This will be my last update for 2016, as you and I just might have other things to do over the next couple of weeks! I do hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with family and friends.
I do realise for many of us this is not an easy time of year at all, for a whole variety of personal, family and a whole host of reasons and my thoughts will be with those people too. There are many good causes and appeals to contribute to at this time of year especially – locally, nationally and internationally – and it will be good to spend some thought, time and money on them too.
I was briefly at the Portobello CAB Christmas do and it was great to meet the relatively new CEO of Citizens Advice Edinburgh, Benjamin Napier, as well as chatting to friends and colleagues, old and new. The Citizens Advice Bureau is an amazing organisation, almost entirely staffed by volunteers. Not a lot of people know that. Do read more here and donate to their cause if you can: https://www.citizensadviceedinburgh.org.uk/blog/ceo-update-fundraising-appeal You never know when you might need their help and advice.
Craigmillar Library hosted two free film, food and crafts events this week. On Monday, several older people thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. On Tuesday a family event showed the Will Ferrell cult classic “Elf” which I heard proved very popular indeed. This is a fantastic initiative, bringing people together, so thanks particularly to Dani Waddell of Thistle and the fabulous Craigmillar library staff.
David Calder’s Porty Podcasts are proving quite a hit. Over 200 people have listened to my interview – apparently! Do have a listen to David Calder speaking to Head Teacher Ruth McKay and senior pupils to find out how they are settling into the new Portobello High School: http://www.buzzsprout.com/71622/451699-9-portobello-high-school and the interview with Row Porty: https://www.buzzsprout.com/71622/452948-10-rowporty-fun-on-the-forth.
I am delighted at the success of the growing partnership between Portobello Sailing, Rowing and Kayaking Club and Castlebrae Community High School. This is a seed I planted more than a year ago in Craigmillar and Portobello, and it’s bearing more and more real fruit. Read about it from the Castlebrae’s point of view in here: http://www.castlebrae.org.uk/cb/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Newsletter-Winter-2016.pdf
At our latest ‘Meet the Funders’ event out west, two organisations have information to bring to your attention. Greenspace Scotland Tesco Grants for open spaces, equipment, community events, sport, leisure activities are looking for more Edinburgh applications, so you might strike lucky. It’s open to community groups, schools and local authorities. More here: http://greenspacescotland.org.uk/bags-of-help.aspx.
Also have a look at Voluntary Arts Scotland new booklet – Cash for Culture –a guide to fundraising for voluntary led creative groups. More here: https://www.voluntaryarts.org/cash-for-culture
More useful information from The Chronicle on line. Have you signed up for mail alerts with The Chronicle yet? You should! This one is about refuse collection arrangements over the festive season. http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/19/christmas-waste-collection/
Another one is news on the waste treatment plant not far away over our border with Midlothian at Millerhill. http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/15/work-begins-on-millerhill-plant/
This is the first full year of the Equality and Rights Network (EaRN) working to ensure the voices of people with lived experience as a person with a protected characteristic under the Equality and Human Rights Act. As a member-led network, EaRN’s activities and focus are defined and driven by its membership base, which is growing.
This means that the best way to ensure that the equalities issues that matter to you are represented is by joining EaRN and having your say! You can either join as an individual citizen, an individual professional, or as an organisation.
For more information about membership please visit EaRN’s website https://equalityandrightsnetwork.org.uk/our-members/become-a-member/?utm_source=EaRN+News+%26+Updates&utm_campaign=ba21fc5d6c-EaRN+News+%26+Updates+-+16+December+2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9556b81a29-ba21fc5d6c-105756461 or contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the two Portobello Church of Scotland properties that were declared surplus, St James Church and Halls at Rosefield is being converted into residential and here is detail of what will replace the church halls, first of all: http://www.urbanrealm.com/news/6552/Portobello_church_hall_makes_way_for_townhouse_trio.html
It was great to see the fabulous Figgate Burn Park and the Friends group work featured so prominently in the Evening News this week. Click here: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/portobello/optimism-as-edinburgh-park-reports-more-animal-sightings-1-4320935
Finally – a date for your diary. I am chairing an open consultation meeting with my colleague and friend Claudia Beamish MSP who has launched her Bill to Ban Fracking in Scotland – completely. The Bill will be debated in the Scottish Parliament sometime in the New Year and is going through a period of on-line consultation following its launch, covered here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37865488
This Portobello event is a unique opportunity to discuss the Bill in person. Claudia will be there to talk about her Bill, alongside a spokesperson from our local anti-fracking campaign Our Forth on Monday 16 January, Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 7pm. For more about Claudia’s Bill and an opportunity to comment on-line click here: https://files.smartsurvey.io/2/0/ALQI8/20161102_Prohibition_of_Fracking_Consultation__Final.pdf
I look forward to getting back in touch in the New Year!