Funding boost for two Dalkeith charities

MYPAS is based in the former Tolbooth building on Dalkeith's High Street
MYPAS is based in the former Tolbooth building on Dalkeith's High Street

Two Dalkeith-based charities have each received £1,000 from the STV Children’s Appeal, boosting support for the community organisation.

Midlothian Young People’s Advice Service (MYPAS) and Play Therapy Base will use the funds to develop their work in the county.

MYPAS, which is based in High Street, Dalkeith, is an independent organisation working across Midlothian to improve young people’s health and well being, delivering a wide range of services from counselling, to art therapy and community engagement.

MYPAS makes specific efforts to target disadvantaged young people, often working in partnership with voluntary and public sector partners, and provides a significant proportion of its services on an outreach basis with support provided in venues accessible and acceptable to young people.

The grant from the STV Children’s Appeal will allow a MYPAS counsellor to provide additional hours of one to one counselling support with vulnerable young people.

MYPAS manager Dave Evans said: “We are really pleased to have been awarded this grant from the STV Children’s Appeal. This will help us to provide much needed counselling support to vulnerable young people suffering mental health difficulties.”

Play Therapy Base is a child centred play therapy service based in Eskbank. Over the last year, the project has received 154 referrals from families and each month provides 350 therapeutic sessions.

The grant will enable the service to respond to families approaching Play Therapy Base with children struggling to make sense of significant events, trauma, overwhelming feelings and changes in their childhood.

Linda Cuthbert, service manager at Play Therapy Base, said: “The funding from the STV Children’s Appeal will enable us to provide 20 more play therapy sessions to our service users. Families approach our service in search of support that’s appropriate to their child’s needs and as they often need help quickly, we aim to meet every family within two weeks of their first contact with the service. Our biggest barrier is funding sessions so this is brilliant news. Thank you to everyone who helped to raise the funds.”

Since launching in 2011, the STV Children’s Appeal has raised more than £13.7 million, with 722 big and small grants distributed to projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, providing much needed support to over 62,000 children.

If you’re an individual or group that would like to help raise funds for children and young people living in poverty in Scotland with the STV Children’s Appeal, please get in touch with Natalie Wright at natalie.wright@stv.tv.