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Nicolson School's Work

At the Shed, we are dedicated to providing a range of support services to the students of the Nicolson Institute. Our Thursday lunch drop-ins offer a safe and welcoming space for students to connect with us, while our mentoring program provides one-on-one support to those who need it most. We are proud to be piloting a new project aimed at helping students develop important life skills and prepare for their future. Through these initiatives, we hope to empower our students and help them achieve their full potential!

Our Services


Thursday Drop-In

One of the ways in which The Shed are available and accessible in the Nicolson is during Thursday Lunch Times. Matthew MacNeil, occasionally along with other members of the Youth Team, are present around the canteen area on Thursday Lunch Times for any pupils to approach them for a chat, to request an inividual meeting or seek any support we can provide them.


Mentoring Support

Mentoring continues to be one of the most thriving aspects of our work. Through meeting with a young person over a coffee, we are able to give individual (or small group) sessions to provide more direct and intentional support.  The Youth Team are, in most cases, more preferred for the young people to share issues with. Young people can refer themselves directly to any of our youth team whenever they see them, through our social media platform, website or through Guidance staff in the school. Whether it's within or outwith the schools, we are available and accessible for any young people to meet with and support however we can.


Pilot Project

The transition from the Nicolson towards pursuing further studies, student living,  or taking a gap year is significant and can be daunting, but The Pilot Project is available to support this transition. With reflecting on topics that are relevant to the pupils (such as budgeting), guest business speakers from the local community sharing their journey, and informal times of discussion as a group, the Pilot Project is suited for transitioning from secondary education towards their next step.

Matthew MacNeil - Youth and Schools Manager

Matthew MacNeil

Youth and Schools Manager

"It's an ongoing privilege to manage the thriving Youth & Schools Work of The Shed in the community. I am continually thrilled to meet any new young people that come through our doors, meet with us in the schools or engage in any of our services, so please do join us! The Shed is available to welcome, support and engage with you!"

Matthew coninues to work in growing partnership with Senior Management in the school to analyse the ongoing development of their services, reflect on the delivery of their services to the pupils and recognises what further opportunities could be presented to The Shed to increase our supportive services to the pupils.

Thursday Drop-In

Thursday Lunch Drop-Ins

Every Thursday during lunchtime, our youth team makes it a priority to visit the Nicolson school to connect with the students and offer our support. We understand that school can be a challenging time for many students, and we want to be there in any way we can. Our team is made up of compassionate individuals who are dedicated to creating safe and welcoming environment where students can feel comfortable and supported. We believe that by providing a listening ear and a friendly face, we can make a positive impact on the lives of these young individuals. In addition to chatting with students during lunchtime, we also offer the option to schedule a meeting outside of school if necessary. We want to ensure that every student knows that they have someone to turn to when they need it most.

Thursday Lunch Drop-In
Nicolson Mentoring Support

Mentoring Support

Our youth team is made up of those who are passionate about helping people navigate the challenges of growing up. We understand that life can be tough, and that sometimes it can be hard to know where to turn for help. That's why we're here. Whether you're struggling with schoolwork, feeling overwhelmed by family issues, or just need someone to talk to, we're here to listen. Our team is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment where you can feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and emotions. So if you're feeling lost or alone, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help you through challenges you may be facing.

"When I was in s5, I struggled a lot with anxiety and it was really affecting my mental health. It felt like a 11/10 with how much it affected everything. I met with Matthew to talk with him about it and we started to meet more often. It was so helpful to have an opportunity to be listened to and supported. After only a few months, my anxiety went from an 11/10 to 0/10. I'm now in this amazing course I never thought I could do. I can't thank the shed enough."
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