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News & Comment

Peer mentoring service to be piloted

Bridges Project is to launch a new peer mentoring service for young people affected by other people’s substance use.

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Aimeé Lea starts scented adventure

16-year-old Aimeé Lea has launched her very own business and has big plans for the future.

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Alfie transforms lives through football

When Alfie stopped playing football himself, he realised he could use the sport to help other young people. Now he has been shortlisted for the Young Volunteer of the Year category for the East Lothian Inspiring Volunteering Awards.

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Funding secured to continue key employability service

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.

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Lynne’s career comes full circle as she takes up employability post

Lynne Anderson is back where she started with Bridges Project in her new role as Employability Support Worker 16+, eight years after she left her previous employability post.

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Bridges Project joins new lottery initiative


Bridges Project has launched a page with the new East Lothian Community Lottery

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Autism Awareness Week: Adam’s story

This week (29 March – 4 April) is Autism Awareness Week. Here, our client Adam shares his experience of growing up with Autism and talks about how Bridges Project has helped him.

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Scott living his boyhood dream with Scottish Water

Half a year into his apprenticeship with Scottish Water, former Bridges Project client Scott feels he has had a perfect start to his professional career.

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Bridges Project receives funding to help disadvantaged young people get online

Bridges Project is excited about the prospect of facilitating the digital inclusion of a whole generation of disadvantaged local young people following a £24,600 grant from the Musselburgh Area Partnership to create an IT & Education Suite.

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Connor becomes virtual work placement pioneer

Bridges Project client Connor Anderson has become the first person in East Lothian to complete a week of Morrison Construction’s virtual work placement.

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Carolyn and Nicola take on Tutor Service

Carolyn McKerracher and Nicola Falconer have jointly taken over the delivery of Bridges Project’s Tutor Service. They bring a wealth of experience to their new roles.

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Courtney overcomes obstacles to become Covid-19 hero

In the space of one year, Bridges Project client Courtney has gone from being homeless to playing a key role in fighting Covid-19.

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Bridges Project launches new pilot service 

Bridges Project has secured funding from East Lothian Council to run a new service for young people who are not coping with mainstream school.

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Emma appointed new Bridges Project CEO

Emma Scarcliffe has become Bridges Project’s CEO on a permanent basis following the sudden passing of former CEO Jim Boyle last year.

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Scott takes first step towards dream job

17-year-old Scott from Musselburgh is one step closer to his dream job after being offered a three-year apprenticeship with Scottish Water.

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Emergency funds help young people get through the crisis

Bridges Project and the young people we work with have benefitted immensely from various Covid-19 emergency funds.

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Volunteer Hannah enjoys giving back to Bridges Project

As Volunteers’ Week is drawing to a close, we would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of one of our brilliant volunteers, Hannah Taylor.

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Chloe gets two qualifications on same day during lockdown

A 17- year-old from Tranent has found the lockdown to be beneficial to her learning. Chloe just successfully completed two accredited assessments in Animal Care in one day.  Read more

From school refuser to eager volunteer

15-year-old Alex Whyte from Loanhead has defied the odds. After not having attended high school at all, he has now gained skills accreditation and started volunteering regularly.

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Use your loyalty points to help young people!

Do you have any loyalty cards with unused points lying around? Don’t know what to do with them? Now you can donate them to Bridges Project!  Read more

Bridges Project finds opportunities during lockdown

Despite the difficult times we are all experiencing, Bridges Project staff have discovered positive elements of working with young people remotely. Read more

Digital Youth Work – Week 3

With another 3 weeks of lockdown been set in place for us all, Bridges Project has another challenge coming your way to try and help overcome the boredom.

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Digital Youth Work – Week 2

Last week’s Digital Youth Work went down a creative storm. Huge thank you to all that took part in the Appointment Card challenge. These creations will be posted throughout the week – so keeps your eyes peeled.

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Digital Youth Work Launch

Digital Youth Work Launch! That’s right – Bridges Project is diving in head first into the 21st century to bring you activities that will help cure the lockdown boredom. You can challenge your creativity, your physical health and improve on your skills such as cooking. However, more importantly for us – it keeps us all connected. All the staff are missing seeing your faces and hearing from you so what better way to keep in touch thank this.

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A Life Inspiring Young People

It is with great sadness that Bridges Project has learned of the death of our former Chief Executive Jim Boyle. For over 30 years, Jim had led the Project as it inspired thousands of young people in the Lothians to build a confident future.

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Latest Cashback Annual Report

Check out our latest Way2Work#Cashback year 2 annual report.


Stepping out to support Bridges Project

Spring is in the air and we’ve entered Kiltwalk season! Grant, our Transitions Development Worker in East Lothian’s high schools, will be putting a ‘spring’ in his step and embarking on the 23 mile jaunt from Glasgow to Balloch on Sunday 28th April, in aid of Bridges Project!

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All good things come to an end…

Over the last few years, we have enjoyed the company and welcomed the contributions made by our social work interns from Germany.  

