Voluntary and third sector groups, Community Councils and Area Partnerships across East Lothian have been awarded over £2.9m to support their work within communities.

Our One Council funding supports partners and aligns with our own priority activities to make sure we can have the biggest impact, particularly for those who are most vulnerable

The One Council Partnership Fund has issued over £1.5m to 51 county organisations to support partnership working with a focus on reducing inequalities and ongoing Covid-19 recovery. It recognises the significant contribution that voluntary and community organisations make to East Lothian’s health and wellbeing and vibrancy. As in previous years, an additional £1.38m has been awarded to Community Councils and Area Partnerships.

Impact of pandemic and cost of living

Applications were evaluated to ensure that grant funding is coordinated and targeted to support the priorities detailed in the East Lothian Council Plan, the East Lothian Partnership’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan and other related strategies. In particular funding awards have been made recognising the impacts that the pandemic and cost of living challenges have had on inequalities affecting residents’ wellbeing and financial positions.

Supporting people

Projects range from youth work provision through Recharge in Tranent and North Berwick Youth Project, to People Know How’s projects to improve digital inclusion. Pennypit Special Needs Youth Club’s grant will support the 15-25 year olds the club works with, while Team United, Lothian Disability Sport and Can Do all received funding for delivering inclusive sport and activities.

East Lothian Foodbank and East Lothian Roots and Fruits received awards for their work supporting people experiencing food insecurity, Dadswork for its community projects with fathers and male care givers and Milan Senior Welfare Organisation for the support it offers to members of the Asian community living in the Lothians.

Working in partnership

Community groups and organisations are signposted to external funding streams to encourage income maximisation from a wide range of sources. Council officers work in partnership with Volunteer Centre East Lothian (VCEL) to share potential funding options and offer training and support where required.

Cabinet member for Community Wellbeing Councillor Colin McGinn said: “I’m delighted to see this money being distributed to so many worthwhile groups and organisations in East Lothian. Through the One Council Partnership Fund we are able to support our community partners to deliver services and activities that benefit residents. I’m particularly pleased to see a focus on some of the biggest challenges facing our communities today – food and financial insecurity, inequality and social isolation. 

“Our voluntary, third sector and community partners make an incredible difference across East Lothian and use their skills, connections and commitment to improve the lives of the people they work with. Our One Council funding supports this work and aligns with our own priority activities to make sure we can have the biggest impact, particularly for those who are most vulnerable.”

Community Councils and Area Partnerships

As in 2022/23, £132,000 has been awarded to Community Councils and the Association of Community Councils. The six Area Partnerships’ combined funding is £1.25m which is a mixture of direct finance and budgetary influence over council services such as amenities or roads services to reflect the locally-agreed priorities.

Councillor McGinn added: “Despite the financial pressures that the council faces, I am very pleased that we have been able to maintain the funding we provide to Community Councils and Area Partnerships to help them address local priorities and make a difference within their own communities. I’d like to thank all of the volunteers who give their time and experience to serve on these bodies.”

Published: Thursday, 27th April 2023