Category Archives: events

Community Fund – The Yard – June Update

Summer holidays are fast approaching and everyone is getting ready at The Yard for another busy July and August. During one week over the summer holidays, we see around 250 families using our family drop in sessions. The Yard is open for our families Monday – Saturday, with a number of playschemes in the area also using it throughout the week.

This month our Tuesday girls club have had a very full schedule, and they hosted our first ever volunteer celebration at the beginning of the month. As part of National Volunteers Week, the club wanted to recognise the amazing time and commitment that The Yard volunteers have given up over the year. All the girls at the club loved hosting the evening, with some helping to serve the food and drinks and a number of the girls prepared thank you speeches.

The Tuesday girls club playteam leader Sudha said, ‘it was great to see everyone involved and there were lots of hugs and kind words exchanged by everyone.’ The girls loved it so much that they are looking for a date to hold a night for their parents and carers.

The Tuesday girls club also had a visit at the end of the month from the animal man. The animal man visits lots of our clubs throughout the year, and all of our disabled children and young people love having the experience of getting to hold and feel all the animals. He usually brings a wide variety of animals including ducks, snakes, spiders and turtles.

Community Fund – Scottish Waterways Trust – June update

Schools sessions for 2016-17 concluded with an OPAL water survey conducted by the wonderful children from P4C at Canal View Primary School on 1 June. They trouped along the canal to Hailes Quarry Park, where they collected water samples and netted some interesting invertebrates to check the water quality of the Union Canal. Despite appearances – there is often a lot of litter in the canal here – the water came out top notch yet again, which is great news for the canal, great news for canal wildlife, and great news for the people of Wester Hailes!

All the children in the schools programme this year – and their class teachers – worked extra hard to earn their Discovery-level John Muir Awards. They learned lots about the Union Canal and the wildlife it supports, about boating on the canal and about the history and heritage of this amazing feature of our Edinburgh landscape. They took photos, did drawings, wrote a poem and made posters to raise awareness of the canal and how to keep it beautiful for future generations and safe for people and wildlife. And of course everyone enjoyed getting out into our outdoor canal classroom to feel the fresh air and see the sights… The children at Canal View and Tollcross Primary Schools were presented with their John Muir Award certificates, a water safety certificate, and a nice purple goody bag from the Scottish Waterways Trust as a thank you!

Both the Canal View children (P4c) and the Tollcross children also had the chance to become part of a new canal heritage initiative, the Union Canal Unlocked project, which is a Heritage Lottery-funded partnership between Re-Union Canal Boats, the Scottish Waterways Trust, Scottish Canals and Sustrans. The Canal View children worked with animation students at Edinburgh College of Art to produce three short animated films based on the history and heritage of the Union Canal. Meanwhile the P5s at Tollcross held an assembly where they sang the Union Canal Song by Robin Laing so beautifully that the songwriter himself came to visit the children and sing with them! The recording and excerpts from Robin’s Q&A session with the children will be included – along with the animations – in a smartphone app guide to the Union Canal which is being developed as part of the UCU project. 

Community Fund – School Food Matters – June update

Last month, 500 children gathered at Westminster Abbey’s magical College Garden for a picnic to celebrate their 10th Birthday. It was a true celebration of all things food with tasty picnic treats galore and enough food education fun to last an academic year!

Tom Aikens was on hand to judge the best picnic and they all joined together for a great big Carrot Crunch; 500 folk simultaneously crunching on a raw carrot. Read all about it here –

Edinburgh Garden Partners

Community Fund Focus: Edinburgh Garden Partners

May’s Community Fund focus was on Edinburgh Garden Partners – a charity that focuses on tidy up and redesigning projects for the elderly and those unable to maintain their gardens. As well as this they have a garden sharing scheme which matches people who want to garden with people who have space to share, often older and disabled people.

Our Community Fund team’s project focused on the former, heading to the south of Edinburgh to help an avid gardener restore her garden to how it was when she was able. Our Vegware team of eight volunteers headed down early in the morning keen to get to work. With limited gardening experience among us, the Edinburgh Garden Partners volunteers were great in spearheading the owner’s vision.

Edinburgh Garden Partners

With the garden having three tiers to it there was plenty of work to be getting on with. From weeding to creating a compost heap, along with the Edinburgh Garden partners team, we worked for around five hours in the sunshine working on an array of tasks. Some of the more creative members of our team even tried their hand at bush sculpting, shaping a perfect egg.

At the end of a hard day, our work was done. We learnt some great gardening skills and gave the garden a good platform for further development. Edinburgh Garden Partners do a lot of great work in the community and hopefully our story has inspired you to get involved. If you would like to volunteer, details on how to register your interest can be found on their website.

Edinburgh Garden Partners

Vegware celebrates Responsible Business Week with Community Fund film!

Vegware is marking Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week 2016with a new film on the Vegware Community Fund. The 90-second film meets recipients and explores how the Community Fund supports sustainability non-profits with regular grants or eco packaging donations. During Responsible Business Week 2016 (April 18-22nd), @vegware will also showcase a different Community Fund recipient every day on Twitter.

The Vegware Community Fund supports sustainability in its widest sense, including the built and natural environment, and community projects. The Fund offers monthly grants and monthly or one-off donations of Vegware’s eco catering disposables for fundraising events.

The Community Fund covers hard-to-find core funding. It currently supports 20 projects across the UK and overseas, from ecological conservation in the Amazon to healthy-eating cookery drop-ins in Edinburgh to organic community farming in South Wales. The Fund was re-launched in 2015, winning the FPA’s Corporate Social Responsibility award and growing from 9 recipients to the 20 it supports today.

Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. It offers practical ways for businesses to work together and take action to help tackle some of the key issues facing society. Responsible Business Week is the awareness week for responsible business, and offers an opportunity for businesses and organisations of all sorts to demonstrate the many ways that they can work together to turn ambition into positive action for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

More information on how to apply to the fund can be found here.

Community Fund Skillshare evening!

Community Fund InviteOn 9th March we will be hosting a skillshare evening in the Secret Garden at our office in Edinburgh as part of the “pass it on week” in association with Recycle for Scotland. This is Scotland’s annual week to encourage keeping things in use for as long as possible by passing on, swapping, sharing or donating things you no longer use. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity for many of our recipients and those connected to Vegware to get together, meet each other, and share any skills they may have.  This could be anything from gardening tips to brewing your own beer so don’t hold back! Saying that, please do not feel under pressure to have to bring a skill to share as we would still love you to come along and enjoy the evening with a chance to network and learn more about us and the people we support!

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Community Fund Relaunch

We are celebrating the re-launch of the Community Fund on August 26th with an afternoon event in Edinburgh’s Harrison Park.  We’ve planned a range of family-friendly activities, including a wild food walk, face painting and environmental games. There will also be a canal boat docked nearby offering free refreshments.

The Community Fund supports sustainability in its broadest sense, offering regular funding or product donations to charities and not-for-profit organisations from Ayrshire to the Amazon. The re-launch party celebrates an increase in the fund’s capacity to support organisations, a new blog and our adoption of the stretch of the Union Canal that passes our Edinburgh HQ!

This event will be attended by a mix of local businesses, community fund recipients, and representatives of the environmental sector. If you’d like to come along, or just want some more information on the Community Fund and the event, check the Vegware website, say hi on facebook or Twitter, or send us an email at

Vegware community fund wins CSR award!

We are delighted to have bagged ourselves a Corporate Social Responsibility award from the FPA last night! The recognition is for our community fund, which supports sustainability in the wider community by giving monthly grants to grassroots non-profit groups and charities. Find out more here, and check out the gallery to see some of the great projects we support in action!