Edinburgh charity recognised for delivery of vital services to young people

Health Opportunities Team, working across the Portobello/Craigmillar & Liberton/Gilmerton areas of Edinburgh, has become one of more than 2,100 organizations across the UK to receive a brand new ‘Red Plaque’ in recognition of its vital work, supported by Comic Relief funding. Health Opportunities Team (HOT) is an independent charity committed to improving the social, emotional and sexual wellbeing of young people in Edinburgh. We can be found in schools, in the community,or in one of our Drop-Ins. HOT has just introduced a new service called the Substance Misuse Project. The aim of the project is to provide therapeutic group & 1-1 support for vulnerable young people, aged 12-25, who are struggling with their own substance misuse, or are affected by their parent’s substance misuse.

HOT’s Substance Misuse Project is one of 16,800 UK projects which have received funding from Comic Relief since the charity began in 1988. The Substance Misuse Project has been awarded and will receive nearly £68,000 over three years (2014-2017) in order to meet the goal of reducing the impact of personal and parental substance misuse on young people in South Edinburgh.

Round and red to echo Comic Relief’s iconic Red Nose, the plaque features this quote from one of Comic Relief’s supporters Billy Connelly:

“All the silly nonsense of Red Nose Day is about the serious business of helping people change their lives” -2003

The plaque is placed proudly at the front door of HOT’s home base at 1a Queen’s Walk.

Councillor Maureen Child said: “There are huge pressures on young people and growing exposure to a range of psychoactive substances, as well as the ones we already know about like alcohol. We need to help ensure youngsters make the right choices, keep safe, and enjoy their young adulthood.”

Avesha DeWolfe, the Substance Misuse Project Worker at HOT said: “It is so important for young people to have this locally accessible substance misuse service and, thanks to Comic Relief’s support in partnership with Lloyd’s PDI; we are thrilled to be able to offer it.”

Submitted by Avesha DeWolfe