Carers Community Budget

Creating and delivering a participatory budgeting project to improve the quality of life for unpaid carers in Dundee.


The Carers Partnership has funded Dundee Carers Centre to create and deliver a participatory budgeting project to improve the quality of life for unpaid carers in Dundee.

What is Participatory budgeting?

Participatory budgeting is a way for people to have a direct say in how local money is spent. It takes all sorts of shapes and forms but generally sees local people vote on their priorities for a set budget.

Participatory budgeting (or PB) is used globally, but the Scottish Government support PB as a tool for community empowerment.

In 2017, Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government committed to spending 1% of local council budgets by PB methods by 2021 but due to Covid-19, reaffirmed this commitment with a different timeline again in 2021.

PB gives local people a say on the issues that are important to them, and it brings people together at local and virtual events to do this.

Group of people sitting in an information meeting. All are smiling and laughing at one another

What did we do?

We were tasked with setting up a pilot participatory budgeting project for unpaid carers in Dundee.

The Dundee Carers Centre project began in August 2022 and made contact with the Fairness Initiatives in Linlathen in the East End, and Stobswell West in Maryfield. The council had established these Fairness Initiatives as a result of the Dundee Fairness and Child Poverty Action report.

We also began establishing local networks by visiting local groups, spaces, and events. We visited young carer school groups and asked the young carers their thoughts on the project. Additionally, we spent a few days door-knocking in Linlathen and Stobswell West to broaden our reach.

We also launched an online consultation that we took with us to some of these groups and events to gather wider views.

In November, we started running a co-design group with carers who had volunteered their time. The group met weekly for six weeks to create and design the participating budgeting pilot from nothing – they called it the Carers Community Budget.

The group set the priorities and criteria, chose a format for the process, planned communication methods, and content, looked at the financial requirements, and planned the events and the evaluation.

They felt the best support for them came when unpaid carers had been involved and consulted in the development of projects and services and identified a few areas they’d like to see applications for – however, the group didn’t want to limit applications and so set one main criteria: that carers were involved in or consulted on the development of application ideas.

Themes for support that the group identified as particularly important to them were:

  • Reaching isolated carers, reducing carer isolation, and protecting carers from future isolation
  • Supporting carers with their mental wellbeing
  • Providing carers with the knowledge to support their mental wellbeing, manage their caring role, and navigate the complex systems they must as part of their caring role.

And the winners are...

Votes have been cast and counted and we are glad to confirm that all shortlisted candidates have reached the threshold to receive the funding they applied for.

Watch the video below which has the full announcement:

Thank You and Acknowledgements

We would also like to extend a special thanks to the staff and volunteers involved in supporting the project, and of course to the co-design group who were local carers who gave up their time to work with Daisy, the Development Worker, on the design and implementation of the community budget process in the two localities.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the following partnership organisations who helped to support the Community Carer Budget throughout the consultation, application and voting periods:

  • Dundee International Women’s Centre
  • Leisure and Culture Dundee
  • IYN East End
  • IYN Maryfield
  • Faith in Community Dundee
  • Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action
  • Stobswell Forum SCIO, Dundee
  • Douglas Community Centre
  • Carers of Dundee
  • Dundee City Council
  • NHS Tayside
  • Dundee Carers Partnership
  • Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC)
Our shortlisted candidates

Carers' Read, Talk and Play - The National Literacy Trust

Carers’ Read, Talk and Play project build parents’ confidence and skills to support their children’s literacy and helps them understand the positive impact they can have in their children’s literacy development.

Over eight weeks 10-15 families with children in the age range 0-12 will become confident in helping to improve their children’s literacy through reading, talking and playing at home, backed up by weekly events and activities organised by Read Dundee.

The projects will also support carers to make new connection in their communities and take advantage of training and resources offered through our Literacy Champions’ programme.

ADHD Coaching & IMPACT Course - Dundee & Angus ADHD Support Group

ADHD Coaching for carers that are diagnosed with the condition or suspect they may have it, or carer for a young person with ADHD.  

This service can offer the opportunity to support in all aspects of the carers life to improve their confidence, mental wellbeing and to help them see they can have a life of their own.

IMPACT course for young carers with siblings that have ADHD. 

To support young carers in reducing isolation, improving communication and understanding their own feelings and emotions:

  • Information
  • Meaningful Communication
  • Practical Strategies
  • Achievements
  • Carer and consideration
  • Transformation

Community Creative Craft - Brooksbank Centre & Services

Providing 2 full-day s per week of creativity, learning and support for unpaid carers and their family members.  We will target those living in the East End of Dundee but unpaid carers from all over the city would be accommodated into the groups.

All activities will be led by a Creative Craft Support Worker.  Carers will have the chance to socialise and meet other carers, as well as those from non-caring backgrounds.  They’ll also be able to make a range of lovely functional craft items to keep and use (or gift) as they please.

Adult Learning Hub - Dundee Carers Centre East End Group

The Adult Carers Learning Hub follows a successful pilot project which took place in Dundee’s East End in 2021.  

It offers an opportunity for Carers to meet in a shared and supportive space and focus on the experiences, skills and learning they have developed while caring.  It also provides further opportunities to learn new skills, gain nationally registered qualifications and training and seeks to break down barriers of isolation and stigma, building a renewed sense of value in both individuals carers and their communities.