Cornerstone House Centre can reveal that 31 community and voluntary sector organisations operating in Greater Cumbernauld have been awarded small grant funding following an innovative exercise in which local citizens decided which community proposals were funded.
Just over £10,000 of Scottish Government funding is being distributed this week through the organisation’s Small Grants PB Fund Round 3. This enterprise was launched in May with a view to funding a myriad of community activities and projects which seek to support, strengthen and improve the Greater Cumbernauld area and its people.
The activity forms part of the wider Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) project, which has now dispersed a total of £43,912 across 55 community organisations in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor over the past 15 months through Participatory Budgeting (PB) initiatives.
Participatory Budgeting is a process where ordinary people are given power to democratically and collectively make key decisions on how public funding is spent. It is based on the principles of community empowerment, giving local citizens autonomy over the development of their towns and communities.
Over 1,000 people cast votes in an online Community Voting Survey during June to select which voluntary sector groups working in Greater Cumbernauld would receive up to £500 to deliver specified community proposals to benefit the local area.
The decision to award funding to 31 groups means that every organisation that submitted a proposal receives at least partial funding following the vote.
It was recognised that there were multiple ways in which the total funding pot could be distributed amongst the 31 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.
An independent Cumbernauld CAN Steering Group decided to award 100% funding to the top ten ranked organisations in the Community Voting Survey. This subsequently enabled the remaining 21 proposals to receive a proportion of their funding request on a sliding scale, with the 31st ranked organisation still receiving a generous 32% award.
The desire to ensure that all applicant organisations benefited in some way from the funding pot was evident as Steering Group members, consisting of local community experts from across the public, private and voluntary sectors, considered the quality of proposals submitted to be extremely high. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“We are delighted to announce the results of the Community Voting Survey for Small Grants PB Fund Round 3 (see below for full result) and thank the hundreds of people who took time to participate by casting votes.
“Funding has been awarded to 31 worthy proposals, with grants provided to the most-voted-for organisations relative to the total funding pot available.
“Congratulations goes to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care, the top ranked organisation following collation of the Community Voting Survey results, as well as FAMS (Families Affected by Murder and Suicide), Cumbernauld Resilience and Cumbernauld Poverty Action who each accumulated more than 200 votes.
“The other organisations polling in the top ten and receiving at least £400 were Balloch Eastfield FC, 2496 Cumbernauld Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets, 2nd Clyde Moodiesburn Scout Group, Cumbernauld Junior Netball Club, PALS (Play and Learning Support) and Wee Cycle Cumbernauld.
“The organisations funded included 28 groups solely focussed on providing services within Greater Cumbernauld and a further three delivering services to a wider area but using the money specifically for the benefit of people living in our area. Awardees consisted of 11 registered charities, 18 unincorporated associations and two Community Interest Companies (CICs).”
Organisations that were unaware of or did not submit proposals through Small Grants PB Fund Round 3 will have an opportunity to apply again later this year through Small Grants PB Fund Round 4. Allocation of this funding stream will once again be decided by local citizens through a Participating Budgeting process.
HOW WILL THE FUNDING BE INVESTED IN THE GREATER CUMBERNAULD AREA?
With 31 community-focussed organisations receiving funds, it is anticipated that thousands of residents across Greater Cumbernauld will benefit directly and indirectly from the £10,000 distributed through Small Grants PB Fund Round 3.
Children and families will undoubtedly be amongst the primary beneficiaries of the funding. Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care, which won the public vote by receiving endorsement from more than one-third of all survey respondents, proposes to use its £500 award to purchase a range of school uniform items to provide to vulnerable families ahead of the new school term starting in August.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the clothing and baby bank charity has been unable to accept as many donations as usual and as a result its stock has been low in many areas. Moneys will enable polo shirts, school shirts and blouses, skirts, pinafores, trousers, school shoes, school bags, blazers and stationary to be bought and distributed to families in need. It is anticipated that 250-300 primary school aged children affected by poverty, unemployment and social deprivation will benefit from this activity.
Meanwhile, Balloch Eastfield FC, a volunteer-led amateur Cumbernauld football club which organises a multitude of football teams for young people, plans to invest its £500 grant in renovating two containers recently purchased through fundraising to accommodate changing and shower facilities for its young players.
By completing the transformation of the containers, not only will the Club be able to host all football games at its home pitch but it will also grant permission to the local primary school to use these facilities for sports days, community events and fundraisers. This will enable the facility to become a sports hub benefiting all children living in the Balloch Eastfield area. Furthermore, the Club proposes to host on-site open days to assist with recruiting new players and volunteer coaches as a result of the changing facilities.
One heartfelt 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 use its grant to construct 20 recycled bicycles and give them to underprivileged local children this Christmas as part of a ‘Santa Bikes’ project.
