445

Leith is known to be an inclusive and diverse community, and we as a club wish to contribute to this through the creation of a safe environment for the LGBTQIA+ community where you can socialise, exercise, build and develop skills relevant to fencing.

All budding fencers will get benefits to both physical and mental health. The courses bring an immediate increase to physical activity as well as opportunities to build connections with others. This reflects a primary pillar of our club’s values, wellbeing.

We have run a number of successful beginners’ courses for the aforementioned target group already and are now looking to offer further fencing opportunities for those that joined us through the beginners’ course by enabling them to become fencing coaches.

The grant we seek will be used to fund the training of fencing coaches. Coaches will acquire British Fencing qualifications, safeguarding certifications, and first aid training as core requirements for supporting budding fencers joining the club through future beginners courses.

They will furthermore be equipped with safety gear and items to allow them to hold fencing sessions. This, in turn, will enable us to continue hosting inclusive fencing sessions led by and designed for the LGBTQIA+ community.

For background information: https://dunedinfencingclub.square.site

Back to Top

Think Circus, Leith Walk Police Box and Active Inquiry Theatre Company
Youth Showcase: Best of Leith & the Future Fringe

Amount requested: £5000

We want to show some of the 3 million people visiting the Fringe what Leith is all about – that includes circus, theatre and street parties! We will celebrate the amazing skills, ideas and creativity of people in Leith by hosting free events at Leith Walk Police Box during August – supporting businesses, building up children’s confidence, and offering theatre and music for residents to enjoy.

Leith Walk Police Box will host an outdoor, accessible, live event on Saturday 17th August 2024, including performances from Leith community choirs and groups.

Active Inquiry Theatre Company will make and perform a new interactive theatre performance, which will be fun and responsive with the aim of provoking creativity, dialogue and action on important issues.

Think Circus will run six classes for 7-11s, to learn skills and create a performance – boosting confidence, and giving a chance to be creative, make friends and learn new skills.

Our three organisations came together because we want to show what a great place Leith is. We will highlight local talent including future Fringe performers, create dialogue and action, build up children and young people’s ambitions, and support local shops and cafes by bringing more visitors to Leith.

For background information: https://www.thinkcircus.co.uk, https://www.leithwalkpolicebox.com and https://www.activeinquiry.co.uk

Back to Top

Edinburgh Community Food
Fun, Fit and Fed!

Amount requested: £4616
Edinburgh Community Food (ECF) will partner with Leith-based Upmo, to support Eat Community Cafés at Ainslie Park and Leith Victoria swimming pools and provide free, nourishing, plant-based meals for families who have visited the venues for swimming lessons and family fun sessions.

25% of Edinburgh’s primary school children are at risk of overweight/obesity (Obesity Action Scotland). There has been no improvement in number of people consuming 5-a-day (Scottish Health Survey 2021). This project will ensure that busy parents, struggling with the current Cost of Living Crisis, access fresh fruit nutritious meal kits to take home, making 4 portions of food.

We will spend the grant money on:

  • Provision of free Take & Make meal kits for families to take home
  • Provision of fruit for all centre users and staff
  • Create nutrition leaflets and posters to drive customers to the venues.


  • Promotion of project to Leith community, local charities, community groups & networks
  • Delivery of 480 Take&Make DIY Meal kits (1920 portions) to 2 Swim Centres
  • Delivery of 720 pieces of fruit for families and staff.

Expected outcomes:

  • Increased consumption of healthy, nourishing foods including five-a-day.
  • Increased cooking from scratch
  • Increased family bonding
  • Increased uptake of Upmo Community Café services.

For background information: https://www.edinburghcommunityfood.org.uk

Back to Top

Himalayan Centre
Intergenerational Gardening: Fostering Cultural Exchange and Environmental Awareness in Leith

Amount requested: £5000
Qualifies for boost vote

Our project, centred in Leith, Edinburgh, focuses on bridging generational gaps and enhancing cultural diversity through gardening. Targeting elders and youth, especially from ethnic minorities, this initiative promotes learning about traditional and contemporary horticultural practices in a communal garden setting.

Key activities and budget use

  • Establishing shared gardening spaces in Leith for 40 to 50 participants, fostering intergenerational partnerships.
  • Providing necessary gardening equipment and materials.
  • Weekly hands-on sessions complemented by monthly educational workshops.
  • Additional learning experiences through field trips and guest speakers.
  • Creating online platforms and physical resources to document and share the project’s journey and outcomes.

Expected outcomes

  • Enhanced physical and mental well-being of participants.
  • Strengthened community ties, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity.
  • Increased awareness of sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.
  • Improved gardening and growing skills.


  • Our project directly benefits participating elders and youth, indirectly impacting the wider Leith community by fostering a deeper sense of connection, cultural richness, and environmental consciousness.

For background information: https://www.himalayancentreedin.org

Back to Top