Update from Maureen Child

Dear All

I was so happy to see someone else writing about Portobello and Craigmillar working together to improve opportunities for young people and raise their confidence and attainment. Jackie Brock writing in Third Force News, celebrates the strengths and challenges for education locally and what we are achieving by working together in partnership. Click here: http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/blogs/its-not-plain-sailing-for-castlebrae-kids-but-creative-education-can-boost?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Oktopost-twitter-profile&utm_campaign=Oktopost-2016-10+General+Campaign I am so very proud and privileged to work as one of the Local Councillors who gets to celebrate this place and all the positive people in it – the very best part of my job!

Keep everybody safe on Bonfire Night! A hard hitting play focusing on the antisocial use and dangers of fireworks is performed in nine secondary schools in Edinburgh in the run up to Bonfire Night.  ‘TOAST’ has been staged in Edinburgh schools for a number of years and will be performed to over 1,000 S2 pupils this week leading up to 5 November.

The 25 minute play is performed this year by professional actors from Strange Town Theatre Company, based in Leith.  ‘TOAST’ not only demonstrates how dangerous fireworks can be but also raises other issues such as peer pressure, bullying and managing aggression.

The production involves two actors playing 11 different roles, with the scene shifting between a home, a school, a hospital and a housing estate.  The principal character is drawn into an ill- fated escapade with stolen fireworks, with tragic consequences. More advice: https://www.facebook.com/EdinburghPoliceDivision/posts/1774668032789371

The Save Bellfield Campaign has now reached the next level.  The campaign to bring Bellfield Church and Hall into community ownership has now reached another important milestone, and there is a call to a public event to share progress and gather feedback on the proposals to take the project forward. Over 200 people attended the Open Day on 24 September in Portobello Library and well over 100 people also submitted written comments.

The members of the company set up to make the bid – Action Porty –  has been analysing all this community feedback with the help of their consultants and a clearer picture is beginning to emerge on what the buildings may be able to accommodate, how to best use the space, and how to make it all stack up financially.  So  – you are invited to a meeting on Tuesday 15 November 7pm at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church (formerly St Phillips).  Register here:  https://actionportylaunch.eventbrite.co.uk

The Action Porty team will summarise the community feedback  in a short presentation at the event and there will be plenty time for both questions and comments. If you missed it, coverage included this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-37791023 and this: 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

More and more amazing things are happening locally in our wonderful communities, every day of the week. One of Portobello’s oldest cinemas is to sell tickets again for the first time in 100 years. The old building, based on Portobello High Street, will throw open its doors to the public on the evening of 10 November when it hosts a special film premiere event promoting the work of an award-winning Edinburgh filmmaker.

The evening aims to raise funds to bring a teenager living in a care home in Malawi to Scotland to learn film production skills. The Cinema Theatre in Portobello closed around 1919, but records show that it didn’t screen films after 1915 (presumably because it was on war service).

It will open its doors for one night only in November, to showcase the work of the award winning filmmaker Walid Salhab and premier his stunning stop-motion/time-lapse animation film which has been shown at international film festivals in Cannes, Cape Cod and Pennsylvania. It will be the first time that this film has been publicly screened in Edinburgh. Much more here: http://www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2016/10/portobellos-historic-cinema-hosting-premiere-event-in-november/

Pupils were welcomed to the state-of-the-art Portobello High School campus after an extended half-term break and are naturally full of praise for their new surroundings. Read how the Evening News covered the event: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/portobello/new-portobello-high-finally-opens-to-students-1-4271222  P7 catchment area pupils and parents have been invited to the school tomorrow evening (Thursday) for a tour around the building.  The official opening of the new school building will be by the Lord Provost in early December.

In recent years, a number of local people – Twende Pamoja Trust –   have been working with young people here and in Tanzania with a range of projects focused on developing a Global Vision for Justice and Peace and a sense of self-belief in children and young people. They have no regular source of income which is why they set up ‘Pamoja Fashion’ and are now able to fund a number of activities and support a range of young people.

Twende Pamoja  are having a Fashion Sale from 7.00pm  on Friday 4 November and continuing on Saturday morning. If you are free, do go along to the sale, even for a short time, especially on the Friday night (where there will also be refreshments). www.twendepamojatrust.blogspot.com

This coincides with PEDAL’s Portobello Market (first Saturday of the month) next to St John’s at Brighton Park between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday 5 November. A good place to meet friends.  Full details here: http://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/food/portobello-market/traders-for-the-november-portobello-market/

Local Portobello young people Lewis Notarangelo and his pal Jordan Allan have set up a street food venture as a result of their passion for food and cooking. With some entrepreneurial flair, the boys launched it by working over the summer at a pitch at the Dalriada – and that went so well that they have been asked to host their first pop up restaurant at the Skylark in Porty on November 6. And the hope is now that it will propel their plans forward.

