In the run up to Christmas, I put out an appeal for presents for those who wouldn't otherwise receive a gift. The generosity of constituents was overwhelming and I was delighted to be able to hand over bag after bag of gifts for all ages to the Trussell Trust Foodbank in Craigmillar. Thanks to everyone who donated.
I was pleased to be able to attend the Christmas party for Community Renewal. Thanks to Archie and the gang for having me along - it was a great afternoon!
The Multi-Cultural Family Base has been running a project in Craigmillar called 4Corners. The group of pupils from local schools aims to promote community cohesion, reduce isolation and foster integration across Craigmillar. Part of the group is focused on football while the rest of the time they undertake various projects. This term they did some work on emergency planning and the map below shows the safe spaces in the neighbourhood -seems Lidl is a good place to go in the event of a natural disaster like flooding as it will have food and water! Thanks for having me at your celebration event.
It was brilliant to meet Donald Tumilowicz of Aid and Abet and Nic Middlemiss the Programme Manager for the Community In Motion project to hear about a new initiative - developing a community driven problem solving approach to community justice in North East Edinburgh. They'll be focusing on prevention and early intervention and will be working with young people still at school and their families, helping individuals to address their offending behaviour and involving communities to make them feel more empowered. All very inspiring stuff and I’m delighted that the programme is happening in the area.
A highlight of every festive season in Edinburgh East is the Portobello Panto. This year was Jack and the Beanstalk and I took my wee grandson Hamish along to experience the show. While Hamish had to have a wee nap during it, I loved the show - congratulations to all involved in the organisation. Already looking forward to next year!
And finally, in case you missed it - Chris and Willie from the Thistle Foundation were on BBC Radio 4 on Christmas Day as part of the Listening Project. You can still catch it on the iPlayer.
Time is running out for many of Edinburgh's small businesses. Today I've written to the Chancellor asking for additional emergency assistance for our hospitality sector through the COVID-19 epidemic.