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INSIDE THIS ISSUE News | Members Update | Networks | Practice | Workforce Development | Policy

Supplement – The Yard Adventure Centre


Contents News

Message from Chief Executive PAGE 3

Members Update


YLS Board Members




The Yard Adventure Centre




No Knives, Better Lives




Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of The Link Magazine. It has been another busy season since our last edition of this magazine, with many significant announcements and developments relevant to youth work in Scotland. At a national level, the Scottish Government has now published its Strategic Guidance for Community Learning Development. This comes against the backdrop of ambitious reforms to post 16 learning in Scotland, in which youth work will play a central role. Opportunities to discuss how this will be implemented have been agreed with Education Scotland for late August and early September. Ministers have also now completed their review of the Unified Voluntary Sector Fund and CLD Headquarters Fund. We now know that existing budgets from these funds will continue until March 2013 at which point a new fund will come on stream. This new £20 million early intervention fund will be developed over the next two years to support voluntary groups working with children, young people and their families.

CashBack Youth Work Fund Now Open Applicants for the latest round of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund are now welcome. A total of £500,000 of cash seized from criminals is available in this latest round of funding for youth work organisations across Scotland to bid for a share of. The CashBack Youth Work Fund distributes grant award funding to youth work organisations in order to provide diversionary events and activities that are developmental in nature for young people ages 10-19 years who are at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour. In order to be eligible to access the latest round of funding, all proposed youth work activities must be delivered between the 1st October 2012 and the 30th June 2013. The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 24 August 2012

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More information on the latest round of the CashBack Youth Work Fund, grant criteria and details on how to apply for funding are now available on the YouthLink Scotland website: Front Cover photography: The launch of the National Voluntary Youth Work Organisations (Scotland)Survey

At a local level, we now have new councillors elected and ruling parties or coalitions established in all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities as well as both a new President (David O’Neill, North Ayrshire) and new Education Spokesperson (Douglas Chapman, Fife) at COSLA. The former President of COSLA, Pat Watters, has recently been appointed to chair a new national group which will oversee the development of community planning across Scotland. Against this backdrop of major developments, YouthLink Scotland has continued to work hard at representing the views and needs of the whole of the youth work sector in Scotland, at both a national and local level. We recently launched the findings from our survey of national voluntary youth work member organisations which highlighted, amongst other things, the incredible commitment, dedication and value for money delivered by youth work volunteers in Scotland. In addition, the Local Authority Youth Work Managers network is working to ensure that new councillors across Scotland are given information that highlights the importance and relevance of local authority youth work services. Staying with our networks, our Policy Forum has now refocused its purpose and will be looking to engage more directly with stakeholders and politicians, to help provide a direct link between youth work services and key decision makers in Scotland. While it continues to be a busy time for the sector and all of us here at YouthLink Scotland, there are lots of emerging and exciting opportunities for us to continue to promote the value and importance of youth work in Scotland. I hope that you enjoy this edition of the magazine and please ensure that you keep an eye on our website, our fortnightly e-briefing and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with all the latest youth work news and developments. Best wishes Jim Sweeney, Chief Executive

YouthLink Scotland, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5EZ. T: 0131 313 2488. F: 0131 313 6800. E: W: YouthLink Scotland is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Scotland No: 164547. Charity Ref: SCO03923

NEWS YouthLink Scotland give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee YouthLink Scotland was invited to attend the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee on Tuesday 12 June to give evidence on the role of children’s charities in Scotland on behalf of our membership. The Committee wanted to explore the extent to which the voluntary sector provides children’s services on behalf of local authorities and other public bodies, so as to better understand the relationship between the sectors and whether there is scope for them to work better together. The following broad questions were put to invited attendees in advance, to help shape the discussions at the meeting:

What judgements or criteria are used to determine whether a particular children’s service could or couldn’t be delivered by the voluntary sector rather than ‘in-house’? Are there any difficulties in the voluntary sector and public sector working together and, if so, how could these be overcome? What evidence is available to demonstrate whether services are more effectively provided by the voluntary sector or in-house? Is the voluntary sector always fully involved in planning how children’s services could most effectively be provided? The Committee recognises that the voluntary sector, in providing children’s services, may on occasion work with the private sector and is also interested in discussing that particular angle.

than 12million hours of volunteering to communities across Scotland in 2011/12. Based on an average youth work staff rate of £10 per hour, if this time was to be paid for from the public purse it would have cost more than £128million. The statistics from the survey show that a staggering 73,004 adult youth work volunteers contributed to a total of 12,841,040 volunteering hours through these organisations to help make a difference to the lives of Scotland’s young people and their communities. In total, 386,795 young people were engaged in some form of youth work via the 33 national voluntary youth work organisations from within YouthLink Scotland’s membership that contributed to this report. The survey also highlights the importance of the Scottish Government’s Unified Voluntary Sector Fund (UVS Fund) to the youth work sector, revealing that £1.5million of grants from the UVS Fund was distributed to national voluntary youth work organisations in Scotland in 2011/12 for core funding of their organisation.

Early Bookin g Offer for YouthLin k Scotland Members Scottish Youth Work Week Conference & YouthLink Scotland AGM This year's Scottish Youth Work Week Conference and YouthLink Scotland’s AGM will be held on Thursday 8 November at Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh. The title for this year's conference is Youth Work: Rising to the Challenge, Delivering Outcomes. Places booked before 1 October – £50.00 plus VAT (£60.00) Places booked after 1 October – £55.00 plus VAT (£66.00) Non Members – £75.00 plus VAT (£90.00) Booking online and Interactive Session Proposal forms can be found at

The findings from the survey were launched to the media and decision makers with a photocall outside the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 26 June.

For further information contact: Susan Symington. T: 0131 313 2488. E:

New publications on YouthLink Scotland’s website

flagship publication ‘Amazing Things’ highlights the range of opportunities available for young people through Scotland's youth awards.

NVYWOS SURVEY 2012 Survey into the numbers of young people, volunteers and staff engaging in youth work through the National Voluntary Youth Work Organisations in Scotland – affiliated to YouthLink Scotland. AMAZING THINGS 3 As Scotland's youth unemployment figures continue to rise, a new edition of the

CLD STRATEGIC GUIDANCE This guidance comes against the backdrop of the most ambitious set of reforms to post16 learning ever undertaken in Scotland. All publications downloaded from our website: MainID=7616

Ahead of attending the Committee meeting, YouthLink Scotland sought the views and input of its membership in relation to these questions before compiling and submitting a written response to accompany the evidence session on the day.

Launch of NVYWOS Survey Results

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A survey published recently by YouthLink Scotland in partnership with their National Voluntary Youth Work Organisations (NVYWOS) members has revealed that youth work volunteers contributed more



THE YARD ADVENTURE CENTRE Visiting The Yard is a unique and dynamic adventure, experienced every year by more than 1,500 children and young people with a range of additional support needs. Our doors open daily and year round to children and young people visiting with their families, friends, playschemes, schools and clubs. Our role in the lives of children and families is an ambitious one. We aim to provide care, support, fun and friendship in equal measure whilst encouraging families to let go and promote challenge, personal growth and supported independence for their children. Our services have grown over the 25 years since The Yard’s inception in 1986 when parents and social workers came together with the desire to create a safe but rewarding play environment for their disabled children. The ethos behind The Yard of the 80’s has, despite our continued growth, remained the same and our holistic, child-centred approach to working with children and young people has continued to reap success after success. More than two decades on, the playground is thriving and has become much more than the sum of its parts. Our four youth groups, as well as our family-focused sessions are the starting point for friendships and networks of support that reach far out with the footprint of The Yard. Children and young people who are at real risk of social isolation are given the opportunity to blossom into confident, independent members of society. In the delivery of all of our services, we think creatively and carefully and use materials that others might cast aside. Prudence and a bent for recycling rather than the investment in pounds of plastic sits well alongside the natural curiosity and changing passions of children and the creative nature of our staff team. This results in a flexible play experience that is child-centred and stimulating to children and young people with a range of abilities.


Our team stand back and reflect as much as they step forward to encourage and facilitate inclusive play, allowing children the space to discover for themselves. Each and every session is reflected on and recorded and this practice has allowed The Yard to build a library of experience that we willingly share. Our national and local training programmes offer courses on autism awareness, challenging behaviour and inclusive play. Our greatest accolade is the sea of smiling faces across the playground and the vision of children and young people sharing space and time together. Inspected with rigour by the Care Inspectorate, their latest review of us described our strengths; “The Yard is an exceptional service that enables children with additional support needs to experience, explore and play in ways that are not available elsewhere. In the process, parents and carers are offered respite support and new perspectives in relation to their own children.” Our vision for the future extends beyond our humble beginnings and today we are working with other organisations across Scotland to share our experiences and open similar centres nationwide. For more information on any of our services, please contact Chief Executive Celine Sinclair on 0131 476 4506 or by emailing,

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THE BOARD YouthLink Scotland’s Board Members Our Board of Directors is responsible for the overall management of the organisation. The Board is elected at the AGM by Full Members of YouthLink Scotland. The current membership of the Board is as follows: OFFICE BEARERS

HON. TREASURER Bob Allan (Church of Scotland)

VICE CHAIR Alan Inglis (John Wheatley College)

