Edinburgh charity celebrates 20 years of transforming lives

Move On pledges to help a further 270 vulnerable young people gain employability skills in 2017 

An Edinburgh-based charity which supports vulnerable and homeless people has announced a series of ambitious projects and targets to help mark its 20th anniversary year.
Move On, which works to unlock the potential of vulnerable young people in Scotland, has set out the following goals for 2017:
  • Help 270 vulnerable young people gain employability skills
  • Support 120 volunteers to mentor young people who have been in care or homeless
  • Support 50 homeless people to manage independently in the community.
  • Help 70 vulnerable people to improve their literacy skills
  • Distribute 600 tonnes of surplus food to organisations in Glasgow and the West of Scotland that support vulnerable people experiencing food poverty, equating to more than 1,400,000 square meals, as part of Move On’s FareShare programme
The charity, which has recently opened a new 12,000sq ft food and training depot in Glasgow, says these are just some of the initiatives it will be undertaking to continue delivering support and advice to help vulnerable people transform their lives for the better.
Olivia, who is one of thousands of people Move On has helped over the last 20 years, said: “I’ve become more confident and more independent. I joined a course that I’m absolutely in love with and it’s all down to having the support of Move On.”
Move On Executive Director John Hinton said: “Over the last 20 years, we have seen an increase in the complexity of the issues which our service users present with, particularly in relation to underlying mental health problems.
“Homeless levels are currently rising and young people are still finding it hard to access employment.   More recently, reductions in local authority spending has meant that we have lost funding for services, reducing our capacity to respond to the growing challenges our service users face.
“On a positive note, this milestone will give us the opportunity to remind ourselves of some of the key successes of the last 20 years. We will tell the stories of people who have received Move On services in the past and celebrate the amazing commitment of our wonderful volunteers.
“Hopefully, this activity will help us engage businesses and secure the support and assistance we need to continue to deliver effective services in the future, which enable people to achieve positive changes in their lives.”
The charity was established in 1997 with financial ‘start-up’ support from the Big Issue in Scotland. Its mentoring service, which has been running since 2002, matching vulnerable young people with a volunteer mentor, has won numerous awards including the Scottish Mentoring Network’s Project of the Year 2015.  The most recent development of this service is joining the Scottish Government’s “Intandem” initiative, offering mentoring support for ‘looked after’ 8-14 years olds in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
But Move On says that while demand for its services is increasing, the financial resources available to the charity are decreasing. It’s therefore looking to companies and individuals to help raise money to be able to help more people.
If you would like to find out more, or make a donation, visit the Move On website.
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