New volunteer placement programme with St. Thomas of Aquin’s R.C High School in Edinburgh

Posted on February 4, 2022

has joined forces with St Thomas of Aquin’s R.C High School in Edinburgh, to launch a new volunteer placement programme that supports pupils to take their first steps in work-based learning – thanks to funding from investment management firm, Baillie Gifford.

The project, launching in January 2022, will give pupils invaluable experience through volunteering placements with various charitable organisations across the city. These placements, for S2 and S3 pupils at St Thomas of Aquin’s’ R.C High School, will help young people on flexible timetables who have multiple barriers or challenges which prevent them from achieving the next step in their education.

The project will provide young people with links to the wider communities of Edinburgh, encouraging a sense of place, and belonging, and helping young people to lift their horizons and aspirations. Each pupil will also gain additional support offered through a dedicated Volunteer Mentor, who will help them achieve their personal goals. 

In addition, senior pupils will become Volunteer Champions, who will be supported to engage, lead and shape wider school volunteering activities, enhancing a culture of volunteering within the school community and help tackle the attainment gap.

Christopher Santini, Head Teacher of St Thomas of Aquin’s High School, said:

“We are a school community that is welcoming and inclusive, providing a holistic learning experience for young people to become articulate, compassionate, and successful. Providing wider opportunities through this partnership for our young people to engage in work experience is important for us at this time, particularly given the challenges that are being predicted in relation to youth employment.”

Paul Reddish OBE,  ProjectScotland’s Chief Executive, said:

“We’re certain that Edinburgh pupils will benefit in so many ways from this partnership, but for us there is also an amazing opportunity to introduce more young people into the charity sector. We hope to show young people about the diversity of the voluntary sector and the amazing benefits that can come from a rewarding volunteering experience, such as learning new skills, meeting new people and building confidence and opportunities. We’re asking for Volunteer Mentors to also come forward, to support a young person and share their own skills and experiences”.

The impact and experience gained from this volunteering programme, and a similar initiative already underway at Castlebrae Community High School, will be actively promoted across Edinburgh schools over the coming months, to provide wider learning across the City.

If you would like to find out more or if you are interested in being a Volunteer Mentor, please contact Emma by emailing: info@projectscotland.co.uk