The Ampersand Project is an Edinburgh-based non-profit social enterprise working on a local, national, and international level to improve the mental wellbeing of young adults, with a specific focus on university and college students. 

We are the first generation to be told we should talk about our mental health. But the systems don’t connect. Policy’s impact often isn’t felt, students aren’t aware of the support they can access, and people don’t know where to signpost friends who ask for help. Resources & service users. Students & universities. Policy & young adults. Something needs to make the connection. 

We work with an incredibly diverse community – young people of all backgrounds, genders, races, and sexualities. Creatives, students, governments, educational institutions, and other third sector organisations.

We aim to connect these disparate groups and spaces; to leverage our platform in order to affect change and help real voices be heard by those working on mental health policies and research; to combine research and academic knowledge with day-to-day experiences from our community; to connect research and real life.

What we do


We believe that creativity is self-care, and a way to heal, understand, and connect with one another. Ampersand magazine is a platform to share stories. We hope to make young adults feel less alone and provide them with information and tools to improve their mental health and wellbeing.


We want to create communities where young adults can access useful tools and connect with others who have experiences they can identify with. Our social and digital media deliver practical tips and positive interventions while providing a space for young adults to engage and interact.


With its ability to have lasting impact and inspire positive change, we use research to connect organisations with the individuals they serve, inform the world about the challenges faced by young adults, and to provide a platform for them to influence long-term systemic change.

our team


Cordelia Sampson

Chief Executive Officer

Voluntary Board
of Directors

Sam Abrahams

Non-Executive Director

Manira Ahmad

Non-Executive Director

Emma Penney

Non-Executive Director

Pauline Sutton

Non-Executive Director


Ed Blake

Research Manager

Matthew Burnsell

Research Officer

Gordon Rennie

Research Officer


Lauren Nickodemus

operations manager

Lucia Jackson

Digital Media OFFICER


Ellen Desmond

Managing Editor

Dan Buchanan


Phoebe Willison

graphic designer

Mairi Campbell-Jack

Writer In Residence

Lauren Drinkwater

Artist In Residence

Our Partners

Our project (The Mental Health Challenges of Young Adults) is financed by the European Social Fund and Scottish Government. The project is supported by the Growing the Social Economy Programme as part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan to tackle poverty and inequality through the Social Innovation Fund. This is a partnership with the University of Edinburgh to develop and test new ideas and roll out successful models that will address social problems in Scotland. We are extremely grateful to have the support of the Scottish Government, European Union, and our project partners, The University of Edinburgh.