Youth Work Matters

Young people and youth work have a major role to play in society and in the development of vibrant communities. However, youth work in Scotland has been going through a challenging time, with the sector facing a significant reduction in resources.

A unique collaboration between the Gannochy Trust and Perth and Kinross Council came to fruition today (Monday 1 April 2019) aimed at bucking the funding trend and harnessing the value of youth work.   Through the development of a dynamic youth work funding partnership, youth agencies across Perth and Kinross will be supported to deliver effective youth work.  This provision will engage young people in communities, inspiring and supporting them to realise their potential and address life's challenges.

Youth work settings provide a place for young people to go: reducing isolation, creating a sense of belonging and providing new experiences and opportunities for learning in an informal setting.  Young people recognise and articulate the importance of having a trusted adult and a safe space created by youth workers with whom they often form long term relationships which continue into young adulthood. 

From April 2019, the partnership will invest more than £900,000 over a three year period in local youth work agencies in five localities.  The organisations that were successful in tendering for the funding were Logos Youth Project (covering Strathearn and Strathallan), KYTHE Youth Project (Kinross-shire), Strathmore Centre for Youth Development, Alyth Youth Partnership and Coupar Angus Youth Action Group (Eastern Perthshire Youth Alliance), Breathe (Highland and Strathtay) and Perth and District YMCA (Perth City).

Further information about the organisations and/or how to get involved can be obtained by contacting: the organisations direct; through the Council's facilities at Scott Street on 01738 474580; or the Gannochy Trust on 01738 620653.

Bruce Renfrew, Trustee, Gannochy Trust said: "The funding partners are keen that youth work providers are able to focus on the delivery of their services to young people rather than on an ongoing cycle of applying for funding and reporting annually. The structure of the funding is already enabling the agencies to learn from each other and grow stronger through training and sharing skills, experience and resources."

Councillor Caroline Shiers, Perth & Kinross Council's Lifelong Learning Convener commented: "It was great to be present at the event to mark the celebration of successful partnership working between PKC and the Gannochy Trust on the awarding of youth service contracts. As always I enjoyed meeting the young people and hearing about the experiences they have of the organisations they participate with and benefit from.

"All of these projects will provide activities and drop-in facilities for young people in their local community including evenings, weekends and during holiday periods. The personal development gains for young people through youth work should not be underestimated."

Euan (14) said: "This has made a massive difference to my confidence and my ability to better myself! This project will gives us something to do and somewhere to go."

Zach (13) said: "This project will give us something to do when normally we'd just be at home bored or at a friend's house - it's bringing us purpose and safe space to just be ourselves and socialise with our friends."