National Youth Worker of the Year 2017 winners announced

Thirty-one outstanding youth workers and youth work projects were celebrated at last night’s National Youth Worker of the Year Awards at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, with ten winners crowned and another five long-serving youth workers inducted to our Lifetime Achievers community.

With increasing focus on the role youth workers play in closing Scotland’s attainment gap, it was only fitting that our highest honour – overall National Youth Worker of the Year – celebrated the success of Laura Campbell and YMCA Scotland. Laura picked up her first award of the night for Youth Worker Supporting Attainment. But the judging panel agreed wholeheartedly that her work improving the life chances of marginalised young people with Bellshill and Mossend YMCA deserved extra recognition.

Laura manages three youth work projects with YMCA, helping young people to make positive choices, reduce offending and raise attainment. In particular, her partnership work with Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Social Work department on the Early and Effective Intervention (EEI) project has been praised as an example of youth work best practice in North Lanarkshire.

Meet our National Youth Worker of the Year winners for 2017

National Youth Worker of the Year

Laura Campbell, Bellshill and Mossend YMCA

Full-Time Youth Worker of the Year

Graeme Johnston, Arran Youth Foundations

Graeme is responsible for youth work provision on Arran, sailing back and forth from the mainland five days a week! He’s tackled this unique challenge innovatively, making sure Arran’s young people get the rare chance to use restaurant kitchens, to learn wood-carving with a local world-renowned artist and to benefit from one of only three IT Peer Education Youth Hubs in Scotland.

Part-Time Youth Worker of the Year

Hollie Watkins, Arran Youth Foundations

Hollie started with Arran Youth Foundations as a Modern Apprentice, developing her skills and joining the staff team. Her hard work and commitment has enabled the project to set up a partnership with social services providing support for vulnerable young people on the island.

 

 

Volunteer Youth Worker of the Year

Christine McKillop, Girls’ Brigade Scotland

Girls’ Brigade leader Christine works hard with her local Company and the Girls’ Brigade in Scotland to lead youth participation and speak up for young people’s rights. She’s used her own experiences to create a safe and supportive environment for girls and young women to get involved in an exciting programme of activities. Christine’s passion, openness and empathy inspired another young volunteer leader, Jayne, to nominate her.

Youth Worker Supporting Attainment

Laura Campbell, YMCA Bellshill and Mossend

Laura manages three youth work projects with YMCA, helping young people to make positive choices, reduce offending and raise attainment. In particular, her partnership work with Police Scotland and North Lanarkshire Social Work department on the Early and Effective Intervention (EEI) project has been praised as an example of youth work best practice in North Lanarkshire.

 

Youth Work Team of the Year

Airdrie Youth Work Team, North Lanarkshire Council

With a focus on inclusion, equalities and diversity, Airdrie Youth Work Team works with vulnerable young people, including young carers, those at risk of anti-social or criminal behaviour, LGBT teens and young parents, to provide support tailored to each individual young person. They’ve successfully worked together with local partners to develop a range of opportunities for young people with additional needs, helping them to get involved in local youth work programmes like Shout Youth Forum and Duke of Edinburgh Award to build key life and work skills.

Inspirational Leadership

Angela Morrell, North Ayrshire Council

Angela is team leader for North Ayrshire Council’s Youth Participation and Empowerment Team. She currently leads a team of 42 staff including youth workers, Modern Apprentices and active school co-ordinators, and also manages more than 80 sessional staff. The team work with 11- to 25-year olds providing a range of informal learning in schools and the community. Her leadership has ensured that North Ayrshire continues to lead the way in providing great programmes for local young people. Their recent achievements have included involving 5,000 youngsters in the council’s budget process.

Youth Work Partnership

TD1 Youth Hub and Scottish Borders Council

Over the past two years, TD1 Youth Hub have teamed up with Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Fire and Rescue Services to deliver a range of innovative projects together. Recently, young people attended a learning programme with local firefighters, teaching them about fire safety, water rescue and road accidents. They’re not only learning new skills, but discovering possible lifelong careers too.

Time to Shine Arts and Creativity Award

#Freshcreations, Y sort it

Freshcreations is creating a new generation of artists and musicians. It’s one of the nine Youth Arts Hubs in Scotland made possible through the Time to Shine, Scotland’s national youth arts strategy. The Hub launched in October 2014 for anyone aged 12 to 25 in West Dunbartonshire. Since its launch, 2,287 local young people have taken part in arts activities ranging from film through to music production, drama and creative writing.

Youth Work Champion

Jennifer Lafferty, North Lanarkshire Council

Social worker Jennifer works with Community Alternatives across the council, delivering an intensive social work resource for young people at risk of being placed in residential care. She’s been praised for her youth work approach which helps vulnerable local youngsters to find a better path in life. Liz Fergus, Youth Work Manager for North Lanarkshire Council, nominated Jennifer for her enthusiasm and energy. She’s motivated not only the youngsters she works with, but the whole social work team.

Youth Work in Different Settings

Spartans Community Football Academy

Spartans are the largest youth work provider in north Edinburgh, engaging with 1,500 young people every week. The Academy run a variety of programmes including an Alternative School with support for maths and English, in additional to physical activity, and FooTEA clubs, where youngsters are provided with a hot meal as well as sessions in arts and sport. Partnership working is a big part of their ethos, working in conjunction with the local police to provide activities that will reduce anti-social behaviour and a series of youth work and schools partnerships.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Alistair Joss, The Boys’ Brigade in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Dunning, The Rank Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Dempsey, West Lowland Battalion, Army Cadets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim McCormack, The Boys’ Brigade in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Linkston, CBE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huge congratulations to our winners and all of our nominees. Scotland’s young people couldn’t ask for more.

And of course, one final thank you to our sponsors. We couldn’t have celebrated these outstanding achievements without your continued support.

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