CHAIR Alex Linkston, CBE


Col Robbie Gibson, MBE Lowland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association

Barry Fisher Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Heather Gray The Prince’s Trust-Scotland


Roz Gallacher South Lanarkshire Council

John McKnight North Ayrshire Council

Bill Miller Stirling Council


Grant Costello, Chair Scottish Youth Parliament

Rae Cahill Scottish Youth Parliament FIVE CO-OPTED MEMBERS

5 Bob Jack Stirling Council

Fraser Falconer BBC Children in Need

Christine Pollock, CBE North Lanarkshire Council

Louise Macdonald Young Scot

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Tony Boffey Hot Chocolate

NETWORKS Young people & Curriculum for Excellence – building capacities through Youth Work YouthLink Scotland has recently published a revised and updated version of the Youth Work and Schools publication originally called ‘Building Capacities through Experiences and Outcomes’ but now called Young People and Curriculum for Excellence – Building Capacities through Youth Work. The publication gathers together a number of practice examples from around Scotland on how youth work is working with other learning providers, including schools, to engage young people as fully as possible in Curriculum for Excellence. These examples are linked to the four capacities, the experiences and outcomes and the senior phase. The examples also reflect the diverse range of provision the youth work sector has to offer and the scope of the work being done, often outwith the schools campus, in relation to CfE.

NETWORK MEETINGS AUGUST 9 Communications and PR Network 23 Policy Forum SEPTEMBER 6 Members Network 7 CLDMS/YLS LA Youth Work Managers Sub Group 20 Board OCTOBER 9 Youth Work and Schools Partnership 23 NVYWOS 25 FAC (Finance & Audit Committee) NOVEMBER 8 Policy Forum 8 Communications and PR Network 27 Youth Work and Schools Partnership 29 NVYWOS DECEMBER 6 Members Network 7 CLDMS/YLS LA Youth Work Managers Sub Group 13 FAC (Finance & Audit Committee)

The booklet is produced by the Youth Work and Schools Partnership, a national working group that includes representatives from key partners engaged in supporting young people’s learning. The booklet is available to download free of charge from the YouthLink Scotland website. All YouthLink Scotland members have received a free hard copy of the publication. If you are not a member or require further free copies postage may be charged. Please contact John Wilkinson. T: 0131 313 2488. E: to order copies or for more information on postage costs.

Policy Forum at RUTS The YouthLink Scotland Policy Forum meeting held at the RUTS project, Newtongrange on 12 June marked the first one using their new approach. The theme for the day was sustainable job opportunities and the venue reflected the theme to be discussed. This is a youth project that has demonstrated good practice in developing the young people’s skills (through learning motor mechanics) and confidence (along with other youth work soft skills) and is part of a prevention agenda which also points up young people’s resilience.


MSPs and local councillors from all political parties were invited to attend the event and meet with both the policy forum members and the young people on the Rural and Urban Training Scheme first hand. The process was a conversation between young people who have benefitted from the project and their support staff with politicians, national and local. It was a one hour session with the focus on connecting young people and decision makers.

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The aim was to show how current policies are working/not working and what needs to develop as a result of the experience. This was an opportunity for politicians to hear young people tell their story and to hear what difference the local action taken had made to their lives. A key role of the YouthLink Scotland Policy Forum is

providing this level of “connectivity” and to show and explain what it is about youth work that makes the difference and to look at ways in which we create and promote a “halo effect” in other areas.

Local Authority Youth Work Managers Network Jointly facilitated by YouthLink Scotland and Community Learning and Development Managers Scotland, this group provides the opportunity for local authority youth work managers to come together to discuss issues affecting the local authority membership and work together to resolve issues at local and national levels. This network met for the third time in June, with future meetings scheduled for September and December of this year.



FUN AND FRIENDSHIP Youth provision at The Yard has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, in no small part this is due to the financial and organisational support of the BBC Children in Need Fun and Friendship grant, a £3 million programme which, along with nine other UK charities, The Yard was able to secure in 2010. By providing three years of funding the BBC grant has opened up a new world of opportunity for The Yard and the young people with additional support needs we work with. The aim of this funding, as its name suggests, is to provide social support and opportunities for young people aged 12-18 who may otherwise, due to their disabilities, be at risk of becoming socially excluded.

Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive

The Yard The Yard is the only indoor and outdoor adventure play centre for children with additional support needs in the East of Scotland. Its success is largely due to a talented team of specialist play workers who inspire, guide and support the children and young people who visit. The Yard’s unique community environment offers fun and friendship and encourages children and young people to explore, be challenged and to be themselves. It runs a variety of services for children and young people aged 3-25 and its three weekly youth clubs are all funded by the Fun and Friendship grant.