To achieve this, the group plans to work with local food banks and housing associations to identify families in Carbrain, Kildrum and Abronhill that live in relative poverty and would welcome a bike for their child or children at Christmas. This will positively influence Cumbernauld children and families affected by poverty, whilst alleviating the social pressures of Christmas on parents and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Other local children and young people to benefit from the funds include 2nd Clyde Moodiesburn Scout Group’s Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Young Leaders. An award of £500 will cover the cost of a digital projector for the organisation, allowing presentations on various educational topics to be delivered to more than 70 youngsters. As such, beneficiaries will be more aware about fire safety, health and wellbeing, environmental issues, global issues, other cultures, disability and ecology.
Crucially, funds will also have a valuable impact on key provisions available to people in communities. For example, Families Affected by Murder and Suicide (FAMS) has pledged to plough £500 straight into employing counsellors and creative art therapists to work with those in Greater Cumbernauld experiencing trauma as a result of murder, suicide or attempted suicide.
With the organisation delivering new services in the Greenfaulds High School cluster, the number of Cumbernauld residents requesting support from FAMS in dealing with traumatic grief and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is increasing significantly. In this respect, moneys will contribute to a listening ear service, online support groups and provision of advocacy being subsidised for co-victims and survivors.
Equally, Cumbernauld Poverty Action, a charity which provides free and confidential advice for citizens in the areas of welfare rights, budgeting and housing issues, will facilitate funding received to pilot a new out of hours advice service for people in the local area. This will incorporate a weekly evening advice surgery, where a trained adviser will be available for three hours on a weekday evening for free consultation.
A connection between people and nature will also be cultivated as a result of Small Grants PB Fund Round 3. Cardowan Community Meadow, for instance, is using its grant of £350 to develop environmental-based wellbeing activities to benefit the mental and physical health of Northern Corridor primary school children and people affected by social isolation.
In a similar vein, Friends of Gartcosh plans to use its 70% funding award to enhance its village community garden by creating an outdoor seating area surrounded by colourful bee-friendly plants. The sanctuary will function as a quiet place where local people can come to sit and embrace nature and the green space. It will be a major asset to Gartcosh as the settlement currently has very little green or communal space for its residents to enjoy.
Moreover, an assortment of other outcome-focussed activities will be initiated as a result of the £10,000 outlay over the coming months. This includes the provision of free nutritious meals to older and at-risk people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation of a Mobile Flight Simulator for community use in the Cumbernauld area, the facilitation of a large summer outing to Blair Drummond Safari Park for families of children with support needs and the advancement of a community hub facility in Croy.
RESULTS OF COMMUNITY VOTING SURVEY AND LIST OF GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH SMALL GRANTS PB FUND ROUND 3
In order of their final ranking in the Community Voting Survey, the organisations submitting proposals and subsequently funded to deliver community activities through Cumbernauld CAN project’s Small Grants PB Fund Round 3 were as follows:
|Final Rank||Name of Organisation Submitting Proposal||Number of Votes||Final Status of Application||Value of Funding Awarded|
|1||Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care||352||Successful||£500|
|2||FAMS (Families Affected by Murder and Suicide)||243||Successful||£500|
|4||Cumbernauld Poverty Action||203||Successful||£500|
|5||Balloch Eastfield Football Club||162||Successful||£500|
|6||2496 Cumbernauld Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets||149||Successful||£400|
|7||2nd Clyde Moodiesburn Scout Group||147||Successful||£500|
|8||Cumbernauld Junior Netball Club||146||Successful||£500|
|9=||PALS (Play and Learning Support)||137||Successful||£500|
|9=||Wee Cycle Cumbernauld||137||Successful||£500|
|11||Cardowan Community Meadow||118||Partially Successful||£350|
|12||Croy Community Hub||96||Partially Successful||£350|
|13||Cumbernauld FM||91||Partially Successful||£350|
|14||New Adventures||89||Partially Successful||£350|
|15||Chryston and Muirhead Gala Committee||87||Partially Successful||£350|
|16||Friends of Gartcosh||80||Partially Successful||£350|
|17=||Cumbernauld Discoverers||66||Partially Successful||£250|
|17=||Cumbernauld Together||66||Partially Successful||£250|
|19=||Holy Cross Croy||63||Partially Successful||£250|
|19=||North Lanarkshire Disability Access Panel||63||Partially Successful||£250|
|21||Auchinloch Community Council||60||Partially Successful||£250|
|22||Northern Corridor Community Volunteers||57||Partially Successful||£250|
|23||Cumbernauld Community Forum||52||Partially Successful||£250|
|24||Lanarkshire Epilepsy||45||Partially Successful||£160|
|25=||Thistle Divers||43||Partially Successful||£160|
|25=||Westfield Senior Citizens Group||43||Partially Successful||£160|
|27||Cumbernauld Male Voice Choir||35||Partially Successful||£160|
|28||Cumbernauld Scrabble Club||28||Partially Successful||£160|
|29||AD Framing||25||Partially Successful||£160|
|30||North Area Crime Prevention Panel||20||Partially Successful||£160|
|31||Etive Neighbourhood Watch||11||Partially Successful||£160|