Scran Academy from North Edinburgh launch youth cafe in partnership with NHS Lothian
Scran Academy is to launch a new professional Scran Café within NHS Lothian's Comely Bank Centre.
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The leading social enterprise focuses on inspiring young people aged between 13 and 21 from across the capital and giving them the opportunity to broaden their horizons.
The café's initial focus will be to create a welcoming, relaxing and a safe haven for as many as 100 frontline NHS workers and clinical trainees on a daily basis, offering freshly made meals, drinks and other refreshments.
With an innovative social business model involving a voluntary, private and public sector collaboration, this unique partnership between Scran Academy and NHS Lothian will see more than 100 young people - that are too often judged and failed by both their city and country - access dedicated employment experience and skill support over the coming three years.
Through the charity's existing community-based Academy School and Scransitions - a new 16+ employability programme - this social venture will empower these young people with the skills and confidence to lead in the hospitality industry.
At the same time the programme hopes to take a significant bite out of the poverty-related barriers, life challenges and injustices they face on a daily basis - whether that is being care-experienced, disengaged from mainstream school, at risk of homelessness, unemployed or suffering from poor mental health.
Scransitions is supported by The National Lottery Fund's Young Start Project, the Edinburgh Thrive initiative and Walter Scott Giving Group, who have all generously enabled the £300,000 project to run for three years.
Founder of Scran Academy and social entrepreneur, John Loughton BEM, himself a young person who grew up struggling in North Edinburgh, said: “At Scran we do hand-ups, not just hand-outs. We must all respond and adapt to what is an oncoming crisis for today's generation that has resulted from education systems failures, a bleak employment context and the rising grip of poverty and mental health. It’s brutal for young people and our work has never been more needed.
“What Scran's story shows is that if we support local community organisations that are run with passion and authenticity, we can develop creative solutions to social inequality. It also shows that unlike the stereotypes so often in the media, young people make a real and positive contribution to society and your postcode does not have to be your destiny.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, schools and volunteers whose contribution to the operation of Scran has made a huge difference to the young people of Edinburgh.”
The Café will open to the public later in the year when restrictions are eased and there are already strong signs that the café will become an essential resource to the wider community.
Through the charity's partnerships and intergenerational work including projects involving low-income family, elderly and homeless organisations, there are hundreds of individuals keen to access the cafe and get involved.
The cafe will also provide a free community library, with support from Edinburgh International Book Festival and bookstores.