Meet the Finalists: Community-Based Youth Work

Sponsored by Youth Scotland

GLOW Perth - LGBT Youth Scotland

Bringing together oral history, rights and community, this Perth project should be basking in the afterglow of their success.  

GLOW Perth, part of LGBT Youth Scotland shines as a glowing example of empowerment and inclusion for LGBTQ+ young people aged 13-to-25. For over 12 years, the project has served as a sanctuary within the AK Bell Library’s Health & Wellbeing Space, offering solace and solidarity.  

GLOW’s nomination celebrates their groundbreaking “Oral History Project,” which is all about amplifying LGBTQ+ voices and preserving their narratives for generations to come. In partnership with the AK Bell Library, young people have taken a journey of self-discovery through oral history training. 

Guided by the ethos of inclusivity and respect, LGBTQ+ young people have embraced the opportunity to share their personal stories authentically, ensuring their voices within the community are there for years to come. Through recorded interviews and collaborative storytelling, Perthshire’s LGBTQ+ history is woven into the fabric of collective memory and challenging historical omission of LGBTQ+ voices over the centuries.  

By engaging with their own histories, LGBTQ+ young people have claimed their own lived experience and have gained a renewed sense of pride, identity, and belonging. Through shared stories and mutual support, GLOW cultivates a sense of community resilience and solidarity, empowering young people to advocate for their rights and raising their voices within society and their own communities.  

As preparations unfold for an upcoming exhibition featuring their recorded interviews, the project continues to illuminate the path towards social justice and equality, championing the rights of LGBTQ+ young people and and preserving the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ history for future generations. 

“The validation of their narratives within the community has contributed to a heightened sense of acknowledgment and acceptance, both internally and externally. Working with young people we have been able to shape these sessions to create an environment in which young people can tell their stories authentically.” 

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Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs

What a difference a year can make! In just 12 months Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs (KMYC) have sparked a rural youth revolution, establishing three dedicated youth projects in Portlethen, Stonehaven, and Laurencekirk, with plans for another in the village of Auchenblae. Founded by Dawn Black and fellow parents post-COVID, KMYC has been a lifeline for young people aged 10-to-25, addressing mental health concerns and the need for safe social spaces. 

What sets KMYC apart is its strong commitment to youth empowerment. Young people are not just participants; they’re decision-makers, shaping their own services. With a quarter of the board aged 18-to-25, KMYC ensures that youth voices resonate from the boardroom to the grassroots. 

KMYC have re-introduced free universal youth work provision in the communities of Kincardine and Mearns after 12 years. They believe participation and youth voice are key, ensuring young people have a say in decision making at local youth club level and on the Board of Trustees.  

Their impact speaks volumes: over 200 young people now find support through great local youth work in their own community. Dawn Black’s visionary leadership, coupled with the dedication of over 16 volunteers, has transformed lives, paving the way for employment opportunities and personal growth. 

Beyond statistics, KMYC embodies the spirit of inclusion and respect, adhering to Aberdeenshire’s Charter for Children and Young People. Young members actively participate in decision-making processes, ensuring that their voices are heard and valued. 

Young person, Clare Taylor Brown who nominated KMYC for this Award said:  

“As a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, I’ve witnessed first hand the transformative power of KMYC. Dawn’s tireless advocacy and the collective effort of parents and volunteers have redefined youth engagement, making life brighter for the young people of Kincardine and Mearns.” 


Youth Work in Ullapool - High Life Highland

It’s breathtakingly beautiful and a long-established gathering point for tourists – but for local young people, it’s hard to come together in this remote area.  

Youth Work in Ullapool proves that it takes a whole community to support young people – and that’s exactly what this community have done. The revival of Ullapool’s Youth Space is a big success story. With help from the youth committee and Ullapool and District Youth Group, it’s become a hub for local young people, with three projects working together.  

The youth work that takes place within the high school focuses on the learning strands of Get On and Get Heard, while the Youth Space is all about engagement, and the youth forum gives young people to talk about issues and get their voices heard.  

And having a dedicated youth work base in Ullapool gives young people the opportunity to reach a youth worker at almost any time. 

Key to all of this is the Late Bus, which is a big deal for young people who live far from town. It brings them to the youth space, where they can relax, have fun, feel supported and be themselves. 

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The project got the thumbs-up from HMIe, showing it’s doing great youth work. From fun lunchtime meetings to exciting holiday events, the youth space is full of life, bringing young people together in such a remote community.  

For the young people living around Ullapool, the Late Bus isn’t just a ride—it’s a chance to make new friends and feel connected. It’s a lifeline, bringing everyone closer and making the community stronger. As one young person says, the Late Bus and the Youth Space aren’t just helpful—they’re essential parts of life in Ullapool. 

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