Grants of up to £1,000 have been awarded to 22 local community and voluntary sector organisations following publication of the results of Cornerstone House Centre’s latest Participatory Budgeting (PB) Community Voting Survey.
It comes on a day of good news for Cumbernauld communities as the organisation also announces that funding for its highly successful Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) programme has been extended to at least March 2023, meaning that a further £20,000 of public funds will be invested in grassroots community organisations over the next twelve months.
Cumbernauld CAN is a Scottish Government-supported project introduced by Cornerstone House Centre in 2020 which aims to develop the connected capacity of the Cumbernauld community. It strives to assist Cumbernauld residents and organisations to work together to become better at responding to local needs, built on the theme of community empowerment.
Through the scheme’s latest activity, PB, a process where ordinary people are given power to democratically and collectively make key decisions on how public funding is spent, is being used to distribute £20,000 as part of the Small Grants PB Fund Round 4 initiative this week.
During January and February, more than 1,700 people cast votes in a hugely popular online Community Voting Survey, selecting which not-for-profit groups they would like to see up receive grants of to £1,000 to deliver specified community projects to benefit the Greater Cumbernauld area. The decision to award funding to 22 groups means that 60% of organisations that submitted a proposal will receive funding following the vote.
It was recognised that there were multiple ways in which the total funding pot could be distributed amongst the 37 applicant organisations. Key areas for consideration in this respect were fairness of distribution, rewarding organisations according to their result in the Community Voting Survey and a responsibility to ensure optimum outcomes are accomplished as a result of the dispersal of funds.
On analysis of the Survey result relative to total funding pot available, an independent Cumbernauld CAN Steering Group elected to distribute funds based on a ‘true’ PB model. This meant that proposals receiving the most number of votes would be awarded full funding until a cut off line of where the total funding pot of £20,000 was fully distributed.
As such, the top 21 voted-for-organisations have been awarded 100% funding, with 16% funding awarded to the 22nd ranked proposal. Proposals ranked 23 to 37 were subsequently unsuccessful in being funded on this occasion, although the Steering Group, consisting of local community experts from across the public, private and voluntary sectors, did consider the quality of all 37 proposals to be high. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“We are delighted to publish the results and outcomes of the Community Voting Survey for Small Grants PB Fund Round 4 (see below for full result) and thank the hundreds of people who took time to participate by casting votes online and in person.
“Congratulations and our best wishes go to the 22 organisations receiving grants as they begin delivery of their wide-ranging and worthwhile community-benefiting proposals.
“A special mention goes to Cumbernauld Action for Care of the Elderly, the top ranked organisation following collation of the Community Voting Survey results, as well as Addictions Support and Counselling (ASC), Blue Sky Autism Project, Bethlehem House of Bread, Cumbernauld Resilience, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care, Carbrain Boys Club 2009s and Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust, who each received more than 200 votes.
“Notably, 18 organisations received the maximum grant available of £1,000 with a further four receiving between £160 and £700. Nine of the successful organisations are being funded by Cumbernauld CAN for the first time.
“Those funded included 16 groups solely focussed on providing services within Greater Cumbernauld and a further six delivering services to a wider area but using the money specifically for the benefit of people living in Cumbernauld. Awardees consisted of 15 registered charities, five unincorporated associations and two Community Interest Companies (CICs).”
The latest dispersal of funds means that a total of £63,912 has been disseminated amongst 61 community organisations in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor over the past two years through Cumbernauld CAN PB initiatives. This outlay has resulted in several multifaceted positive outcomes being accomplished on behalf of citizens, neighbourhoods and groups across the area during this period.
Organisations that were unaware of or did not submit proposals through Small Grants PB Fund Round 4 will have an opportunity to apply again later this year through Small Grants PB Fund Round 5. Allocation of this funding stream will once again be decided by local citizens through a transparent PB process.
HOW WILL THE FUNDING BENEFIT PEOPLE IN GREATER CUMBERNAULD?
