Involving Young People in the Community

BY David Doig Foundation

Mayfield and Easthouses Youth 2000 Project (Y2K), based in Midlothian, aims to promote youth opportunities and reduce anti-social behaviour across their communities. The young people are living in one of the top 15% most deprived communities of Scotland and often feel there is nowhere to go/hang out. The Youth 2000 project also note that young people can have low confidence and self-esteem, which can affect their transitions and life aspirations. The InvolveU project was established to provide educational and recreational activities to young people aged 10-18 in the evenings when there are no other activities available. The activities are designed to offer arts, crafts and issue based workshops to increase young people’s skills development and confidence.

With the grant support of the David Doig Foundation, the InvolveU project helped young people gain new employability, life skills and confidence.  It was able to open for more hours per week, meaning an increased number of young people were able to benefit from the educational activities and support offered. The club helped young people to create new friendships through a peer-pals group, which helped children to successfully transition on to secondary school. The young people also took part in a number of issue based workshops, such as health and wellbeing, citizenship, body image, alcohol and smoking awareness, and ‘run your own business’ workshops. This enhanced their confidence, aspirations, attendance and attainment at school. Importantly, InvolveU provided a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment for young people to focus on their personal and educational goals and with this support many went on to achieve Dynamic Youth, Youth Achievement, Saltire and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Chloe, aged 13, is a young person who had low-self-esteem and confidence, which particularly dipped around the time her parents split up. Chloe was referred to the Youth 2000 project by her school guidance teacher for one to one support. During one of the support sessions Chloe expressed that she didn’t feel like she had any friends and no one liked her so she just wanted to keep to herself and didn’t trust anyone. Chloe was encouraged to get involved in InvolveU project, where she participated in skills development groups such as cooking sessions where she created a healthy cooking recipe book. Chloe also participated in a tobacco awareness action programme. Chloe has been attending InvolveU for over 6 months now and she has recently been voted by her peers as a Youth Rep. Chloe is also delighted to have achieved Saltire and Dynamic Youth Awards for her voluntary commitment to a summer programme designed to tackle holiday hunger.

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