Meet Our New Scots Activity Coordinator

Meet Vitaliia Melnyk, the New Scots Activity Coordinator for Hibernian Community Foundation!


Vitaliia came to Edinburgh almost 2 years ago to flee from the Russo-Ukrainian War. She is Ukrainian and she herself is a New Scot.


She fled Ukraine with her daughter under tragic circumstances, as her home city Kharkiv was under fire every day. Through her lived experience she understands how difficult and tragic it can be to start a new life in the midst of complete obscurity.


Vitaliia is a psychologist and a gestalt therapist by profession. Her past experience puts her in the perfect position to support the New Scot community in Edinburgh, in her new role of New Scots Activity Coordinator for Hibernian Community Foundation.


In the short time that Vitaliia has been in her role, she has hosted various events for the New Scots community. These include a wonderful Christmas lunch, an exhibition of children’s drawings for St. Nicholas Day, Burns Day Supper, and an incredibly warm and bright Valentine’s Day.


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As part of her role, Vitaliia also leads the Women’s Circle – a women’s well-being group, where women meet to take time for themselves, in order to pay attention to themselves and their needs. Through this group the women share with one-another their experiences and feelings. Through communication and art therapy exercises, group members work to find answers to their questions, find ways out of dead ends, and improve their mental health and life as a whole.


This new programme would not be possible without the support of the SPFL Trust, who have been able to provide funding through the Innovation Fund.


Seven community trusts were granted funding towards the end of 2023 and the Hibernian Community Foundation has been able to open its doors to New Scots, providing a safe space within the community.


The work has continued to expand as Vitallia recently launched a social support group, open to all interested Ukrainians. Most of the participants just want to make new acquaintances and understand that they are not alone in this world and in their troubles.


These groups give our Ukrainian population a much-needed sense of familiarity, the chance to speak their language, great opportunities for growth, increased self-confidence and the opportunity to find their feet in Scotland.


“There are still many interesting and powerful projects ahead, which will be extended to other ethnic groups in Edinburgh in the near future.


We believe that we are doing a great job. It’s important that New Scots feel our support, giving them the opportunity to start afresh in beautiful Edinburgh and in incredible Scotland.”