OneCity Trust Grants


The OneCity Trustees made funding awards at a meeting in early March 2015. Six grants were awarded, totalling over £43,000, for a diverse and innovative set of projects to tackle social exclusion in the city over the next year.

Rising to the Challenge: Polar Academy Legacy Film


In this exciting new partnership between the Polar Academy and schools in Edinburgh, ten young people from S3/4 will experience a once in a lifetime opportunity as members of a major Arctic Expedition. A further ten young people form a Leadership group, undertaking a range of support roles including deputising on the expedition, should someone be unable to go. Those involved are not the highest achievers, but those less visible young people who frequently underachieve and often fail to reach their potential.

In order to ensure that there is an identifiable legacy from this project an early decision was made to produce a documentary film, involving participants, their families and their schools, which will be  premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. The film will then form a core part of a ‘Rising to the Challenge’ presentation delivered by participants to each secondary school in the city, to primary schools, to Parent Councils, community groups and elected members. Participants will share their experiences on the Expedition and talk about the difference this experience has made to their lives. In addition participants will use parts of the film and their experience to support a peer education initiative targeted at less visible young people in their school and potentially with transition groups moving into secondary school. The OneCity Trust grant will cover expert staff, equipment and film production costs.

Bridgend Inspiring Growth: Bridgend Farmhouse Community Drop-In


A weekly drop in to encourage a wide range of diverse people to connect with eachother through involvement in an exciting community renovation project has been funded by the Trust. The Bridgend Farmhouse, between Craigmillar and the Inch, aims to develop a community-owned centre for learning, eating and exercise, and to create a range of educational and training opportunities for local people in and around the site and woodlands.

The community drop-in will run year round for everyone, with particular attention being paid to including hard to reach groups such as lone parents, carers and people with disabilities. The drop-in will offer workshops and learning opportunities, and the chance to share gardening, building and other skills, and aims to encourage local people to become even more involved and take a full part in the development of the project.

Edinburgh Headway Group: Social Programme


A weekly social support service coupled with monthly outings for people with acquired brain injury and their carers has benefitted from a OneCity Trust grant. People with brain injuries can experience personality change, memory loss, physical problems and decreased opportunities for work and a social life. Those with brain injuries will develop stronger peer connections and support networks, and will be more socially connected to the outside world and experience fewer feelings of isolation due to support sessions and monthly outings.

Carers will gain respite and support from other carers, and the volunteers involved will widen awareness of the issue in their communities. The Trust welcomed the emphasis on the involvement of business in the project, at Board level, through in-kind support and outings.



Get2gether has received a OneCity Trust grant for its programme to tackle social isolation through enabling people with disabilities to become involved in everyday social and leisure opportunities. The service provides a unique cultural bridge, where volunteers support service users to enable participation in everything from Opera to Jam House, Clubbing to Salsa, ping pong to roller derby. Members will have weekly opportunities to have fun while feeling safe, and develop confidence to access social opportunities outwith the programme.

The service is led by its members, and provides not only a sense of inclusion in the city to its members, but changes attitudes in the wider community. The organisation runs a bi-monthly club night in partnership with local business, the CAV Nightclub, which also provides employment for disabled DJs. The opportunities for relationships and friendships are hugely valued by Get2Gether’s members.

People Know How


A new charity and social innovation organisation, which believes that fundamentally “people know how” to tackle inequality and solve social problems, has been granted funding by the OneCity Trust. The funded pilot project will recruit and train a group of 32 volunteers from varied backgrounds (young people not in education or training, young people with qualifications needing further experience and people living in deprived areas). Volunteers will be trained in community consultation and social research, and will then go on to design innovative solutions.

Four partners, the Broomhouse Centre, Scottish Adoption, the Cockburn Society and the Living Memory Association will receive tailor made consultations. Volunteers will have increased life chances, will be more included in the life of the city and 1000 citizens will be involved in consultation and designing responses to the challenges posed. Following the pilot, further students will be matriculated with Queen Margaret University.

Positive Realities: My Life, My Community Project


A large-scale youth consultation in Liberton/Gilmerton, YouthTalk13, identified a serious lack of youth provision for older young people in the area, which falls into the 10-15% most deprived in Scotland. Positive Realities has been given a OneCity Trust grant to address this gap. A varied group of 12-15 young adults, including young carers, care leavers, offenders, etc. will be recruited as volunteers. The group will be facilitated to work collaboratively to draw upon its assets and networks across the generations to develop a resource for the area. Links have been established with a local business for fundraising and increasing understanding of the world of work.

Impacts will be both on the young volunteers, who will feel more included in the local area and in the city, and on the wider community with a sense of purpose in developing the new resource. Volunteers will also benefit from one to one life coaching, which will enable them to overcome their personal circumstances and fully participate in the project.