Manjula Dissanayake 0

LINKnet Mentoring Ltd

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Primary Reason for petition:

After 15 years of service provision LINKnet Mentoring Ltd is faced with imminent closure for the lack of funding to sustain this invaluable minority ethnic charity. The petitioners aim to raise this matter with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government to request the immediate allocation of funding to cover its core costs to sustain the service.

Details of its lead petitioner

Name: Denboba Natie

Address: 50/5 Dochart Drive, Edinburgh, EH4 7LR

Mobile: 07463100031


We the signatories to this petition are the stakeholders of LINKnet being past and present mentees, mentors, volunteers, staff, board directors, organizations that worked/work with LINKnet, individuals who worked/work with LINKnet, funding agencies, fund managers and the public who are aware of this service.

Since the establishment of LINKnet in 2000, LINKnet mentoring has provided an invaluable service to Scotland’s minority ethnic communities in addressing their employment, education, social and economic exclusion issues. In recent years the service has been affected by funding cuts and it has reached the situation that it is faced with imminent closure. The last nail in the coffin seems the rejection of its application to the Challenge Fund of the City of Edinburgh Council for the financial year 2015/16 despite the approval of the application for funding by the assessment panel. It is impossible to sustain the service without the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government agreeing to fund the organisation’s core costs.

We the undersigned are aware that one by one minority ethnic voluntary organizations are being made to close down. We make a strong case that the same should not be allowed to happen to LINKnet and we strongly request that the authorities ensure that LINKnet receives core funding with immediate effect for its services to continue for the well being of minority ethnic communities and for the following reasons:

1. LINKnet Mentoring is the first and the only minority ethnic service that provides a specialised employment /education oriented mentoring service to minority ethnic people in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. There is no other service that specialises on minority ethnic employment , education and economic exclusion

2. LINKnet provides a unique and a very valuable service to people who otherwise would struggle to secure employment or education. It supports and enables people to engage with and positively contribute to society. We do not do ‘tick box’ work. We do actually provide our service users with the tools to succeed in their hopes and aspirations. Our service is personalised. 1 to 1 means that we get to the bottom of the customers wishes and needs, which in turn means the service is unique to the individual.

3. LINKnet provide a recruitment service that specialises on minority ethnic job seekers which can help employers find the best candidate for their roles at competitive rates in order to increase the minority ethnic employees in their work forces. There is no other organisation that engages in such work.

4. LINKnet’s one to one mentoring provision engages two people from two different cultures, mostly one from a minority group and the other from the majority community. This is one of the best ways to establish community cohesion through individual understanding.

5. Minority ethnic communities don’t feel confident going into mainstream organisations. They find them to be daunting for a variety of reasons. LINKnet service is culturally sensitive and run in a minority ethnic friendly manner by a majority of minority ethnic staff headed by a manager belonging to minority ethnic group with all the support mechanisms built in to the service e.g. language support, cultural diversity, induction of other services etc. Communities feel confident and comfortable coming into use the service and hugely benefit from this organisation.

6. LINKnet has an excellent track record of professionally delivering the service and achieving set targets. This has generated a great demand for the service.

7. The number of ethnic minorities placed in work through mentoring and our success rate are very high. Over 2000 people have used and benefited from the service either as a mentor or a mentee. Over 900 people have achieved an employment or education based hard outcome.

8. LINKnet enhances the skills of mentors and gives them a positive appreciation of diversity. Over 800 individuals have joined LINKnet as mentors

9. Fifteen years of accumulation of knowledge, experience, material, contacts and so on should not be wasted.

10. The long standing delivery partnership between LINKnet, CCP, the City Council and the Scottish Government should not be undermined and ignored. Instead it should be valued and nurtured.

Denboba Natie, lead petitioner.

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