Dealing with RealityPosted: September 23, 2011
The Scottish Budget debate is taking place in Holyrood as I write this but we already know the outcome. It may have been delayed in coming to Scotland but the new reality has arrived. We might wish things were different but Cyrenians’ challenge from here is to adapt to being a force for good with much less public funding to hand and many more people in need of help.
One way of doing this is through our partnerships with the business community. There are lots of examples if you read down this blog, but it’s always exciting to start new relationships. Last Friday we started a new 12 week project with a team from Scottish Gas. They are going to work with our front-line teams to research the mounting financial challenges faced by tenants on the fragile margins who are one bad break or one mistake away from homelessness. We’ll use that research to create some better help for them. This new corporate relationship is brokered and faciltated by our friends at the excellent Three Hands: lovely people doing a great job, and ever more important job in the new reality.
Our Community Gardens ventures typify another creative approach to the problem: bringing together volunteering, local community activism and local assets – like unused land – to make lots of good things happen for relatively low cost. Look at this link to see how busy the calendar of activities is at the Royal Edinburgh Gardens. Inspiring Scotland is currently rolling out a new initiative called Link-Up to promote low cost/high impact community activity.
Alongside the development of Cyrenians Social Enterprises, we’ve these few things to build on to ensure that Cyrenians remains a force for good whatever happens with public funding.
Harder to deal with will be the reality facing people who no longer have jobs in the public sector or the housing benefits to afford their home.