The Fun & Friendship Project Competition for three years of substantial funding from a high-profile and well-respected organisation such as BBC Children in Need is fierce and as you would expect the application process is a rigorous one. As well as The Yard, nine other charities received the Fun and Friendship grant. Only two Scottish charities received funding, the other being the Scottish Spina Bifida Association The SSBA’s Fun and Friendship project provides one-toone support to young people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus to allow them to access social and sporting activities of their own choosing. The project’s goal is to remove barriers to participation for young people often otherwise reliant on the assistance of a parent or carer. Group activities selected by the young people themselves are also offered. The other grant recipients were:

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The Autistic Society Greater Manchester Area – Chestnut Tree House – The Children’s Society, York – Compass Advocacy Network – Mencap Cymru – Wac Wonderweb – Whizz-Kidz – Zinc –

The Yard Supplement Summer 2012

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The benefits of the services funded by this grant – some of which were identified before the services were rolled out and others which only came to light during the ongoing evaluation

processes – have been many and varied, some expected and some surprising.


D L N C A P FUN RIENDSHI F Jane and Lisa*– An equal friendship When she first attended the Girls Club, Jane (12) was a sweet natured but very shy girl, reticent to let her parents leave. As well as autism and a mild learning disability, Jane has difficulty with her short term memory which in turn can lead to anxiety, confusion and a fear of the unknown.

THE YARD’S FUN AND FRIENDSHIP CLUBS The Yard operates three youth clubs a week, funded by Fun and Friendship; the Teen Club on a Monday evening; the Girls Club on a Tuesday evening and the Unlimited Fun Club (whose name was chosen by the club members!) on a Thursday evening. All three clubs run year round and offer a mix of activities, both within our unique adventure playground environment and out with. Thanks to the Fun and Friendship grant, our clubs have been able to:

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go on a powerboat trip; visit a museum; cook pasta dishes from scratch; go bowling; try their hand at a drumming workshop; make graffiti art; go swimming; visit the cinema; stay overnight at an outdoor activity centre.

And while that list may be exhausting, it’s far from exhaustive! The Yard Supplement Summer 2012

Soon however, Jane, with very little prompting from staff, was taken under the wing of Lisa (14) – a young woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, who took it upon herself to reassure Jane and keep her up to

speed with what was going on. Very quickly a healthy, equal friendship punctuated by laughter and empathy developed between the two young women. This friendship is something very new for Jane and the gratitude she shows Lisa and her peers in the club is clear for all to see. These friendships and interactions have bolstered Jane’s confidence and helped her challenge her fear of the unknown and to try new activities. *not their real names

S B U L LESSONS LEARNED AND SHARING BEST PRACTICE As well as the evaluations that young people, parents and carers participate in, carried out on behalf of BBC Children in Need, The Yard also has a strong reflective practice where practitioners take regular time-out to evaluate the services they deliver, the benefits for young people and new and different approaches to undertake in the future. These reflective practices have highlighted common threads running between all ten Fun and Friendship funded organisations and have led to ideas being shared both on an ongoing basis and at six-monthly Learning Events organised by BBC Children in Need. As part of their funding agreement The Yard is also producing a best practice guide in association with YouthLink Scotland, which aims to provide an invaluable resource for organisations wishing to deliver quality, inclusive services for young people with additional support needs.

Angus* takes the bus Angus (14) has Asperger’s Syndrome. An articulate young man, Angus’ interests in the playground centre on role-play, be it an international spy or race-car driver, and he uses these scenarios as a basis for interacting with his peers. The Unlimited Fun Club was Angus’ first opportunity to attend a club independently of a parent or carer and is one he took to very quickly. Angus, like may young people with Asperger’s Syndrome, likes things to be structured and controllable and he sees himself as the (self-confessed) ‘alpha male’ of the club. This has lead to conflict and disagreement but, with support from staff, this has been dealt with in constructive ways allowing Angus to not only function within the group but to become a popular member too. A particular milestone for Angus was the decision to attempt to travel independently, by bus, to The Yard. The confidence that Angus developed, both in the playground as part of the group and as an individual,

making use of public transport and taking responsibility for his own actions led Angus to make the decision to move on from the Unlimited Fun Club to services he felt were more appropriate for his age and abilities. Although sorry to see him go, Angus’ decision was respected for its maturity by staff and he left on a high-note on his own and by bus! *not his real name

The production of this guide, along with the continuing development and successes of The Yard’s youth provision will be at the core of what should prove to be a busy and exciting final year of funding for The Yard.

