#scotswummin: Young people researching and celebrating awesome women

Our Project Officer Amy Goulding tells us who #scotswummin are and what we plan to do.

Watching the Women’s Marches last weekend was a wonderful reminder of how far we’ve come and the power of the collective roar of women across the world. It was also, however, a stark reminder of the uncertain times we are living in and the need for women’s voices to be heard.

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Scotswummin is a celebration of the contribution of awesome women in Scottish communities, historically or in the present, who have perhaps been forgotten – or (most likely) not been widely heard of. Along with Glasgow Women’s Library, we are providing early career youth workers from five youth groups across Scotland with training in youth-led research, youth work skills and heritage, curating and exhibiting skills. The purpose of this is to provide them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support young people to research and celebrate women in their community. Continue reading

Let’s talk about abortion

Young people who need clear and open information about abortion have long faced stigma. It’s time for that to change says Dona Milne, Consultant in Public Health with NHS Lothian.

Dona Milne Specialist in Public HealthIt has taken us many years to make progress on our conversations about sexual health and relationships with young people in our schools, homes and youth groups. But an increasing body of recent research has helped us learn more about what young people want and need – and they want to talk to adults they trust about topics that are relevant to their lives.

In September 2015, The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) published important research on young people’s views and understanding of abortion. The research highlighted major gaps and misinformation in young people’s knowledge about where, when and how abortions are provided in Scotland. When discussing abortion, young people drew on debates around rights, responsibilities and choice, and on gender stereotypes relating to norms of sexual behaviour.

In response to this research, NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have created a new animated film, Let’s Talk about Abortion – the first of its kind in Scotland. Continue reading

Could online gaming be good for youth work?

Allan Berry, Youth Arts Programme Coordinator at Creative Scotland, tells us why it’s time for youth work to get over its fear of online gaming.

For many, ‘gaming’ is still a dirty word – especially when it comes to youth work. While there are plenty of organisations throughout Scotland that offer a games room, there is a gap in the market for organisations that focus on offering youth work using computer games as a primary entry point. Gaming is something that is either looked down upon or poorly understood, despite being a huge source of popular culture for young people. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

This isn’t the case elsewhere in Europe. In some places on the continent, in particular Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands, there is a value placed on computer gaming as a social activity, one in which young people are encouraged to participate in a healthy manner. In places such as Sweden and Finland it goes further, with gaming ‘cafés’ being a big part of social activity provided by youth workers.

This isn’t just a few Xbox Ones and bean bags around a TV. This is gaming café culture. Desktop computers are set up to play competitive team games like League of Legends, DOTA2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These games draw hundreds of thousands of young people to watch as spectator sports. And for a particular group of young people, especially young men aged between 14 to 20, there’s a good chance they engage in this activity regularly, even if they normally do so alone within the confines of their rooms. Continue reading

Make a resolution to put the health of young people first

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In 2017, Scotland’s young people suffer from obesity more than any generation before them. Dr Anna Strachan, Policy Officer for Obesity Action Scotland, calls for urgent action to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Today marks the start of National Obesity Awareness Week. Organisations and companies from across the UK are coming together to invite everyone to ‘Do something good for JanUary’ . Whether it’s cooking more healthily, avoiding snacks or being a little more physically active, the aim is to make a healthy New Year’s resolution now!

And there are plenty of reasons for us to make resolutions. Children and young people in Scotland suffer obesity more than any generation before them. It’s not only about being heavy and looking big. It’s also about stigma and related emotional and behavioural problems, metabolic complications such as cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes, increased risk of cancer, breathing difficulties and increased risk of disability or premature death in adulthood.

It is not fair for young people to face such a future. Continue reading