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Maureen Child Update 06 October 2016

Dear All

The Jack Kane Community Centre are hosting a workshop on reducing food waste this Monday, 10 October from 11am to 1pm.  Each participant will take home with them a ‘Kitchen Canny’ kit which has tools and equipment to help us reduce the amount of food and money wasted in our homes if we throw food away.  Please do pass this information on to anyone who may be interested.  If you would like to join in, please do contact the Garden Globe Project’s development worker Elly, either by email: or phone 0131 657 1595.

The inaugural meeting of the new Portobello Community Council (PCC) is on Monday 10 October at 7.30pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall where the new Members will elect office bearers to carry the PCC on to its next meeting, at least. The following meeting will have a full agenda to discuss, that is Monday 31 October, same time and place.  I understand that the PCC agenda for 31 October will include consideration of the ‘New Brunstane’ planning application, following the public consultation PCC undertook.  The period for comments on this major Green Belt application was extended a month to 21 October, but the planning officer has given PCC (as a statutory consultee on local planning matters) a further extension of the time for putting their own comments until 1 November, given the timescales.

The Council last week agreed a consultation on the future shape of the services in the city, all of which underpin everyone’s daily lives. Please do take part! Details be found here: There is also a link there to a consultation on shaping the new long-term City Vision, which our Portobello High School youngsters helped launch. All positive contributions welcome!

Craigmillar Castle featured in the New York Times recently as a highly recommended place to visit – in preference to Edinburgh Castle if you have only 36 hours to spare in the City.  See here, if you don’t believe me!  Thanks to my colleague Councillor Gordon Munro for giving me the heads up on that one!  It’s now all over social media as a result.

The Thistle Foundation’s first foray into Doors Open Day on Saturday 24 September was a great success with over 200 visitors on the one day. Now the Thistle Foundation Centre for Health and Wellbeing has been shortlisted for this year’s FX Magazine International Interior Design Awards. The landmark project will be competing in the ‘Public Sector’ category against other projects from across the UK and beyond. The purpose-built Craigmillar facility replaced the former Tudsbery Centre and offers the local community a central Hub to come and discuss their health and wellbeing with the Foundation’s staff or experience a breadth of leisure activities including making use of a specially designed gym. The first floor of the building primarily comprises open plan office space and also features a self-contained living space, which offers overnight accommodation for support workers who are on call, out of hours. Well done Thistle and fingers crossed for a win in London in November!

Community organisations fighting inequality and promoting social inclusion can now bid for awards of up to £5000. The £333,000 available is being administered by SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) on behalf of the Scottish Government. The fund closes on the 31 October. More details here;

If you would like to share your event or story with the community news online Chronicle, please do contact them by email or use the form on the Chronicle website here:

There is plenty of positive local news from the fantastic Castlebrae Community High School including progress on the skiff they are building, thanks to a fruitful partnership with the rowing club in Portobello. I also heard today that their S4 won first place in the Merchant Company Prize for Initiative – just to add to that long list successes for the school!

By all accounts this road safety event was a great learning experience for senior pupils in our schools which will help keep them safe at a time when they are setting out to learn to drive. Statistically it is their young lives which are affected by accidents on our roads, as they are their most inexperienced as drivers.  More here:

Following a few requests, community enterprise Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG) have a produced a summary of their programme of activities for the next few months. This includes the weekly drop-in sessions and activities happening at the farmhouse, as well as other activities in the surrounding areas. This is below, so please do share! Bridgend will be having an open ‘bring and share’ type celebration event in the evening after their drop-in on 6 November. More here

I thought you might be interested in a local history link about Portobello sea swimmer Ned Barnie:

Another date for your diary: Apple Day in Portobello Community Orchard on Saturday 29 October. See here:

See all those wildflower areas in our parks and gardens – they are doing good work!  More here:

Edinburgh Leisure offer lots of activities for older people.  See brochure here:

Ageing Well Edinburgh has had over 10 successful years of making a significant difference in the lives of those over 50’s who regularly attend the activities. For further details on taking part section or telephone the Ageing Well team on 0131 458 2183 or email: All the activities are here: More on the background here:

“The simplest of moments – a word of inquiry, a knock on the door to check up on an older person, a quick chat in the street, an offer not to go for the messages but to go with them for their messages can be life giving; for us all.” – sound advice from Cyrenians: Click here:  Vintage Vibes is a partnership aimed at tackling isolation and loneliness among over-60s. They offer a number of options for VIPs (over 60s), including friendships based on one to one visiting in and outside the home, as well as friendship pools and family visiting. Vintage Vibes offer companionship, reliable support and the chance to be more connected with other people. They have a waiting list of VIPs who do need some support and it would be really great to be able match them with a local volunteer. During October, Vintage Vibes are actively looking for volunteers, particularly in Craigmillar. They are keen to speak to local groups of people and will hold a Volunteer Information evening at The White House Centre on Thursday 3 November. More here:

There is good reason for the city’s Transformation Programme which is causing such disruption to our current staff and services.  This is not just transforming the Council, alone, but all of us marshalling all the city’s resources to better effect, improving lives in the process. This is the kind of thing we should be able to tackle in future much more effectively by working together in future:

Following a consultation on new strategic priorities for Police Scotland, the government has identified localism as one of seven key priorities. They now acknowledge (at last) that the force should: “ensure that the needs of local communities are understood and reflected in the planning and delivery of policing at a local and national level.” The other six themes cover inclusion, prevention, responsiveness, collaborative working, accountability and adaptability, which recognises the need to tackle new and emerging threats to the public such as cybercrime.

The Portobello Heritage Trust annual lecture this year is entitled St Kilda: the Last and Outmost Isle. Angela Gannon, joint author of the book of this title, will give this lecture at 7.30pm on Monday, 21st November in St. Mark’s Church. Angela is an Archaeological Field Investigator and Project Manager with Historic Environment Scotland. The book this lecture is based on is a wonderful production and contains photographs previously unpublished. St Kilda is one of only 24 global locations to hold World Heritage Status for both its natural and cultural significance. It is also home to Europe’s most important seabird colony. As always all are welcome, so please bring a friend or anyone you think would appreciate what promises to be a fascinating talk.

People with dementia get by with a little help from their friends.  Anybody can become a Scottish Dementia Friend. It’s just about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition. This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay. Every action counts! More here:

It’s Portobello Book Festival this weekend and I will see some of you – hopefully – at the opening event in Portobello Library or at some of the other talks throughout the weekend.  Some events might already be fully for Portobello Book Festival next week, so get your tickets from Portobello Library as soon as possible or take your slim chances at the door on the day. More detail here:

And if you love books and writers, here’s another programme of Scottish Book Trust Events to look forward to –

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes



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