North Edinburgh Support Services

NESSie (North Edinburgh Support Services)

This new and innovative consortium led by Fresh Start, with North Edinburgh Arts, Move On and Spartans Community Football Academy.

The project is one of the first in Scotland to be developed from a ‘Human Learning System’ perspective. This is where it is different – we have no outcomes with our funders as we start with where people are at. We have no criteria – meaning we will work with all those who need our support and work in a real person-centred way. The purpose is to help people thrive, not survive, and most importantly, push for system change, as the current systems do not help, but hinder people.

If you need support, and live in North Edinburgh, please contact

North Edinburgh Support Service (NESSie) is an approach used by a collaboration of four third sector organisations using a liberated method to support people where they are and embrace the complexity of their lives. NESSie deals very much in the early intervention and prevention end of the acuity spectrum and often intervenes when people face continued barriers in accessing support.

The four organisations Fresh Start, Move On, Spartans Community Foundation and North Edinburgh Arts cover a diverse range of thematic areas across the community-Housing & Homelessness, Cultural & Arts, Sports, Social Enterprise, Circular Economy, Place Making, Community Health, Education, Employability.

Each of the four organisations have a Development Worker who is part of the NESSie team while still being hosted by one of the four organisations. Each DW is liberated to do what is needed and they operate within 3 rules: Do no harm, Don’t break the law & Don’t Break the bank. They have a budget to use as they see fit which they have to account for but not justify. Find out more about how NESSie works here.

This is a visual systems map which shows how NESSie and NESSie organisations sit in the system in Edinburgh.

Centre for Public Impact produced a learning report about NESSie. You can read that here.

One key element to working in a human way across systems is collaboration. This Human Learning Systems Example of Practice is the learning from the NESSie alliance of organisations and how they work in collaboration. 

Read the full document here

Please watch this space as we are working on “NESSie: The story of change and our impact”.

Should you want to speak to anyone about the work of NESSie please contact Biddy Kelly, Lead NESSie CEO-

Phronesis Partnership have worked alongside us as learning partners. Should you want to speak to someone about using Human Learning Systems and in particular using learning as a core way of working please contact Karen McNeill