Let’s Get it Sorted Together: our new campaign

Councillor Lesley Hinds joins Anthony McCallum, Keiran Weir, Casey Murray,, Ben Auld and Brandon Mould at Craigmillar Library/East Neighbourhood Centre. Picture: Greg Macvean

Councillor Lesley Hinds joins Anthony McCallum, Keiran Weir, Casey Murray,, Ben Auld and Brandon Mould at Craigmillar Library/East Neighbourhood Centre. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Evening News joins forces with Edinburgh City Council to help improve living standards and our neighbourhoods with our Get It Sorted Together campaign.

It’s a common story across the city – an area of ground lying unused, gathering rubbish and weeds when it could be transformed into a garden for local children.

Or maybe a community centre that serves the needs of hundreds of local people, but in dire need of a new coat of paint, a wall sprayed with graffiti by bored youths.

There are hundreds of places residents want to see improved in their neighbourhood, hundreds of projects they would like to carry out but all too often lack the tools or the finances to do it. Hundreds of ways that they could get involved to make their part of the city a better place for everyone.

Today, the Evening News is teaming up with Edinburgh City Council to give people the help they need to carry out these projects, support their local communities and improve their neighbourhoods.

For an application form click here

Whether it’s buying tools to turn an eyesore patch of scrubland into a vibrant community garden, getting paint and brushes to help spruce up a community building or helping to publicise a call for volunteers to tidy up their neighbourhood, we can help.

Together, we are calling on residents and groups to put forward their ideas for small community projects to improve the local environment.

Selected projects will be handed funding of up to £500 as well as publicity for appeals for volunteers or donations and support from the council to Get it Sorted.

Once your project has been completed we’ll be delighted to make sure everyone can see the work that’s been done.

Projects will be chosen on a competitive basis by a panel of council officers and the Evening News.

We are looking for projects which will help to improve the appearance of your neighbourhood, sort out a local problem for the community, or help create a greener, safer city. We are especially keen to support ideas that will encourage residents to work together to make their area a better place to live, work and play.

This could include anything from painting a community centre, planting bulbs on a community green, tidying up a 
derelict piece of land, fixing a broken fence, or even commissioning a piece of graffiti artwork for a wall.

Wherever you live – from Portobello to Granton, Corstorphine to Fairmilehead – we’re looking to support you.

Frank O’Donnell, editor of the Evening News, said: “Being at the heart of the local community is what the Edinburgh Evening News is all about. We know from all the phone calls, letters and e-mails that we receive just how much pride our readers take in their local community and how much it frustrates them when something isn’t right.
We’re delighted to be teaming up with the council and you, our readers, to tackle a lot of these problems. Together, we can get them sorted.”

While applications from existing community groups are more than welcome, we want to make sure this is open to anyone who has an idea they think could make a difference, and new groups or those who have not been in receipt of previous council funding are positively encouraged to send in applications.

Groups can put forward as many projects as they wish, although it is likely only one will be selected for support.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment convener, visited Craigmillar Library to launch the new campaign and meet some of the young volunteers who helped create the community garden there.

She said: “This scheme builds on our partnership approach to working with communities and is a 
practical example of a co-operative council.

“By providing a bit of funding through the Evening News, we can help people take control of a situation on their own doorstep that could make their immediate environment a lot better.

“It is amazing how creative people can be with a little support and encouragement, whether it’s about brightening something up with some paint or planting shrubs and flowers or fixing a fence, these things can make a big difference.”

Anne Denholm, vice-chairman of Wester Hailes Community Council, said there were many areas where the funds could be put to good use.

She said: “This project will be 
brilliant for the area – it’s a really good idea.

“There’s a real appetite in the community for people coming together with a common goal to improve things and lots of groups are going to want to apply for this. It’s a great opportunity to improve a local park or a children’s play area.”

We hope to support as wide a range of projects over the coming months as possible and will bring you regular updates on all the projects that we support.

So, is there something in your neighbourhood you want to get fixed or see improved? Do you think you know how it can be done?

To get the ball rolling, all you have to do is fill out the application form printed in today’s paper or if you prefer by clicking the link at the top.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s Get It Sorted Together.

Community joins together for big clean-up of Leith

Armed with brushes, scrapers and mops, volunteers have sprung into action to spruce up their corner of the Capital.

The youngest were still at primary school and the oldest had long retired, but all came together with one common goal – cleaning up their neighbourhood.

The community clean-ups organised by the city council and Police Scotland in places such as the Royal Mile and Leith Walk have proved a great success in recent years.

The initiatives, designed to complement ongoing cleansing and crime prevention work by the local authority and the police, have transformed the appearance of the neighbourhoods involved and cemented the great community spirit.

During the Ship Shape Leith project on Leith Walk, residents of the Port of Leith Housing Association, members of St Mary’s Star of The Sea Parish Church and pupils from Pilrig Park helped tackle eyesore graffiti and vandalism over the course of three days. Volunteers were provided with cleaning and graffiti removal equipment, while specialist cleaning teams from the council handled large- scale graffiti using chemical treatments. As each block was cleaned, “We Love Leith” was stencilled on paving stones to show that work has been completed.

The project was formed as part of Police Scotland’s commitment to community engagement and the council’s commitment to working with communities and partner agencies to improve local life.

Police Constable Andy Higgins said: “We are delighted to work on worthwhile projects such as this with our partners and our community who are volunteering to remove illegal graffiti and defacing of street furniture in the Leith area.

“Police Scotland is committed to tackling all forms of antisocial behaviour and will deal robustly with any person who is in involved in any acts of vandalism.

“We hope that community projects like this will really help to revitalise the community spirit of Leith.”