£eith Chooses needs your vote, now!

Have you voted yet? £eith Chooses is the way that money gets allocated to community projects in Leith. There is £56,102 available but 20 charities/ groups have applied for up to £5,000 each, so sadly they can not all be successful. Who decides where the money goes?

Not the Councillors or Council officials (- though that’s how it was done in ‘the old days’)

Now, YOU do!

WE do!

If you live, work, study or volunteer in Leith, and are 8 years old or over, you vote for your favourite projects, and the groups / projects with the most votes get the funding.

It’s local democracy in action. It’s trusting local people community to know best what’s right for their own local community.

Voting is open until midnight on Monday 31st January and is pretty quick and easy to do. Please do participate!

What are you doing this weekend?

Voting in £eith Chooses, hopefully!

Voting is open for just two more days, and closes at midnight on Sunday 31st January. Don’t miss the boat! And please remind all your friends and family to vote (if they live, work, study or volunteer in Leith).
Vote at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/voteleithchooses
What is £eith Chooses? If you haven’t heard of it before, or haven’t voted before, here’s a quick run down of the background and aims of the whole thing – » Read more

£eith Chooses community meeting,10th November, you are invited!

Earlier in the year, there was a big question mark hanging over £eith Chooses, but the Steering Group has been working away in the background and the good news is that it is ON! There is £46,102 available for community projects in Leith (max £5,000 per project). Applications are open NOW and voting will be in January 2021.

Some things will be a bit different from previous years, but face to face discussions and advice sessions are not possible for now, so an online community meeting has been set up to share the news of how it will run, and to give everybody the chance to ask questions and chat about things. Survey results will also be discussed.

Anyone / everyone in the Leith community, or with an interest in participatory budgeting, is invited to an online community discussion meeting on Tuesday 10th November at 18:30 – 20:00 (max).

To get the link, attend and participate, please register with Eventbrite:


The meeting will be via the (free) Microsoft Teams platform

Read more / download an Application Form, at the £eith Chooses website.

£eith Chooses 2021 – it’s happening!

It was unclear whether or not £eith Chooses would be able to go ahead this year or not, but the good news is Yes! It’s happening!

The application process for £eith Chooses 2021 is now open – and your community group is invited to apply.

To find out more, and to download an Application Form, head over to the £eith Chooses website.

£eith Chooses (called £eith Decides, originally) is an annual event since 2010 in which members of the local community in Leith vote to make the decisions on how community grants funds are to be allocated to local community projects. It’s called ‘participatory budgeting’ (PB) but its more than that – it’s a brilliant form of community engagement and involvement,  as local voters get to know about the great community groups and projects in their area.

Leith Links Community Council has been very closely involved with this process for many years, having been the successful recipient of Scottish  Government  funding to support PB (between 2016 – 2019) and also very actively involved in the day to day running of the organisation of £eith Chooses (via the Steering Group – a partnership between the Leith Community Councils, the City of Edinburgh Council, and community groups in Leith).

£eith Chooses 2019/2020 | Your feedback is sought

The City of Edinburgh Council / Community Steering group who deliver the annual £eith Chooses local participatory budgeting process are seeking the views of our community on this years process.

Views are sought via an online survey.

It is important that as many people as possible take part in the consultation, whether they took part in £eith Chooses or not, as the collated views will inform future £eith Chooses processes.


To find out more information about £eith Chooses you can visit their website, their Twitter steam or their Facebook page.

Leith Links Community Council have played a key role in delivering £eith Chooses from its early days when it was known as £eith Decides.



£eith Chooses 2019/2020 | Project applications published

No photo description available.£eith Chooses have announced the twenty community projects which will be put to the public vote to win funding.

Come along on the day to learn about applicants to the Leith Chooses funding pot of £44,000, and cast your vote/s.

You are eligible to vote if you are 8 years old or over, and if you live in Leith, or work in Leith, or study (go to school) in Leith, or volunteer regularly in Leith.

For more information please visit £eith Chooses online at:

£eith Chooses is Leiths local participatory budgeting process, overseen by City of Edinburgh Council but led by a community steering group, which includes Leith Links Community Council.

Leith Links Community Council has supported £eith Chooses over the years through active participation in the steering group, and through volunteering on the voting days.


North East Edinburgh Foodbank

Amount requested: £5000

We currently provide long-life food and toiletries to clients. But we would also like to provide fresh food. We would use funding to purchase vouchers from Scotmid. We will match vouchers to clients by box size. Single and couple boxes will receive £2 of vouchers, small and large families £5 worth of vouchers. Scotmid are happy to waive profit to provide extra vouchers. The opportunity to obtain fresh food will improve clients’ diet and allow clients to exist ‘beyond the world of tinned produce’ that we currently provide.


