A new charity co-founded by Edinburgh staff is to provide summer breaks for young people with learning disabilities.
The charity – called SuperTroop – aims to offer specialist holidays at a range of locations across Scotland.
The organisation’s first trip will take place in summer 2018.
Through a partnership with Fettes College, 16 young people will spend a week at the school’s Dalmeny boarding house in July next year.
SuperTroop will recruit a team of young, enthusiastic volunteers who will work one-to-one with the holiday makers.
Volunteers will be drawn from pupils attending Fettes College.
They will be supported by an experienced group leader and senior team to provide care for the young people on holiday.
Although early in development, SuperTroop plans to expand its activities across Scotland.
The charity aims to provide breaks in other locations with specific resources, such as giving young people from urban centres a chance to visit the Scottish Highlands.
It was established by Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson of the University's Patrick Wild Centre, which carries out research into autism, fragile X syndrome and intellectual disabilities.
SuperTroop’s other cofounders include James Boardman and Laura Butterworth of the University’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Although I love my work as an autism researcher, it can be agonising sometimes seeing how far removed our academic focus is from the day-to-day challenges of families. SuperTroop is a chance to use my knowledge and skills to help people right here, right now.
Thanks to the combined expertise of our volunteer managers, we have a unique opportunity to make a new and valuable contribution to the local Edinburgh & Lothians community in providing specialist holidays for young people who don’t often get a chance to go away without their families.