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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity awarded £210k to support volunteers


New Start Highland will allow more people to take part in its work placements. 

Inverness-based New Start Highland has been granted £210,000 to allow more people to embark upon its supported work placement program than ever before.

Every year the social enterprise works with almost 1,500 families and individuals experiencing vulnerability in a range of ways including providing practical work experience and qualifications which help them achieve employment. 

These volunteer and placement opportunities help people learn key life skills and build friendships when they're feeling stuck, be it because of mental health issues, loneliness or social isolation.

The funding was provided by the Garfield Weston Foundation. 

James Dunbar, chief executive of New Start Highland, said: "We are very proud of our supported placement program, which helps break down barriers to personal progression. Currently there is an unprecedented need for this type of support service. It is delivered by a brilliant mix of employees, trainers, mentors and peers.

"We have seen real transformations in the people who have completed placements with us, whether they've been working in our gardens, workshops, warehouses, shops or offices. We are hugely grateful for this funding which will allow us to continue these placements so more people can learn skills and gain confidence which enable them to start their journey towards a brighter future."

Mary-Anne Morrison was referred to New Start Highland by her occupational therapist and has never looked back. She said: "New Start Highland has saved me. Without these gardens and these people, I would not be anywhere near where I have got to in my recovery journey. I am forever grateful, my family will be forever grateful. I have my life back, I have purpose, I have balance and I don't just have colleagues, I have true friends."

The charity has five retail outlets located in Inverness, Thurso and Dingwall with exciting expansion plans on the horizon. 

Last year alone, the shops, which provide low and no cost furniture and household items, saw a footfall of over 80,000 people. 

All items in store have been diverted from landfill, benefitting not only the climate but thousands of families as they build a safe and comfortable home.

Profits from New Start Highland's various enterprise activities, which include removals, storage and house clearances, are reinvested back into the organisation, to help fund its charitable services.

Over the last year, the charity has served the Highland community over 103,000 times. 9,000 items have been diverted from landfill and 540 furniture packs have been distributed. In the past month, 265 households have been supported in maintaining a tenancy.



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