Blackburn Community Choices is a process that enables local communities to decide how public funding is spent. £25,000 has been allocated to the community of Blackburn to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and families through Community Choices. This is a pilot project as part of the wider development of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in West Lothian.
Voting has now closed and the results are in! The following projects will receive funding as a result of community choices. These projects all aim to improve health and wellbeing in Blackburn in different ways and will all benefit the local community. Thank you to everyone who took part in the vote, and to all the groups who applied.
£25,000 of funding was available and voting took place over a four-week period. A telephone hotline was also made available for anyone who was unable to vote online. Anyone who lived in Blackburn aged 8 and over was eligible to vote. A description of all the projects that applied can be found below.
"The Blackburn Oscars" is a project about film, film stars and cinema and is aimed at older residents especially those who are living with dementia or other memory problems, those who are lonely or socially isolated and those who may have long-term medical conditions as well as school pupils living in the Blackburn area interested in getting to know their older neighbours and the issues that they face. The project will work with older people and school students in Blackburn over a period of time to cumulate in a Gala Event in the Partnership Centre where local people can celebrate the work that was done by staging Blackburn's own Night At The Oscars.
'Singing Well' is a project which would give local people the opportunity to come together to take part in singing activity and enjoy a healthy meal. It is aimed at individuals with dementia, their families and carers, those with mental health issues, individuals who live on their own and those who would just like to participate and benefit from singing and sharing lunch with others.
The children that attend Blackburn Family Centre are able to take part in outdoor activities in the centre's outdoor area on a daily basis. The centre wants to enhance the children's experience of the outdoors by improving their outdoor area to provide a welcoming, fun and stimulating educational environment. To do this the centre will use their award to purchase new play equipment, planting equipment and new garden furniture.
West Lothian 50+ Network want to host a new activity in Blackburn where local residents over 50 years of age can learn Spanish. Local Network members have expressed an interest in the language and would be delighted if classes were to take place in Blackburn.
Blackburn Young at Heart want to deliver a new weekly 45 minute physical activity session called 'Paracise'. The sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of groups members, take place over 34 weeks and be delivered by a qualified Excite coach.
Comfy Spaces is a project aimed at young people aged between 10 and 21 years and their parents, grandparents and/or carers that live in the Blackburn area. The project aims to provide a safe place where local people can go to discuss their worries and concerns, get support, advice and information, where they will be listened to sympathetically and without being judged and where they can go to take part in relaxing activities, wellbeing sessions and holistic therapies.
Change In Blackburn are a Youth Forum who are part of Community Action Blackburn who come together to discuss issues that affect young people in the community and think of ways to make Blackburn a happier, safer and all round better place to work, settle down and start a family. The group recognise that mental health is a community wide issue and to help combat it the group want to organise a two day event focusing on Mental Health and Well Being in Blackburn. There will be four sessions targeting pupils from all local primary and secondary schools as well as their parents and carers and the general community.
This project will help local school children develop an interest and understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics and activities. The Friday After School Club and Community Action Blackburn will use their award to purchase the resources needed to deliver a STEM club for up to 30 children in Blackburn. This will enable them to participate in activities over a school year in the hope that they will pursue them in upper primary school classes and eventually inspire their subject choices when they enter secondary school.
Entertainment Sessions is a programme of three social events that will take place over twelve months in the Blackburn Partnership Centre. The programme is aimed at older members of the Blackburn community who live on their own, that suffer from the effects of social isolation, and, experience food poverty. The events will each cater for up to 50 local residents.
Blackburn Bulldogs is a basketball /sports club aimed at young people aged 11 to 21 years which enables them to take part in physical activities that benefit both their physical and mental health. The club would like to raise funds to pay for strips and track suits for all new members to promote equality and inclusion and ensure each new member feels a part of the team. The club want to be able to provide their members with a good nutritional meal when they attend training and as they now take part in competitions, pay for transport to take them to their games.
CairnsMoir want to develop a pilot project for a 'Blackburn Book Club. It will be developed in partnership with Community Action Blackburn and based in the Blackburn Partnership Centre. The Book Club will provide a service to local families as well as organisations working with children and young people. It will provide a selection of books for both children and young people, and adults to help improve mental wellbeing and support them in helping to deal with everyday family life.