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About Us

Our Vision

To give children and young people, with limited opportunity and wellbeing concerns, a special focus on them to help them unlock their true potential.

Our Mission

To equip vulnerable children and young people with the competencies, social skills and emotional capabilities to succeed in life and to use mentoring as the mechanism to do so.

To support “looked after” young people by providing a unique personal development programme that will allow them to build resilience, self-confidence and help them discover some direction or interest, where before there was none.

Our Location


Thirty-mile radius of Inverness, Highlands of Scotland.

Our Story


DAY1 is a Highland charity that has, since 2005, been providing our award-winning youth and child mentoring programme to local vulnerable children and young people who are failing to thrive.   DAY1 is a Lifeline that helps young people to cope with complex pressures.  We concentrate our efforts on difficult transition phases of children’s development, outcomes include securing employment or training and sustainable progression to the next level of education.  Critical to this are our amazing volunteers. DAY1 is in the business of brings joy and hope to all those on our programme.

DAY1 was first conceived by Robert Murray and Ed Ley-Wilson while huddled in their rain and wind lashed tent in southern Patagonia in 2005. Their journey was an unsupported 400 km sea kayaking adventure in this, one of the wildest and most remote parts of the planet.  The extreme nature of their time in southern Patagonia got them thinking about setting up a social enterprise back home (what else can you do when trapped in a tent in the middle of nowhere?) and DAY1 was the result.


In the words of one of our founders...

“In 2005, we set out on a journey to help disengaged young people re-engage with society and regenerate some much needed community glue. We believed then that building long-term relationships between well trained Mentors and young people in need was the way to make a difference.  We believed it then and we believe it now and with ex-DAY1ers stepping forward as Mentors, the fresh generation of community glue we hoped for is happening.  However, none of this would happen without our wonderful DAY1 Mentors. Indeed, DAY1 is as much a network of volunteers as it is an organisation and it is that network that creates the societal change we need. Every week, all over our communities, volunteer Mentors and their DAY1ers are meeting up to have fun, build trust, create focus and ultimately help the young folk discover the interests and direction they need to build positive contributing working lives.”

Our Model

We work closely with parents, our funders, local businesses, our partnership schools and agencies, and we organise a wide range of new experiences and opportunities for children and young people to help build their confidence, independence and self-worth.  We are an SQA accredited centre, and have over a decade’s worth of mentoring expertise.


Our core service is community mentoring, where S4 equivalent young people are matched to an adult DAY1 mentor.  This service has been delivered every year since 2005.  Our Mentors are volunteers; they are ordinary people (actually quite extraordinary people) in the community who come from all types of work and social backgrounds.  DAY1 provides all the training and support they need to act as highly effective Mentors to their young people. 


We deliver many other child and youth projects, and we are continuing to design and refine more projects that will truly make an impact.  Some of these new and exciting projects are based at our social enterprise, Inverness Kart Raceway.

Our Values

Progressive – we have vision, lead by example and seek to improve our impact by paying attention to the expressed needs of children and young people, by listening to our partners and by pushing our boundaries. We are never complacent.

Integrity – we are respectful of others; we do not judge and treat all with honesty and fairness.

Inclusive – Our service seeks to work with the most vulnerable children and young people.

Nurturing – we inspire and encourage the active involvement of children and young people in a way that will help them achieve their potential.

Standards – we continually push to achieve excellence in all areas of our work.

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