North Edinburgh & Leith organisations benefit from £150k coronavirus support funding



Charities and community organisations with practical solutions to tackle the urgent social and economic effects of the coronavirus crisis in Leith and north Edinburgh, have shared additional financial support worth £150,000.

Heather Kiteley

Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) was selected by the Scottish Government to act as a community anchor organisation to identify and support 11 local organisations delivering COVID-19 responses to receive much-needed funding from the national Supporting Communities Fund within a short timescale.

With a remit to fast track flexible access to funding where it is needed most, the programme built on the success of PoLHA’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which distributed awards totalling £50,000 during April and May for community-led interventions ranging from emergency food provision for isolated or vulnerable people to boosting access to vital online services and education during lock down.

Heather Kiteley, PoLHA Group chief executive, said: “I am delighted that PoLHA has been able to collaborate with the Scottish Government to administer the Supporting Communities Fund locally here in Leith and north Edinburgh. Demand for support from organisations has been very high, reflecting the significant levels of need that exist, particularly among vulnerable people in the local area.

“It has been inspiring to see how organisations have been able to create imaginative and impactful responses to the difficult circumstances presented by the coronavirus crisis. They have shown they can adapt quickly to new ways of working, often in very challenging circumstances, and it’s great that additional funding has been made available for them to keep on making a difference.”

A total of 11 organisations and projects have been awarded a shared of the £150k funding. These include:

The Edinburgh Remakery which will refurbish 100 computers for distribution to households in Leith and north Edinburgh. The computers will come with prepaid dongles to support ongoing access to the internet. Households will be identified via a network of local organisations.

Out of the BluePrint which will make design and print services available to local community organisations to promote services on offer to those not on the internet or who might be in difficulty for the first time and unsure how to access support.

Edinburgh Community Food, already offering a significant number of free or subsidised food parcels, will be able to better cater for BAME families by offering 50 BAME families free appropriate food parcels. The families will be identified via a network of local organisations.

Other organisations to have received funding include Building Bridges, Citadel Youth Centre, Dr Bells Family Centre, Edinburgh Volunteer Centre, MultiCultural Family Base, Pilmeny Development Project, The Ripple Project and YMCA Edinburgh.

Johnny Gailey, Out of the Blueprint project manager, welcomed the funding, saying: “The community eco-print service is a really timely driver for the Out of the Blueprint studio to reopen, providing our social enterprise with print jobs and income. But more importantly, we hope that through the service, over 120 local projects will be able to get the message out about the local recovery services they are offering to support the most vulnerable in our society over the summer.”

Mike Kerracher, manager at YMCA Edinburgh, added: “Since lockdown began we have seen a continued increase over the impact of restrictions on the many isolated women and vulnerable children who engage in our services. Funding will allow us to further expand our provision to give those we connect with meaningful, regular contact and support through 1:1 sessions and online groups, as well providing essential items and resources to manage mental health.”

PoLHA expects to be able to distribute further funds to local organisations that are delivering COVID-19 response services to households in Leith and north Edinburgh during the months ahead.



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