Digital voting helps community groups qualify for share of £30k funding

SMALL GRANT AWARDS were provided to 14 local community projects in Moray who shared a £30,000 participatory funding pot earlier this month.

Around 695 people voted in the second #YouChoose event at the Inkwell in Elgin organised by tsiMORAY – who for the first time also used a ‘digital’ voting platform to increase the number of people who had a say in how the funding was disbursed.

The digital platform was accessed by voters from 11years old to aged 81 or over, with representation from every age in between. Development workers gave support to groups who struggled with their online voting, so that as many of their members as possible could take part.

There was an excellent range and diversity of projects being offered, making it quite challenging to choose. Fortunately, voters could cast a total of five votes, three within the Drugs and Alcohol theme and two for projects championing Mental Health Innovation.

Despite the stormy weather, stallholders were cheerful, demonstrating the resilience of Moray’s community spirit. This included going that extra mile with opportunities to play guitar with Arrows Music Group, whack some balls with Living Golf, and enjoy some lovely home baking from Sacro.

Elidh Brown, tsiMORAY’s Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, said: “Partners, stakeholders and volunteers worked really well together, generously sharing activities, experience, expertise, resources and time, all as part of the participatory budgeting process.

“This positivity ensured that everyone taking part gained something meaningful and worthwhile that helps to move their project forward.

“As a result of #You Choose 2, there will be more choices and chances for people in Moray who may have been affected by drug or alcohol related harm, and some great new projects that will benefit a range of people with challenges or issues in relation to their mental health.”

The combined total votes resulted in 10 Drugs and Alcohol projects and four Mental Health innovation projects receiving the offer of a small grant award. Funding came from Moray Alcohol and Drugs Partnership and the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Innovation Fund, via Moray Mental Health and Wellbeing Partnership.

The groups receiving funding through #YouChoose2 were:

Outfit Moray: Kickstart
Moray Wellbeing Hub: Mentally Wealthy
Earth for Life: Wildlife and Wellbeing Project
Fochabers Men’s Shed: Accessibility Project
Arrows Music Group
Elgin Street Pastors: Training Programme
Arrows Music Group
Varis Players: ‘None for the Road’
SACRO
Moray Wellbeing Hub: Wellbeing on Wheels
Living Golf : Assisting People in Moray Living with Dementia
Elgin Youth Development Group : Mellow Mondays and Calming Creations
Earth for Life : Veterans by Nature
Elemental Community Arts: Found Suits