Update from Maureen Child

Dear All

The fabulous Save Bellfield Campaign has been successful and reached the next stage of their bid to buy the church and halls – as widely reported and celebrated.  More about our success in making the front page of the Evening News here: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/portobello/community-buy-out-of-porty-church-is-given-the-go-ahead-in-landmark-decision-1-4267603 A first for Scotland!  But the hard work is not finished yet.

The constituted body taking this forward, Action Porty, need more help from you in the next stage of their bid to use the Community Empowerment Act in buying this Church and Hall from the Church of Scotland.

The church is now off the market, where it had been on open sale to the highest bidder.  But we do need the cash to buy it and a business plan showing how it can be sustainable as a community asset.  Please do fill out this: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UsingBellfield and also find out what more you can do to help move this project forward to the next step!

As reported in the Daily Record and Third Force News, the combined forces of two community credit unions and a study group on Leith has come together to establish Castle Community Bank and it launched finally on World Credit Union Day.  More here: New ‘community’ bank launched in Edinburgh – Daily Record and here:


Find out more at www.castlecommunitybank.co.uk or email info@castlecommunitybank.co.uk or pop in to the local branch opposite Craigmillar Library at Niddrie Mains Road.  I am a member of our local community-based credit union, trading as Castle Community Bank.  I am also on the Board.

Castle is in the business of savings and loans. We must always lend responsibly and so credit checks are part of the process, to make sure Credit Union Members’ money – including mine – is safe.  But Castle lends to many of the people the mainstream banks would not contemplate lending to.

More good news – the Big Lottery Fund Scotland this week announced the latest 18 grants made under its five year £250 million funding scheme, designed to support people and communities to overcome challenging circumstances. The Community Alliance Trust Limited receives an award of nearly £150,000 to bring three housing estates in Craigmillar together through a community gardening and healthy eating project.

Bob Giulianotti, Community Alliance Trust Business Manager, said, “We are so excited at the prospect of not only developing local greenspace into community gardens but also taking the produce from the gardens into the kitchen and helping people cook healthy meals at affordable costs. We will also work with local youngsters to look at ways of improving their local environment for play. This funding will allow the residents of Greater Craigmillar to take ownership of their environment and use it to tap into the skills and assets that lie in the community.”   More here: http://chronicleonline.net/2016/10/21/east-edinburgh-projects-awarded-big-lottery-funding/

They will no doubt be teaming up with and other growing communities throughout Portobello and Craigmillar, notably the Garden Globe Project at the Jack Kane Centre.  More about it here: http://jackkanecommunity.org/groups/gardening-project/

Also it was really excellent to hear this week how a Cre8te Opportunities project, at Castlebrae Business Centre in Craigmillar, has succeed in getting three year funding from the Big Lottery to sustain and develop work with vulnerable women. That is huge testament to the wonderful award-winning work of Jules Sheridan and the Business Incubator over the years, supporting people into self employment.

There is a clean-up at Figgate Park this Sunday 30 October 9.30am to 11.30am meeting at the notice board beside the pond.  .

The old Portobello High School is now closed and almost emptied of things that can be used elsewhere, either locally or further afield.  Notably tables and chairs that have gone to Ghana, as reported in the national and local news this week.  More here: http://stv.tv/news/east-central/1370268-former-edinburgh-school-sends-old-tables-and-chairs-to-ghana/  The new school opens to pupils tomorrow.  SO exciting!

I told you about it last time, but it bears repeating for all you budding poets and performers out there.  Get creating!  Link here:


I found this interesting snippet of local history about a past Portobello resident that might interest you: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Laing_(antiquary)

Volunteers are still being sought for the Bristo Church Foodbank.  They are holding a Party on Halloween 31 October at in Bristo Church Hall from 5pm to 9pm.  Contact: Freddi Wilson 165/6 Craigmillar Castle Avenue, EH16 4DR. Phone: 07772 884 899

It’s good when a scary incident ends safely and happily, as when two men’s dinghy overturned off Portobello beach and they had to be rescued.  All the more reason to appreciate all our fabulous rescue services. More on that dramatic story here: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/two-men-rescued-after-dinghy-capsizes-in-the-firth-of-forth-1-4260031

Portobello Timebank have put out their latest newsletter on our recent and future groups & classes; update on Brunstane Burn and next date where everyone can get involved (Nov 5); A little background and research on what Timebanks across the UK are doing, including a £300k of return on investment. If you are not a signed up member, you can become one very easily by clicking http://www.portobellotimebank.co.uk/how-to-join/4592413034

If you have any queries or comments Portobello Timebank would love to hear from you.