The Yard Supplement Summer 2012



SUPPLEMENT Jake* goes on a trip Jake is 13 and has ADHD and mild speech delay. He’s an extremely outgoing and vocal young man who loves to socialise with adults and peers and he’d like nothing more than to work at The Yard when he’s older. Over his time in the Fun and Friendship Club his language development has noticeably improved, along with his confidence; something staff felt he had in abundance to begin with! A recent overnight trip with the club was a huge step for Jake, who despite his outgoing nature and desire for independence has had little opportunity for time away from home. *not his real name

FURTHER INFORMATION A CALL TO ACTION! Creating opportunities for young people with additional support needs, be they integrated mainstream services or specialised provision like The Yard, needs joined up thinking, shared ideas and an enthusiasm to work together in new and creative ways. If you think that you or your organisation has something to share, please do get in touch.

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Let’s all work together to improve the social opportunities for kids in Scotland with additional support needs.

The Yard Supplement Summer 2012

If you would like to find out more about any of The Yard’s services, including the Fun and Friendship clubs, please contact the Play Team Manager, Iain McGregor on 0131 476 4506 or A copy of our most recent annual report can also be requested, designed by Edinburgh company Tayburn, the report has recently won a Gold award for design at the Roses Creative Awards. Our new website, will be live this summer. If you would like to be one of the first to hear when it goes live, and for regular news on our 25th anniversary events this year, please email with the subject header ‘NEW WEBSITE UPDATES’ The Yard Adventure Centre, 22 Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh EH3 5EH. Tel: 0131 476 4506. Web: A Private Limited Company Incorporated in Scotland (No 101671) Charity No: SCO 02538


Cross-Party Group on Children and Young People 2011-12 This parliamentary year, Children in Scotland and YouthLink Scotland (who hold the joint secretariat for the Cross-Party Group) have been fortunate to benefit from the enthusiasm of the group’s new coconvenors, Marco Biagi MSP (SNP), Kezia Dugdale MSP (Labour) and vice-convenor, Alison Johnstone MSP (Green). The convenors are keen to ensure that the Cross-Party Group (CPG)’s programme is closely allied to parliamentary business in order to be as relevant as possible. As such there has been a focus on finding topics and contributors that help MSPs and group members gain greater insight into the issues surrounding upcoming bills and consultations affecting the children’s and young people’s sectors. The intention is that the CPG will succeed in influencing the Government and have a greater impact on policy and legislation. This has led to actions such as the group writing to the Government, submitting evidence to Committees and producing briefings for MSPs. There has also been success in terms of having Ministers and their policy teams attend the meetings, providing the sector with an excellent opportunity for direct lobbying.

The first full meeting of the new session focused on the UK Government’s proposals for welfare reform and the potential impact of the legislation in Scotland. Amendments to the bill were submitted to the House of Lords by a coalition of children’s and young people’s organisations. The CPG heard from Robert McGeachy, Action for Children Scotland, Marion Davis, One Parent Families Scotland and Marion MacLeod, Children in Scotland. Members were invited to submit their possible caveats to the bill, and the group called for the possibility of the Scottish Parliament withholding the Legislative Consent Motion to be noted in the various committees. 27 OCTOBER 2011 – RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE This topic was chosen to coincide with the Scottish Government’s consultation on the proposed Rights of Children and Young People Bill. The bill aimed to place the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on a statutory basis by imposing a duty on Scottish Ministers to pay ‘due regard’ to the UNCRC when formulating any policy or legislation. Juliet Harris (Together), Fiona Jones (cl@n childlaw) and Maire McCormack (SCCYP) introduced the legislation, explained what ‘due regard’ would mean in practice and discussed the potential impact on children and young people’s rights.

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The group is one of the bestattended CPGs in the Parliament, with around 70 members attending each meeting. The secretariat submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee consultation on CPGs and shared our views on how to improve the running of groups and hopefully increase their impact.


POLICY 1 DECEMBER 2011 – MENTAL HEALTH & YOUNG PEOPLE (Joint CPG with Mental Health) This joint meeting was called in order to tie in with the consultation on the proposed national mental health strategy. Michael Matheson MSP, the Minister for Public Health, attended the meeting and spoke about the Government’s commitment to refreshing existing mental health policy and taking forward the new strategy. The speakers were Matt Forde, NSPCC Scotland; Karen Martin; Princess Royal Trust for Carers; Salena Begley, For Scotland’s Disabled Children/Family Fund and Dr Fiona Forbes, Consultant Psychiatrist. It was agreed that having had a Minister and the relevant Scottish Government policy team present at the meeting qualified as an informal submission from the two CPGs to the consultation. 2 FEBRUARY 2012 – YOUTH EMPLOYABILITY

Kezia Dugdale MSP wrote to the Scottish Government on behalf of the CPG regarding about family drug and alcohol misuse and its place in the Curriculum for Excellence. 24 MAY 2012 – HEALTH, WELL-BEING AND THE CURRICULUM The final session of the year was on the theme of health, well-being and the curriculum. The topic of outdoor education was suggested by Alison Johnstone MSP who chaired this session, and this was tied in to the latest findings from the Growing Up in Scotland research, which looked at children’s school experiences and obesity. Alastair Seaman from Grounds for Learning presented on outdoor learning, Juliet Robertson of Creative Star Learning spoke on positive activities available to children and young people ‘beyond the gate’. Finally, Paul Bradshaw of Scotcen presented the research findings.

