Ideas and projects with scope: The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Total budget £140,000

Gracemount Community Garden South Facing Wall

Rebuild the Magic of Gracemount Community Garden

2023-02-10  •  l.jamieson  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

The magic of Gracemount Community Garden is enjoyed by local people of all ages. Its future will be secured by repairing the key south facing wall.  The people who currently benefit from Gracemount Community Garden are from the local community including people facing particular challenges who can draw strength from the therapeutic green space of the garden, children attending local schools and local youth groups who come regularly to the garden, those who attend events in garden and spread the word to others.  We will use the money to maintain the magic of the garden by repairing the key south facing wall and develop related events for the community. That part of the wall has a break in it that is getting bigger and a wider stretch of cap stones are missing. 


Fresh Start - Starter Packs Project

2023-02-02  •  fanette  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Since 1999 Fresh Start has been supporting people moving on from homelessness to ‘make a home for themselves’ across Edinburgh. Responding to people with lived experience of homelessness we provide practical support as people move on from temporary accommodation into new unfurnished tenancies.

Our service-users typically are allocated unfurnished properties and do not have the means to purchase the goods that make a home. Fresh Start provides Starter Packs of essential household goods - crockery, pots/pans, bedding, towels - to homeless households within the first 3 days of them moving in to their new tenancies, relieving financial burden and ensuring they have the essentials they need to settle in their new home.

We supply 13 different Starter Packs of quality used-household goods which are donated by the public and local businesses. Teams of volunteers gather in these donations and sort them in our warehouse for distribution.  

In 2022 we distribute 14,430 packs and helped over 2,000 people moving out of temporary Housing. We diverted 75,500 kg (75.5 t.) of goods from landfill.


Hibernian Community Foundation - Club Together Lunch & Social Cafe

2023-02-09  •  lewis.melee  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Club Together Lunch & Social Cafe will provide hot meals and warm spaces to community mmebers of Edinburgh and the Lothians. Lunches will also be used to inform, educate and deliver practical ways people can save money at home through carbon emission reducing measures. 

This project will be delivered in the following ways:

  • At community lunch clubs, demonstrating to our guests how meals can be prepared from locally sourced food and items collected from Fareshare that may otherwise go to landfill. We will provide information, ingredients and recipes to enable people to recreate meals at home. Working with community food partners, we have sessions on how meals can be produced at a low cost (Empty Kitchens Full Hearts, EKFH) and safely through ‘REHIS – Eating Well For Older People’ with Edinburgh Community Food.


  • We will create warm banks at our lunch and social cafe, enabling community members to switch off their household heating.  We host a clothing bank, book swap, free wi-fi and device training, and a range of activities for children which include arts, books, table tennis, pool table and board games.


  • In partnership with charities delivering meals to people’s homes, creating food distribution hubs where those attending lunches are given access to food provision lasting several days. This would reduce the number of deliveries charities, such as EKFH currently undertake in Edinburgh and the levels of energy required to cook from fresh at home.  In addition, for those able to visit our stadium, we will address the impact of social isolation and loneliness by enjoying communal eating with the assistance of welcoming volunteers who can signpost to further opportunities.


  • We will work with our private sector partners such as Utilita, who currently fund our Bright Sparks, environmental and energy awareness programme delivered in Edinburgh primary schools. Through engaging with Utilita’s community team, we will distribute materials such as reusable containers and facilitate talks on energy saving measures that can be introduced in the home, workplace and school. This material has been adapted to cater for all ages and a variety of languages, leading to significant energy saving. 
Our activities

Craigmillar Community Grows - green activities for everyone

2023-02-10  •  helenarichards  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

This project would have several aspects to it. We would:


Work with primary school children to introduce them to gardening, ideas around greening, the environment and net zero. Whilst teaching basic skills we would also tie this into curriculum areas including maths and basic biology (reproduction of plants/ how seeds grow/lifecycle of a plant etc).


Continue our cook club, engaging with vulnerable members of society, alongside the community, encouraging integration whilst teaching cooking from scratch. This clearly reduces waste, helps to lower our carbon footprint and starts to encourage good habits such as composting. It also introduces concepts such as batch cooking and safe freezing. The cook club is also a key place for the development of volunteers. We have a number of people, particularly from the BAME community who started off attending the group who now take on leadership roles because they were able to start volunteering with the group. They now act as role models for others in the community, showing what can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.


