Aleksandra Santorek, a Starbucks Partner from Edinburgh helps to paint a mural at a primary school in Westminster

Starbucks has found out that young people in Edinburgh are ‘raring to go’ to help their local communities, and as a result four local youth groups have secured support from Starbucks Youth Action to bring local projects to life

The charity has discovered four groups of young Edinburgh people who appear to be a force for good. The youngsters have committed their time and energy to bring community projects to life, making a positive change where they live.

• The four Edinburgh-based youth groups have secured shares of £10,000 funding for their local community projects from Starbucks Youth Action.

• The groups set to benefit are: Youth Vision, Dyslexic Society, Shine and, subject to permission to use local land, the Muirhouse Youth Development Group.

Starbucks Youth Action is a new youth development programme and partnership between leading national youth charity UK Youth and the coffee vendor.  Each of the four Edinburgh youth groups will share in £10,000 funding, expert training, and access to volunteer hours from Starbucks’ employees to help launch their local community projects.  This support comes at a time when local authority funding is being cut.

Nicole Jade Johnstone from Edinburgh helps to paint a mural at a primary school in Westminster.

For the past three months young people in Edinburgh have been encouraged to submit local community project ideas.  Many applications were received and a workshop was held locally to help the young people involved to shape their project ideas.  Selected groups were then invited to pitch their ideas to a judging panel in Edinburgh, comprising of Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee  of The City of Edinburgh Council; Sheila Gilmore, MP for Edinburgh East; and Mark Williamson, Reporter for The Herald; as well as representatives from UK Youth and Starbucks.

Starbucks Youth Action support has been awarded to the following local projects:-
Youth Vision – a unique programme designed to help local young people aged 14 to 18yrs have a smooth and happy transition into adulthood by involving them in practical extra-curricular activities.

Raising Awareness of Dyslexia – this project involves the student-run Dyslexic Society visiting local schools and workplaces to raise awareness of dyslexia, and help those affected by dyslexia by educating them about the work and development opportunities available to them.

ShineGirl – the Shine group is a voluntary organisation whose members visit local schools and speak to young girls about issues they may face in their communities.

Cyclone – a Muirhouse Youth Development Group project, subject to permission to use local land, will invite young people to help design and build a permanent bike track, which would provide a fun and safe local area for young people to spend their spare time.

Sheila Gilmore MP for Edinburgh East said:- “I was delighted to be one of the judging panel for the Starbucks Youth Action initiative in Edinburgh. It was so inspiring to see the ideas and initiative of these young people and I’m really grateful to the charity for giving them the means, encouragement and support to move forward. These youth groups can now bring their projects to life and I hope Edinburgh is looking forward to seeing the benefits of them in the near future.”

UK Youth, chief executive, Charlotte Hill, said:- “Since its launch in April, Starbucks Youth Action has worked with hundreds of young people across the UK to help develop their ideas for projects in their communities.  The whole process has been so encouraging and inspiring, and it’s great that we have played a part in helping these young people to unleash their community spirit.”