LINKnet hold a weekly drop-in service (on Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm) for people to come in without an appointment to seek short-term support for job applications, CV writing, interview techniques, job searches, writing cover letters and other official letters, seeking information on housing, benefits, domestic abuse, mental health, help in basic computer skills and setting up email accounts, basic knowledge on social media, and so on.
The service is very popular among those who do not seek long term mentoring but one-off help.
Note: Due to Covid-19, we are now offering this service as an online service where possible.
One-to-one mentoring and befriending
One-to-one mentoring/befriending is provided for education, employment and personal development of minority ethnic people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
A qualified, experienced and trained volunteer mentor/befriender is assigned to a mentee/befriendee to provide support (for up to six months) 2 to 3 hours per week, for the mentee/befriendee to achieve employment, access further education, improve English language skills, improve self-confidence and self-esteem, to learn about other services and to make new contacts.
Anyone over 18 years of age from minority ethnic communities can receive the service.
To get involved, please fill in the relevant application form and the ethnic monitoring form and return them to LINKnet, using the email address at the top of the page.
Case study: Hasnae
"In my first visit to LINKnet’s office I felt like walking in to a friend’s house. David was very welcoming offering me a cup of tea as the weather was so cold outside! I started meeting my mentor regularly in a coffee shop. First few meet ups were to discuss my plans and also to get my CV done. Once I decided my career choice, my mentor was extremely supportive and helpful in directing me to achieve my goals. In as little as three months I was able to secure a position as a Trainee Early Years Practitioner with the Edinburgh City Council where I am training while working full time for the next two years.''
LINKnet currently offers the following: Care work training, Mentor training, Employability skills training, Outreach work training, and Office administration training. Training time tables are advertised from time to time as part of LINKnet’s outreach programme.
Voluntary work placements
LINKnet offers volunteer work placements within and with its partner organisations to job seekers who do not have UK work experience in order for them to get work experience. At least four hours per week (within a day) commitment is required of the potential volunteers. Voluntary work is available in office administration, out-reach development work, fundraising volunteering, and volunteer mentoring/befriending.
Our partner organisations include both private and voluntary sector organisations. They offer opportunities in various other areas of voluntary work.
Case study: Wafaa
"When I first visited LINKnet office, I found people there are friendly and do their best to help me find a class that suites me (They also answered all of my questions surrounding the available classes). They offered me an opportunity to work with them in their office as a volunteer. I found it very useful and gained a lot of skills especially front house skills. That enabled me to secure employment as an Out Reach Development officer."
Eat Well for Oral Health
Our project Eat Well for Oral Health is a joint project with Edinburgh Community Food supported by NHS. it is a community-based food skill and nutrition project to drive oral health improvements. We are aiming to approach different minority ethnic and race inequalities across Edinburgh and Lothians to raise awareness.
Our outreach work is designed to help and encourage disadvantaged members of the community, we are working with people and offering supported opportunities for them, to improve their quality of life, develop their skills and make decisions about their future.
Advocacy is one of the parts of our project, people are getting benefits after getting registration with dentists. Our focus is to make a strong connection with different organisations, groups, and specific public, to uplift and support those who are deprived of certain rights.
Read the Newsletter for March 2023.
Group English classes are offered twice a week at beginner-to-intermediate and intermediate-to-advanced levels (two one and a half hour sessions per week for each level). Each class is offered 4 months tuition until they reach the next level and join the next round. Within a year two rounds of 4-month classes are held. Classes focus on improving practical language skills: speaking, listening, and writing for employability, further education, and successful living in the UK.
Case study: Marina
When I arrived to Linknet I was surprised by the simplicity of how the teacher explains English grammar. Till that moment I was so confused in it, but there I saw the connections between the grammatical parts. Also, the examples given by the teacher during the classes were from daily life, so I could implement them in my daily activities in Edinburgh. I liked as well that the teacher doesn’t act differently when someone made a mistake and I think this encourage people to improve their English. The teacher was very patient to explain me when I have doubts in some grammatical rules. The material provided during the classes contained very useful information. At the same time, arriving from a long and exhausting day in front of the computer, I received from Linknet a lot of energy, positivity, moments of laugh, that I missed so much in this cold environment. In my opinion, the quality of these English classes is better than a university course. I am very satisfied with the information I received at Linknet."
With LINKnet you can do two types of volunteer work: volunteer mentor or office volunteer.
Volunteer mentors help develop another person's career or further education by providing one-to-one support over a short period.
Office volunteers help with either the administration or development work of LINKnet.
Most minority ethnic (ME) people find it difficult to get employment because they do not have prior work experience in Britain. No one offers a job to a person who does not have work experience. Without a job one cannot get work experience. Thus a lot of ME individuals get caught in a catch twenty-two situation. LINKnet offers voluntary positions either as volunteer mentors or as office volunteers to address this issue. In this way, LINKnet volunteers acquire work experience as well as many other benefits, such as:
Upgrading current knowledge
Gaining new knowledge and experiences
Exposure to different cultures and environments
Recognition by individuals and institutions
New contacts and wider networking
Seeing opportunities from within private, public and voluntary sector organisations and educational institutions
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Reviewing and revalidating one’s achievements
Good training that includes communication, coaching and counselling skills and knowledge on equality legislation, confidentiality policy and cultural sensitivity
Recognising one’s own true potential
LINKnet limits volunteer work with it to six months in order to offer the opportunities to others. It has developed many volunteers in this manner and they have all found paid employment.
No more isolation, no more tears (NINT)
The NINT project has three components: befriending, events and English language.
The befriending program is a key component of the NINT initiative offered by Linknet Mentoring, which is designed to help ethnic minority individuals overcome feelings of isolation, improve their language skills, and integrate into Scottish society. This program connects individuals from ethnic minority communities with volunteers who share similar interests and can offer guidance and support.
Through the befriending program, individuals can establish meaningful relationships and access valuable resources that can help them navigate their new environment. This program is open to adult individuals of different backgrounds and is tailored to meet the unique needs and interests of each participant.
Volunteer Befrienders in the program are always supported by our development officer, to provide effective support and guidance to befriendees. They are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals from ethnic minority communities and are passionate about helping them succeed.
The befriending program represents one aspect of the larger NINT initiative, which is committed to creating a more inclusive and welcoming society for all. Whether you are an individual looking for support or a volunteer looking to make a difference, the NINT initiative is here to help.
Case study: Mustafa
Mustafa is an 18-year-old refugee from Syria who has experienced the horrors of war first-hand. He arrived in Scotland with his family and has been struggling to adjust to his new home ever since.
Through NINT's befriending program, Mustafa has not only gained a mentor but also a friend who he can rely on for support and guidance. He feels more confident day by day in his language skills. Mustafa now has a sense of belonging and purpose, thanks to the NINT befriending program, which is still helping him overcoming his learning difficulty and build a brighter future for himself in Scotland.
As part of NINT project we are committed to supporting ethnic minority groups in our community. We believe that everyone deserves equal opportunities and access to resources, and we work hard to create events and programmes that promote inclusivity and diversity. We are proud to have organised a variety of successful events that celebrate and showcase the rich cultural diversity of our community.
Feedback on Women's Merchandise Fair, February 2023
Atika: ''Lovely and well-planned event, it was amazing to see this blend of cultures all in one place and it was also a great social opportunity to get to know each other.''
Nabiha: ''The event and concept of it are great. For me, it was the first time and place where I could see different countries and cultures come together under one roof in Edinburgh. Would love to have more similar concepts in the future. We need more events like this in Edinburgh."
3. English language skills
See Language Centre.