Re-establish our walking group with people with disabilities, some of whom are in wheelchairs, walking / wheeling on accessible routes and ending up at a café for a brew and a blether. This would encourage socialisation and break down social isolation as well as giving much needed exercise in a healthy environment which improves mental and physical health. It would also give the opportunity to discuss the environmental issues we’d seen en-route – plants, birds etc and learn more about their habitats and backgrounds. This is in partnership with Places for People’s Daycare service.


Continue our community walking group which engages with a wide range of people, including people referred by Community Link Workers with diagnosed mental health conditions, people who are socially isolated and ordinary members of the community. All are encouraged to get out and discover new green spaces on their doorstep, and also do other activities such as foraging or developing home-made maps of the area as they go.


Support our Men’s Shed group as they work together, supporting each other, and recycling and reclaiming old wood and other materials. This includes things like pallets, floorboards and building materials from building sites locally. They then turn them into items such as garden planters, raised beds and bird boxes which local people and organisations want. This part of the project is extremely environmentally friendly as it engages isolated men in recycling/upcycling, preventing a huge amount of waste and also encouraging local people to garden and to buy planters and bird boxes locally, thus cutting their carbon footprint.


Run more seed workshops to continue our seed library which has just been established. Based at Craigmillar Library, this project supports local people to save seeds, store them in our bespoke library drawers in specially made envelopes, and then in the spring, come and take seeds from the library and plant them. There will be a mapping exercise showing where seeds from the library have been planted.



Ripple Refillery

2023-02-10  •  alex.callaghan  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

In line with the CEC’s 2030 climate strategy, this project would focus on transitioning towards a greener economy. The amounts applied for would fund renting a dedicated refillery shop space, this would be match funded. The remainder would be used for purchasing stock (nutritious foodstuffs and domestic essentials), as well as paying for FareShare membership, an initiative that counters hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities.


Food waste is an international problem, on average 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste is produced every year. In 2014, Scotland produced 600,000+ tonnes of food waste (Zero Waste Scotland, 2019). Food waste contributes to 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. In the Food Waste Reduction Action Plan produced by the Scottish Government, a key aim is to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025. On average in Scotland, there are 700 million single-use items used per year. Starting in 2021, Zero Waste Scotland and Changeworks collaborated on the ‘Ditching Disposables’ project in Portobello/Joppa to tackle the single-use packaging problem.  Over the year, commercial usage of single-use items reduced by over 90% (Changeworks, 2022).


The Ripple operates in Restalrig, Craigentinny and Lochend, these communities all experience high levels of poverty and social inequality. Compared to people from more affluent backgrounds, people living in materially disadvantaged areas are less able to partake in sustainable practices; like buying ethical products, or shopping at independently owned shops, as they are more expensive compared to large brands and retailers. Arguably, this is being compounded by the current cost-of-living crisis. The proposed project would create scope to engage people who are often unable to due to financial constraints in sustainable consumerism. By creating an accessible and affordable refillery shop, this project would increase sustainable opportunities for local people who often have little disposable income, thus empowering them to reduce their level of single-use packaging and food waste.


Through linking-up with local businesses and sustainable third-sector initiatives, including our existing partnership with Cyrenians who run FareShare, and have a farm that produces myriad fruit, vegetables and herbs to Soil Association Organic standards. The Ripple Refillery would further the organisation’s ability to build on its strong track-record of offering both volunteering / employment opportunities, as well as affordable and healthy food to people in the community. To ensure sustainable practices are maximised, any unsold food stock would be used to make nutritional and affordable meals at the Ripple’s existing community café and for the food and mood courses which equip people with the skills and knowledge to make healthy meals from scratch. The Refillery would allow local residents to have access to buying only what they need. The Ripple would source essential and domestic items in bulk, customers could then buy what they need at reduced cost and bring reusable containers for the likes of grains, washing up liquid etc... In doing so, single-use packaging would be significantly reduced.


Seedlings to Seniors

2023-02-10  •  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Bringing community members together to grow our own people and plants.

“Seedlings to senior’s” will provide access to gardening for all, through making raised planters, hanging baskets and accessible activity. This intergenerational opportunity will encourage people of all ages to get their hands dirty for sustainable community benefit.

