Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre, is a charity situated within the South of Edinburgh. The Community Centre based in an area of multi deprivation provides individuals and groups with an educational environment, which encourages and motivates people to realise and fulfil their potential. The centre utilises activities and opportunities, which are aimed at developing people’s life’s skills and increasing their expertise through active involvement. We strive to create and foster aspirations and are committed to providing inspirational experiences.
All activities are underpinned with a belief that these opportunities break down societal barriers, which exclude groups and individuals from participating fully in new and rewarding experiences.
Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre (GTNC) is a community centre that strives to advance education among all who attend their services through the implementation of community education programmes. One of Goodtrees key aims is to advance citizenship and promote volunteering among the beneficiaries through the provision of opportunities for
them to take an active part in the civic life of their communities. These activities include youth groups, children's groups, art groups, ESOL classes, community cooking clubs, the pantry, training, parent and carer classes, etc.
Throughout the lockdown, we have had over 50 young people come to us looking to help volunteer by delivering essentials to the most vulnerable in their community. The young people’s response was so keen, we had to start turning individuals away and we could not safely work with so many- we were well over capacity. We have had a tremendously positive response from the community, with relationships being bridged between the young people and the wider community. Goodtrees will take forward a project where young people will be at the core of supporting the vulnerable within their community. Through working with the community, we are aware that the lasting damaging impacts of COVID-19 will continue well past the easing of restrictions. Food provision is still going to be a key part of our service, it is important that the young people are at the heart of this work. This empowers young people to take ownership and builds their resilience and capacity to be able to take this forward. This work will be much needed over the next 18 months.
During the group, the young people will pack and deliver bags, take part in befriending zooms, create cards and activity packs, create videos and drama sketches to share with the elderly. Through young people’s tremendous achievements, we will work alongside them to allow them to achieve accreditation. A volunteer coordinator will support them through dynamic youth achievement awards and the saltire awards. In every group, the young people will also receive a hot meal as food poverty is a prevalent issue within our community.
Throughout this group, a key focus will be on young people’s mental health and well-being. The transition of lockdown has been hard, and it is vital that the group is able to support the young people’s thoughts and feelings as they develop. Within the group, staff will also run workshops to support the team of volunteers. We understand that this group will create strong emotional responses and produce many questions about poverty, vulnerability and for many a lack of support in their lives. This is possible due to the positive, secure attachment that young people have with our team and service. We provide a community resource that fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment.