Maureen Child blogs


Dear All

There is a “Meet the Funders” drop-in fair for community groups the general public on Thursday 3 December in Portobello Town Hall, 147-149 High Street from 1pm to 4pm. A whole range of grant-giving trusts and organisations will be there with representatives to talk to.  I better be there at 1pm, as I’m down to do the official opening.  Further details on the website:


The new Equalities and Rights Network (EaRN) is recruiting volunteers as Equalities Ambassadors to provide a vital link between local decision makers and the people most affected by inequalities and discrimination. Training and support will be given.

They’re looking for people who are: Aware of equalities and rights issues; Open minded and non-judgemental; Willing to listen and learn; Comfortable communicating on behalf of others; Prepared to accurately report back on communications.

The role will vary, depending on the strengths and experience each person brings to it.  EaRN are looking for lots of different people with different areas of interest. Do you know anyone who might fit the bill?  Perhaps you are/or know a service user, client or customer that you think would make a great Equalities Ambassador – if so, please encourage them to get in touch with EaRN for a chat and/or an application pack: Email: or 0131 561 8313.


Castlebrae Community High School is rightly extremely proud of the fantastic achievements of its pupils, which includes a significant rise in attainment levels of their young people.  Lots more here:  Castlebrae Winter Newsletter


We all miss the Craigmillar Chronicle and there is a big gap we need help fill.  Print and distribution is extremely expensive, but we have the capacity – surely – to exploit social media and get all our positive messages out.  The Chronicle Online digital media team invite you all to attend the session on the 18 November and to help share your stories about all the positive things going on in the local area that everybody needs to know about. Please circulate this as widely as you can. Get involved with Chronicle Online | Chronicle Online


Community Growing has become a big thing in Craigmillar, Niddrie and Magdalene with up to ten groups up and running – and needing volunteers.  They got together to network and find out about each other yesterday at Sandy’s community centre Craigmillar Castle Road.  The group were going to do some more work on the woodland there, but cold Hurricane Abigail had other plans, so we mainly huddled in the corner of the hall out of the wind and networked.  There is something to do in gardening or out of doors activities locally every day of the week and they more people are welcome to get involved. If you are interested in getting involved, do let me know. I came away with a big list of contacts!


The program for the 2015 Craigmillar Book Festival is out. Please do help spread the word on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Birthday:


A recruitment fair for care assistants/workers will take place in the East Neighbourhood Centre on Friday 27 November. The City of Edinburgh Council are looking for people to join their Home Care and Re-ablement Service in Edinburgh and are holding a recruitment fair from 10am to 1pm on the 27th November.

The service would be provided to the city’s older population and to vulnerable adults and aims to enable people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and reduce the need for people to visit hospital. For further information or an application form, please contact the Recruitment Team at: or telephone 0131 469 3976


This weekend, there’s a special pre-Christmas sale and show of original photographic art work with a Portobello theme by Portobello-based blind photographer, Rosita McKenzie this Sunday.  There are snacks and a free glass of wine plus a raffle and you can  purchase your own photographic portrait created by Rosita on the day.  That’s this Sunday,15 November 1pm at  Portobello Bowling Club, Lee Crescent, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 1LW


Are you concerned about the plight of refugees and want to do something to help? You can make and/or go along to buy an artwork at a special event. The theme is ‘Home’ – what does ‘home’ mean to you? All artworks are postcard sized (6″ x 4″) and can be in any medium (photos, drawings, textile art, poetry etc.).

The artworks will be sold for donations at Northfield Community Centre on Saturday 28 November from 7 to 9 pm. If you’re really quick, you could make one yourself and hand it in this weekend.  It’s important to come along to this special event and buy one of the artworks (minimum donation £2).

It will be possible to buy pieces made by celebrities as well as local people. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds will go to Re-Act (Refugee Action Scotland).


A set of variable speed signs which flash at speeding motorists, had been agreed for the Seaview/ Terrace/ Musselburgh Road/Eastfield , as requested a while ago by local Eastfield residents.  The spending has been agreed as a local project for the Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership who have come forward and have the main say on a relatively small section of the roads and footways capital budget every year.