The Bike Station Kids Bike Ride

Free Family Cycling Events in Gorgie & Saughton

2023-02-11  •  info  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

“It opened my eyes to a different world, the other day I was out walking with my partner and we started talking about whether we could cycle the path we were on, my brain’s starting to think of more places, possibilities for what I can do” - Shifting Gears Participant


The Bike Station is a Scottish charity with 20 years experience in making cycling more accessible to the public. We do so by donating and selling refurbished second-hand bikes and by empowering individuals who are looking to become confident cyclists.


We are opening a new hub in Gorgie and we are keen to get involved with the community to increase the number of cyclists in the area. We recognise that for many people cycling has barriers; with our experience in delivering cycle training we hope to make people more confident and have more fun. We also want people to celebrate the area they live in, and organising local bike rides with members of the community is a great way to do that.


As an environmental charity, The Bike Station recognises the need for change in the way we travel by making a transition to less polluting vehicles, particularly with the Low Emission Zone coming into place in Edinburgh. We also know how important reducing air pollution and encouraging exercise from an early age can be from a health perspective. For these reasons, we would like to offer free to access bike rides led by us to members of the community. The rides would happen every 2 weeks between March and September and participants would receive free bike lights and bells, as well as a bike maintenance session before the ride for minor repairs.


The Bike Station is well placed to deliver these sessions to the public, having led 177 group rides in 2021 alone. We have a team of qualified ride leaders that will provide people with all the tools they need to not only become more confident cyclists but also enjoy this activity.


Regenerative Consultancy for 5 grass-roots projects plus ongoing network

2023-02-12  •  jakewolflawy  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

We are Regenerate Edinburgh

an Open Collective of Activist Consultants specialising in Regenerative Development work created by Regenesis, Accredited Carbon Literacy Training, Restorative Justice and Mediation and non-hierarchical self-organising.

We want to bring highest quality consultancy to Citizen-led grass-roots projects for free and in so doing establish the Regenerative Practitioner Guild (RPG) of Edinburgh.

  • Would your project, volunteer group or Community Council benefit from indepth year long professional support to integrate a Regenerative approach to governance, decision making and strategy?

  • Email us at if you are interested to know more

Our Project

All across Edinburgh there are courageous hardworking people, engaged in holding this city together as a community and making it the special place that we know and love.

Our ecologically grounded Bioregional approach exists to give back to and invest in the volunteers and community leaders who quietly hold our city together for the vast majority to enjoy. 

Democracy cannot function without educated and empowered citizens.  Why? No matter how good cutting edge sustainability ideas may be, if they are only delivered top down then it is always likely to feel like an imposition from the outside and thus hit resistance.  In contrast, when a community is genuinely galvanized around what it really cares about, there is no limit to what can be achieved, nor the efficiency, effectiveness and depth of the solution. We see this as in fact the very essence of democracy.

We will help 5 local projects shift out of fire fighting mode and reconnect with the core reason why they exist. We will help them to identify how they can magnify their effectiveness within their community and provide meaningful ways into action for hundreds if not thousands of their members and users.   Each project will function as a seed from which much greater and deeper change can build. Embedding bioregional awareness in our communities is an investment which through our self-funded Regenerative practitioner network will give fruit for decades.   

A healthy bioregion is a massive natural carbon sink, and can be incredibly productive of food and energy using methods that would make it a net-positive carbon sink.  Edinburgh is the capital city of this country and therefore has disproportionate influence over how things go at a national level.  As citizens we can strengthen the fundamental resilience of the City to systemic shocks from the global food system, energy markets and international political changes by creating healthy dynamics between the City and the rural context in which it is nested. Through our choices as Edinburgh residents we can make Edinburgh, as a city, a driver of and marketplace for Regeneration region wide and in so doing make Edinburgh a genuine leader in tackling the root causes of CEE globally.

Edinburgh was once known as a Thought Leader for all of Europe, laying the ground for modernity and democracy as we know it.  Edinburgh World Heritage calls Edinburgh the ‘City of Genius’ for this very reason. The famous phrase: ‘We take it as self evident that all men are created Equal’ was directly inspired by the Scottish Enlightenment.

