Local charities across Edinburgh are battling it out to win a community grant.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Community Force project offers a £6,000 grant to hundreds of local charities and organisations across the country, to help fund them towards making improvements.

The scheme, which ran for the first time last year, has received 1070 applications from Scotland this year, with nearly 200 of those hailing from the capital and surrounding areas.

RBS claim that last year, 281 projects chosen by the bank’s Senior Managers benefited from their scheme.

Among this year’s capital entrants are the Redhall Walled Garden, who work as part of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).  Jan Cameron, a spokesperson for the charity told The Reporter:=

“We’re a mental health organisation and want to fund an open day. The people who come in are usually quite depressed or low in confidence so we really want the grant to give something to them.

“It takes about £5000 to float one of these events because we really believe in staging them for free, so we thought the RBS grant would be a great way to help us.”

Jan also pointed out the vast array of people the Walled Garden, based on Lanark Road, aims to support and believes the negative vibe around mental health issues must be scrapped. She continued:-

“We want to get rid of the stigma attached to mental health issues so if we stage an open day with great music and food etc. then people can appreciate that places like this are quite sexy!

“We hope to help about 1000 individuals overall. Everybody who comes here has family and friends who are mentally ill but we want people to realise that it can be a nice place to come to.”

Also competing for this years award are Bruntsfield based charity Venture Trust. They specialise in helping individuals with disadvantaged backgrounds. Kathryn Ball, who works for Venture Trust explained why they needed the funding:-

“We are trying to raise awareness about Venture Trust by reaching out to Scottish people. We aim to support 1500 individuals through our personal development programmes – helping people improve their confidence and motivation, and develop skills for employment, education and training”

Voting for the RBS Community Force grant closes in four days time, but you can still register your vote and help one of thousands of organisations who are vying for support. Vote now on the RBS Community Force website.