Our Work

Harmeny turns lives around. At its residential school in Balerno near Edinburgh, some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children re-discover the joy and opportunities of childhood – how to play, to make friends and to learn in a fresh way that focuses on their strengths.

Harmeny – offering the joy and opportunity of childhood

Children aged 5-14 come from all over Scotland to Harmeny Education Trust, a national, sector leading children’s charity. They bring huge, complex social and behavioural needs, and often struggle to manage their emotions. Most have been in care from a very young age. Despite the love that does exist in pockets of their lives, their early years may well have been marked by significant abuse, neglect and family disruption. Many have been passed from pillar to post, experiencing up to 12 or more placement breakdowns before arriving at Harmeny.

They often find themselves excluded from school, stigmatised, isolated and misunderstood through no fault of their own.

If Harmeny hadn’t intervened, I think that I would have kept spiralling out of control. Harmeny taught me who I am as a person.

Former pupil

At Harmeny, children and young people get the chance to find their best selves again. Nurtured and educated by an amazing, passionately motivated team of teachers, carers and support staff they find themselves part of a community committed to their wellbeing and future.

Stimulating the children’s creativity and using the outdoors are really important ways we help our children grow in confidence. In the amazing wooded grounds that surround our school, as well as the Pentland hills on our doorstep, they develop skills, resilience and ways of making positive relationships. These are skills that will serve them for a lifetime.

The children we look after constantly amaze me – their desire and efforts to grow up and ‘get past’ the adversity and trauma that brought them to Harmeny never fails to humble and inspire. They are a testimony to the human spirit.

Member of Staff

Doing more

At Harmeny, we want to:

  • Develop our services to allow young people to remain at Harmeny until they are 18
  • Build a new, flexible Learning Hub designed with teenagers in mind
  • Establish a new secondary day education service, extending our reach to those living in our wider community
  • Offer far more young people the skills, space and support they need to thrive

Support the Learning for Life Appeal and enable more young people to discover their potential.