Climate and Ecological Emergency is the perfect opportunity to take history into our hands, renew the spirit of Edinburgh and create a new wave of civic participation and civic pride.  Taking care of the places and people who we love, should not be a sideshow. Investing in resident-led initiative is the safest and surestway forward.

Please support us to support those who are already working and volunteering for the benefit of all.  

In one year we will present 5 case studies showing what is possible from the grass roots up; what we hope is that by then you will already be directly involved.

A community heat fair, retrofit roadshow and panel discussion, Portobello 11/22

Edinburgh Building Retrofit & Improvement Collective

2023-02-12  •  CommunityLedRetrofitGroups  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Warmer homes, lower fuel bills, reduced carbon emissions, and happier communities through the Edinburgh Building Retrofit and Improvement Collective. 

If you are a homeowner or private rental tenant our community-led approach could benefit you!


Your vote will help us empower communities to own the retrofit of their buildings, to gain funding, and carry out upgrade works to get better, cheaper results more easily. Doing so will lower heating costs, reduce carbon emissions, and positively impact the value of people’s homes. We exist to help people get better results working together, in communities.


If successful, the funding will do this by accelerating the development of Edinburgh Building Retrofit & Improvement Collective, an existing voluntary organisation. We will engage a project officer and be able to fund the resources to: 

  • hold events like retrofit roadshows;

  • create a website for citizens to get advice;

  • provide forums to share experiences and get support; 

  • create ‘how to’ guides for setting up formal associations, applying for funding, submitting for planning consents and procuring contractors to carry out work, providing these guides for free to community groups;

  • connect groups to support from local architects, skilled tradespeople and other specialists, and 

  • collectively be a unified voice for communities to speak to council, funders, and other authorities.


Any questions? Ask away here. If you want to get in touch directly, you can send us an email.


We’re already working with a number of partners. This funding will help us support more groups and build the resource-base quicker to meet the urgent needs of the cost of living crisis and climate change.

Our initial partners alongside EALA Impacts CIC are: 


Please note: This application is intended to be complementary to the application from Porty Community Energy and Edinburgh Tool Library ('Cosy Homes and Cargo Bikes'), which includes practical workshops for all in home energy efficiency improvement skills and introductions to potential retrofit actions, as well as local assistance in the forming of community groups.

grow local.PNG

Show and Grow Together

2023-02-15  •  jgrace  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

The Allotment Associations of Edinburgh and the Caledonian Royal Horticultural Society will come together to establish an Edinburgh network called Grow Local, Grow Green by recruiting from members of the public and from interest groups who will be attending our major event in September 2023. We will encourage gardening of all kinds: from the sunny window-sill to the full-sized urban garden.

The network would be open to anyone regardless of age, race, gender. We aim to build interest throughout society, and to show how gardening can mitigate climate change and enhance health and well-being of individuals and their families.

Starter Packs will be distributed with leaflets detailing how to (i) reduce the air miles that food travels from grower to consumer by ‘growing your own’ and being more selective when shopping (ii) adopt organic growing principles to avoid pesticide-contaminated vegetables (iii) make compost, to reduce the dependency on bought-in nitrogen fertilizer which requires high energy expenditure and contributes huge global emissions (iv) capture carbon in soil (v) reduce food waste by donations to local charities (vi) engage with youngsters to pass good practice onto the next generation. 

The event will be combined with a Flower and Vegetable Show, aimed at demonstrating what is possible, and inspiring newcomers and their families to ‘have a go’ to ‘Grow Local, Grow Green’

The network will continue, through creative climate education. Some of our own members are school-teachers and lecturers at colleges and universities, able to design materials and deliver practical advice in the form of seminars and face-to-face encounters.

The money will be used for these specific purposes:

  1. To fund an event, including a marquee
  2. Musicians and artists
  3. Printing
  4. Web design
  5. Free seeds

Justification for the above expenditure

  1. The major event – based around flower and vegetable shows (the allotment association FEDAGA and the Caley), will attract several hundred members of the public many of them gardeners and would-be gardens. We need to create extra space to accommodate people and all exhibited materials. A marquee is the best way to do this. We will buy or hire (we are in the process of deciding which is the most cost-effective).
  2. Musicians and artists will be invited, to enhance the attraction.
  3. Printing of leaflets and the creation of the information pack needs to be done to a high standard
  4. We aim to host a blog site ( as a cost-effective means of continuing the work beyond the period of the grant.