(I’ve been interested in participatory budgeting since at least 2015, thanks to Ali Stoddart‘s talks at the digiCC events I organised, and subsequent conversations with the Democratic Society. Until recently, I’ve not had much direct involvement but am now on the £EITH CHOOSES steering group.)
After much hard work by the steering group and others, £EITH CHOOSES 2018-19 is open to applications. The closing date for applications is 21 January 2019.
If you are in a constituted group that wants to run a project that addresses inequalities in the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area*, you can apply for up to £5000 of funding. Within ‘addressing inequalities‘, there are two themes:
- Food: preventing and/or mitigating hunger; growing, cooking, educating about food; providing or distributing food to people suffering from food inequality; education and/or support of people affected by alcohol issues
- Supporting vulnerable people: children, older people, disabled people, homeless people, vulnerable families/single parents, refugees, domestic abuse victims, isolated minorities etc
Your project might address both of these themes, but you will need to choose one when applying for £EITH CHOOSES funds.
£EITH CHOOSES is a participatory budgeting event, which means that people aged 8 or over who live, work, study or volunteer in Leith* will vote to decide which projects will be funded. Because we know that minority ethnic (ME) people and projects face significant extra barriers, we’ve decided on an extra ‘boost’ vote for projects that are by, with or for ME people. That is, as well as voting for their preferred ‘food’ and ‘supporting vulnerable people’ projects, Leithers* will also be able to give an extra vote to ME-supporting projects. (Our reasons are that while ME people face significant extra barriers, it would be patronising and wrong to apply a weighting to their votes or put them into a separate ‘ghetto’ category.)
Anyway, get cracking on your applications! Application forms, guidance notes and an explanation of the voting process are available from the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership website. In-person guidance on making applications will be available. The first of these is on 11 December, and there will be two more in January. Check the £EITH CHOOSES website and/or Facebook for details.
*The Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area is roughly the same as that of the three Leith community council areas: Leith Central, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, Leith Links. Check my web-map of Edinburgh community councils for where these CCs cover.