Project information

Communities of Wellbeing

YMCA Edinburgh will provide a safe space for vulnerable adults who have been challenged by homelessness, mental health problems or addictions. We will offer drop-in facilities where individuals can access support services and can build social contacts with others in the local community.

February 2013 - January 2014

Charity information: YMCA Edinburgh

YMCA Edinburgh logo
  • Need


    The area where the YMCA works is within the top 7% areas of multilpe deprivation in Scotland. Many adults living in the community have a range of social and economic challenges including homelessness, family breakdown, addiction, long term unemployment and mental health problems. Too often these adults become socially isolated and disconnected from wider society and community support initiatives. In Leith this has led to anti-social behaviour such a drinking and dealing in public spaces.


    Our project will provide a drop-in facility for these individuals just 500 yards from where they currently congregate at the bottom of Leith Walk . The drop-in will provide a safe drug and alchohol free environment where they can access a hot meal, meet with workers to engage with support services and make new social and community contacts. The project will engage these adults in alternative activities and support them to make a positive contribution to the local community.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To re-engage vulnerable and isolated adults into the local community


    » Single gender drop-ins with hot food and support services.
    » A range of activities & support programmes which individuals can access through the drop-ins including art therapy, creative writing, health etc.
    » Trips and outings which give individuals the chance to get out of Leith and explore new interests and horizons.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...50 adults setting and achieving one or more personal targets which help them to re-engage in the wider community.

    Aim 2

    To give individuals a sense of their own self worth, building their confidence and self esteem.


    » Offering a range of workshops and programmes which build self esteem and confidence eg. community cycle trips, art therapy, creative writing.
    » To work 1:1 with adults supporting them to set and work towards personal targets .

    What success will look like

    Success will be...measured using a well-being and self awareness wheel. Individuals will complete the wheel at least once every 6 months to measure their self esteem & confidence.

  • Impact


    YMCA Edinburgh is all about transforming lives. This project is about taking small steps with very vulnerable and isolated adults, which will support them to re-engage with and make a positive contribution to the local community.

    Success will be measured and demonstrated through personal assessments, but also through celebration events such as exhibitions, festivals and participation in community wide events such as Leith Gala.


    There is a risk that local residents living near the YMCA don't understand the work that we are doing and just see those attending the drop-ins as a threat.

    We have dealt with this risk by communicating with local residents and other community service providers including health & social work services. We also have a very positive working relationship with the police and the community police officer is on our Board of Management.


    We will provide an e-bulletin on the progress of work every four months. We will also have 2 pages on our YMCA website dedicated to the Communities of Wellbeing project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Staff costs 1 full time community development worker
      £5,000 Programme costs Workshops, activities, freelance artists, trips
      £5,000 Administration Management, evaluation, financial support
  • Background


    The project will be based in the Acorn - the Leith premises of YMCA Edinburgh. As the port of Edinburgh, many parts of Leith have benefited from community regeneration. However, the area immediately surrounding the Acorn sits within the top 7% of areas of deprivation in Scotland. The economic profile of the area is poor with high levels of long term unemployment and complex health needs including addictions and mental health problems.


    This project will target vulnerable and isolated adults who are or have been homeless, have addiction issues, mental health problems or suffer from long term health problems. We will take referrals from housing support agencies, welfare services, social work, health & other community organsiations.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    YMCA Edinburgh already offers a range of adult drop-in services working with in excess of 120 vulnerable and isolated adults per week. This project will enable us to consolidate and extend the services that we are able to provide to include 1:1 work and a range of workshops and therapeutic activities. We intend to develop the project in future, based on evaluation of the first year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    YMCA Manager

    The YMCA Manager is responsible for overseeing all YMCA programmes, managing staff and ensuring that work is appropriately monitored and evaluated.

    Board Of Management

    The Board of Management is 16 volunteers who are responsible for overall governance, including financial management and strategic direction.

    Community Development Worker

    The worker will be responsible for planning and implementing the project day to day, including 1:1 work with individuals and programming.

    Bethany Christian Trust

    We work closely with our main partner to deliver drop-ins at the Acorn. Bethany also provide partner staffing support for this work.


A day cycle trip for a group of vulnerable adults

The impact the YMCA had on my life is there for everyone to see. Before I was homeless and without a job but now have a full time job and a new flat.