Cities Edinburgh young carers Just recently met with Tracey Stewart, Education Programme Manager, and Lois Ratcliff, Community Outreach Worker, from the Edinburgh Young Carers Project, to talk about the great work they do and how young carers can get more involved in the projects they are involved in. We discussed the vision of a school community where children were playing, socialising, and teaching and all of the great work they do. We also discussed how parents could get involved by volunteering at the projects, thus gaining a voice in their children’s education. This article is part 2 of our series on Preschool Education in Edinburgh. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity to help with education in your local area here are some options. First there is the Education and Development charity which has several exciting initiatives available. They run a range of exciting activities such as the ” Edinburgh Mobile Awards”, ” Edinburgh Kids Help Day” and ” Edinburgh Kids Help Live” event. There are also several other similar events throughout the year. This voluntary organisation also works with local schools and councils. Then there is a number of very active and successful Edinburgh Moms for Leaners group. Established in 2021, it now has over 900 members. The ethos of the group is that mums can make a positive difference in the lives of their children by engaging with young people aged 25 and up. Its core aim is to improve the lives of these young people and to build up their self-esteem. It provides valuable support and advice, as well as being a place where members can support each other through different experiences. The Edinburgh Young Carers Association has a number of different programmes that help to improve the lives of working parents and carers. One of these is the EDGE programme. This is a voluntary programme run by a national body called Mothers for Leaners. As its name suggests, the programme brings together mothers and young people from all parts of the country who want to make a positive difference to the lives of the young people they care for. The organisation aims to provide a social and practical support network for women carers. Through this initiative women can share their experiences of caring responsibilities with other women, which can include their husbands and partners. In addition to this, those attending can be provided with information on the latest developments and research in chronic ill-health and innovative treatments and management strategies. They can also be offered a monthly meeting where different members of the organisation’s workforce get together to explore what’s happening in the world of chronic ill-health and how the business of caring for young people can be strengthened. The meetings are open to all, but priority is given to members who have new or additional challenges in fulfilling their caring responsibilities. Another way that Edinburgh young carers can make a difference to the lives of others is through the school trips programme. Established in 2021, the school trips programme is organised by the city council as part of a campaign to promote community involvement and participation in education. These trips are aimed at making youngsters in Edinburgh more familiar with local history, culture and areas of community interest. These trips are usually split between the nursery and secondary schools in Edinburgh and are scheduled throughout the academic year. The aim of these trips is to provide an opportunity to develop and nurture relationships with other pupils. Other ways that Edinburgh young carers can make a real difference to the lives of others is through volunteering. There are various different types of volunteer opportunities available, including performing arts, helping at events and helping in the provision of care. Many volunteer organisations welcome potential new members from the young people aged 18 and up. The opportunities to make a real difference to the lives of others through volunteering in Edinburgh are diverse and many different to what may be found locally. Finally, the most effective way to raise awareness of young people with caring responsibilities is through the establishment of youth club Edinburgh. Established in 2021, this club brings together people of all ages from all parts of the city to form an open and welcoming community. This group meets regularly to share information and to undertake new projects. The youth club also organises a range of exciting events, inviting young carers from all around the city to take part in these events. Through the Edinburgh Young Carers Trust, an international charity dedicated to improving the lives of young people and young carers, the Edinburgh youth club has been successful in making a real difference to the lives of countless children.