A total of 27 community and voluntary sector organisations operating in Greater Cumbernauld have been awarded funding following a closely-contested Community Voting Survey in which citizens decided which local area proposals received grants.
Participatory Budgeting (PB), a process where ordinary people are given power to democratically and collectively make key decisions on how public funding is spent, was used to distribute just over £20,000 through Cornerstone House Centre’s Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) programme this week.
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. The three-year venture 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.
During December and January, almost 1,500 people cast votes in a highly popular online Community Voting Survey, selecting which not-for-profit groups they would like to see receive grants of up to £1,000 to deliver specified community projects to benefit the Greater Cumbernauld area. This formed part of Cumbernauld CAN’s Small Grants PB Fund Round 2 initiative.
The decision to award funding to 27 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 27 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.
Hence, instead of 20 organisations being fully funded and the remaining groups receiving no award, an independent Cumbernauld CAN Steering Group decided to award 100% funding to the top six ranked organisations in the Community Voting Survey. This subsequently enabled at least a two-thirds grant award to be made to the remaining 21 proposals.
The desire to ensure that all applicant organisations benefited in some way from the funding pot was apparent 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 publish the results and outcomes of the Community Voting Survey for Small Grants PB Fund Round 2 (see below for full result) and thank the hundreds of people who took time to participate by casting votes online at this very challenging time for everyone.
“Congratulations and our best wishes go to the 27 organisations receiving grants as they begin delivery of their wide-ranging and worthwhile community-benefiting proposals.
“A special mention goes to Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank, the top ranked organisation following collation of the Community Voting Survey results, as well as North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid, Cumbernauld Resilience Group, CACE Older People Active Lives, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care and Palacerigg Community Farm which all polled enough votes to receive 100% funding.
“Notably, applicant organisations received an average award of £741, with six groups receiving the maximum available grant of £1,000. The remaining proposals received an award of £667 each.
“The organisations funded included 20 groups solely focussed on providing services within Greater Cumbernauld and a further seven delivering services to a wider area but using the money specifically for the benefit of people living in Cumbernauld. Awardees consisted of 19 registered charities, six unincorporated associations and two Community Interest Companies (CICs).”
Organisations that were unaware of or did not submit proposals through Small Grants PB Fund Round 2 will have an opportunity to apply again later this year through Small Grants PB Fund Round 3. Allocation of this funding stream will once again be decided by local citizens through a Participating Budgeting process.
HOW WILL THE FUNDING BENEFIT PEOPLE IN GREATER CUMBERNAULD?
With 27 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 2.
People on low incomes or experiencing poverty are amongst those who will be supported as a result of the funding. Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank, which was voted for by an outstanding 25% of Survey respondents, proposes to use its award of £1,000 to finance a part-time worker, pay volunteer expenses and maintain Food Bank vehicle upkeep during the early part of 2021.
This will enable the organisation to provide a valuable emergency food provision service to around 240 people (120 families) per month who are experiencing food poverty during the winter. Furthermore, it will allow for the purchase and delivery of essential groceries to Cumbernauld families and single people who are in isolation or experiencing financial difficulties during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a similar vein, Cumbernauld Resilience Group is using its grant to prepare and deliver up to 1,000 freshly cooked and nutritious meals to local families in early 2021. People receiving meals will be those experiencing poverty or hardship and vulnerable people affected significantly by the pandemic.
Older people and carers will also be major beneficiaries of the investment committed. For example, CACE Older People Active Lives, a charity which provides various community services to support older people and their carers living in Greater Cumbernauld, will utilise its £1,000 to create and deliver bespoke Activity Packs to 200 vulnerable service users with a view to alleviating social isolation and encouraging them to do creative activities at home during periods of lockdown and shielding.
The organisation has been unable to host its weekly face-to-face activity and social groups for older people since March 2020 as a result of the present national crisis. As such, the Activity Packs will offer a line of communication and stimulation for many isolated individuals, including several people with dementia.
Meanwhile, children and young people across Greater Cumbernauld will be advantaged by Small Grants PB Fund Round 2. In this respect, Cumbernauld Colts Community Football Club, a Broadwood-based charity which coordinates a football academy for children and young people, plans to use funds received to reduce and remove monthly Club fees for families in need during the second half of the 2020-21 season. This will help children interested in football but unable to take part in safe and organised activity because of family financial difficulties resulting from furlough and loss of income.
