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Edinburgh’s Climate Champions: Six Months of Impactful Community Initiatives

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Organizations reaping the rewards of the Edinburgh Community Climate Fund administered by the City of Edinburgh Council have taken stock of their progress in the initial six months of the initiative.

The council set up the £140,000 fund to help communities develop ideas and projects aimed at making Edinburgh a greener city.

The fund was established to support community projects to reduce household carbon emissions, encourage talk about climate change and support the city’s net zero targets. It was open to any Edinburgh-based community, voluntary or non-profit organisation which could apply for up to £20,000 to put ideas into action.

Due to the high number of proposals submitted, £40,000 worth of extra funding was made available in addition to the original £100,000, to allow as many projects to go ahead as possible.

The fund used a participatory budget approach which helps to achieve better outcomes for individuals and communities by involving and engaging residents directly.

During the ballot, which took place in March, participants were invited to vote for up to five projects. Voting was open to all Edinburgh residents who were eight years old and above.

There were eight successful groups, as voted for by the people of Edinburgh, who were offered funding for their projects. The successful groups recently shared what they have achieved in the first six months of the project.

Lauriston Farm’s Community Outdoor Kitchen was awarded funding of £20,000. The funding has allowed the group to construct two community sheds for tool storage for allotment holders as well as a community kitchen made of mud and straw. Rain-fed watering systems have also been fitted to the sheds and kitchen which will allow plot holders to irrigate their crops more easily.

Lauriston Farm’s Community Outdoor Kitchen

EdinBRIC’s, Building Bricks 4 EdinBRIC was awarded funding of £20,000. Following the award, EdinBRIC has used the funds to set up infrastructure and establish a triage for email enquiries and mailing list sign ups. The group has also fostered and encouraged new community groups in areas such as Shandon.

Cargo Bike Movement’s Food Sharing Project was awarded funding of £20,000. The project has collected over 37 tonnes of surplus food which goes to the Shrub Co-op Food Bank, directly combatting food insecurity. The group has participated in 19 events, engaging in conversations and offering bike trials to promote cargo bikes to 7,114 people.

Cargo Bike Movement’s Food Sharing Project

Fresh Start’s Starter Packs was awarded funding of £20,000. Fresh Start has been supporting people moving on from homelessness into unfurnished tenancies by distributing 10,148 starter packs. The project has also delivered their holiday hunger programme to 272 families who have benefited from Christmas present and food parcels.

SHRUB’s Wee Spoke Hub was awarded funding of £20,000. The funding has allowed SHRUB to hire two members of staff, launch a newsletter and hold several events, including eight training workshops. The project has also received three nominations from the SCSP Volunteer Awards.

Rhyze Mushrooms, Micro Mushroom Farms for three Community Cafes was awarded funding of £9,990. The group has been planning and consulting with the community centres they are partnered with to deliver the project. Volunteers have gained valuable DIY experience through helping to build a prototype miniature mushroom farm and the group has also held workshops to introduce residents to mushroom cultivation.

The Edinburgh Remakery’s Tech Donation Boxes for Schools was awarded funding of £20,000. Funding has been used to cover 10 schools as part of the Tech Donation Box programme for schools, with plans to reach another 10 over the next few months. The group has increased awareness of e-waste and the measures we can take to reduce this by delivering interactive talks with pupils. An in-depth video has also been created to explain how students, workers and their families can contribute to the programme by donating old tech and raising awareness.

Porty Community Energy and the Tool Library’s Cosy Homes and Cargo Bikes was awarded funding of £10,010. The project has supported community leadership and learning on climate change as well as working on the reduction of the carbon footprint of houses. The group has delivered several practical workshops on topics, such as draught-proofing and insulation services.

“I am delighted to see the fantastic progress our local groups have been making to address the impacts of climate change. The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund has provided a great opportunity for communities to develop and choose projects which are contributing to our net-zero agenda. We received a high standard of applications from no less than 56 local community groups which is testament to the ECCF’s success.

 “My sincerest thanks go to the volunteers at the heart of these projects who give their valuable skills and time to make sure they are such a success. As we work towards our plan to become a net-zero city by 2030, I’m confident that these projects will help us deliver our goals and I look forward to seeing them develop.”

Cammy Day, Council Leader

Find out more about the successful projects.

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