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LINKnet Services

(All LINKnet services are free of charge and offered to minority ethnic people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians)

  1. One-to-one mentoring/befriending service
  2. Drop-in service (now offered online)
  3. Voluntary work placement service
  4. Ethnic Talent Showcase
  5. Training centre
  6. Language centre
  7. Edinburgh Smile project on Oral Health

1. One-to-one mentoring/befriending service

One-to-one mentoringOne-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.

Anyone from any community who is willing to offer voluntary help can become a mentor/befriender. Please call LINKnet on 0131 225 7970 or send an email to for further information and how to register as a volunteer.

"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" - Hasnae.

2. Drop-in service

Drop-in serviceLINKnet 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.

3. Voluntary work placements

Drop-in serviceLINKnet 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.

"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." - Wafaa

4.Ethnic Talent Showcase

Drop-in serviceLINKnet has now launched a project to promote drama, dance and/or musical talents of minority ethnic people.

Project Format

Stage 1

LINK will request people to register their interest to perform to audiences that LINKnet will organise.

Stage 2

Once you register your interest, a panel will select 4 items for each show. We plan to hold 3 shows per year.

Stage 3

On the day of the performance, the selected groups/individuals will perform in front of an audience that comprises people who are involved in the entertainment business and the general public.

Stage 4

The performance will be followed by awarding presents to winners.

Stage 5

Finally, there will be a post-performance discussion and networking.


  1. Individual and group items must be between 20 minutes minimum and 30 minutes maximum. Group items could be a drama, a music band or a dance troupe, individual performance could be stand-up comedy, dancing, singing or playing music. Groups must have at least 50% of minority ethnic representation in the composition of their cast and crew and individuals have to be from minority ethnic groups. At the registration stage you will be asked either to explain what you plan to do or to send a sample of your act.
  2. All performing groups will receive £200 each as apresent for the show in Dec 2018. This may change for the future events.

Expected outcomes:

  • Minority ethnic talents to be recognised by the industry entrepreneurs
  • To improve artistic talents
  • Improve English language skills
  • Make new contacts
  • Come out of isolation and loneliness

If you can perform as an individual or as part of a group please call Dissa on 0131 225 7970 or email to for further information or to register your interest.

This project is funded by One City Trust

This project is funded by One City Trust

5. Training centre

Training centreLINKnet 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.

6. Language centre

Language centreGroup English classes are offered twice a week at beginner-to-intermediate and intermediate-to-advanced levels (one day for each level). Classes focus on improving practical language skills for employability, further education, and life in the UK.

"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." - Marina

7. Edinburgh Smile

Edinburgh SMILE"Edinburgh Smile" project has been designed to reduce oral health inequalities amongst ethnic minorities, in particular people most at risk by bringing the community in and deliver oral and wider health improvement messages in an accessible manner that is inclusive to all. Under three themes of education. advocacy and practice, we aim to achieve three wider objectives:

  1. Education: To Increase awareness of oral health among ME communities, including new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers, especially in deprived areas of Edinburgh such as Muirhouse, Wester Hailes, Pilton, Craigmillar, Gracemount, The Inch, Broomhouse, and Parkhead by means of:
    • Peer support
    • Workshops
    • Sessions with dental practices
    • Promotional material (examine current promotional material, simplify and/or translate into 5 major ME languages)
  2. Advocacy: To Improve contacts with dental practices through:
    • Helping to register people with dental practices
    • Helping to make appointments with dental practices
    • Accompany people to dental practices
    • Act as advocates and/or interpreters
  3. Practice: To prevent deterioration of oral health, introduce good practice through collective or one to one sessions on
    • Brushing and flossing
    • Fluoride
    • Selecting dental products

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, no dental clinics are open, except for emergencies. We have at LINKnet and MEHIS- NHS a new free remote service which will allow you to talk to a dentist and experienced volunteers to ask for advice about your oral health. This will be through virtual/ remote workshops, one to one or small group using Zoom or any other platforms such as Skype, Whatsapp or Imo.  If you would like to use this free service, please call or WhatsApp 07788 762576 and we will get in touch with you with date and time.

Edinburgh SMILE leaflet

Mentors wanted


Testimonial 1

Olayinka Dada:
"I came in contact with LINKnet Mentoring Ltd through a family friend. And my first day at LINKnet was really welcoming and pleasant..."

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Testimonial 2

Pepita Gomez:
"I arrived in Edinburgh in Aug 2014 with my daughter. Our English was poor. I started learning English in a class that was conducted by an association."

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Testimonial 3

Russell Dadzie:
"I was introduced to LINKnet Mentoring by a friend who had received mentoring a couple of years ago."

Read more

Current Funders

Scottish Government

Scottish Government's Promoting Equality and Community Cohesion Fund & Scottish Government's Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund


The City of Edinburgh Councils One City Trust

The City of Edinburgh Councils One City Trust


The Big Lottery Community Fund

The Big Lottery Community Fund


One City Trust Edinburgh

One City Trust Edinburgh


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