Funds will also allow PALS (Play and Learning Support), a Cumbernauld-based organisation which coordinates play, learning and social interaction for children and young people with additional support needs, to send out monthly packages to over 100 disadvantaged children during both March and April. The packages distributed will include movie boxes, magazines, arts and crafts materials and outdoor play equipment, benefiting those with autism, global development delay, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and Down’s syndrome.
Equally, volunteers of Watch Us Grow, an organisation which assists the personal development of people in Cumbernauld with additional support needs, plan to invest their £667 award in new technology equipment to enable service users to track and film community garden wildlife during lockdown.
Moneys made available to local organisations will also have some dramatic life-enhancing effects. For instance, North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid, which missed out on top place in the Community Voting Survey by just one vote, will seek to use funds to furnish four refuge accommodation houses for women, children and young people from Greater Cumbernauld affected by domestic abuse.
Tremendously, one life-saving use of grant is being coordinated by Chryston Community Council, which is purchasing a defibrillator to be made available for full-time use in Mollinsburn, Crowwood, Muirhead, Chryston and Mount Ellen. Having a public access defibrillator available can be life saving for those in cardiac arrest, with chances of survival dropping by 10% for every minute without CPR or access to a defibrillator. It is planned that the defibrillator will be based in the local taxi office, which is open 24 hours per day.
Moreover, an array of other impactful activities will be initiated as a result of Small Grants PB Fund Round 2 over the coming months. This includes facilitation of a programme of events promoting the natural facilities of Cumbernauld Glen, the purchase of clothing for primary school aged children affected by poverty, provision of socially-distanced drive-through cinema nights to engage and entertain young people and establishment of a new donkey shelter at Palacerigg Country Park.
RESULTS OF COMMUNITY VOTING SURVEY AND LIST OF GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH SMALL GRANTS PB FUND ROUND 2
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 2 were as follows:
|Final Rank||Name of Organisation Submitting Proposal||Number of Votes||Final Status of Application||Value of Funding Awarded|
|1||Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank||369||Successful||£1,000|
|2||North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid||368||Successful||£1,000|
|3||Cumbernauld Resilience Group||357||Successful||£1,000|
|4||CACE Older People Active Lives||349||Successful||£1,000|
|5=||Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Care||330||Successful||£1,000|
|5=||Palacerigg Community Farm (Palacerigg Animal Park CIC)||330||Successful||£1,000|
|7||Abronhill Regeneration Forum||234||Partially Successful||£667|
|8||Chryston Community Council||177||Partially Successful||£667|
|9||Cumbernauld Colts Community Football Club||158||Partially Successful||£667|
|10||PALS (Play and Learning Support)||155||Partially Successful||£667|
|11||Cumbernauld Poverty Action||150||Partially Successful||£667|
|12||Watch Us Grow||147||Partially Successful||£667|
|13||Northern Corridor Community Volunteers||124||Partially Successful||£667|
|14||Cumbernauld Together||121||Partially Successful||£667|
|15||Cornerstone Christian Fellowship||120||Partially Successful||£667|
|16||Clyde Football Club Community Foundation||114||Partially Successful||£667|
|17||St Lucy’s Youth Zone||111||Partially Successful||£667|
|18||Christians Against Poverty (CAP)||107||Partially Successful||£667|
|19||SBH Scotland (Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland)||91||Partially Successful||£667|
|20||Police Scotland Youth Volunteers Cumbernauld||86||Partially Successful||£667|
|21||Partners In Play||85||Partially Successful||£667|
|22||Cumbernauld FM Ltd||68||Partially Successful||£667|
|23||North Area Crime Prevention Panel||66||Partially Successful||£667|
|24||Cumbernauld Community Forum||64||Partially Successful||£667|
|25||One Parent Families Scotland (North Lanarkshire Service)||63||Partially Successful||£667|
|26||Tool Library Cumbernauld||58||Partially Successful||£667|
|27||AD Framing||23||Partially Successful||£667|
Due to the present restrictions imposed by Scottish Government, Cornerstone House Centre’s building will be closed most of the time until further notice. The organisation continues to operate remotely however, and if you would like further information or have an enquiry in relation to the Cumbernauld CAN project, please telephone 07940 569527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.