With 22 community-focussed organisations receiving funds, it is anticipated that thousands of residents across Greater Cumbernauld will benefit directly and indirectly from the £20,000 distributed through Small Grants PB Fund Round 4.
Older people and carers are amongst those who will be supported as a result of the funding. Cumbernauld Action for Care of the Elderly, which won the public vote by being voted for by more than 20% of Survey respondents, proposes to use its award of £1,000 to recruit, train and cover out-of-pocket expenses for volunteers facilitating a new dementia-friendly allotment project in Cumbernauld.
Significantly, this activity seeks to provide a safe space for senior citizens who may no longer have access to a garden or who have experienced isolation and poor mental health as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Once the allotment is in use, the organisation plans to transport people from local care homes, sheltered housing complexes and daycare groups for regular visits, with more than 100 individuals set to benefit annually.
Children and families across Greater Cumbernauld will be also be among the prime beneficiaries of the funding distributed. Indeed, Carbrain Boys Club 2009s, a subsidiary of the wider Carbrain Boys Club charity which coordinates two football teams for boys aged 13 years-old and younger, intends to use its £640 grant to cover costs of one month’s pitch hire for training sessions and matches for both its Claret team and Sky team. Altogether, moneys will enable the Club to facilitate 16 training sessions and four matches during August 2022.
Moreover, Blue Sky Autism Project, a charity which provides individualised programmes of therapy to young children who are experiencing developmental delays, will invest its £500 funding in assisting the implementation of a 12-week Social Skills Group for children aged 5-10 years-old affected by autism and similar disorders. This initiative aims to support around 10 families (20 people in total), with targeted outcomes including improved social communication skills for children with additional support needs, development of peer networks and friendships amongst parents and carers and respite for affected families.
Also assisting young people, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care has pledged to use its £1,000 award to purchase stocks of new vests, pants and socks for including in clothing packs provided to 150 school children experiencing disadvantage. Beneficiaries are expected to include children attending Carbrain Primary School, St Margaret of Scotland Primary School, Kildrum Primary School, St Mary’s Primary School and St Lucy’s Primary School.
Moneys will also enable the clothing and baby bank charity to provide maternity packs containing underwear to new mums affected by poverty, unemployment and social deprivation. One notable impact will be maintaining dignity for children and families through ensuring that they do not go without basic clothing items.
Meanwhile, at least 30 people recovering from alcohol and other harmful addictions will be provided with an opportunity to build their self-esteem and sense of worth through a £1,000 grant being awarded to Addictions Support and Counselling (ASC). As part of the organisation’s North Lanarkshire Recovery Community (NLRC), funds will enable new guitars, bongo drums, music literature, songbooks and other musical instruments to be purchased for those leading and participating in guitar and jamming sessions at a recovery cafe taking place at St Lucy’s Church in Abronhill every week.
On a different note, volunteer-led charity Cumbernauld Resilience is applying its £1,000 award to prepare and deliver freshly cooked and nutritious meals to 40 households weekly during the first half of 2022. People receiving meals will be those experiencing poverty or hardship and vulnerable citizens affected markedly by the pandemic. Importantly, funds will also contribute towards the organisation being able to turn a trial food bank it has been operating into a permanent service.
Another local food bank, Bethlehem House of Bread, will be able to cover essential rental costs for a three-month period as a result of its £1,000 grant. This will allow the church-based organisation to continue providing a valuable emergency food provision service to around 240 people (120 families) per month, Recipients will include people who are waiting on decisions in relation to the awarding of social security benefits, families affected by unemployment or disability, those who are in debt and others struggling financially for legitimate reasons.
One excellent use of funding will be undertaken by Wee Cycle Cumbernauld, a community interest company which promotes cycling in all its forms across Cumbernauld through encouraging cycling for health, fitness and active transport. Tremendously, the organisation intends to follow-up on its successful ‘Santa Bikes’ initiative by investing £1,000 in constructing 35 recycled bicycles and gifting them to underprivileged local children this Easter as part of an ‘Easter Bunny Bikes’ project.
