One week to go until the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2014, here are the last of our inspirational finalists in the categories of Agencies and Partner Organisations Worker of the Year AND ALSO Youth Work Manager of the Year
AGENCIES AND PARTNER ORGANISATIONS WORKER OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Scottish Community Safety Network
Mark McCabe, Access to Industry – Edinburgh
Mark has been a Passport Caseworker with Access to Industry since 2010 where he supports young offenders at HMYOI Polmont to make the transition back into Edinburgh communities. Mark has made a difference every time he has helped a young person secure a job or a college place or even attain their first ever qualification. In the last three years he has become a trusted and authoritative figure in the Polmont community, amongst colleagues, clients and partner agencies alike. His most notable achievement this year was delivering the first ‘Career Fair’ which gave employment, training and educational providers the chance to see the calibre of the young men and it also gave those young people hope that opportunities do exist.
Michelle Doherty, Youth Enterprise Zone – Glasgow
Michelle is not only an outstanding youth worker, she is also a caring and compassionate human being whose commitment to young people goes way beyond her job description. Her work with the Youth Enterprise Zone includes a six-week programme entitled Connect with Enterprise which delivers confidence building, presentation skills, CV preparation, engagement with the business community, attending business events and the apprentice challenge. Participants of the programme presented with various personal issues but over 75% of them have now gone on to find employment or engage in further education. Michelle’s determination means any young person who she comes into contact with, gets the opportunities to get the life they deserve.
She promotes a positive partnership working ethos with the wider business community and it is those relationships that make ‘Connect with Enterprise’ such a successful project. Michelle’s determination means any young person who she comes into contact with, gets the opportunities to get the life they deserve.
Zara McDowell, Police Scotland – East Lothian
Zara is one of Tranent’s local Community Beat Officers with Police Scotland. Over the last year she has built up a strong relationship with local young people and has worked to break down a lot of the barriers and distrust that some of the young people in the community have with the police. Working in partnership with Recharge in Tranent, Zara developed the Tranent Summer Diversionary Programme, where 20 of the most challenging young people participated in group work and activities to help raise their confidence and improve their behaviour. A local young person feels “Zara is down to earth, really understanding and easy to talk to. I feel as if I can trust Zara with anything because she won’t judge me.”
YOUTH WORK MANAGER OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by DofE Scotland
Mark Molloy – Dumfries & Galloway Council
In the last five years Mark has transformed local services for young people in Dumfries and Galloway. Through consultation with young people, youth work services now offers the kind of opportunities and activities that local young people deserve. He has increased the profile of youth work and increased access to funding. There are now tailored services for marginalised groups of young people along-side International exchange programmes. His hard work and determination has seen great results such as the highly successful ‘Youth Beatz’ – Scotland’s largest free youth music event involving 12,000 young people. “Mark has taken a demotivated team and turned it into a highly motivated and thriving team who continue to achieve and be recognised for its work”.
Paul MacFarlane, Alyth Youth Partnership – Perth & Kinross Council
During the last year, Paul has worked above and beyond what is expected or required of him. Alyth Youth Partnership has gone through a period of significant changes in strategy, premises, funding and projects. Paul has remained the lynch pin by keeping staff, volunteers and participants focussed on the aims and objectives of the organisation. He has been involved in developing strategy, writing policies and finding the funding for the new and diverse range of activities. His positive input has resulted in an expansion of projects, increased resources and improved partnership working.
Liz Fergus – North Lanarkshire Council
Liz is the perfect example of a Youth Work Manager who has the best interests of young people at the heart of all of her work. She is a powerful advocate of the benefits of youth work both locally and nationally. Liz has made a lasting impact on the service, inspiring staff and young people to reach their full potential and she brings value to strategic partnership working in the areas of employability, child protection, sexual health, and diversionary activities for young people at risk resulting in improved services for young people. With several years experience in the field of CLD, Liz displays excellent leadership qualities, carrying out her role with determination, enthusiasm and passion.