Sponsored by Education Scotland and Scottish Community Safety Network
Youth work is at its best when its roots are firmly planted in the community it serves, bringing young people together with a shared vision for their future.
Celebrating 10 years of high-quality community-based youth work in 2023, TD1 Youth Hub is at the heart of the Galashiels community.
A dedicated team of 15 staff offers vital local services, including open door drop ins, detached street work, primary school to transitions support and its Early Steps young parents’ group.
Effective community-based youth work, however, demands heightened awareness of local issues and the agility to respond to changing needs. Responding to the cost-of-living crisis, TD1 has provided 3000 meals to young people, and through its youth work and schools partnership with Galashiels Academy is currently engaging with 70% of school students directly impacted by poverty and financial deprivation.
Their greatest achievement, however, is that they are trusted. Three out of four young people at TD1 have been engaged for more than three years – illustrating the value of long-term relationship in trusted community-based youth work organisations.
“The most important thing about TD1 is that no matter what age I was, no matter what circumstances I was in, there was someone in TD1 who supported me, listened to me, guided me. I know that they have done this for thousands of young people over the last 10 years in Galashiels.” – Chloe Fowler, young person.
When you’ve been running essential services for over 30 years, it’s fair to say that you’re part of the fabric of a local community.
Island life comes with a unique set of challenges, and Broadford Youth Club has repeatedly proven itself to be an exemplary advocate for the young people of Skye, providing opportunities, support and life skills that simply wouldn’t be available elsewhere.
Effective partnership working with local facilities, cinemas, sports providers and venues is at the heart of BYC’s community approach, and has allowed its youth work offer to expand to now include skiing residentials, safe driving sessions, employability workshops, community council representation and even a life-changing trip to Spain for the youth football team.
BYC’s success has blazed a trail for emerging youth services on the island, including newly-opened Portree Youth Club, as well as others in the northeast of the island. Truly, BYC is leading by example in the quality of its community-based youth work.
“Being involved with BYC throughout my school years played a big part in shaping the kind of person I am today. Through the club I was able to achieve over 100 hours of volunteering and coaching experience with High Life Highland…Without this valuable time spent with the club, my social skills and confidence would not be as good as they are today.” Max Stancliffe, young person.
Cupar Youth Café is very much a youth club built in its young people’s image, thanks to its unfailing commitment to youth-led design, development and decision-making.
Based in rural northeast Fife, CYC works with 50 young people each week to provide over 30 hours of wrap-around support and activities including coding club, music sessions, employability programmes, LGBT+ identity groups, a youth work and schools partnership and more.
Last year, CYC launched “20 Stories for 20 Years” to celebrate two decades of service to northeast Fife, capturing not only the impact of its work on young people, but also their journey into adulthood and to becoming fully engaged members of the local community.
“To an outsider, CYC may seem like a place where young people can meet up and have fun, but it is also a place where most of us find solace and sometimes much needed joy. I never gave up hope, even in some of my darkest moments, because CYC give people like me that much-needed opportunity to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and to explore our potential – often in ways we don’t even realise.” Aidan Preston, young person.