This meeting was attended by the newly-appointed Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance MSP. Ms Constance’s post is the first of its kind in the UK. The draft Youth Employment Strategy was launched the previous day, and the Minister discussed the content of the strategy with the group.

Action points include taking forward the issue of schools’ ‘wet day’ playtime policies with the relevant Minister. The group will also investigate the policies surrounding the commissioning of school buildings and the design of playgrounds.

The Group heard evidence from Tom McDade, Barnardo’s Scotland; Paul Carberry, Action for Children Scotland and Kirsty McFarlane, Youthbuild trainee; Paula Raymond, Quarriers and Mick Ford, trainee; and Finlay Laverty, Prince’s Trust Scotland. The Group also heard evidence from the Prince’s Trust Young Ambassadors, including Naomi Johnston and Nikki-Lee Snodgrass. The young people’s contributions had a particularly powerful impact on the MSPs in attendance.


The CPG submitted a briefing to MSPs for the debate on the youth employment strategy which was held in Parliament on 9 February. 1 MARCH 2012 – PARENTAL DRUG AND ALCOHOL MISUSE (Joint CPG with Drugs and Alcohol)


addressed the previous CPG, Nikki-Lee Snodgrass and Naomi Johnston, were invited back to share their experiences of parental substance misuse.

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This joint CPG heard from Dr Mary Hepburn of the Glasgow Special Needs in Pregnancy Service, and recipient of the 2012 ‘Scotswoman of the Year’ award. Louise Hill of Edinburgh University presented findings from her research with children and families affected by substance misuse. Two of the Prince’s Trust Young Ambassadors who had

Although many young people’s organisations are already members of the group, YouthLink Scotland would like to encourage the whole youth work sector to become actively engaged in the CPG. If any organisations wish to register for the group, have suggestions for topics for the next parliamentary year or are interested in making a presentation to the group, please contact Barbara Schuler or Margaret McLeod


NKBL is currently being delivered in 10 Local Authorities – keep up to date with all the latest activity by liking our Facebook page (search for No Knives Better Lives); follow us on twitter (@NKBLScotland) or visit our website ( Those involved in delivering NKBL work will be able to access an online ‘practitioners network’ to share resources, ideas and collaborate on projects. For details email

Some recent highlights:

Our Peer Education programme, delivered by Fast Forward, has run in five areas so far with other areas planned over the summer.

June 7 saw the premier, at Loch Lomond Shores Sea Life cinema, of two short NKBL films made by young people in West Dunbartonshire about the consequences of knife crime. The first film is a powerful factual account of the Monaghan family, whose lives were deeply affected when the father and son were attacked in 2011. The second is a powerful but fictional account based on an incident that any young person could find themselves in. The production was supported by West Dunbartonshire Council Community Safety & AntiSocial Behaviour Services and its partners. The films will be used to support work with local schools and youth groups. A NKBL Educational Roadshow was held on 22 May in East Ayrshire to raise awareness of the supporting resources available to the education sector. After a keynote speech from the Violence Reduction Unit, the 70 participants from various schools and youth service providers then participated in a series of workshops provided by – Kilmarnock Police Officers, Kamikaze Theatre Group and Medics Against Violence.

Youth worker Aileen McEwan, from Inverclyde Council, has summarised some of the NKBL work she has supported over the last year. – – – –

On 31 May, at an award ceremony held in Glasgow and hosted by Sanjeev Kohli (Still Game’s Naveed) and Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, crowned the team from St Andrew’s Academy in Renfrewshire the winners. Well done! The team will have the chance to spend a day working on a creative project with the award-winning Leith Agency, along with each winning a new laptop and digital video camera to allow them to continue their nascent film-making careers.

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225 pupils have taken part in her NKBL school workshop. 1734 signatures have been gathered in support of NKBL on pledge boards at various events. 135 posters were entered into the We-CTV poster competition. 11 young people from the Speak Up Inverclyde group have completed the peer education training and are being supported to try out their new skills with local groups including the Youth Council, MSYP’s, Guides and Scouts. – CLD’s weekly drama group have decided to create a film about NKBL that they hope can be used in any training delivered locally. – The local college requested an input to one of the courses so that the students can do a project based around the messages.

