Important Message for Young People from our CEO Jenny Paterson

Hi everyone,

I’m getting in touch firstly to say that I hope you are managing as well as could be expected under the current circumstances, and secondly to provide you with an update about some temporary changes that are taking place for Breakthrough.

As you know we have offered a number of ways in which you could choose to stay in touch with Breakthrough and/or your mentor. A good number of you have signed up for this which has been brilliant, however due to the current circumstances, we just can’t keep this going the way it has been so far.

I have decided to furlough some members of the Breakthrough team for a temporary period of time from Monday 1st June 2020. This means that some team members will have time away from work and may not return until the schools reopen in August. If we furlough staff, Breakthrough will be able to save a significant sum of our charity’s funding and will enable us to continue to support you when schools reopen.

This was not an easy decision to make but it feels like the right one for our charity at this time. The 3 Breakthrough senior coordinators (Rosie, Faith and Jenni) will remain at work and will be available to support you until the end of term. I will also be at work to keep Breakthrough ticking over through the summer and I have shared my contact details below and I’m more than happy for you to get in touch if you need support or someone from Breakthrough to talk to between now and the schools reopening in August.

The team and I have prepared some FAQs below which I hope will help answer any questions or worries you may have about these temporary changes in Breakthrough.

With very best wishes,




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Breakthrough’s plans

Will I be able to stay connected with my mentor?

Yes. If you and your mentor have previously opted to stay in touch, we will continue to support this until the end of the school term. This will be supported though by a different coordinator (Rosie, Faith or Jenni).

Can I contact my own coordinator?

If your Breakthrough school coordinator has been furloughed, they legally are not permitted to undertake any work for Breakthrough until they return from furlough. If your Breakthrough coordinator has not been furloughed, you will be able to contact them as usual until the end of term.

What if I don’t want to speak with another coordinator?

This is totally up to you. We understand that you know and trust your own Breakthrough schools coordinator and reaching out or confiding in another member of the team may feel difficult. Breakthrough is a small team and all our coordinators, although based in different schools, all have the same role with young people and work to the same standards that you have come to expect from your coordinator. You are an important member of the Breakthrough community in Dundee and we would encourage you to keep in touch with us, especially if you want to stay connected to your mentor or are having a difficult time and need someone to talk to. We are here for you.

When will I be able to speak to someone from Breakthrough again?

Senior members of the Breakthrough team who are based in schools will be available for you to talk to until the end of term. During the school holidays, you will be able to contact Jenny (details above). In the near future we will be introducing a chat function on our website for people who want to make contact with us but may be uncomfortable talking on the phone.

What do I do if I am feeling worried or feeling at risk?

If you are feeling worried or anxious about something or feel at risk or unsafe before the end of term please let us know, Breakthrough cares very much about your safety and wellbeing and we are here to support you if you need us. The Senior Schools Coordinators who are available to you are Rosie, Faith and Jenni;
Rosie Ivins 

Faith Bulle 

Jenni McKechnie 

If you need support during the school holidays Jenny is available for you but Dundee City Council is also making plans to support young people in schools and community hubs over the summer. We will be sure to update this post when we know for sure what this looks like.

Will there be a summer programme?

Unfortunately not this year. We are very disappointed not to be able to provide a summer programme for you. We promise that when the rules around social distancing are relaxed enough to mean we can safely deliver some fun activities for you we will do so.

  1. Contact Jenny from Breakthrough on 07983 080921 or email
  2. Schools will be open for some pupils during the holidays and staff there will be available if you need support or are feeling at risk. (More details coming soon)
  3. There are a number of organisations in Dundee who support young people who are having a difficult time:

Feeling Strong

Dundee Young Carers

LGBT Youth Scotland

The Corner

Who Cares? Scotland

What does furlough mean?

Furlough is a temporary situation. It means that some of our team are being asked not to work for a period of time and the Government will provide financial support for our charity whilst staff are furloughed. We have decided to furlough some of our team because we are unable to work in schools at present to the level we usually would be. As CEO, I have had to do what I believe it is the responsible thing to do, to ensure that we remain available to you but also access important financial support from the Government through the furlough scheme. This will help Breakthrough to be in a stronger financial position when schools reopen which in turn means our future is more secure.

 Who else can I go to for support?

If you need support between now and the end of term, please reach out to us and we will ensure we connect you to the support that is appropriate for you. If you need support during the summer holidays, there are a number of options.

Will Breakthrough be coming back?

Absolutely! Whilst some of our team will be away from work between now and the schools reopening, some of us will remain at work. We can’t wait to be back in schools and spending time with you and the Breakthrough mentors. We will pay close attention to guidance from the Scottish Government and will be ready to start again as soon as it is safe to do so. We hope that when that time comes, you will continue to be an important member of our amazing community of Breakthrough young people and stay involved with the exciting things we can offer you to help you reach your potential.


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