Dalkeith healthy eating projects secure funding

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Ten community groups in Woodburn/Dalkeith have succeeded in their bid to get a share of a £16,000 fund to support healthy eating and other food related projects.

Around 200 local people had their say on how the money should be spent at two special participatory budgeting events recently held in the area. The ‘Food Glorious Food’ initiative has been supported with funding from Midlothian Council and NHS Lothian. Similar participatory budgeting projects have recently taken place at Mayfield and Easthouses and Gorebridge.

Participatory budgeting is a new way of working that involves local people in taking local decisions. It can lead to greater collaboration between groups, ensuring that resources are better spent on tackling issues that matter locally.

For the projects who applied and local people who attended there was an opportunity to meet other groups, find out what they were doing and to plan to work together. Olivia Hanley from the Scottish Community Development Centre in Glasgow, received very positive feedback from those taking part.

Those set to benefit in Woodburn/Dalkeith include Women’s Aid East and Midlothian, who have been awarded £1560 to provide fresh food, fruit and vegetables to women and children admitted to the refuge and to deliver a healthy eating workshop and cooking class.

Meanwhile, Grassy Riggs Older People and Carers Project has been given £2010 to purchase a ‘smoothie bike’ to promote physical activity while making nutritional smoothies, as well as to buy fruit, yoghurt and fruit juices.

Thanks to a grant of £3000 to Dalkeith Thistle Community Football Club, the kitchen at Cowden Park Pavilion will also be upgraded. This will allow the club to run healthy eating sessions and provide opportunities for young people to learn about healthy eating choices. The new kitchen will be a huge improvement for local groups who also use this community facility.

The Bill Russell Youth Project receives £1272 to employ a tutor to deliver learning to young people on how to prepare and cook healthy meals. St David’s Primary School Parent Council will also use their grant of £850 to run activities for children, highlighting the benefits of a balanced diet and showing them how to make simple, tasty snacks with fruit and vegetables.

King’s Park Primary School Parent Council will use their £2283 to buy planters, a smoothie bike and other materials to allow the children to grow fruit and vegetables in the playground.

Horizons Recovery Cafe has been awarded £1124 to buy equipment for outside catering events; to deliver courses on nutrition, healthy eating and cooking on a budget, and for a subscription to Cyrenians ‘Fair Share’ membership, which enables the cafe to sell to users at low cost. Woodburn Family Learning Centre (Surestart) will also develop work with parents on cooking and healthy eating. They have been given £1550 to produce a cook book with menus and advice on affordable ingredients.

Dalkeith After School Club will use their £230 to deliver a ‘Grow, Cook, Eat’ project at their summer and October holiday clubs. Children will also use the planters at Woodburn Primary School to grow fruit and vegetables, and prepare and cook these during the summer. Meanwhile, Dalkeith Sporting Memories will provide healthy food, pedometers and equipment for their group to help promote healthier lifestyles. Their £2119 grant will also be used to deliver two events to attract new members and publicise the group and its activities.

A special event to mark the presentation of cheques to the successful groups was due to be held in the Cowden Pavilion in Woodburn last night (Wednesday).