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Maureen Child Update 15 April 2016

Dear All

A bit short (or woefully late!) notice for this one, although there will be more opportunities, and you might see people around and wonder what’s going on? There is a clean-up in Bingham today Friday 15 April, meeting at Bingham Community Centre until 3 pm.  Refreshments and lunch provided. More here on the online Chronicle:  Do sign up as a subscriber to the Chronicle and get future – timely – alerts of what’s going on locally.  There’s another opportunity at Magdalene next week, Friday 22 April.

Art Walk Porty are inviting artists to submit proposals for ‘Journey Lines’, a new project relating to the old railway line and stations of Portobello and Joppa, as well as Brunstane Station connecting to the Scottish Borders Railway. Three small awards are available to artists in Portobello, Joppa, Brunstane, or surrounding areas, and the Scottish Borders. Deadline for entries is 27th April. ‘Journey Lines’ will take place Aug and Sept this year. Full details and how to apply at:

Last night, around 40 of us ‘older’ Porty people enjoyed Portobello Heritage Trust AGM followed by a slide show on Portobello Gala Days by Margaret Munro. If you have photos or memorabilia of the Porty Gala Days, Fringe at the Seaside, Big Beach Busk, Portobello Open Door, Village Show or whatever do add them as originals or copies to their growing archive. The final report for Dig Portobello is now on the PHT website under ‘Archived Events’.

Two local families (the Browns and the Baillies) have started their own microbrewery – Bellfield Brewery – the UK’s first dedicated gluten free brewery, with head brewer being another Porty local – Kieran Middleton.  Their beers are now being stocked by hipster ‘hangout’ The Skylark, and Fine Wines among others. They’ve had interest already from across Scotland and the UK, so watch this space!

Do make sure you and yours are registered to vote if you are not currently on the electoral roll.  The deadline for registration (which can be done easily  via is 18 April and the deadline for requesting a postal vote is 19 April 2016. The Portobello Community Council are organising a Portobello Hustings on Wednesday 20th April in Portobello Town Hall at 7.30pm

There is an Understanding Parkinson’s Workshop  for Parkinson’s Awareness WeekHome Instead Senior Care, Castlebrae Business Centre, Peffer Place, Edinburgh, EH16 4BB Parkinson’s Awareness Week runs 18-24 April 2016. On Friday 22 April, local provider Home Instead is running an Understanding Parkinson’s workshop in their training suite Friday 22 April, 12.15pm – 1.45pm. Whether you are a family member of someone living with Parkinson’s or a professional, this workshop will help increase your understanding and awareness of Parkinson’s.  In particular the variability of symptoms people living with Parkinson’s experience and how we can all help.  If you would like to attend please email or call the Home Instead office on 0131 300 0599.

Local Portobello parents are aiming to resurrect the kids’ Samba Band which was primarily aimed at opening up music to kids who may not normally get access to extra-curricular activities. Sessions will cost £1 as opposed to the usual £15-20 a session which seems to be the standard. Although this is a Towerbank Primary School parent initiative, they really want to make the event as inclusive as possible and across the community. St John’s have already put it up on their FB page and they hope Duddingston and Brunstane will be doing the same. One of this year’s great community events will be Porty Zumbathon on Saturday  23 April.  This will be a fun event for kids and adults alike. You don’t need to be a Zumba expert or even have done it before to come and enjoy the evening. You can just prop up the bar in Prosecco corner if you prefer! Tickets are on sale in Friday Street and Favers.  Numbers are limited, so snap them up quickly!. There is also a Facebook page to follow:  All welcome.

The next regular Tea Dance and Singalong is next week at The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4BG on Wednesday 20 April from 12.30pm to 3pm.  The £3 entry includes cuppa, sandwich and scone. More here:

Claire Askew, one of four Scottish Book Trust Reading Champions talks about her first fortnight at Craigmillar Library:  Read all about it here: t

Craigmillar Literacy Trust is recruiting for a part-time Literacy Programme Coordinator. The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday 25 April 2016. Full details of the position and how to apply can be found on goodmoves or by following the Job URL:

The latest annual Edinburgh People’s Survey is published with details of local Council Wards, including Portobello/Craigmillar, on pp 16-17. In summary, there are short-term improvements in the last year, especially refuse collection and recycling for households receiving new collection methods. And there are long-term negative trends which can be linked to reduced funding of services, which are also reflected in national trends. Overall, Edinburgh continues to be seen as an excellent place to live. Full report here:

Media Trust’s Do Something Brilliant project want to build on the experience of the project and try to pick out key issues for the future of the sector both in Scotland and around the UK, they are organising a one-day conference looking at a range of issues in community media, hyperlocal journalism, crowdfunding and training in Scotland.  The event, is taking place mostly at Castlebrae Community High School, with workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions and plenaries, and a reception/celebration in the late afternoon at The White House. We’re hoping that a number of hyperlocal and community news websites from around Scotland (as well as the Bristol Cable, which is doing a Skype link-up) will take part on the day. They are also expecting a number of journalism students from the University of the West of Scotland and Edinburgh University TV will be taking part and reporting live on the event from UWS’ media bus, which will be based in the school car park for the day. There’s an Eventbrite page for the event which has sign-up info, here:

This is an interesting view of Portobello from the long-lost Portobello Pier.  However – I am told, on good authority – the information on the origin of the word ‘botch’ must be mistaken, since the word was already in use centuries before this. See here:

The Sporting Memories Network is still running a weekly Portobello Reminiscence Group, based on sport, to alleviate dementia, depression and loneliness in communities. The local weekly group stars up again, after an Easter break, this Monday 18 April from 2pm until 4pm in Portobello Library. While they run dementia friendly groups, anyone of retirement age is welcome and attendance is free. For more details, contact Howard Mitchell Coordinator – Edinburgh 07803128895.  Website is: 

Professor June Andrews on dementia: “Although there is still stigma, this public airing means that people are more open about dementia and allow themselves to think about it more than they did in the past. This is all good. Public figures affected by dementia in their families are recruited as champions by dementia charities and actively work to tell other people that it is reasonable to talk about it and share your story with other people. Often when I get in a taxi and the driver asks me what I do, I get a personal story from them about how dementia has affected their family”. I found her guide excellent:

Third sector organisations with an annual income of under £250,000 are being urged to apply to a new £500,000 Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund. They can apply for up to £20,000 to carry out activities over a 12-month period that will help to build social capital and make a real difference to the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable in society. The outcomes for the new Fund are: 1.An increase in social connectedness of people experiencing disadvantage; and 2. A reduction in the effects of social isolation in people experiencing disadvantage. Applications should be submitted by Friday 20 May 2016.

Visit the Voluntary Action Fund website for further information about the fund and how to apply:

That’s all for this week.

Best wishes for a fab weekend, whatever you’re doing!



Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

p.s. My face-to-face Councillor Advice Sessions, or ‘Surgeries’, are usually every Monday at 5.30 pm in Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) and then at 7 pm in Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue (Phone 529 5558).  Now also at Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, 1st Wednesday of the month, drop-in session 5pm-5.30pm, thereafter by appointment only up until 7.30pm. Please phone me on Direct Line 0131 529 3268 or Mobile 07718 666 481, or email to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.