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Social investment builds the foundations for a brighter future

  • Date published: 23/08/23

£500,000 from Foundation Scotland has helped develop state of the art Broomhouse Hub, transforming the lives of hundreds living in South West Edinburgh.

For over 30 years, Space @ The Broomhouse Hub has delivered transformative personal, social and community development opportunities for local people in and around Broomhouse, Parkhead and Sighthill. The charity offers training, volunteering and employment opportunities for those disadvantaged by poverty or other limiting factors, counselling and befriending support, community food initiatives including school holiday support, social groups for isolated older people, and a range of classes and groups designed to support mental health and wellbeing.  

An important organisation for many local people, Space @ The Broomhouse Hub successfully navigated the many challenges of the pandemic and they are now helping local people to manage the continuing cost of living crisis.  As one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, Broomhouse feels the impact of rising costs disproportionately.

Over the past few years, the charity has delivered numerous events to support all parts of the community in coping with mental and economic challenges. Their key services now include dignified access to food.  From their popular community café, they offer nutritious, good value food.  They have provided over 1,100 community meals so far this year including free meals for struggling young carers who may barely be getting one meal each day, and free meals for all children (no registration, no other purchase needed) throughout the school summer holidays.

Thanks to their ambitious vision and support from funders, Space @ The Broomhouse Hub has undergone a massive period of growth, equipping them to support the growing numbers of people that need them. Across the last few years, the charity has tripled their staff capacity and doubled the reach of their vital support services post-pandemic. The charity cites the development of their multi-purpose community hub as the catalyst for this expansion.  Foundation Scotland’s social investment played a pivotal role in this development.
The Foundation Scotland social investment relationship with Space @ Broomhouse began in 2018. The two organisations had already worked together on several grant awards, but with growing demand for their services and an ambitious strategy in place, the team at Space turned to Foundation Scotland for expert advice and growth funding. The social investment support offered by Foundation Scotland is a unique form of blended grant and loan, designed to help organisations to open doors and grow effectively.  Over the past 11 years, they have invested over £12.5 million in 72 organisations around Scotland. 

The Foundation Scotland team works closely with applicants to offer more than just traditional funding, also providing unique insight, planning support and advice to help attract further investment.  

Neil Hay, CEO of Space @ The Broomhouse Hub said: “Support for capital projects, and core funding, is critical to our work, yet unfortunately not so prevalent. As an organisation, we believe in connections and working together for the benefit of all. The partnership approach from Foundation Scotland has been so refreshing. Both the funding and relational support allowed us to get the build off the ground. Together they helped us to realise our vision, and along with our other funders they have enabled us to develop our spaces, grow our team and ultimately helped us to build the foundations for a brighter future for many.”

Ali Kennedy, Social Investment Executive at Foundation Scotland, said: “Space @ Broomhouse is an important and inspiring place for everyone in the local community and we are extremely proud of our involvement in its development. Their fabulous new facilities support significant numbers of people in the area, families have an affordable safe and welcoming place to come to and enjoy, young people are provided with opportunities to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem, and older people and those living with dementia feel part of a connected community.

"The Hub is a space for the community to come together. It’s clear how much of a lifeline these services are for local people. We know there are other groups that urgently need support to get started or grow, and this is even more challenging in the current climate. We are encouraging all interested groups to visit our website or contact the Foundation Scotland team directly to discuss eligibility.”

Chris Holloway, Head of Social Investment at Foundation Scotland said: “Broomhouse is very lucky to have an organisation like the Space – we saw it was a community that had difficulties but we knew Space could help them through it and help support families, individuals and it’s doing that to it’s maximum potential. Today will go down in folklore, where one person tells you there were 100 people there and next year they’ll say there was 1000. It’s been absolutely fantastic, we were delighted to be welcomed along, take part and see the community in action – we love it.”