Hermitage Park School Association

Amount requested: £3250

‘Hermie Bully Busters’ is a student empowerment programme designed to tackle the loneliness/isolation associated with bullying, something 61% of Scottish school children have experienced. Using a Children’s Rights approach, P7s will be empowered to become anti-bullying activists, and supported to design a ‘kindness kit’ which will then be shared with all Leith Primary Schools. The programme will give children the tools to protect their own/each other’s rights and to build positive relationships. The grant will pay facilitators to lead workshops and fund a Scottish Parliament visit. The beneficiaries will be P7 pupils from across Leith Primary Schools as the programme is rolled out.



Amount requested: £5000

Our free, expanded holiday playscheme will run 4 weeks of summer and 1 week in October. Open to primary aged children in Leith who are identified by support agencies as experiencing disadvantage, we will partner with other agencies to provide a variety of activities whilst addressing holiday hunger.

To prevent hunger, each weekday we will offer 30 children a nutritious breakfast and entire family a lunch, alongside a four hour play session. Children will build confidence and improve social skills by participating in art and science activities, alongside sports, such as football and basketball, to improve physical and mental health.



Amount requested: £4990

The Games Club will fight loneliness by giving socially isolated young people aged 11 to 18 an opportunity to attend a youth club specially designed for them. For young people who spend a lot of time gaming at home on their own, the Games Club will enable them to meet peers with similar interests and develop face-to-face friendships. They will also be able to take part in other activities, including trips to places like escape rooms and games conventions, and workshops such as 3-D printing and coding, which will help them to learn new skills and consider potential career options.


Pilmeny Development Project

Amount requested: £3870

Our project will fight loneliness and reduce social isolation experienced by older people in Leith, through the development of a volunteer home visiting service for 25-30 housebound older people; by bringing 150 socially isolated older people together to a large event (as part of UN Day of the Older Person 2020);  as well as connecting a minimum of 50 lonely older people into community activities, opportunities which will enhance their quality of life, in line with our own research and the NE Locality priority to address Social lsolation and Loneliness.


Edinburgh Food Social

Amount requested: £2846

Edinburgh Food Social will deliver an intergenerational food project that will see groups of young people from Leith Academy spend time with older Leithers to share time, stories and meals.
As social media take over, isolation is just as current an issue for young people as it is for those older and living alone.
This project is designed to teach each age group about the challenges of the other whilst sharing the one thing that brings us all together, a good meal.
Growing, cooking and eating will all feature, with outcomes including: improved health through nutritious meals; increased cookery skills; and heightened well-being through time spent outdoors and with others.


Leith DIY Skatepark

Amount requested: £4500

Leith DIY Skateparks aim to fix up the ramp after the winter and to widen and diversify the user base of the facility off 165 Leith Walk, by reaching out to people not typically exposed to Skateboarding, putting on beginner events, and holding lessons/ classes and sessions for individual groups. This is a great way for young people to meet and build friendships – addressing loneliness in the community. Organised events will include BBQs and sharing of food, free of charge.

Young people today (particularly young and vulnerable) spend increasing amounts of time on social media, and the negative impacts (loneliness and low self-confidence) are well documented. This facility is free and open to all, offering a positive alternative where people can get together and enjoy themselves.


Leith Community Centre Association

Amount requested: £4993

The Good Neighbours Social Club will provide Leith residents experiencing loneliness and/or hunger with a nutritious hot meal, as well as opportunities to try out new activities and make new friends. A sessional outreach worker will publicise the club, visiting local community and faith groups, doctors’ surgeries, libraries, housing associations etc, and organise sessions particularly welcoming newcomers to the area, single parents, LGBTQ people, older people, people with disabilities, and refugees. As well as sharing a meal, club members will be able to try out a range of social activities, including crafts, music and sports, and be sign-posted to other sources of help.


Building Bridges

Amount requested: £3300


There is a risk in Edinburgh of creating ‘Parallel Communities’ with little contact or engagement between different groups. Our activities will bring people together from the diverse communities in Leith, especially those from ethic minority groups, to form new connections with one another.
Building Bridges would use funding to put on Befriending evenings of multicultural music, dance and story sharing events with food, and conversations. These events will provide an opportunity to hear stories from the ethnic minority communities about what Leith means to them and their journey to Edinburgh, with the aim of raising cultural awareness and building friendships between the new Leith communities living side by side, to shape intercultural neighbourhoods.


