New action plan turns the spotlight on local children

Woodburn/Dalkeith Community Action Plan launch at, Dalkeith Arts Centre
Woodburn/Dalkeith Community Action Plan launch at, Dalkeith Arts Centre

Woodburn/Dalkeith residents are set to see their area through the eyes of young people thanks to a grant from a new community scheme.

A five year community action plan scheme was launched last week at Dalkeith Arts Centre, as part of The Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s (CRT) Coalfields Community Futures programme, providing a participatory budget of £20,000, matched by another £20,000 from Midlothian Council to get priority projects up and running.

The CRT supported the Bill Russell Youth Project Being Young in Dalkeith when it was launched five years ago, interviewing young people and producing a DVD of their views of their lives and the local area.

Now the present members of the group plan a follow-up video, Being Young in Dalkeith 2016, which will compare the views of the present generation, and re-interview some of those who took part in the original to see how their lives have developed.

Margot Russell , chairperson of the Bill Russell Foundation said: “Most of the organisations whose projects form part of the action plan used the launch event to explain what they hope to achieve.

“They ranged from the uniformed organisations like guides and brownies, through sports organisations, youth groups, community organisations and older people, showing that the action plan covers a really wide spectrum.

Being Young in Dalkeith is a really interesting project giving young people video and other high tech skills, and I am sure it will show that young people generally have great integrity and enthusiasm for life.”

Among the other organisations that won funding were: Esk Place Tenants Association who received £1,100 for a new greenhouse, the Woodburn Family Fun Day, £1,000 for equipment, Pink Ladies 1st, £650 for new equipment, Midlothian Amateur Boxing Club, £3,600 for new equipment, the Third Dalkeith Guides, £1,500 for camping equipment and One Dalkeith, which received £1,500 for their Get Creative programme.

The Action Plan includes proposals for greater co-operation and information sharing among local organisations, and a proposal to trial a Youth Cafe.

Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “The range of local plans and projects is very impressive, and will make a huge contribution to ensuring the area develops for the better over the next five years.”

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Jim Bryant said: “We share the CRT’s commitment to participatory budgeting which ensures that in situations like this, it is the local people who decide which projects receive funding.

“That is exactly what is happening here in Woodburn/Dalkeith, and that gives us great confidence that the funding is going to organisations serving a real local need.”