Edinburgh charity welcomes support from Airbnb
One of the recipients of the Edinburgh Community Fund introduced by Airbnb to ensure the city's residents benefit directly from tourism has spoken of the benefits the funding will bring to some of its most impoverished areas.
Based in a now-renovated farmhouse in Old Dalkeith Road that was gifted by the city council as a dilapidated wreck, the organisation’s mission is to provide a base "where all can learn, work and grow together to develop a flourishing community and place", with the help of its 408 shareholders.
It was one of four good causes voted for by Hosts on Airbnb in Edinburgh to receive funding from its innovative Community Fund, which raised a staggering £200,000 this summer as Airbnb donated £5 from each stay in the city during August.
Though the charity has not yet decided exactly how the money will be spent, interim chairman and treasurer John Knox said it would help ensure it could help some of the poorest communities in places like Craigmillar and Inch access its services.
“It means a great deal of additional security for us,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News. “It is a wonderful gesture and we are very grateful, we will use it to build up our programme and our whole community centre.
“Charities are always struggling for funds; we have grants that cover us for a few years at a time, but we are always concerned about what will happen in the future.”
The charity recently conducted a survey of 400 residents in the surrounding neighbourhoods to identify what was most needed, which will help inform its future efforts.
“It showed that we need to do something about mental health and about upskilling, that people want to take more exercise, do more gardening, so now we are trying to respond to those needs,” adds John.
“This funding gives us the freedom and flexibility to be able to do that.”
The other organisations which benefited from the £200,000 pot were:
LOVE Gorgie Farm, which offers a wide variety of social, educational and environmental programmes. The farm’s education centre provides education and wellbeing services to children, young people, adults and the community as a whole, and includes animal and nature therapy, creating educational tools that encourage new generations to create a brighter and eco-friendly future.
The Edinburgh Remakery, an award-winning environmental social enterprise committed to diverting waste from landfill, building a stronger community and promoting a culture of repair.
Pilton Youth & Children’s Project, which is rooted in the local community and committed to enabling each young person to realise their unique potential and to take a positive role in society.
“The Community Fund demonstrates how each stay on Airbnb can directly contribute to Edinburgh’s recovery from the pandemic," says Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb.
"The fund puts additional money into the local community, supplementing the money earned directly by local Hosts or spent by guests in the community. After a difficult period for charities during the pandemic, the Community Fund is playing a valuable role in helping important community-led organisations to recover and thrive.”
Find out more about the campaign and the local causes it has supported here.