St Mary’s Leith Parent Council

Amount requested: £1600

To combat loneliness and social isolation, we want to create social connections between St. Mary’s Leith Primary pupils and older residents of Leith. P6 pupils will visit and talk with older residents of the sheltered housing complex at Manderston Court and will find out what their favourite street games were. Their memories will be recorded and will inform the design of games at St Mary’s. We will use funds to install painted traditional street games onto the plain tarmac of the school playground, and aim to reduce social isolation amongst St Mary’s pupils by involving all in fun and active games.


Bright Light

Amount requested: £4300

‘Linked Up In Leith’ will enable, empower, and support young carers living in Leith. We will provide vital practical life-skills coaching that will help young people address/manage their feelings of loneliness and isolation, and build their capacity to self-manage/overcome life challenges, now and in the future. Our coaching will give each young person practical tools and confidence to identify and build on their strengths, to set their goals and achieve them. Bright Light will deliver a programme of group coaching sessions, working in partnership with other grassroots agencies in Leith, helping each young carer to thrive, develop confidence, and the practical life-skills tools to shape for themselves a better future.


Multi-Cultural Family Base

Amount requested: £5000

Qualifies for boost vote

We support families building a new life in Scotland. Low income, lack of language and friends means they struggle with food poverty and lack opportunities to build social networks.

We will run events to combat loneliness and food poverty.

  1. Two food, dance and music based family gatherings at South Leith Parish Church Halls with food take-away options. Run in Partnership with World Kitchen in Leith and in consultation with local foodbanks.
  2. A day at Vogrie Park during the summer holidays, incorporating a barbeque and family activities – a chance for families to socialise and share food. Transport provided.


Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC)

Amount requested: £5000

Qualifies for boost vote

‘Lunch and a story in Leith’
To be held in a community space in Leith, this will be a program of 3-hour sessions of learning about nutrition, healthy diets, basic cooking tips, cuisine from different countries, followed by listening and reflecting on a story, and finishing by having healthy lunch together while listening to music. These sessions are open to families and single people, men and women.

Aiming to tackle hunger and loneliness, the program will run one day a week (Wednesdays or Thursdays), starting from May 2020, for 33 weeks. Each participant will receive a booklet consisting of all the information presented and recipes of some simple healthy multicultural food.


Creative Electric

Amount requested: £5000

Creative Electric will provide supported, creative opportunities for those experiencing social anxiety and/or isolation through:

Weekly arts drop-ins: workshops that explore positive mental health and anxiety reduction through the arts. Taster sessions will include calming jars, creative writing, breath therapy and autobiographical performance.

Bi-monthly arts celebration nights: an opportunity to meet new people & be entertained in a relaxed, supported environment. Participants of the arts drop-ins will have the opportunity to share their work – this can include displaying artwork, playing music or having professional actors read your short play.

Celebration nights will be programmed by the local community.


Projekt 42

Amount requested: £3900

Having successfully delivered a range of free fitness and yoga activities to the over-55s, we have identified that many live with long term health conditions that create barriers to physical activity. To fight loneliness we are seeking a grant which will allow us to offer one to one ‘Health MOT’s’ for hard-to-reach individuals living with long term health conditions. This will involve them working with a specialist Level 3 GP referral coach and completing a series of simple base-line fitness tests, giving them confidence, reassurance and the boost they need to feel able take part in group exercise classes.


Safer by Sound

Amount requested: £1000

Our project is to have two outdoor concerts in the summer at Leith Community Croft (Leith Links) for those who may not have the opportunity to go to Edinburgh/Fringe festival events. Our concerts will bring the community together in a relaxed family atmosphere, through performance, and sharing food.

Crops and Pots will supply food (free to attendees), the space and the electricity. Safer by Sound will supply the PA system and organise the artists. Many of our artists and participants have disabilities, suffer from mental health (isolation) issues, are in recovery from substance abuse, or simply cannot afford music tuition often due to unemployment.


Feniks Counselling

Amount requested: £3808

Qualifies for boost vote

We would like to support social and cultural integration of the isolated over-50 year old Polish people with other ethnic groups of Leith. In partnership with local community organisations, we will organise three cuisine exchange classes, art workshops promoting well-being in the advanced age, and a meeting exploring memories of growing up in different cultures. We will also award the participants with a historic trip to Highlands. We believe that the proposed activities will support the cultural exchange and integration of the Polish minority with the local community in Leith which will help all participants to feel less lonely.


