#StrongerNorth update: Young people and our community
#Stronger North: working with our young people
Work with primary aged children
As part of a new role created by Total Craigroyston Team, it was agreed that a youth worker would work in four of the local primary schools to deliver a programme called ‘Respect in the Community.’
The aim was to help primary aged children understand the importance of safety in the community, publicise all the activities that are available after school and help them make good choices about what they do with their time after school.
The youngsters make a map of their community in the first session, showing where many of the positive activities take place. They look at what makes a safe community for everyone and think about they can keep themselves safe as well as looking out for others.
At a later stage they have the opportunity to identify where they feel safe themselves or not. We’ve found that many of our primary children are very well aware of and have experienced some of the issues that make them feel unsafe.
A big part of the programme is helping children develop the skills to make good decisions especially where they might feel tempted by friends to take part in behaviour that causes distress to others. In small groups they think about developing a community campaign about combating anti-social behaviour and then present their ideas to their classmates.
The programme has gone down very well with P5, P6 and P7’s in Pirniehall and St David’s, has just started in Craigroyston Primary and will be starting very soon in Forthview.
We’ve developed a loyalty card so that youngsters who are positive participants in youth clubs and sports clubs can gather points and receive a reward. It will run until Easter to see if it will be successful. So far Ainslie Park Leisure Centre and Craigroyston Community High School has offered free swims for individuals and families and each of the youth organisations involved has agreed to run a special reward night for those involved.
As well as all the youth clubs and sports opportunities that are available in the community , we have developed some out of hours sessions for teenagers – offering them the opportunity to get involved in activities later at night in an effort to combat the idea that there is nothing to do. If these sessions go well then more can be offered. These activities are taking place in Spartans and Pilton Youth and Children’s Project.
Face North (above) is a special project, working with some of the young people who are involved in anti-social behaviour and so far we have been able to involve these young people in working at Towford, the bothy owned by My Adventure. To help get the Bothy ready for use by local groups and organisations they have helped with basic maintenance, cleared ground, laid paths, chopped down and replanted trees and completed some minor repairs. They have also painted the kitchen area in Pilton Youth and Children’s Project and will soon be doing some environmental work on the cycle path.
The Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme is being implemented in local High Schools as well as in the local community. This gives older young people the training and skills to work with younger ones and help them think through how they would handle a wide range of tricky incidents giving young people and the community the confidence to speak up against and challenge issues such as bullying or other types of anti-Social behaviour.
Sessions for parents will be run towards the end of February – look out for dates or contact Community Learning and Development worker Sarah Neal if you are interested in attending. Her number is 552 5700.