Project information

Young Offender Community Mentoring

This three project works with young people aged 10-17 at high risk of offending and those who have already offended. Each young person is matched with a local, trained community mentor who meets with them on a weekly basis & supports the young person to explore new interests & activities.

Three years

Charity information: YMCA Edinburgh

YMCA Edinburgh logo
  • Need


    This project responds to needs identified by the local community, schools, Youth Offending Service and the police to provide tailored 1:1 support for young people at high risk of offending or already offending. Many of these young people have been excluded or choose not to particiate in existing youth work provision.


    The project will take referrals from local youth projects, schools, the police and the Youth Offending Service. The young people will meet with a trained local community mentor on a weekly basis to identify their personal aspirations and interests and then to explore new opportunities. Each young person will work towards personal goals that they set themselves.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give young people at risk of offending the opportunity to change their patterns of behaviour.


    » One-to-one mentoring will support young people to develop new interests and set personal goals and targets.
    » 1:1 work with mentors will identify the risk factors that make it more likely for the young person to offend & look at strategies to reduce the risk.
    » Young people are given the opportunity, and supported, to engage with existing youth work services in their local community.

    What success will look like

    Success will be ....statistical evidence that young people engaged in the project have positively changed their patterns of behaviour by not offending / reoffending.

    Aim 2

    Improve the confidence, self esteem, wellbeing & personal skills of the young people.


    » The mentor will meet weekly with the young person to identify personal growth targets & to celebrate milestones of success.
    » 1:1 sessions with the mentor will provide a listening ear and consistent adult support for the young person.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... measured by asking the young people to complete a self assessment every 4 months which will map changes in confidence, self esteem, wellbeing and skills.

  • Impact


    YMCA Edinburgh is all about transforming lives. This project will give young people who are at high risk of offending or have already offended a supportive opportunity to transform their patterns of behaviour and deter them from criminal activity.
    The success of the project will be measured through statistics from the police and youth justice and also through young people's own self assessment.


    Inadequate recruitment and training of mentors would represent a risk. This was addressed early in the pilot phase in late 2010 / early 2011.


    Donors will receive a 6 monthly e-bulletin update and a copy of the YMCA annual report. There will also be a page on the YMCA Edinburgh website dedicated to the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £87,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £75,000 Mentor Co-ordinator Co-ordinator for referrals and mentors
      £6,000 Programme Activity costs for young people & mentors
      £6,000 Support & training Staff support and supervision, volunteer expenses
  • Background


    As the docklands of Edinburgh, Leith has a strong community identity, but reclaimed land and new property developments mean that there is a growing gap between those with money and those without. High rise flats and social housing within the top 7% of areas of deprivation in Scotland, sit cheek- by- jowl with shorefront penthouse flats. There are high levels of social isolation, second and third generation unemployment, poor health and social work involvement with families.


    20 young people per year engaged with the project (who are among those at greatest risk of offending) will experience improved confidence, self esteem, wellbeing and personal development. Local residents, businesses and community organisations will benefit from a meaningful reduction in anti-social behaviour and crime.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    YMCA Edinburgh at the Acorn Centre has been active in Leith for 22 years. It is widely recognised and trusted by young people as offering a safe environment where they feel valued and respected. We are used to working in partnership and have built strong relationships with all of the partners in this project. The decision by both the police and the Youth Offending service to make referrals, including of those at first offence stage, is a strong endorsement of our credentials as lead partner.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    YMCA Manager

    The YMCA Manager is responsible for overseeing and monitoring all YMCA programmes including managing staff and budgets.

    Mentor Co-Ordinator

    The mentor co-ordinator is responsible for recruiting and training the local mentors, receiving referrals & matching young people with mentors.

    Community Mentors

    These volunteers are trained to provide 1:1 support for the young people and agree to meet with them on a weekly basis.

    Police & Youth Offending Service

    Both of these partner organisations provide referrals to the YMCA and support the collection of ongoing offending data for the project.