Kirk's participatory budgeting funding events go online

Churches in Dundee are inviting the community to vote on which local projects should share a £9,375 pot of grant funds.

Dundee PB event April 2019
This pre-pandemic photo shows Rock Solid Dundee bidding for funds at the participatory budgeting event held in Dundee in April 2019.

The scheme is part of the Scottish Government’s participatory funding initiative, developed as a practical way for people to get involved in making local spending decisions. Church groups in Moray and Speyside will also be taking part this year.

Since in-person participatory budgeting events are off the table for now, the church groups will be holding events online to make sure their communities can still vote for the local projects they would like to see receiving grant funding this autumn.

Dundee’s voting has already opened, with 13 different local projects seeking to win grant funding. The groups looking for support include gardening projects, bereavement support, a café on wheels, and projects helping people through dance, running, art, and outdoor events.

A Church of Scotland-connected youth organisation, Hot Chocolate, is seeking £1,000 to support its outdoor drop-in and street work programmes.

Ross Clark, a community worker at Fintry Parish Church said,

“Fintry Parish Church is supporting the participatory budget event in Dundee as there are so many wonderful projects who are working in creative ways due to current restrictions to empower people in their communities to grow and realise their potential.

“The opportunity for the public to learn more about each project and have the opportunity to vote can only be viewed as positive as they will give individuals hope that despite so much despair and sorrow there is also windows of light in their communities.”

Congregations worked hard on voting plan

Each participatory budgeting event will have grant funding to distribute.

The Speyside project, organised by Rothes and Knockando, Elchies, Archiestown churches, has a funding pot of £6,250. Twelve local community initiatives are bidding including Knockando, and Aberlour and Craigellachie Churches who are seeking funding for on-line services, as well as sports clubs for young people and a project aimed at improving mental health in the community.

In Moray, the St Andrew’s Lhanbryde and Urquhart project will have a funding pot of £3,125. Five projects are bidding for funds, including the primary school and Urquhart Community Centre. Those living in the communities around the churches are eligible to vote. Voting is also opening for the projects in Moray.

The Church of Scotland has been holding participatory budgeting events since 2016, when the Faith Impact Forum received funding from the Scottish Government to help churches learn about the initiative and host events where communities can decide which local projects to fund. The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Community Choices Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All, and the Baird Trust.

Clare Flenley, the Church of Scotland’s participatory budgeting development worker, said: “This is a chance for people in Dundee and Moray to learn about and vote for local groups who are supporting their communities through lockdown, and to help projects to come back safely as soon as possible. Congregations have been really resourceful and creative, co-operating across the wider community to ensure that everyone is able to take part and vote, either online or off.”

Make your voice heard – vote for local projects

The online PB voting events taking part are:

EventChurches Voting opens Voting link

Dundee

Coldside Parish Church, Camperdown and Lochee Ministry, Fintry Parish Church, Douglas and Mid Craigie, Balgay Parish Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Brechin. Joined by Faith in Community Dundee and Dundee City Council’s Neighbourhood Office.

26 October-23 November.

Vote online https://cos.communitychoices.scot/

Text – 07782 334 830

Freephone – 0808 196 5386

Alloa

St Mungo's and Ludgate churches

Postponed

n/a

Moray

St Andrew’s Lhanbryde and Urquhart

9-28 November

To order a postal voting pack freephone: 08081 965902 Postal voting closes 27 November.

Live online voting event on 28 November at 4pm. To attend, please book here in advance

Participants will be asked to provide their name and email when they register and their postcode when they join the event

Speyside

Rothes, Knockando, Archiestown and Dufftown churches

9-28 November

To order a postal or email voting pack email apply to Sheila Brumby; 22 New Street Rothes; AB38 7BQ or sheilabrumby50@btinternet.com

Live online voting event on 28th November at 1.30pm. To attend, booking in advance is essential by emailing: stuartfoster284@gmail.com

To take part you must live, work, study or volunteer in a postcode in the relevant area. Local rules apply in each area.

To find out more, please contact the Church of Scotland’s Participatory Budgeting Development Worker, Clare Flenley.