The Courier

Breakthrough celebrates first year helping young people

Breakthrough is celebrating its first anniversary.

A Dundee charity set up to help improve the life chances of children who have been through the care system has helped 80 youngsters in its first year.

Breakthrough was launched in Morgan Academy last year with a £1.3 million grant from the Northwood Charitable Trust.

The scheme, which provides support to vulnerable youngsters through mentoring, group work and tailored work and learning experiences, was then extended to St Paul’s RC Academy.

This week it has now been rolled out to four other high schools in Dundee: Baldragon Academy, Craigie High School, Harris Academy and St John’s RC Academy.

Volunteer mentors are matched with young people and one-to-one mentoring sessions take place in schools for one hour each week, with mentors agreeing to commit to the programme for between one and two years.

Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and are given comprehensive mentoring training and regular ongoing support from the Breakthrough team.

Dundee City Council children and families services convener Stewart Hunter, said: “The energy, talent and enthusiasm of people in the city to help deliver life changing opportunities for young people has been incredible.

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“This project has been improving chances for some of the most vulnerable young people across the city and I am delighted to see it being rolled out in four more of our secondary schools. I am extremely proud of the commitment and effort that has taken Breakthrough to this stage.”

Breakthrough chief executive Jenny Paterson said: “It’s hard to believe that Breakthrough is a year old already and we have loved working in Morgan Academy and St Paul’s RC Academy.

“Young people are at the heart of our charity and we’ve learned so much from them over the last year but we are always thinking about what we can do better and we are looking forward the year ahead.

“It’s so exciting for Breakthrough to be working in six Dundee secondary schools as we now have the potential to help change more young lives for the better.”

Breakthrough is on track to launch in Dundee’s remaining secondary schools – Braeview Academy and Grove Academy – in early 2019.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer mentor can find out more by visiting