In the same way as we recognise the African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child", we know that supporting the community in North Edinburgh means working together with others. This was made very clear during the pandemic where local organisations came together to make a difference in North Edinburgh. We'd like to shine a light on Fresh Start, one of our "new" partners.
"Myself and Douglas met sometime ago and although we knew we wanted to work together in some way it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that the relationship between Fresh Start and The Academy flourished. Both organisations were part of the North Edinburgh Covid-19 Food Share group and, to be honest, the development of our partnership was the sliver lining in a very difficult time. Over the last year and a half we have supported each other's organisations in a variety of different ways: sharing funding, opportunities, resources – all to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the local people in our community. We are currently working on the development of a joint project that would enhance our partnership over the coming years, as well as brining vital services to those most in need.
Part of the strength of our relationship is that we each bring something different to the table. Whether that is contacts, knowledge, skills, experience. All of this allows for us to have a wider spread in terms of reach for the people we work for but also for those who support our work. For me personally working with like minded people is key to what drives me and in The Academy I have connected to people who believe in other people – this is gold dust. During the last year it has been challenging and exhausting, but I have found support and encouragement from the staff at The Academy, especially Douglas, which has helped me on this journey. The staff of each organisation have the same “can-do” attitude and during the last year we have found a true partner for life.
In the future I am really looking forward to developing innovative and responsive services that meet the needs of our local community. I love the fact that we can challenge each other to look at problems in different ways and then come up with solutions that are driven and owned by the local people. I am looking forward to developing new ways to couch our different services together so that we can bring a wealth of opportunities to people and I am looking forward to learning and developing from our partnership. I hope that we can create the “island of excellence” that we dream of for North Edinburgh."
"Working together with Biddy and her team at Fresh Start is one of the positives that has come from the challenge of responding to the pandemic. It's hugely motivating and inspiring to work with people and organisations whose values are so closely aligned to our own."