Firstport's What if...programme launches in North Edinburgh

May 14, 2019

What if…North Edinburgh, a social enterprise programme looking to inspire residents in the north of the city to test ideas that have a positive impact in the community has officially launched this week.

What if… will provide one to one advice, resources and training to North Edinburgh residents who want to develop and test ideas that have a positive social or environmental impact in the area, with the hope to turn these into enterprises. The programme is delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council’s Business Gateway and already has a proven record of success in Girvan, South Ayrshire, where it worked with 30 individuals to get ideas off the ground.

North Edinburgh has many examples of people taking action – from locals running arts and craft groups and gardening clubs to cookery courses and woodworking workshops. The programme aims to build on what is already happening and help more ideas like these flourish, inspiring and empowering residents to take charge and make the changes they want to see.

What if…North Edinburgh kicks off with two community events next week where local residents will be given the opportunity to voice their ideas and help identify what support the programme should offer. Anyone interested in being involved in the conversation is encouraged to attend one of the events taking place on Friday 24th May at North Edinburgh Arts and on Tuesday 4th June at The Prentice Centre.

Julie Smith, What if…North Edinburgh programme manager, said:

I am really pleased to be working on this programme as part of Firstport as it will support the ambitions of local people. There are people with great ideas on how to help their local neighbourhood and this new venture will enable many of them to turn them into reality.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said:

We’re excited to be rolling out our What If… programme in the North Edinburgh area. It is looking to be an exciting, collaborative programme that will adapt to the needs of the local community. We are looking forward to working closely with Julie who has an abundance of experience in community development, having worked in the area for the past 20 years, and drawing on her expertise to ensure that this programme is working with and for those in the local area.

Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said:

We are delighted to be involved the What…if programme, supporting the North Edinburgh community to turn their ideas into reality.

More information about What if…North Edinburgh is available here. The events take place on Friday 24th May 9.30 am -12.00 pm (lunch included and crèche available) at North Edinburgh Arts and Tuesday 4th June The Prentice Centre 6 pm – 8 pm (food included). To register attendance to the events and advice if childcare is required, contact Julie Smith: julie[@]firstport.org.uk , 07763869556.