Vote to help the community

The parents and tots group at The Link in Loanhead
The parents and tots group at The Link in Loanhead

A parent and child group from Loanhead is calling on the local community to support its bid for £50,000 of funding in a public vote which is now open.

Parents and Tots Loanhead, based at the Link, has made it to the final five of the National Lottery’s STV East People’s Projects with its Grow Together project, which provides activities for pre-school children and their carers.

Voting began on Monday and runs until April 30.

Chairwoman Julia Critchley said: “They call it people’s projects because the public vote for who wins. We are the only Midlothian finalist.

“If we win, £10,000 will go towards the community garden. And £40,000 will pay for other classes for 12 months.

“We want to set-up more pre-school activities and support for parents. With antenatal classes, breastfeeding classes and first aid classes for the community. The idea is to support local families , and so these classes would be free.

“The reason we are looking to do it is the people that are well off can take their families to these types of classes. But we want to offer the opportunity to all to enjoy them.

“Loanhead is a relatively less well-off area so hopefully if we get this funding we can keep this going. It’s a really brilliant opportunity.”

Julia is now busy promoting the group’s bid and has come up with other ways to vote for Parents and Tots.

She said: “We have made freepost postcards for people to vote with, available from the Link. And we want to distribute them in the schools. Kids can vote, which is partly why we made the postcards, as you need to have an email address to vote online.

“We are holding events during the voting fortnight to show people what we can do.

“We will be dropping leaflets in houses and putting up posters in Loanhead to encourage people to vote for us, as it will benefit the local community if we get this funding. We have had small grants on and off for the last few years now. But this is massive.

“We are confident we have a good campaign and we’ll get people to vote. If people know about us they will vote for us.”

To vote go to -