SWITCH, Registered Charity No. SC041512

what we do
get involved


Vision Statement:

SWITCH reaches, inspires and supports young people in Scotland to achieve their potential.


SWITCH holds to these values:

  • Everyone matters to God.
  • Everyone has God-given potential that should not be limited by circumstances beyond their control.
  • God’s love brings positive change and lifts people to achieve this potential.
  • Communities can be transformed one life at a time.

All SWITCH projects engage young people in order to promote positive
life choices. For the majority of those we support, our activities are not
only eye-opening but life-changing. We facilitate local sports activities for young people which build positive relationships and cultivate attitudes of fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork. Our activities are specifically designed to be accessible for vulnerable children and young people.

All of our activities are developed in consultation with those who benefit from our work. We adopt an approach that draws on the ideas and solutions already present in our communities. When engaging the children and young people, positive role models are demonstrated by the project leaders who also give short talks on life topics that cover areas including citizenship and responsibility, health and well- being, faith and respect for others.

To find out more about the history or future direction of SWITCH, please use the tabs above.


The roots of the charity stretch back to 2005 when a group of local Christians started up a basketball club for the children and young people Liberton and Gracemount. Gracemount is included in the top 15% of deprived areas of Edinburgh, where crime, truancy and addiction are a continuing problem amongst young people. The aim of the club was to use this time to support the young people, coach them in invaluable life skills, and share the good news found in the Christian faith. The club has continued to be very popular over the years and through it around 100 young people have benefited greatly.

Then in 2008, through partnership with Morningside Baptist Church, a Street Team was established in the Gracemount area which built on and complimented the basketball club. Over the years the Street Team has developed with 50-60 young people coming on a Friday night and an increasing number of volunteers making up the team. The aim of the Street Team is to build trust with local children and young people by going out to them, and also to be a positive presence in the local neighbourhood. The local police report that our presence on a Friday night in encouraging the local youth to get involved in something more productive helps them to focus on the more serious crimes.

In 2009-2010, the work in Gracemount expanded again when a local volunteer took a year out to dedicate more of her time to the area. This enabled young people to access a lunchtime basketball club at Gracemount Primary School once per week, and after the summer of 2010 this extended to two lunchtimes. In addition, small group outings were started to enable some focussed time to be spent with the children to deepen relationships and raise the potential for change in their lives. These outings included climbing, going out for a meal, learning to cook a meal, helping at a local chicken farm, and horse vaulting. In all of these activities we sought to support and ‘coach’ these young people, and share God’s love with them.

By this time there was a lot of interconnected work happening in the local area of Gracemount and there were local volunteers who could see the potential of bringing this together as a charity. Thus SWITCH was started in April 2010 as a fully registered Scottish Charity with the vision of seeking “to demonstrate God’s love by reaching, inspiring and supporting young people from deprived areas in Scotland.” Since then the Trustees have been seeking to put the right support structures in place to sustain the 200 volunteer hours given each month!


Our desire is to see the work of SWITCH continue and flourish. Areas we would like to develop are:

  • a small group for young girls to promote healthy lifestyle...
  • a breakfast club…
  • A mentoring scheme…
  • Provide support…

But to sustain our work, and create space to expand, we recognise the need to employ someone full-time and so are working towards raising around £26,000 per year through donations from individuals and awards from Trusts.

SWITCH was awarded a grant from the City of Edinburgh Council to work towards achieving the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ standard, a recognised UK standard for organisations that invest highly in their volunteers. We successfully achieved this award in autumn 2011.



Copyright © 2010-2012