Three finalists have been shortlisted in each of the 11 categories. The winners will be announced and presented with their award at the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards Dinner in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday 13 March 2014. The event will be hosted by broadcaster and Forth One DJ, Grant Stott and the awards presented by Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP.
Here are some more of our outstanding finalists for 2014…
INNOVATIVE PRACTICE – TEAM OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by CLD Standards Council for Scotland
Perth & District YMCA Social Impact Bond – Perth
In 2011, Perth and District YMCA established the first ever Social Impact Bond in Scotland. It established a group of local investors who provided funding for three years to tackle NEET issues through the theme of employability. In the three years the scheme has supported 300 local young people to achieve a positive outcome, with some 65% of young people gaining employment and over 90% sustaining that employment after a year. Peter Crory, Chief Executive of YMCA Scotland said: “I am proud that we have such innovative and resilient staff and I am very proud of every last one of the young people involved.”
YouthBorders – Scottish Borders
Working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council, YouthBorders developed the Youth Work Futures Project, which champions the youth work sector in the Borders to enable greater resilience and sustainability. Through partnership working, they have supported the emergence of seven lead youth work organisations who take forward voluntary youth work in every high school catchment and learning community across the region. This has seen an increase of 35% of young people accessing youth work and the number of groups rising from 27 to 35.
The Prince’s Trust & MAKLab – Glasgow
The Prince’s Trust Scotland joined forces with MAKLab to deliver new and exciting STEM workshops for young people in Glasgow, where they have been learning how to design and create their own products and develop potential new business ideas. MAKLab is a three-stage programme helping young people to develop vital skills for a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This programme has helped a group of unemployed young people who may have struggled to access this kind of opportunity, to develop cutting edge skills to help them find employment.
YOUTH WORKER OF THE YEAR (UNIFORMED ORGANISATIONS) – Sponsored by YouthLink Scotland
John Bowman, Peterhead Sea Cadet Unit – Aberdeenshire
John has been involved in the SCC for over 20 years, joining as a junior cadet in 1993. In his current role as Captain of the Peterhead Sea Cadet Unit, he has been a key player in the International Cadet Exchange scheme which gives opportunities for cadets to connect with young people in Australia, South Korea, Bermuda, the Netherlands and Russia. The Unit has won many awards, including the coveted Canada Cup for the best unit in the UK and the Stephenson Trophy for best unit in the Northern Area (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England). In the last 18 months he has secured funding of £50,000 for structural works at HQ.
Colin Weir, The Boys’ Brigade – North Lanarkshire
Colin is Captain of the 2nd/4th Motherwell Boys’ Brigade and is the heart of the exciting and creative opportunities being delivered. 2013 being the 125th anniversary of the Company Colin planned 125 miles of walking, which enabled the boys to visit different areas in Scotland whilst also building relationships. He is truly inspirational as he consistently shows the perfect example of a committed, respectable and humble leader who has improved the confidence and opportunities of local young people. A member of the Unit said: “I have a lot to thank Colin for.”
Hugh Barras, Clyde North Sea Cadets – West Lothian
Hugh has been involved with the Sea Cadets for 32 years and is currently District Officer for Clyde North Sea Cadets. In this role he has to ensure that each unit is fully supported and that all training conducted fits the vision and strategy of the organisation, as well as current safe practices. In his present role he has achieved a marked increase in participation from young people and the unit has won major events in boatwork, swimming and football. A cadet said of Hugh: “he is an encouraging and jolly individual who throughout his SCC career has helped both cadets and staff reach their potential.”
YOUTH WORKER OF THE YEAR (INTERGENERATIONAL) – Generations Working Together
Dawn Mullady, The Drugs Initiative Group, The Pitstop Youth Café – Angus
Dawn has been creative in her approach by bringing young people, volunteers and a wide range of members of the community together to enhance young people’s social and personal development. Utilising weaving as a tool to enhance young people’s progress, where they had opportunities to explore their local history and enhance their skills. The young people involved have been inspired to build friendships with older members of the community helping them to break down barriers to any stereotyping that previously existed. One of the young people involved said: “Dawn has had a massive impact on myself and on other young people. The reason for this is she is very supportive, extremely happy in everything she does and makes me feel comfortable.”
Linda Cook, Alyth Youth Partnership – Perth & Kinross
Linda’s major achievements this year have been the development of two projects; Alyth Job Busters and Alyth Time Team, where she leads and supports young volunteers. The Alyth Time Team is an intergenerational programme to help all members of the community with a time banking project. Members of the community of all ages are invited to offer their time to provide a service for another person (e.g. an hour of gardening). They are then entitled to receive a benefit from someone else in the time bank (e.g. an hour of painting). This collaborative project with PKAVS has enabled a multi-generational approach to deliver a community wide service driven by young people. Linda is seen as “positive and encouraging to all those she engages with.”
Yvonne Boa, HighLife Highland Development Worker – Ullapool High Schol
Yvonne has been a youth worker in the area for 11 years and was fundamental in setting up the ‘Get to Know your Techno’ project, which brings the older and younger generations together through social media. This initiative has not only bridged the gap between the older and younger generations, it has improved the independence of the older people. The programme went on to win the Young Scot ‘Truth About Youth’ Award. As well as helping young people to set up a youth space, Yvonne has initiated a mental health awareness project. Young people say that she is “a warm, open and modest person who we feel we can talk to and get emotional and practical support from.”