Maureen Child blogs

Dear All


Do you want to learn to play a brass instrument with Oi Musica? Brass Blast is an exciting opportunity for children (Primary 6 and older) who would like to learn to play trumpet or trombone. We also welcome existing players of any brass instrument (trumpets, trombones, tenor horns, French horns, cornets, euphoniums and tubas).

Classes are FREE and will be on a Tuesday from 4pm at The Wash House (Portobello Community Centre), starting 25 October. For more info visit This is going to be very popular – Sign up here: to secure a place on the course.


Portobello Book Festival programme is now available.  All events are free but you need to get tickets from Portobello Library to avoid disappointment, as many events always prove very popular and get snapped up early.  More here:


Towerbank Primary School playground had some fantastic improvements made to it over the past few months but there is still an awful lot of work to do to make it the fun and inspiring playground it should be! Two friends are looking for sponsorship to walk 26 miles as part of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk to raise money to help fund more playground improvements.

So, on the 18 September Liz Henderson and Eilidh Scott will walk 26 miles through the city for Towerbank. You can sponsor them by going to:


If you are local to Porty, then please sign up to become a member of Action Porty before Sunday early evening, 11th September.

A quarter of Portobello’s voters have already registered their backing for this attempt to secure Bellfield Church and Halls for the community, and we have every chance of securing Scottish Government support for this community buy out, and securing the funding we need to do so. Please go to and join Action Porty.

Joining is free, but note that if you have already registered your support with us online then you may be asked to ‘update your preferences’. Please do, click through, show your support and let’s get this first urban Community Right to Buy registration in place so that we can buy the Church and Halls at their market value, and so save them for community use.


A reminder that we are inviting nominations for fabulous new Community Councillors across Edinburgh and particularly for Portobello and Craigmillar.  Community Councils are only as good as the people who step up and contribute! There are two more weeks to go before nominations close: More here:


Do you want to waste less food, save money and help the environment?  Jack Kane Centre’s Garden Globe Project  are hosting a Kitchen Canny Workshop on Monday, 10 October, 11am – 1pm.

The workshop will look at how we can plan our meals and do our shopping to help save money and waste less.  Everyone who comes to the workshop receives the Kitchen Canny Kit (see picture) which has tools and information to help you get more canny in the kitchen!

Please get in touch if you would like to book a place.  You can phone Eleanor on 0131 657 1595 or email


A new free Play Talk Read Group for small children, mums Dads and carers meets at Sandy’s Community Centre, Craigmillar Castle Avenue on Thursdays.  Sandy’s is at 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064). All welcome: More here:


I said last week, that I had the privilege of sitting in on a meeting with some of the Syrian refugees who are settling in Edinburgh and their stories of how life is for them.  They are – so far – 100 among many, many people from all walks of life who come to live among us and contribute to our life in a vibrant multicultural Edinburgh.

In this article, through translation, two refugees from Syria speak to Common Space about their new life in Edinburgh: I know of many people who want to help but don’t always know what is needed.  This link shows you how:


Charitable grants can help individuals with costs such as bills, appliances or clothes. Search today:


This year’s Volunteer Recruitment Fair programme is now published.  See here:


(ELGT) is running an innovative, exciting and fun programme of woodland activities with the Forestry Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust Commission Scotland as part of a research study for people with early-stage dementia.

The activity aims to use the environment as a therapeutic tool for people with dementia and their carers. The programme will include shelter building, bushcraft, tree ID, woodland arts and crafts, safe firemaking, campfire cooking, conservation, bird watching, gentle walks and Tai Chi. For more information email


From this month the Tesco Bags of Help grant scheme will be permanently open for applications from a wide range of community groups, schools, local authorities and organisations.

Projects put forward for funding can now include both activities on outdoor spaces, greenspaces and parks and physical improvements to them. Find out more about the grants and/or contact one of Greenspace Scotland’s team of Community Enablers to discuss your application


There are loads of great things happening at Bridgend Farmhouse for you to get involved in.  See here:


There’s a Portobello Beach Clean Up at 2pm – 4pm on Friday16 September starting at the foot of Kings Road.  Sign up here:


Macmillan Cancer charity support workers are at Craigmillar Library for their regular support drop in every Monday and Thursday 11-3pm. More here:


The Council is consulting on Edinburgh’s Open Space Strategy and welcomes your input.  Well managed and connected green spaces are important for health and wellbeing, urban wildlife and supporting investment in the economy.See here:


The new Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) figures and maps were published last week, which some of you may find interesting. See here:


I thought this might be of interest to those who have strong views one way or another about 20mph vehicle speed limits in residential area. (Lights blue touch paper and retires):


This is how the Evening News reported the submission of the recent application for housing in the Baileyfield South site beside the site currently being built out:


The planning committee next week is considering the building of the new St John’s Primary School on the Portobello High School site and the demolition of the current games hall.  See the report here:

There will be a separate application for the new park on the rest of the site to be submitted by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust.


Thistle Foundation’s Centre of Wellbeing is part of Doors Open Day on Saturday 24 September between 10am and 4pm.  Find his fantastic new ‘door’ at 13 Queen’s Walk, Edinburgh, EH16   Thistle is at the heart of Craigmillar. Explore what wellbeing is and why it matters to all of us.

Whether it’s mindful meditation, tai chi, the art of good conversations or learning how to better cope with the stresses of life, wellbeing contributes to health, happiness and a good life. And who doesn’t want a bit more of that? The Thistle’s state-of-the-art Centre of Wellbeing reflects their innovative and pioneering approach to supporting people with long term health conditions today.

The theme of 2016’s Edinburgh-wide, Doors Open Day event is ‘Innovation, Architecture and Design’, and the Centre’s inclusion in the programme acknowledges the cutting edge approach of our new venue. There will be regular tours of the building, on the hour, throughout the day.


After some effective cycle campaigning by a local SPOKES member, the manager of Fort Kinnaird Liam Smith has announced some improvements to be put in place shortly.

The covered cycle rack currently in place ( opposite Cafe Nero) and there will be additional cycle posts installed there. The same covered cycle facility will be installed opposite Mothercare, within about four weeks. Further provision will be installed as Fort Kinnaird develops. Existing provision (the butterfly hoops) are being reviewed and will be upgraded.

Fort Kinnaird are encouraging all staff to use more sustainable ways of travelling to and from work. There are plans to improve signage and they are monitoring cycle use.


The Cyrenians Homeless Prevention Service covers South and East of Edinburgh and is aimed at anyone over 16, including couples and young families.

It doesn’t matter if someone is a homeowner, a tenant or living in temporary accommodation – they will help. we know there are many reasons why people can face losing their home. Our decades of experience mean we have an outstanding track record of solving housing problems and helping people avoid becoming homeless.

Whether you’re looking for support or would like to refer someone to the service, do get in touch to find out more: Call 0131 475 2556 or email:


Very well done to all involved in Artwalk Porty last weekend!  Here’s a taste of what happened:


That’s all I have time for this week.


Have a great weekend


Best wishes



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