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Young mother sings praises of award-nominated Dean and Cauvin Trust

Kim Kinghorn was 16 when she was offered a home by the city charity

Kim Kinghorn with her three-year-old son, Kelvin
©: Rebecca Gordon

Earlier this month, Edinburgh charity the Dean and Cauvin Trust narrowly missed out on an award recognising voluntary organisations around the UK. But one young mum says she doesn’t know where she’d be without them.

Kim Kinghorn, from Edinburgh’s Southside, contacted the trust when, at 15, she gave birth to a son and faced losing him if she couldn’t find a place to stay.

Now the 18-year-old lives with Kelvin, 3, in a privately-let flat, is working on setting up a business with a group of young mothers and hopes to apply to college to become a paramedic next year.

According to Kim, the Dean and Cauvin Trust, whose Aftercare service made it into the top three voluntary and charity organisations at this month’s National Lottery Awards, has been “really important” to the route her life has taken.

She said: “When I was 16 I had nowhere to stay. My mum, who had a mental illness, didn’t want me to stay with her with my baby and if I didn’t have somewhere else to live I would have lost my son.

“I got a referred to the Dean and Cauvin Trust and was accepted and they welcomed me straight in straight away. I lived in a residential home Meadowbank for six or seven months.

“It was great, I loved it - I’d go back and stay there. It was mostly mums and babies. We were given a room and were helped to learn how to do things like budget and cook. They helped you with your baby as well; they’d show us how to bathe them and make sure you get everything done properly.”

After six months living in Cauvin House, where residential staff work to support mothers and children and eventually help them to secure their own accommodation, Kim spent one year in temporary lodgings, before moving to her current flat in Carrick Knowe.

She continued: “It was weird living by myself to start off with but the case workers came around every two or three days to start off with for help and support. I quite enjoyed having my freedom; I was confident because I had been taught about looking after my own house.

“Where I’m living now is a lot nicer than temporary accommodation. In February they’re going to help me look for a private home with the council, which will be good.”

Kim, who admits she didn’t attend school as a younger teenager and was officially let go at the age of 14, has also benefited from training offered by the Aftercare service.

She now attends a mothers and babies group, Simply Bumps to Babies, where participants are working to set up a business selling second-hand and customised clothing, with help from Scottish Enterprise.

She added: “I’ve been helped with training. The mothers and babies group has been good because we’ve been guided through the business and told things we wouldn’t know because a lot of us didn’t go to school.

“I’m also hopefully going to college in January to get English and science qualifications so I can become a paramedic. My case worker from Dean and Cauvin takes me there and makes sure I get there so they have a big part to play in it.

“If I’d never had the Dean and Cauvin Trust I don’t know where I’d be. Honestly, I love them so much.”

One of the oldest charities in the country, the Dean and Cauvin Trust was established in 1733 and has since provided support to Edinburgh's vulnerable young people.

Their award-nominated Aftercare service helps young adults leaving care to set up and secure a home as well as accessing training and education opportunities.

They were one of only three Scottish organisations to make it to the National Lottery Awards finals.

IN DETAIL

The Dean and Cauvin Trust enjoy finals of national competition

Dean and Cauvin Trust

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