Bridges Project has been awarded £88,850 from East Lothian Council’s One Council Partnership Fund to extend the charity’s Way2Work East Lothian service for another year.
Way2Work East Lothian is Bridges Project’s main employability service which provides intensive support to help young people make the transition into meaningful destinations. These include employment, training and further education.
The grant will contribute to funding three different strands of Way2Work East Lothian. The first strand will be a school employability programme that will support up to 60 young people across East Lothian annually to sustain S4 and progress into positive destinations. Another strand will provide educational and wellbeing support to young people aged 15-21 across East Lothian. As well as this, the One Council Partnership Fund will contribute to funding an employability strand that will provide individually tailored and person centred support packages to young people in East Lothian who are either unemployed or at risk of leaving school without a positive destination.
Emma Scarcliffe, Bridges Project’s CEO, said: ‘Receiving this funding is tremendous news and we look forward to continuing our services to support young people in East Lothian to achieve success. We would like to send a heartfelt thank you to East Lothian Council’s One Council Partnership Fund from Bridges Project’s staff, Board of Trustees and, of course, the amazing young people who we will continue inspiring to build a confident future’.
Sharon Saunders, Head of Communities at East Lothian Council, said: ‘The Bridges Project provides a highly valued service to help find the right training and employment for some of our young people. As we’re planning for Covid recovery this specialist support is even more important to help make the most of the opportunities available during what is a particularly tough time.’
Way2Work East Lothian is complemented by a range of other services at Bridges Project. Young people using the service are also given opportunities to access accredited group learning, social groups, confidence building courses, independent living support and emotional and wellbeing support.
Due to the adverse impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the young people Bridges Project works with, the Way2Work East Lothian service will in the upcoming year additionally focus on helping young people to deal with the consequences of the pandemic. For instance, the school employability programme will prepare young people for the world of work in a post-Covid-19 society. This will include mentoring in skills required for the blended approach of remote and in-office working that is expected to continue in many industries. It will also offer sessions for young people with limited digital access and skills to get digitally connected in a post-pandemic world where digital access and skills will be more important than ever.
The educational and wellbeing support strand is another aspect of Way2Work East Lothian that will focus on recovery from the pandemic. It will support young people with Covid-19 related mental health and wellbeing issues, including help to access welfare advice services to support independent living, including foodbanks and other initiatives for those who are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.