Edinburgh news: Volunteers to get scrubbing

VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a "cleaning day" at a popular city arts venue.

The Forest Cafe is looking for people to help clean up after New Year parties before the venue opens up again on January 3.

The cleaning day will take place on January 2 and volunteers are being asked to go along at 12pm.

Prize for poets who know it

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THE National Library of Scotland is calling for entries for an poetry award.

Now entering its 11th year, the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award encourages, recognises and rewards poetry in pamphlet form.

Prizes are awarded to both the publisher of the winning pamphlet and the poet.

Zoo tells tales of Down Under

LOCAL residents are being given the chance to learn about Australian plants and animals in a series of drop-in activities next year. The sessions will be held at Edinburgh Zoo on Saturday, January 22, and at the Royal Botanic Garden on Sunday, January 23.

Coffee lovers brew up 17k for foundation

LOCAL coffee lovers have helped raise 17,000 for The Costa Foundation charity in 2010 - enough to build a school in a developing country.

Staff and customers at 22 Costa stores around the Capital have helped raise money through events such as a charity auction, a sponsored walk, face-painting and in-store collections.

Regional manager David Graham said: "This is an amazing way to round off 2010, and I'd like to thank everyone who was involved."

Festival to make noise about peace

The Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace will run from March 4 to 17.

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The festival aims to bring together people from a wide range of spiritual backgrounds.

There will also be a number of pre-events from February 22 to March 3, which include a Middle Eastern Film Festival.

Conference focuses on disabled people's needs

The problems faced by disabled people trying to find suitable housing will be tackled at a conference.

The conference, hosted by Capability Scotland and the Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, will be held on Monday, February 28 at the Hilton Hotel at Edinburgh Airport and is open to housing professionals and disabled people.

The theme will be "fresh thinking about housing for disabled people" and will be centred on the findings of the first Scotland-wide audit of disabled housing issues.