Upmo Kiltwalk Spotlight | Steven

Steven Burns.jpg

How long have you worked at Upmo?
I’ve worked at Upmo for about 8 months now.

What motivated you to do the Kiltwalk?
It seemed like a good idea at the time! And then I thought, I’ll be able to do it and raise money for Upmo, and it will be nice to give something back to the guys that give something to us every day.

What is your favourite thing about working at Upmo?
My favourite thing is talking to the students when I’m walking through the building, hearing about their weekends and having a laugh with them. I also like to sit in on some of the workshops, it gives you a chance to see how talented our students really are. Not only that, it also shows the quality of staff we’ve got for the workshops we run.

Tell me something of interest about you?
I trained as a chef for five-star hotel dining; my favourite part was doing the main courses (meat, fish and vegetarian dishes) because there was so much scope for creativity, and my least favourite part was doing pastries and desserts. To make pastry, you need to keep the dough cold, and my hands were always too warm!

What are your hobbies?
I love my dog, and I like fly fishing and walking in my spare time.

How do you anticipate the walk will be?
Depending on the weather, it could either be very wet or dry!



If you’d like to support Steven in his fundraising efforts you can do so here.

Upmo Kiltwalk Spotlight | Claire

Claire Turnbull.jpg

I have been involved with Upmo since it started as my brother is a student here, and then for a time, I was on the Board of Trustees.  I have worked as Head of Planning since last October. 

I am always happy to be involved in fundraising for Upmo, as we need large sums of money to develop our future plans and to keep delivering a quality service for the students who attend. 

I am passionate about the work we do; I witness every day the happy faces of our students, and how proud they are to be learning new skills and growing in confidence. 

My favourite thing is the banter with all the students, and working as part of a great team.

I have a dream of living in a farm cottage with pigs, goats and a Highland coo for company! 

I love my garden, spending time with my family and friends, and eating & drinking!  But my favourite pastime is definitely going on holiday – my latest trip is New York next week!

I am sure it will be fine on Sunday but we are taking the dog so as long as she manages it, we will!



If you’d like to support Claire in her fundraising efforts, you can do so on her EverydayHero page here.

Upmo Kiltwalk Spotlight | Aaron

How long have you worked at Upmo?
It’s been nearly four years now.

What motivated you to do the Kiltwalk?
At first, I thought of the challenge doing the whole 24 miles and that’s it’s something a bit out of my comfort zone. I see lots of different fundraising opportunities at Upmo but not being a particularly musical or arty person, I feel at least I can contribute to this and I can walk.


What is your favourite thing about working at Upmo?
I like this going over the progress reports with students and their families. It is the clearest representation of progress that students are making. I used to be a teacher and I reminds me of report card days!

Tell me something of interest about you?
I love travelling, I have a pretty global family with relations living all around the world, like Asia, Australia, Europe and America. I lived abroad myself for a year.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading and writing weird dystopian stories; I also play basketball and football. My Monday night basketball team has recruited some of Upmo’s newer members of staff too, which is a lot of fun.

How do you anticipate the walk will be?
I think there will be real sense of community and support! A few of my friends are joining me too!



If you would like to support Aaron’s fundraising efforts, you can do so through his Everyday Hero page here!

H2O Exhibition



You are invited to H20 a selling exhibition on the theme of water in the Upmo café at Leith Victoria Swim Centre on Friday 31st August.

There will be a range of amazing works on show made by Upmo students and made from driftwood, shells, seaglass, pebbles and many more found objects, recycled and upcycled materials – all available to buy. Any profits from the exhibition will go back into funding our creative workshops. Entry is by donation.

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to our recent Spirit of the Community award from Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank. The exhibition theme has been chosen by the students who have been involved in all aspects of creating work for and planning this event.

Come along and support us. We are really looking forward to seeing you there.

The exhibition runs until 28th September.


Upmo are hiring!


We are currently recruiting for Project Workers based across our service, but are particularly keen to recruit staff able to work in our projects in East Lothian and Midlothian.  

We are also looking to recruit someone who can, in addition to the usual duties (as outlined in the job description), support our students in our work experience café.  If you have experience of supporting people in a café or catering environment, and would be interested in working within our café, do indicate this on your application. 

The Project Worker role primarily covers support in workshops and working one to one with students, with opportunities to facilitate, and all aspects of personal care as required.

Drivers with a clean UK licence preferred, but non-drivers will be considered. 
Download full job description
Download application form
Download equal opportunities form

To apply, return the completed application form and equal opportunities form to hello@upmo.org by noon on September 12th 2018.