Craigshill Community Choices is a process that enables the local community to decide how public funding is spent. It aims to improve the overall wellbeing of individuals and families in Craigshill through addressing key issues facing the community. This is a pilot project as part of the wider development of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in West Lothian.
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£25,000 has been allocated to the community of Craigshill to address those key issues in the community that have arisen due to COVID-19 and to ultimately improve the wellbeing of the local community. This process gives groups and organisations the opportunity to apply for funding and local people the chance to vote on what projects should receive funding. This way of allocating money gives groups and organisations an opportunity to show how their project can improve an aspect of wellbeing in Craigshill and allows members of the community to decide how the money is spent.
A community survey was carried out to find out more about the impact of COVID-19 on the local community of Craigshill. This was developed by the Scottish Community Development Centre in partnership with Transform Craigshill (Transform Craigshill is the local community-led action group that is supported by the local services and organisations to help make a difference in Craigshill). 191 people took part in the survey. This survey was completed by those who live, learn, work, volunteer, play or do business in Craigshill. The findings from the survey are being used to update the local regeneration plan to ensure the needs of the community, and effects of the pandemic are fully addressed and reflected in the plan.
In light of the survey - and to make sure Community Choices meets the needs of the community, we are looking for projects that specifically focus on at least one of the following themes listed below.
Digital Innovation, Inclusion & Connected Communities: Enabling and supporting local people to be involved in their communities in innovative ways.
Poverty: Supporting individuals and families who are experiencing the negative effects of poverty.
Community Collaboration: Working together to benefit the Community
The School Bank works to prevent and relieve child poverty in families experiencing financial hardship in West Lothian, particularly in areas of high deprivation. They supply school uniforms and other essential items deemed necessary to meet the cost of the school day.
Currently, the School Bank support all of the Craigshill primary schools with their core school uniform service. This new project would involve extending the existing service to provide casual clothing to young people up to 18 years. This would include a basic set of clothing, such as joggers, hoody, t-shirts and trainers. Depending on the age of the child, this would cost between £30-50 per child. If awarded £5,000, we could supply up to 150 clothing packs, depending on the number of primary age and secondary age young people who are referred (adult clothing is more expensive). We anticipate that this project would support families who are currently struggling to provide clothing/shoes for their children.
Craigsfarm Community Hub works in partnership with the local community to make a difference in the lives of others and build a strong, resilient and sustainable community, promoting community well-being and resilience.
Craigsfarm intend to pilot a project that addresses health and mental well-being among adults in the Craigshill area to build resilience and the help individuals cope with vulnerability. The proposed project aims to help individuals improve their health and emotional resilience and give them tools and skills through art and movement to relax and cope with stressful and difficult life situations. The funding would be used to carry out two 5-week progressive art for relaxation and stress reduction programmes of 3 hours per session that supports adults with a healthy outlet for expressing and relieving feelings of stress and anxiety to relax the mind and body. We will provide three progressive yoga classes of 7 one-hour sessions aimed at supporting adults in developing a personal yoga practice to help prevent and reduce stress, anxiety and other strong emotions and encourage personal transformation.
The Youth Action Project (YAP) is an established West Lothian wide Youth and Community based charitable organisation engaging young people aged 10-25 years who are isolated from mainstream youth services.
The YAP is applying for funds to enhance the productivity, improve the organisation and promotion and to increase the footfall of the Craigshill Community fridge facility. Craigshill Community Fridge in Riverside Community Wing, Craigshill, expanded hugely during the pandemic, with the YAP partnering with W.L Council and the Food Consortium to source, collect, pack and deliver more than 5000 food parcels throughout West Lothian to vulnerable households. Craigshill was one of the highest beneficiary areas.
The funding is required for staff costs dedicated to coordinate the community fridge effectively to promote the service through social media, leaflet production and liaison with appropriate agencies. The funding would assist the Community fridge facility to remain open, and also to grow to become more effective and accessible to the growing number of people needing such a facility.
Spark was established almost 40 years ago to overcome issues stemming from social isolation. This is still a core aspect of what Spark delivers today.
Delivered in partnership with Almond Housing Association, Spark are applying for funding for a Craigshill Community Cinema. This will offer residents of Craigshill the opportunity to enjoy the big screen movie experiences in the heart of the Craigshill Community. Community cinemas generate important opportunities for residents to come together. They foster and empower people through the activities of both managing and attending screening events. There will also be the opportunity for residents with an interest in this area to improve their skills on all things digital, from learning basic computer skills to film-making and social media. The film group will learn all aspects of digital film making including how to frame shots, editing and sound production, even scriptwriting and acting.
Spark, in collaboration with Almond Housing Association, are applying for funding to deliver Craigshill’s first Story Festival to be held as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories.
This would consist of a week of children’s storytelling events from Monday 20th June, including an outdoor festival event on Saturday 25 June. At least 4 additional special story related events would also be coordinated during the school summer break. Spark aims to bring together those willing to share their stories to “Ignite the Spark”, particularly for the children of Craigshill and be the catalyst to a window of opportunities that they may not know or acknowledge is there for them to reach their potential. In the spirt of diversity and inclusion, the stories may be written, spoken, sung or in film. The festival will introduce inspiring stories of careers, wellbeing, resilience and inclusion in various forms focusing primarily on children and offers opportunities for children and their families to engage in a range of activities.
The National Childbirth Trust is the UK's leading charity for parents, for your First 1000 Days - right through your pregnancy, birth and beyond. Their vision is of a world in which no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society.
NCT are applying for funding for a local breastfeeding support project, where they would work alongside local midwifery and health visiting teams to identify pregnant mums across Craigshill who would be interested in breastfeeding. This would involve pairing mums up antenatally with a local Peer Supporter (a local mum who has breastfed her own child/children and has received some training to support others). The Peer Supporter would offer structured support to the mum and her wider family in the late stages of pregnancy and up until baby is 4 months old. Mums who have been through the programme of support would be encouraged to undertake Peer Support training to continue support provision for other mums locally in Craigshill. This would provide opportunities for them as a volunteer as well as potential employment opportunities.
West Lothian Youth Action Project are applying for funding to begin running a new activity club on Fridays for young people aged 10 and above from the Craigshill catchment area.
The club will be designed to meet the needs of the young people living in Craigshill. There are currently limited activities for young people to participate in, particularly on Fridays. The activities provided at the club will include table tennis, pool, football, athletics, arts and crafts, music and much more.
This club will be open to all, but families living close to the poverty line who often cannot afford fees for sports clubs will be targeted to ensure that all of the young people in the Craigshill catchment area have the opportunity to participate in these activities.