You can also find Portobello Timebank on Facebook  or contact them by phone 07968 090 530

Come along to the Seventh Apple Day at the community orchard, Brunstane Road South, this Saturday, 29 October. from 2pm to 4.30 pm. There will be: Apple pressing and tasting; kids’ games; apple tasting and apples for sale; singing for adults and children; bonfire; teas, home baking, local juice, jams and chutney for sale If you have your own apples, feel free to bring a few along for sharing and bring a bottle to take some juice home with you. Come and celebrate autumn with us.  I look forward to seeing you there!

The 2017/18 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget consultation runs from 10 October to 30 November 2016, alongside the main Budget consultation.

The Council as landlord wants to know what our tenants think of the five year plan that aims to reduce their living costs by investing and delivering housing services differently, as well as, building 8,000 new homes over the next 10 years. More here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/tenantsaving

Could you cook an extra portion of dinner for an older neighbour? Meal Makers, the project bringing neighbours together through food, is in Craigmillar and they want you to join up today!

Meal Makers bring together people who love cooking (‘cooks’), with older neighbours who would appreciate having some delicious home-cooked food delivered to them (‘diners’). Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again – how often meals are shared, and when they are shared is decided between the cook and diner.

No money changes hands. This is simply a donation of food between neighbours. The only cost associated with Meal Makers is a £5 annual fee for diners to become members of the charity. More here: http://chronicleonline.net/2016/10/22/meal-makers-bringing-neighbours-together-through-food/

If you live nearby, you’ll know about these road works, but might wonder what they were/are about:


Portobello / Craigmillar GREENDYKES ROAD Between Little France Drive and Greendykes Drive City of Edinburgh Council – installation of new culvert Road closed to through traffic 24/10/16 24/10/16
Portobello / Craigmillar BAILEYFIELD ROAD At Sir Harry Lauder Road Network Rail – bridge maintenance works Road closed (on a nightly basis) with local diversions as signed 24/10/16 28/10/16


This is just a sample of the information I get.  If you would like me to send you the whole list of city road works weekly on Fridays, do let me know!

Your vote could help a local project  access up to £25,000 to support older people to get digital skills in Edinburgh.  Once registered, using the link below, you need to search for the Digital Skills project by entering ‘digital’ and selecting Edinburgh as the area. Thanks for your support and fingers crossed!  https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-3379

Find out more about the project from Lesley Morrison Project Manager Digital Skills Academy, Cre8te Opportunities Limited, Castlebrae Business Centre 40 Peffer Place Edinburgh EH16 4BB. Tel: 0131 661 8888. Mobile: 07840 242 345. Website here:  http://cre8te.co.uk/digital-skills-academy

Based at the new Thistle hub, get2gether is a small charity and we organise social events for adults with disabilities in Edinburgh and East Lothian. One of the latest additions to the events programme is a member-led event: the big Karaoke and Disco night at the Hearts Club in Craigmillar.

The October and November nights are £5 per person/carers go free. For the December night, they are planning a buffet, so the entry fee will be £10 per person/carers free, but if carers wish to eat it’s £5. More here: http://get2gether.org.uk/guest-blog

We’d like to invite adults with disabilities, and also people who are local but might be isolated and could benefit from a night out with (new) friends. Tomorrow evening – Friday 28 October (bit short notice maybe) 25 November and 16 December.  Contact infor@get2gether.org.uk or phone 07867179023

Do you have any views or comments on any of the large events held in Edinburgh’s parks, if so, we want to hear them! Go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DMG7ZC3 or email parkevents@edinburgh.gov.uk to request the link. The review will close on Friday 18 November 2016.

That’s all for now!

Kind regards


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