One of Edinburgh’s oldest charities is set to appear on live TV to find out if it has scooped a nationwide prize for supporting disadvantaged youngsters.
The Dean and Cauvin Trust, set up in 1733, is bidding for the National Lottery Awards which recognise the work of projects funded by the £30 million that players raise every week for good causes.
The Trust was whittled down from more than 1000 voluntary groups to a final three. It is in the running for the UK’s best voluntary or charity project for using Lottery funding to support young people leaving care.
Caroline Chittleburgh, operational director, said: “This is the first time we have ever done anything like this.
“We applied for National Lottery funding and we had funding from them for a number of years, then they let us know about the awards and we applied.
“Obviously we are delighted that the hard work of the staff and the young people is being recognised – the young people we work with are really excited.
“We won’t know until the show whether we have won – they have told us to view it like it’s the Oscars!”
“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but either way it’s great news for the charity and good publicity.”
The winners of each category will each receive a £2000 prize.
“The young people have asked us to take them on an adventure weekend, so that’s what we are going to do,” she added.
Saturday’s show will be presented by Holby City actress Laila Rouass.
Staff from the Trust will be mingling with celebrities including Myleene Klass, Ashley Banjo and Perri Kiely from Diversity, The Wanted, Dr Pamela Stephenson and Hilary Devey from Dragons’ Den.
Explaining the work of the charity, Caroline said: “We work with young people who have had a period in care to prepare for independent living.
“We work with them until they are in their 20s and we are the only charity that does this continuous care.
“Workers are normally qualified social workers.”
At any one time the Trust works with around 50 young people aged between 15 and 21 in the city, nine of whom are in residential placements.
Youngsters, including teen parents, are referred to the Trust by the council.
“When they come to us they have often had very traumatic backgrounds and have a lot of emotional difficulties – they need help to prepare to manage their lives in the community.
“Before we had the after-care service, the young people were becoming homeless, not managing their tenancies, turning to crime and getting involved with drugs and alcohol.
“The young people say the difference is having someone there who sticks with them through the difficult times.
“And there’s always someone on the end of the phone.”
The show will be broadcast live on Saturday from 9.30pm on BBC One.