We have provided support to 'The Step Up Project', run by The Rock Trust in Edinburgh and the Lothians. This project creates opportunities for young people to volunteer in the community and gain work ready skills for moving onto further education, training or employment. For an update as at April 2011, see the bottom of this page.
The Rock Trust is a charity that works in Edinburgh and West Lothian with homeless and socially excluded young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years. The Trust’s aim is to provide opportunities for young people to develop the personal, social and practical skills, as well as the sense of self worth necessary for independent adult life.
They do this by providing supported accommodation in a mixture of shared and single flats, including specific provision for young mothers and babies ; move on support to those moving to their own home ; volunteer befriending services for young homeless people ; and through 'The Underground', a drop-in, healthy living centre to help improve the health of young people who are primarily homeless or in temporary and unsettled accommodation.
Photos courtesy of The Rock Trust
The 'Step Up' programme is built up of a 12 week programme which is made up of a range of volunteering opportunities taking place across the Lothians. The type of opportunities are varied and each group has a say in what sort of things they want to do. Each week groups of up to 10 young people take part in one or two volunteer challenge tasks – each lasting about half a day.
Past programmes have included conservation work, clean up work along the Water of Leith, woodworking skills, "guerrilla gardening",
and decorating a community hall. Running alongside these days are a number of training days, which help to develop skills that are needed to gain and maintain a job, training course etc.
Outcomes and lessons
The Rock Trust has now reported progress in the period May 2010-April 2011. This includes the following achievements :
60 young people have been supported, in three 12 week 'Step Up' programmes
they have completed 418 hours of voluntary service with 20 partner organisations across Edinburgh and the Lothians
the young people in the programme have moved on to employment, other volunteering placements, the Future Jobs Fund, Access to Industry courses, and college placements
the young people have gained practical skills and experience in a diverse range of areas including carpentry, conservation, painting and decorating, tree felling, vegetable growing and building
in addition, they have gained work and life skills such as team work, timekeeping, communication, problem solving techniques and conflict resolution
The young people, the volunteer leaders and the Rock Trust are to be congratulated for this excellent work, and Blackford Trust is delighted to have been able to make a contribution towards their progress.
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This page was last updated on 28 December 2011.
The Blackford Trust, c/o Gillespie Macandrew LLP (B.12891.1), 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8EJ, Scotland, United Kingdom