Maureen Child blogs

Dear All

Youth Vision do many good things to help young folk that drop out of school to get a new direction at their bothy in the Pentlands and they are having a fundraising ceilidh at The Beach Lane Social Club in Porty, TONIGHT Friday 5 February (probably too late by the time you read this!).  All the details here:  More about Youth Vision here:

Portobello Market is back again this Saturday at Brighton Park 9.30am to 1.30pm.  More here:

Also on – tea, coffee and bacon rolls, books, gifts, crafts and tombola at St Mark’s Episcopal Church Portobello High Street at 11am Saturday 6 February. All are welcome!

I’m looking forward to going to Leith Decides! this Saturday 6 February from 12.30 to 3pm at Leith Community Education Centre when they will be deciding on 36 projects seeking a share of £22,000 of funding available from their neighbourhood Partnership Community Grants Fund.

Last year, four projects were successful in sharing the pot and lots of people took part and shared what they were doing locally. I’m hoping to learn lessons for the second year of our You Decide! PB process planned for Portobello/Craigmillar in May this year.  More here:

Following a couple of months of extensive consultation with lots of people of all ages across East Edinburgh by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT), there are now three proposed plans for Edinburgh’s newest park to be built on the site of the current Portobello High School and St John’s Primary School, when the new schools are finished.

There are also two names to choose from.  Have your say:  The information is available in Portobello, Craigmillar and Piershill Libraries with the opportunity to have your say there too.  I can email you copies of the concept drawings, but they amount to 8MB.

Here’s Big Lottery’s top dos and don’ts for applying their Communities and Families Fund closes 29 February:

Books for Babies are delighted to announce that Eric Brennan will be their Storyteller in Residence for 2016 at Craigmillar Library

This year – 2016 -is The Year of the Dad.  Fantastic initiative and about time we appreciated the role all our Dads play in our lives!  Find out about the difference that dads can make:

Date for your diary: Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) are offering opportunities tree planting at Craigmillar behind Neighbourhood Office/Library, Niddrie Mains Road on Thursday 18 February,11am – 1pm. There will be soup and cake to keep the volunteers going.

All are welcome, although children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult . Please do dress for the weather. Gloves and tools provided. For further details and contacts here:!/192106231309/photos/a.209078936309.132031.192106231309/10153917275766310/?type=3&theater

Citizens Advice Edinburgh offer welfare rights advice to patients at seven GP Surgeries across Edinburgh.  One is at Craigmillar Medical Centre. Info here:

Recognise anyone in this old Portobello Festival photo?

Last week I attended this Cyrenians Breakfast.  Have a look at what happened here, including the video on their work:  Lots of food for thought!

Thanks to my Portobello Rotary sources for a report back on this year’s Young Musician heats at Portobello High School last week.  Results:  A.  Most promising Hannah Low (Adams Family) B. Singing 1st Kieran Brown (Empty Chairs, Empty Tables).; 2nd Reuban Woolard. C. Instrumental  1st Daniel Torbett Schofield.  Piano. 2nd Adam Wells.  Trumpet. The Area Final is on 10th February at Heriot Watt University 7pm.  Audience members welcome! More here:

Community Renewal are currently having local 1:1 conversations with the residents of Magdalene and Bingham.   As part of a funding bid placed with the People’s Health Trust, Community Renewal are finding out what people like and don’t like about their communities and how they might make things better.

It’s early days, but Community Renewal staff – Sheila McWhirter & Archie Lowe – will be working in both neighbourhoods to talk and listen to local residents who have ideas on improving the quality of lives of people who live there.

At the end of those conversations, Community Renewal will write-up a report for the People’s Health Trust, highlighting what the people have said is needed and the project ideas that have come out of listening and talking to people who live there.

During the February school holidays (February 15 -19) Smart Play Network are running a play ranger week across Edinburgh with other partners in Magdalene and Bingham.  Edinburgh Play Ranger Week will run four simultaneous events across the city to promote the services and the benefits of outdoor free play.

This is the first time there has been a Play Ranger Week and they are really keen make this a success – with your help!  Smart Play Network is based at 16 Constitution Street, Edinburgh, EH6 7BT Tel: 0131 554 2620. Visit the website!


Grants between £8,000 and £12,000 are available to improve neighbourhoods. The next funding round for community greenspace projects opens in April.

This grant programme is managed by Groundwork, working in Scotland with Greenspace Scotland, and funded by Tesco customers from the proceeds of the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags as a result of the government carrier bag ’tax’. Got a great idea for a community greenspace? You can also nominate projects. More here:

The Climate Challenge Fund has supported 756 community-led schemes since 2008, including energy efficiency, sustainable travel and local food growing projects. We have been pretty successful in getting funding for this area over the years – in Portobello, Niddrie/Craigmillar and Magdalene.

Grants up to £150k per project is available via Climate Challenge Fund for community climate action. The CCF was allocated another £10.3 million in the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2016-17. Expressions of interest are required by 5 February  and a completed application by 19 February. More here:

Edinburgh Playing Out – Public Meeting 7.30pm Tuesday 9 February at City Chambers, 253 High St Edinburgh  EH1 1YJ A small group of enthusiastic people have organised this free public meeting to publicise Playing Out and the Playing Out weekend we are organising on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April.

Playing Out is a way of reclaiming our city streets for children to play safely and for all age groups to come out of their houses and speak to their neighbours. It involves closing streets on a regular basis (this is flexible, but could be one afternoon a month) and allowing children, under the supervision of their parents, to play outdoors.

Unstructured outdoor play with all age groups is important for children’s development. Streets which already organise playing out see an increased sense of community and responsibility  Residents’ cars, delivery vehicles etc are still allowed access, it is just through traffic which is prevented from using the road.

If you would like to hear how to organise a Playing Out street over the weekend of 9/10 April.

There were concerns from local people about new LED street lighting not being bright enough.  I can report that during week commencing the 18 January the LED street lighting output levels were upgraded in both Mountcastle Drive North and  Mountcastle Drive South at the request of local residents there.

I have chased up information about the timescale for installation bus shelters at Joppa Road and South St David Street.  The new shelter at the side of Jenners (for No 26s and 44s) is due to be installed during the current closure of South St David’s Street.

However, this depends upon the development across the street creating a space during which they will guarantee no lorry movements. This will be for negotiation between JC Decaux and the contractor for the Standard Life development across the street.

The shelter at Joppa Church is not likely to happen until much later in the year, once JC Decaux have finished their current programme of city-wide works.

If you have a missed bin, please do report it online – or call 529 3030. And leave it out for later collection.  I have still not got an Council officer answer to the vexed question of why electrical goods get left behind in the blue box recycling collection, but I’m not giving up!

Best wishes and have a good weekend!


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Chronicle Online

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