1991 – 2017
This is a story that stretches from the closure of a row of shops to the provision of a Centre, which provides much needed services. The shops became one building and a capital project supported by councillors Frank Russell and Brian Fallon was funded by the City of Edinburgh Council. Opened in June 1991 there were 1.5 members of staff, 6 volunteers with a Council Grant of £30,000 from Education and Social Work Departments.
The country was in recession, and times were hard. Broomhouse, overshadowed by larger housing projects, suffered neglect financially. The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation rated it in the worst 5% for Employment, Health and Housing, and the worst 2% for Education, Skills and Training. By the late 90s it was nicknamed Little Bosnia, and certain commercial vehicles refused to deliver to Broomhouse.
The absolute need for Community Services led to the organisation registering as a charity which raised funds to tackle the most immediate issues. Over the twenty years of the Centre’s existence, 28 community services have been developed to fit the needs of the community.
The Centre now employs 23 staff, 4 consultants, and is supported by over 100 loyal volunteers. The annual turnover is just over £600,000 raised from 20 different funders. There are 300 direct beneficiaries and a further 400 people benefit indirectly. Through the years, of course, thousands of people have been helped. There are now 11 core services:
- Dementia Day Care
- Vintage VIBES
- Youth Befriending
- Young Carers’ Group
- Adult Carers’ Group
- Carers’ Clinic
- Young People’s Counselling
- Cafe Training Project
- Our Social Enterprise – The Crescent Kitchen at The Broomhouse Centre
These are vital, deep-rooted services and bind the community together. Governance is strong, with 7 local directors, 4 business directors, and a local minister. The organisation is a registered charity, and a company limited by guarantee. We are proud of our Investors in Volunteers Award and our Healthy Living Award and our Quality in Befriending of Excellence for the Youth Befriending Project.
Lately financial times are hard and there are additional compliances to be upheld. We want to continue vital services to this community, raising the aspirations of young people, maintaining older people in their own homes, improving employment skills for vulnerable adults, providing respite for carers, increasing confidence and self esteem and much more. We need longer-term financial support to survive.
We have a “Dream” and that is to develop this valuable community asset, purchase the building, secure capital funding to extend it and make it fit for purpose. Please visit our Dream Build page to find out more.
There is need. We have the skills. All we need is the funding.