SHE Scotland

Amount requested: £940

SHE Voices will partner Citadel Youth Centre, Womens Aid, Sikh San Jog and LGBT aiming to host a unique event for international Womens Day in Leith. SHE Voices would raise the issue of domestic abuse, control and the isolation of victims. SHE Voices will include a performance of a 1 woman play entitled Object of Desire which highlights the issue of domestic abuse and the misuse of power within relationships. This play is part of a range of workshops and would increase confidence, reduce isolation and connect communities. Participation would be supported with childcare. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives and it accounts for between 16% and 25 % of all recorded crimes.


The Men Of Leith Men’s Shed

Amount requested: £640

A shed for The Men’s Shed
We are an organisation for men to get together and support each other, helping to combat loneliness and isolation through various activities. We are looking to secure funding to purchase a storage shed so that we can store regular donations of wood and useful materials. We complete projects for many local charities and community groups utilising reclaimed materials where possible, therefore keeping costs to a minimum, reducing waste and helping to protect our environment. A storage facility will allow more men to become engaged with us in these activities.


Dr Bell’s Family Centre

Amount requested: £4315

Dr Bell’s Family Centre is seeking funding towards a holiday activity programme which will run during easter, summer and the October breaks in 2020 for families in Leith with young children who are facing disadvantage and challenging circumstances.

We will deliver a wide range of centre-based activities including community breakfasts, lunches and family cooking workshops as well as local outings and picnics. We would also use the funds for buying food and resources for activities, and contribute towards entrance fees and travel costs to take our families on local outings.


£eith Chooses 2019/2020 | Voting day – Saturday 1 February 2020

No photo description available.

The £eith Chooses voting day is being held on Saturday 1 February 2020 from 11:00 until 15:30 in Leith Community Centre, 12a Newkirkgate (Above Bank of Scotland).

Come along on the day to learn about applicants to the Leith Chooses funding pot of £44,000, and cast your vote/s.

You are eligible to vote if you are 8 years old or over, and if you live in Leith, or work in Leith, or study (go to school) in Leith, or volunteer regularly in Leith.

For more information please visit £eith Chooses online at:

£eith Chooses is Leiths local participatory budgeting process, overseen by City of Edinburgh Council but led by a community steering group, which includes Leith Links Community Council.

Leith Links Community Council has supported £eith Chooses over the years through active participation in the steering group, and through volunteering on the voting days.






Leith Chooses 2019/2020: Final call for applications

£eith Chooses is the local participatory budgeting process overseen by City of Edinburgh Council via a steering group made of up individuals & organisations representatives from the greater Leith area.

This funding year they have £44,000 available to fund projects which aim to: Fight  loneliness and social isolation in the Leith community and / or Fight hunger and food poverty in Leith.

Applications opened in October 2019 as reported on this website, with the deadline for applications being close of business on Monday 6 January 2020.






Leith Chooses 2019 seeks your views

Leith Links Community Council have been instrumental in delivering Leith Chooses (or Leith Decides as it was known) for a number of years, as a Community Council we are keen to support our community having a say in how local funds are spent.

This years Leith Chooses was once again a big success, once again building on the success of previous years. But, the Leith Chooses steering group are, as always, keen to get feedback & suggestions to help ensure that future events meet the communities expectations.

Please take a few minutes to complete their survey, whether you took part this year or not, they want to hear your views.

Click on the TAKE SURVEY picture to take part.



Leith Chooses 2019 – 30 applicants announced

There are 30 applicants to £eith Chooses 2019 – 8 for the ‘Food’ theme, and 22 for the ‘Supporting Vulnerable People’ theme. Lots of really great project ideas! View them all here in the ‘£eith Chooses Gallery’.

Checking out the projects online gives you a bit of background to each project, and a chance to reflect, before you come to Leith Community Centre on 23rd February, to vote. Please take a look and think about questions you might like to discuss with project groups, when you come, and which you might vote for.

The Gallery is just for ‘viewing’. There is no online voting this year.

When you come to vote on 23rd February, you will get up to 3 votes in each room (Food, and Vulnerable People). 2 votes for your 2 favourite projects, and 1 Boost Vote (optional) for your favourite from certain projects which go ‘above and beyond’ in involving members of ethnic minority communities. More voting information.

The following 8 (out of 30) project groups qualify for Boost Votes, according to the criteria laid down by the £eith Chooses Steering Group:

  • Broughton Primary School Parent Council, Saheliya & partners
  • Building Bridges
  • Creative Electric
  • Dr. Bells Family Centre
  • Hermitage Park Primary School Association
  • Multi Cultural Family Base
  • Sikh Sanjog
  • YMCA

Leith Links Community Council has been involved in developing & delivering participatory budgeting in our community for a number of years. One of our members has been a significant driving force over the course of the year and a number of our members will be volunteering at the grand voting event. See you there!


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