TRANENT-BASED youth charity Recharge has secured funding for a third year from East Lothian Council.

The agreement will see the group receive £28,000 per year in funding through the One Council Partnership Fund to provide its services across the Fa’side area.

Recharge is a youth-focused charity which has been supporting secondary school pupils since 2005.

The charity provides a variety of services, including drop-in nights, online work, one-to-one support and issue-based group work.

The arrangement with East Lothian Council was first put in place in June 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic, as Recharge adapted its services to move sessions online.

In the first year of funding, Recharge supported more than 500 young people in the community. A bespoke, four-week wellbeing programme was delivered to all S1 pupils at Ross High, led by two former pupils, and more than 150 young people attended summer transition events to support the move to S1.

Year two saw the return of a full indoor programme, with five nights of youth work delivered weekly.

A new mental wellbeing programme for S1 pupils built on the success of previous sessions, and an outdoor summer holiday programme was delivered in local parks.

'A big difference'

One parent said of its work: “Recharge has really helped my child grow in confidence. Before they came here, they worried about being in Tranent and didn’t want to walk up the street but now they are less worried, which makes a big difference to them as they have always struggled with change, especially coming from a small village to a place the size of Tranent.”

Councillor Fiona Dugdale, cabinet member for education and children’s and family services, visited Recharge, on Tranent High Street, to meet the team and young people who use its services.

She said: “The results from the first two years of the agreement with Recharge show the positive impacts of youth work. Young people have been supported through challenging times, given positive opportunities to be involved in their community and had vital support to grow their confidence and engage with school services.

“The last few years have been challenging for all of us but our children and young people have missed out on many of the key transitions and rites of passage that are part of growing up.

“Having the additional high-quality support through Recharge and the close relationships between youth work and schools are essential to helping young people navigate issues, regain confidence and play a full part in their community.”

Alan Bell, manager at Recharge, said: “The funding has been vital to the support that we can give young people in the Fa’side area.

“It has allowed us to be reactive to the changing needs of young people, particularly with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The support from the Connected Communities team has also allowed us to embed the specialist youth worker post in the local community to help support young people who are in need of extra support, which was not there previously, and the positive effects on the young people we are supporting in this post are already being seen. ”

Mike Falconer, chair of Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council, added: “I am a big advocate for the work Recharge do. I am delighted that they have been funded for another year.”