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Cook 2 Succeed

Thanks to funding from Musselburgh Area Partnership, we’ve been able to respond to the many requests from our young people living in the local area to put on a new cooking group.  The purpose of the group was to give young people the experience of working alongside a professional chef to help build confidence, learn about healthy eating, work as a team and try something new while devolving new skills.  At the end of the course, they were offered the chance to gain their Elementary Food Hygiene (REHIS) certificate – something that is required for many areas of work from catering to childcare.

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New Investment from the European Social Fund and the Scottish Government

1st August 2018 is the launch date of Bridges Project’s new Support2Succeed service, thanks to funding awarded through the European Social Fund and the Scottish Government.  The Service is supported by the £9.7m Growing the Social Economy Programme as part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan to tackle poverty and inequality.

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The Kindness of Strangers

Folk are generally supportive about the work we do with young people.  Folk we know: teachers; social workers; housing officers; nurses; mums; dads and others who have a live connection to the Project.  It’s great to get positive feedback.  It’s great to be able to celebrate the success of young people with them and their families.  We’re proud as punch when they feel positive about and empowered by successfully navigated routes to achieving life milestones.  Leaving school to got to college.  Leaving homeless accommodation to set up their first tenancy.  Completing a training course or getting their first job!  Once in a while, we are invited to celebrate other events: the birth of a child; a college graduation or the tearing up of L driver plates.  We are used to celebrating in our somewhat self-contained world.  We love it!

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Cyberbullying – A Devastating Impact

Ruth works with our Transitions Team in all six East Lothian secondary schools.  She introduced her North Berwick employability group to Screen Education Edinburgh to explore issues around cyberbullying.  Screen Education Edinburgh used CashBack for Creativity funding to work with the group after school over a number of weeks to produce a short film on cyberbullying.  The group were involved in storyboarding, scripting, acting and all matters of filming.  Their powerful story is told in the short film here:

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Launch of Way2Work#CashBack

We’re not being sent out for tartan ink or being asked to wait at the corner for the arrival of the long stand on 1 April.  There will be no fool’s errands for Bridges Project staff, as they will all be too busy launching a new service – Way2Work#CashBack!  An award of up to £409,000 over three years from the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme (Phase 4) will enable Bridges Project to provide a bespoke, quality service which opens doors of opportunity for young people who are aged 14 to 21 years in Midlothian and East Lothian.

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The Robertson Trust Grant


We are delighted to receive an award of £45,000 over three years from The Robertson Trust to support the work of our specialist Tutor Service.  The grant enables the service to deliver regular, tailored one-to-one, needs led literacy and mathematics tuition and educational and study support for 40 young people each year. We will also run a demand led educational support programme including: college preparation groups; work placement preparation groups; maths support group and animal care study support groups.  A programme of skills for life groups is planned including: money management; money handling; independent living skills and a range of cultural and learning opportunities such as theatre performances, science festival visits etc.

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A volunteer’s experience

ELMy first encounter with Bridges Project was on a school visit in 2013 when I was part of a pupil charity fundraising group at Knox Academy in Haddington.  After finding out about all the inspiring work this organisation does to support young people, I knew that one day I would want to come back myself and volunteer with them.  I started my volunteering placement here at the start of June 2016, during the summer break from my university studies in Glasgow, and finished up at the end of August.  The time has flown by and after two and a half months it is time to return to Glasgow to finish my degree in psychology.  I have met such kind and talented young people and have been working with them and my supervisor Sandie in small groups, facilitating activities such as art, cooking and debate.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the group programme.  The groups rarely have more more than six people which is great as you get to know those you are working with so much better!

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Partnership working with Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery

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April 2016 ushered in a fantastic collaboration with the Outreach Team at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to introduce young people to exciting, participative contemporary art in Scotland.

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We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns

Photo of Sabine

Bridges Project values the energy, expertise and new ideas which volunteers, interns and placement students bring to our work with young people. It’s particularly interesting for young people when new faces also bring experience of living and working in different countries and cultures. Over the years we have welcomed great people from Germany, Norway, USA, Sicily, Australia, France and Spain. It feels as if our garden has been visited by dragonflies! They arrive, bringing extra colour and vibrancy to the place and then leave after a short while. Each one of our overseas visitors has made an impression…left a footprint. We are all the better for this.

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Celebrating 30 years of work with young people

Bridges Project welcomed its first referrals 30 years ago when staff were based in a small office in Cranston Street, Edinburgh.  At that time, our main focus was in helping young tenants across Bridges Project 30th Birthday Cakethe Lothians to make a success of their new homes.  Poverty, social isolation, anxiety, poorly connected social anchors, unemployment and welfare reform were just some of the issues young people and staff had to deal with on a daily basis.

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It’s always nice to feel appreciated for what we do. Our friends and regular donors, the members of Inner Wheel Club of Musselburgh, have been at it again – making us feel appreciated with a fantastic donation of £200 to support our work. The generosity of members over the last few years has been immense; we are delighted to be supported by this local organisation which is part of a much bigger whole. Find out more about their work here:

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