Equally, funding made available to local organisations will also have some dramatic life-enhancing effects. For instance, North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid, which supports and empowers women, children and young people from Greater Cumbernauld who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, plans to use its £1,000 award to purchase essential items to furnish safe accommodation houses.
This will help the charity to be in a position to allow women and their children to live in comfortable settings and not create additional problems by housing service users in underequipped refuge accommodation. An anticipated outcome is that quality of life will be improved for those in need of temporary accommodation as a result of domestic abuse, with 13 refuge houses and flats currently being occupied by 15 women and 17 children across Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor.
A myriad of other impactful activities will be also initiated as a result of Small Grants PB Fund Round 4 over the coming months. This includes the subsidising of almost 3,000 miles of journeys for cancer patients attending important hospital appointments, establishment of equipment to enable two Scout Groups to take children camping this summer, coordination of a ‘Supporting Offliners’ programme for local people unable to access services due to digital exclusion and supporting the acquisition of the historic Braehead Cottages building as a community asset.
RESULTS OF COMMUNITY VOTING SURVEY AND LIST OF GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH SMALL GRANTS PB FUND ROUND 4
In order of their final ranking in the Community Voting Survey, the organisations submitting proposals and subsequently funded to facilitate community initiatives through Cumbernauld CAN project’s Small Grants PB Fund Round 4 were as follows:
|Final Rank||Name of Organisation||No. of Votes||% Voters||Final Status of Application||Value of Funding Awarded|
|1||Cumbernauld Action for Care of the Elderly (CACE)||369||21.1%||Successful||£1,000|
|2=||Addictions Support and Counselling (ASC)||346||19.8%||Successful||£1,000|
|2=||Blue Sky Autism Project||346||19.8%||Successful||£500|
|4||Bethlehem House of Bread||299||17.1%||Successful||£1,000|
|6||Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care||252||14.4%||Successful||£1,000|
|7||Carbrain Boys Club 2009s||220||12.6%||Successful||£640|
|8||Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust||210||12.0%||Successful||£1,000|
|9||North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid||199||11.4%||Successful||£1,000|
|10||3rd Cumbernauld (223rd Glasgow) Scout Group||197||11.2%||Successful||£1,000|
|11||Cumbernauld Primary School Parent Council||188||10.7%||Successful||£1,000|
|13||Cumbernauld Junior Netball Club||163||9.3%||Successful||£700|
|14||Cumbernauld Cottage Trust||159||9.1%||Successful||£1,000|
|15||2nd Clyde Moodiesburn Scout Group||151||8.6%||Successful||£1,000|
|16||Cumbernauld Poverty Action||144||8.2%||Successful||£1,000|
|17||Cornerstone Christian Fellowship||136||7.8%||Successful||£1,000|
|18||Croy Community Hub||125||7.2%||Successful||£1,000|
|19||Wee Cycle Cumbernauld||124||7.1%||Successful||£1,000|
|20||Balloch Eastfield Football Club||122||7.0%||Successful||£1,000|
|23||Home-Start Glasgow North and North Lanarkshire||99||5.6%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|24||Cumbernauld Historical Society||95||5.4%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|25||PALS (Play and Learning Support)||93||5.3%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|26||Chryston Community Council||67||3.8%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|27||North Lanarkshire Disability Forum||63||3.6%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|28||Cardowan Community Meadow||59||3.3%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|29=||Kilsyth Golden Gloves||53||3.0%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|29=||St Mungo’s Parish Church Cumbernauld||53||3.0%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|31||Cumbernauld Free Church of Scotland||48||2.7%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|32||Auchinloch Community Council||44||2.5%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|34||Cumbernauld Community Forum||28||1.6%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|35||Cumbernauld Scrabble Club||26||1.5%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|36||Cumbernauld Male Voice Choir||25||1.4%||Unsuccessful||£0|
|37||Westfield Senior Citizens Group||22||1.3%||Unsuccessful||£0|