The YMCA sees thousands of young people come through its doors and take part in different programmes, including traditional youth clubs, mentoring programme, film making project, school-based 1:1 support, and school chaplaincy.
‘Leithenders’ (named by the young people, because they have ‘more drama than Eastenders’) is our open access youth club for young people aged 12-17. During 2011 we worked with a core group of 34 individual young people, most of whom live in close proximity to our Centre in Junction Place . The staff and volunteers work with the young people to identify interests and needs, in order to provide a range of activities and issue based programmes.
LOSP (Leith Open Spaces Project) is part of our wider Early Intervention work and provides a drop-in youth group for young people aged13-16 years in the Pilmeny area who are experiencing social exclusion or are at risk of offending. YMCA Edinburgh works in partnership with Pilmeny Development Project, Pilmeny Youth Centre, Port of Leith Housing Association and Lothian & Borders Police.
We currently work in 5 different High Schools throughout Edinburgh and East Lothian. In Leith we have been working in LeithAcademy and Trinity Academy one day a week providing 1:1 support forpupils for emotional, social or behavioural issues. This is still seen as a vital support to our local schools. The success of this work has allowed us to offer the same support to Ross High School in Tranent where we are already involved in chaplaincy work. The 1:1 support there has strengthened the relationships with the school and is already providing new opportunities for the chaplaincy team throughout the school.
In November 2011 we were part of the Freedom Focus week at Ross High School where our staff took a variety of lessons across the curriculum on the theme of ‘freedom,’ engaging with all pupils in the school though 70 lessons, 6 assemblies and a Christian concert at the end of the week.
“An invaluable resource to some of the school’s most vulnerable pupils.” Robbie Huxtable, Youth Worker at Leith Academy