Who We Are


North Berwick Youth Project has been running since 2001 and was one of the first Youth Cafés in Britain. The Project has grown through the years and evolved from being a Youth Café to an organisation who offer young people support in varying areas, a base to come and spend time with friends and employability support. It is also a place where young people can come if they need support with issues that are affecting their lives.


Our Team

Lesley Kay – Project Director

Lesley has been working at the Youth Project since 2005. The Project Director role sees Lesley fundraising up to £100,000 per year which covers staff costs, equipment, hire of professionals to deliver activities and the daily running costs of the project.


Lesley has a real interest and passion for her community and has also been a Community Counsellor, Chair of the Lime Grove Association and the Area Partnership. She is currently a trustee of the North Berwick Trust. Lesley believes that young people’s voices should be heard and she is an advocate of this in many of the meetings and events that she attends.


Lauren Cowie – Youth Project Manager

Lauren has been involved with the Youth Project since 2007 when she began as a volunteer. She remembers attending ‘TJ’s’ which was the very early Youth Café when she was a child. Soon after starting her volunteering, Lauren became a sessional staff member and studied Working with Communities.


She has progressed through the Project to Project Manager, a role which involves overseeing all projects and ensuring that young people in the community are given the opportunity to grow, learn and challenge themselves. Still very hands on in this role, Lauren has full involvement in working with the young people and is a familiar face with young people around North Berwick. She is known always to go above and beyond to support young people.

Beth Smith – Lead Youth Worker

Beth has been working at the Youth Project since 2018. She started as a volunteer and then as a sessional staff member. Beth became a full time member of staff in 2021, she manages the ZAP group and is involved in all other projects.


Beth earned a 2nd class Honours Degree in Community Learning & Development and her experiences from placements and working in different communities means that she is fresh and dynamic in her youth work approach. Beth builds fantastic relationships with the young people she works with and this is evidenced through their adoration for her.

Christie McDove – Sessional Youth Worker

Christie also started as a volunteer with the project in 2017 before progressing to being a sessional staff member. Christie managed and ran our last two summer sessions at the Café in the Lodge and supported many young people to gain invaluable employability skills.


Christie supports many of the activities including our ASN group. Christie’s interest and passion to share and promote LGBTQ+ and positive mental health mean that our young people are up to date and informed about these issues. Many young people feel completely comfortable speaking to and going to Christie with any worries or anxieties they may face.

James Forbes – Sessional Youth Worker and Volunteer

James is one of our longest standing volunteers and started sessional cover in 2021. James has been shortlisted for volunteer of the year awards and has grown his interest in youth work through volunteering at the Youth Project.


James is our chief gamer and makes sure that our tech is up to date and working well. He builds positive relationships with our young people who love to game a Friday afternoon away with him.

Do you have time to volunteer with us? We have many opportunities for mentoring, donating and helping with events. Get in touch to find out more.

Our vision is to work with young people to create an environment where they are given responsibility and the opportunity to make positive changes in their lives and their communities.