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) has worked with No Knives, Better Lives to deliver the second year of We-CTV. This project is about giving young people the chance to tell their peers, through video, about the horrors of knife crime. Ten teams made the final after defeating hundreds of competitors from across Scotland, they worked with experts from the Leith Agency, The Wise Group, Medics Against Violence and the Violence Reduction Unit at a special national production day at Hampden to develop their own videos. These 10 were then put to a online vote – and over 25,000 votes were cast in only two weeks!

WORKFORCE principles, skills and competences they need as communities, individuals and employers.

YouthLink Scotland Training YouthLink Scotland provides a broad range of bespoke youth work training opportunities with members, associates and partners. This training covers a broad spectrum of work, including but not limited to:

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Social media and new technologies Youth participation and engagement Youth work ethics Youth work and the arts Detached and outreach work Funding Measuring outcomes and evaluation Equalities Youth Work Awards (Participative Democracy Certificate)

Below is a snapshot of some of the training resources we provide:

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Beyond a Culture of Two Halves – A close look at sectarianism in Scotland Funding and Fundraising Toolkit – Developed by YouthBank Scotland Sharp Solutions – Working with young people in Scotland to tackle the issues around knife crime and violence Thinking on your feet and Streetwise CD – Detached Youth Work Toolkit To the Max – Creative literacies resource pack ArtWorks – A Youth Worker’s Guide to the Arts and Training.

If you are interested in our training facilitation and/or resources please contact Timothy Frew. T: 0131 313 2488. E:

The CLD Standards Council’s national CPD Framework, i-develop: learning for CLD, was launched on the 24 April. What is i-develop: learning for CLD?

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As part of CLD Standards Council for Scotland’s CPD Strategy, A Learning Culture for the Community Learning and Development Sector in Scotland, the Council has developed this web-based framework to support creative and innovative learning and development for CLD practitioners, based on the values,

i-develop: learning for CLD is free to access and open to all CLD practitioners – full time staff, part time and sessional workers, volunteers, activists, students, managers, leaders, new hands and those more experienced. The CLD Standards Council is now looking for local champions to promote i-develop to colleagues, partners and networks in their area. If you are interested in becoming a champion, please contact Alan.Milson@ Quality Marking The Standards Council for CLD commissioned YouthLink Scotland, to further explore the development of a Quality Mark for training providers in CLD. A model has been developed and was presented to the Standards Council on Tuesday 15 May. S TA N D A R D S SCO

The model will be further tested and developed within the Standards Council and with stakeholders and is anticipated to be in operation before the end of 2012. Education Scotland: National Training and Development Network This network for trainers across CLD met on 3 May in the Stirling Management Centre. Inputs on i-develop and Upskilling funded projects were the main agenda items. For more information on the network contact Mandy Toogood: Mandy.Toogood@ CLD Standards Council Approval Youth Work BA at Napier A new youth work BA (Hons) from Edinburgh Napier University, developed in partnership with the City of Edinburgh CLD department has recently had CLD standards Council approval at both BA and BA (hons) level. Recruitment for September start is open now. Access routes are flexible, and many learners with experience or accredited learning in related sectors will be able to start in stage 2 or 3 of the programme. The course details and application processes are available here:

National Youth Work Training Directory YouthLink Scotland will be releasing the 2012-2013 Youth Work Training Directory in August 2012 with your training courses from September 2012–March 2013. We are continuously seeking to improve and develop the Directory and since the last edition in September 2011 and the online update in April 2012 we have been gathering your feedback through a survey and focus group. The response has, on the whole, been very positive with 80% of readers who searched for courses finding the information useful and contributors feeling that it had helped to raise awareness of their services. Following feedback, the main format of the 2012-13 Directory will remain unchanged with some enhancements including:

Improvements to the online version and searchable database of training courses as backup to the main directory.

The inclusion of more accredited training courses and bespoke information on training delivery.

Description of the key qualifications and the nature of youth work and training.

Over time YouthLink Scotland will seek to further develop the online resource and develop compatibility with other sources of training information for youth workers. To see the current updated edition and find courses in our training calendar go to To contribute to the Training Directory please complete the online form at or contact Sarah Robinson. T: 0131 313 2488 E:

WORKFORCE Big Impact! YouthBank and Volunteering Local YouthBanks celebrated and recognised the personal development and collective contribution of YouthBank groups to community life as part of Volunteers Week 1–7 June. A YouthBank is a community enhancing youth led decision making model. Young people choose to give their time in a wide range of ways; setting up their YouthBank, deciding how it works and runs, fundraising, devising the criteria, designing the application form will look like, decision making in allocating funds and measuring the difference YB funding makes. It enables young people to move from being a participant to a leader of community activity and opportunity. YouthBank Volunteering enables young people and adults involved to boost their employability by learning new skills, gaining experience and enhancing their CV. It also helps to build relationships between generations and community groups, which can create pathways to employment. YouthBank involvement improves core skills such as team work and communication. It enables volunteers to demonstrate commitment and show initiative. It also provides opportunities for young people to gain valuable character and skill based references while making a difference in their community. YouthBank Volunteering has had positive impact on health and well-being. Young people and adults involved in YouthBank Scotland have articulated increase self esteem and confidence, improved sense of purpose and sense of belonging to their group, to their communities and the YouthBank movement. YouthBanks in Scotland are located in urban, rural and island communities. Each YouthBank is licenced by YouthBank Scotland. The licence means they have demonstrated that they have committed to work within the value base of (Golden Rules) YouthBank Scotland. YouthBank Scotland provides accredited training to enable young people to formally articulate the skills and knowledge they have developed through their YouthBank activity. YouthBank Scotland endeavours to create skills exchanges and training events to assist young people to share their local practice and skills nationally within and out with the YouthBank Scotland network. To find out how to establish your own YouthBank contact Heather McVey. T: 0131 313 2488. W:

Equality of Youth Work opportunity for all Scotland’s Young People? YouthLink Scotland is committed to supporting all young people to feel included and supported in any youth work activity and support the sector to be free of discrimination and/or exclusion. To achieve this we need a knowledgeable, confident and competent workforce. To this end YouthLink Scotland is keen to identify priorities for equalities work and establish specialist networks (physical or virtual) to share expertise, develop practice and fill gaps in provision for young people. There is an immense breadth of knowledge, experience and skills within our membership which we hope to maximise.

Contact Heather McVey. E:

YouthLink Scotland, Learning Link Scotland and the Scottish Community Development Centre worked in partnership to deliver the Digitally Agile CLD Project. It is one part of the CLD Upskilling Programme supported by Education Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government. The project aims to provide the CLD sector, Education Scotland and the Scottish Government, with a comprehensive picture of current practice and skills in the sector and the barriers faced. The project also scopes for the enablers required for future opportunities, resourcing and upskilling the Community Learning and Development (CLD) sector concerning new technologies. ‘Are we a Digitally Agile CLD workforce?’ Skills Audit The DACLD skills audit ran from 21 February to 15 April 2012 with 177 respondents from across the CLD sector including Local Authorities, Volunteer Organisations and community groups. This skills survey was designed to take a snapshot of the uses of, and attitudes towards new technologies from a wide range of organisations engaged in CLD. Seminars The seminars took place throughout March 2012 and were attended by 87 participants with a varied level of experience and interest in new technologies. The seminars took place in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The seminars included key speakers, discussions and introductions to digital resources implemented by Scottish organisations that reach out using new technologies and encourage participation from their service users. Case Studies The case studies tell the stories of organisations and projects currently using new technologies and social media to develop and enhance their work in areas such as communication, engagement and research. Nine stories or examples of practice in youth, adult learning and community capacity building are captured, for example in South Lanarkshire they have created a virtual youth club called the Dharma Project and New Battle in Glasgow have a community Facebook page. Literature Review The literature review examined the critical points of current knowledge in new technologies including the substantive findings of relevant research, policies and practice. It is an overview of what is current within and out-with community learning and development and will complement the detail captured in the Case Studies and Skills Audit. The DACLD Final Summary report is in the hands of the external reference group made up of representation from areas of education and the technology sector. The reference group will consider findings emerging from the project and will make recommendations to Education Scotland, the Scottish Government and key partners. The CLD sector will be informed of the project findings in the near future. Find more information at or contact:

11 THE Link

Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your current priorities and challenges or to contribute to the shaping of this work.

Digitally Agile Community Learning & Development Project (DACLD)

ARC Printing Ltd Units 7 & 8 Polbeth Industrial Estate West Calder West Lothian EH55 8TJ T: 01506 870044 M: 07733 885643 E:

mcl Media Control (Europe) Ltd Unit 1, The Clocktower South Gyle Crescent 2 Flassches Yard Edinburgh EH12 9LB T: 0131 314 0650 F: 0131 314 0651 E:

McRobb Display 70 Montgomery Street Edinburgh EH7 5JA T: 0131 556 9633 E: W:

Tony Marsh Photography T: 07738 462808 E: W:

YouthLink Scotland’s editor of THE Link is very keen to receive your comments, ideas and suggestions on the magazine. For further information contact: Julie Wilson, YouthLink Scotland, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh EH12 5EZ. T: 0131 313 2488. E: W:

The Link Magazine Issue 26  
The Link Magazine Issue 26  

The Link magazine with The Yard Supplement