Transforming Lives in Aberdeen - The Denis Law Legacy Trust

BY David Doig Foundation

The Denis Law Legacy Trust provides outreach projects to children and young people living in and around the Aberdeen area, targeting those at risk of anti-social behaviour.

Their Streetsport programme offers a range of sports and creative-based initiatives for those aged between 10 and 18 such as tennis, football, dancing, Streetdance and Streetfit.   Through the Streetsport Project, they identified that many of the young people they are working with struggle to find a positive destination after school. 

In 2017, the Trust received funding from the David Doig Foundation to deliver the Positive Destinations Project. The project is an employability initiative, targeting young people aged 16-19. It is a two year programme of personal development, in preparation for employment, gaining basic skills and qualifications in first aid, child protection, IT and driving.  The programme aims to build young people’s confidence and leadership skills, through sports coaching and support to identify their desired career path.

Angela admitted that she had ‘gotten involved with the wrong crowd’ and thanks to the Denis Law Legacy Trust, she has now connected with a range of sports, made new friends, and has grown in confidence and self-esteem. She has now started volunteering for the Trust whilst working towards her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.   She commented; “For the first time I felt listened to and treated like an adult, I’ve not gotten in trouble since. I go every night to Streetsport and play tennis, hang out or get advice. They give me mentoring and the confidence that I can exceed in everything I do. Streetsport has transformed my life!”

Update 2021

A further grant was awarded to support the Positive Destinations programme.  As with many activities during 2020, the group had to adapt their working to be able to deliver remotely where possible. They have had reasonable success with this, and have even found some additional benefits, for example being able to work with young people affected by inprisonment across Scotland who would not previously have been able to access support in person.

Prior to COVID they had a group of young people going through the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze programme as part of Positive Destinations, as well as some attending SPARK trips, visting different companies to expand employment opportunties. They had been working with a large organisation called Oceaneering, where they attended training and hands on experience. A presentation on the work of Oceaneering really inspired some of the participants, and the continuation of this project is with Oceaneering and other local employers in the city, for example the Airport and the hosptial, is a top priority for DLLT going forward.

Many describe Streetsport as their safe place to develop. The young people thrive with Streetsport and engage well in a number of positive destination activities such as SPARK trips to new workplace opportunities, Duke of Edinburgh awards and becoming young volunteers. They start to show real potential, volunteer on most nights and with the correct support will thrive further in life thanks to the support they are given.

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