Here is a link to a piece from a leading food blogger – http://citylicious.co.uk/blogs/smokin-bros-find-low-and-slow-way-to-business-success-455

Fancy a fantastic night out in Portobello? The first ceilidh of the new season and back at The Wash House in Adelphi Grove, Portobello. A very special 9-piece Cosmic Ceilidh Band will be taking us through over three hours of dancing. Full licensed bar and fundraising raffle and surprise support act.

All the traditional Scottish burls and reels and some free dancing time. There will be  have the regular bar with local beers, organic wines, single malts, juices. This is a ceilidh collective and Cosmic Ceilidh Band joint event celebrating ten colossal years of the Cosmic Ceilidh Band and fundraising for The Sick Kids Foundation and Refugee Survival Trust.

Tickets can be bought online at –http://www.ceilidhcollective.org/  More info here:  http://chronicleonline.net/2016/10/28/the-ceilidh-collective-returns-to-portobello/

I attended the first day of a great conference last week.  ‘A great way to ignite democratic participation’, ‘an antidote to political apathy’, and ‘a learning process for all involved’ – these are just some of the benefits to using participatory budgeting (PB) we learned about on day one of the two day International PB Conference which was held in Edinburgh on the 20 and 21 October.

PB or ‘community choices’ is a way for local people to have a direct say in how, and where, public funds can be used to address local requirements. We did it two years running for community grants in Portobello/Craigmillar ‘You Decide’. Read more on what PB is here:  https://pbscotland.scot/about/ Full conference report here; https://pbscotland.scot/conference/report/

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Brendan Cox talk about the life and legacy of his late wife Jo Cox MP, please do take that opportunity now!  You won’t regret it.  BBC One – The Andrew Marr Show, 30/10/2016, Brendan Cox on the life and legacy of his wife Jo Cox  There are some people who inspire you to carry on in politics and she is one of them. Those other inspirational people live and work more locally and maybe you don’t even know who you are!  One of my great inspirations comes from the work of the Jack Kane Centre management committee and I had the pleasure of chairing their AGM last week – and telling them exactly what an inspiration they are to me!

Following a Boundary Commission review the Council’s ward boundaries have changed. The Council now need to change some polling districts and polling places to reflect the new ward boundaries. Read about the changes in the briefing note and maps at this link and find out how to comment on them. http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20033/elections_and_voting/1516/review_of_council_ward_polling_districts_and_places

Do enjoy reading this bike rider’s blog on Portobello. Brilliant!  http://bikelove-scotland.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/portobello-craigentinny-figgate-park.html

It was a lovely day for the Figgate Park Friends Clean Up last Sunday with tea ginger nuts and calendars for sale afterwards.  One of the objects the team fished out of the pond was a wheelchair in very good condition, probably only there among the ducks overnight.  We wonder if anyone is missing a wheelchair?  If so, the last I heard it was stored in the ATC hut at the Hamilton Terrace end and can be collected from there.

It was a fun International Night at Portobello Rotary where I enjoyed a lovely meal, laughter and entertainment in the great company of Rotarians and five young international scholars from the US, Italy and South Korea, if I remember right. It was a nice surprise to find that friends Lorna and Ellie – also local Porty residents – were on the bill providing the after-dinner entertainment. Portobello Rotary have asked me to become an Honorary Member of the Club.  While I am not quite sure what trouble that gets me into – yet – I am deeply honoured to be asked and have accepted, of course!

Another plug for the get together nights at the friendly local Hearts Club in Craigmillar. The Karaoke and Disco nights are 25 November and 16 December. They want to invite adults with disabilities, and local people who could benefit from a night out with new friends. Contact info@get2gether.org.uk or phone 07867 179 023 for more information.

Edinburgh Libraries are having a week-long celebration of digital reading. With library membership you can download ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers all for free. So make the most of your tablet, smart phone or computer and get reading today! They are running two competitions as part of our celebration. Simply borrow an ebook or audiobook on OverDrive to be entered into a prize draw to win a Fire Tablet. Borrow an audiobook on BorrowBox and similarly you can win an iPad Mini. These competitions will run from the 31st October till the 14th November. More here: http://yourlibrary.edinburgh.gov.uk/help/digital-reading-week

Finally, congratulations to St John’s Primary School who were recently awarded their second Green Flag for their ECO work over the past two sessions. The school have worked hard to improve the school grounds, recycle more materials on a regular basis and encourage children not to drop litter in the school area and in the wider local community. Well done to P3-7 in particular! Their next challenge is to investigate the UN sustainable goals and raise awareness of these in the local community.

Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope to see you around.  Please do introduce yourselves, so I can put names to faces!

Kind regards and best wishes


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