Unbeaten and unbowed - community groups continue fight for survival

Pchp protest

Organisations hit by funding cuts in Edinburgh are planning their next moves as they bid to continue supporting the community

11th January 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Community groups in Edinburgh are continuing their fight for survival.

A total of 35 organisations lost out on their funding after grants totalling more than £1.9 million a year were not renewed by the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB).

Groups in north Edinburgh that have been affected by the cuts have come together as they aim to retain vital support for the community.

And a petition calling for funding for Pilton Community Health Project (PCHP) to be reinstated has attracted almost 1,500 signatures.

EIJB, made up of health board and council representatives, said the cuts followed a review into health and social care grants – with more than 150 organisations making applications worth £31m to a fund that only has £14.1m available.

Before Christmas, PCHP, the Muirhouse Millennium Centre, Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre, North Edinburgh Timebank, North West Carers and the Pilton Equalities Project (PEP) announced that they are forming a campaign group to fight the funding cuts.

The steering group held an initial meeting this week to discuss how the campaign will move forward, and will hold a larger gathering next week.

Group coordinator Julie Smith said: “Our plan is to keep going with the community campaign. We are having another meeting at the Millennium Centre next week.

“We want to bring together the wider community and look at how we are going to campaign.”

Other organisations named as affected by the board’s decision include Nari Kallyan Shangho (NKS), which supports South Asian women and other minority communities in south Edinburgh; Community Ability Network Craigmillar, a community-run advice shop; and Local Opportunities for Older People (LOOP), which aims to help connect older people with information and opportunities in their community.

A petition calling for PCHP to be saved has received more than 1,350 signatures – with the project facing closure at the end of March unless other funds can be secured.

Caring Soles, a service operated by the Eric Liddell Centre which provides podiatry care to the elderly, is another project which faces an uncertain future. A campaign to save the service has been launched.