Nobody denies that Brighton Place carriageway is very much in need of repair.  But the vexed question of whether to finish or rebuild Brighton Place with the historic setts or a new tarmac surface rumbles on. A survey carried out door-to-door by Brighton and Rosefield Residents Association concluded that 80% of those living in that part of the Portobello Conservation Area would want the setts replaced and the Council’s non-statutory planning policy ‘Designing Streets’ and the Portobello Conservation Area Character appraisal would support their view.

However, a wider community consultation by Portobello Community Council found a small majority in favour of a tarmac surface finish.  The whole question is now to be discussed and debated, as part of the overall consideration of priorities in the roads and footways capital investment programme by Councillors on the Transport and Environment Committee in January.


Want to know what the Open Day visitors thought of Brunstane Primary School? Prospective parents were asked on the day for three words that described their impressions of Brunstane. This is the result, click on: Friendly Brunstane School


Fun Fiddle Big Coastal Ceilidh is on Sunday 29 November from 3 – 5.30pm The Wash House, 3 Adelphi Grove.  You are invited to “Come and dance to Porty’s Biggest ever Ceilidh band!” Tickets from The ‘Really Wild Flower Shop’, 90 Portobello High St. £8 /£5 concession, kids under 5 are free!  More here:


Portobello Community Council have been working with Edinburgh Council’s Community Learning and Development team to gather views on services for young people in the area.  The event is called Portobello for Young People.  Please come to hear the results of that research and discuss how services and facilities for 10 to 17-year-olds can be shaped or improved in future. Monday 30 November 7.30pm to 9.15pm  at Portobello High School Entrance is FREE, but please register so we know how many to expect.

All welcome!  Please Register  Young people have a loads of good ideas and thoughts to contribute to their community and we should all learn to listen.  For example they have ideas on combating poverty and the stigma around it, see the Youth Parliament report here:


To celebrate Explore Your Archives Week the Thistle Foundation  are hosting an event at The White House on Niddrie Mains Road on the 18 November, 11am – 3pm. Drop in and have a look at some treasures from Thistle and the local area.  More about what the Thistle do here:


Loneliness is not simply about being alone, it affects our mental and physical wellbeing. Half of older people say the television is their main company. Portobello/Craigmillar, Census 2011 counts 3,359 people over 65 and 486 aged 85 pus. Loneliness is a major challenge, and something we have the power to combat by bringing people together in the community. The relatively new LOOPs (Local Opportunities for Older People) runs a phone line, part of a city-wide initiative to help older people get out and about.

If you are aged over 65, know someone who is, call LOOPs free to speak to one of their friendly volunteers about activities and services in your local area. They provide a professional service, bringing together contacts and information tailored to the person’s unique interests and requirements. One example: LOOPs had a call from a 77 year old lady who has a diagnosis of dementia and lives with her son.  Although her daughter visits every day, she’s alone while everyone is at work and can’t go out on her own.

LOOPs contacted a number of services who could provide her with care and enjoyable companionship in the safe environment she needed. LOOPs are also involved in hosting events across the city that bring people together, such as the recent Sew & Snack craft afternoon they held at the National Gallery of Scotland. LOOPs website has further information and includes a blog. The best way to contact LOOPs is by phoning 0131 603 8311. Their phone line is open on weekdays. Email enquiries can be sent to


The traffic regulation order (TRO) for School Streets Phase 2, including Towerbank Primary School has been advertised by the Council.  The plan is that the (largely) traffic free zone will operate around Towerbank Primary School 08:20 to 09:10 and 15:00 to 15:40 Mondays to Thursdays inclusive and 08:20 to 09:10 and 12:10 to 12:35 Fridays.  More here:

Whatever you do, have a good weekend!


Best wishes



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1 Comment

  1. Many thanks for mentioning the get together of community growers at sandys and for coming along. Carr gomm is hoping to host these monthly or bi monthly to follow on from this get together. I am the Craigmillar community grows worker for Carr Gomm and my remit is to help all these different gardens in various ways.I will let you know when the next one is so that it can be included in your bulletins.Thanks again

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