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YouthLink Scotland News

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Thursday 28 July

News posted: 23-Jun-2016

An event for anyone working in communities and with young people who would like to gain a better understanding of how they can address sectarianism and prejudice through their work.

The day will include mini CPD training sessions from experienced practitioners who have developed and delivered resources and work tackling sectarianism in communities in Scotland. This event is an opportunity to get new ideas and a better understanding of how to address this often controversial topic.

For more information and to register see here

The Link

Youth Work Expo Special

News posted: 22-Jun-2016

At the beginning of 2016 YouthLink Scotland brought key figures from business, the public sector and education together for the first imte to highglight and celebrate the contribution youth work makes to society, individuals and to the realisatoin of the programme for government.

This issue of The Link, a Youth Work Expo Special, looks at why youth work matters to the future of Scotland. It's full of testimonies and opinions of not just youth workers, by academics, industry leaders and key figures from across Scottish society, who all state the need for a strategic and long-term vision for the youth work sector.


Contact: Sarah Paterson, Tel: 0131 313 2488 [ e-mail | download ]

Supporting Young People to Take Action on Sectarianism - A Toolkit

News posted: 20-Jun-2016

Looking Forward Not Back was an opportunity for YouthLink Scotland to support youth workers and young people to address sectarianism in their communities and to generateevidence of the contribution youth work and young people can make to tackling this issue.

This Toolkit was created to share the learning from the Looking Forward Not Back groups. It is presented as a guide for other organisations and practitioners who would like to work with young people to support youth action on sectarianism.

At each stage, the Toolkit gives an overview of the youth work process involved, examples from the Looking Forward Not Back groups, including top tips, and a series of reflective questions to consider.

Download the Toolkit here.

Contact: Amy Goulding, Tel: 0131 313 2488 [ e-mail ]

No Knives, Better Lives

News posted: 20-Jun-2016

NKBL Practitioner Training
We are currently revising our toolkits and our training programme. The next two national training dates are:

  • 24 August in Edinburgh - Sign up here for a place
  • 8 September in Glasgow - Sign up here for a place

The new training is designed to support anyone working directly with young people to develop and deliver knife crime prevention sessions and programmes using a youth work approach. The training includes:

  • An introduction to youth work and prevention.
  • Familiarisation with all of the NKBL resources available to support practice.
  • The opportunity to have a go at developing and delivering a session using the NKBL toolkits and resources.

The training should be useful to youth workers, campus officers/ community liaison officers, teachers, youth justice workers, sports coaches and anyone else working directly with young people and with a prevention role.

As always, if you want us to run a local training at any point get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do.

NKBL Comms Campaign

*** Sign Up Now***

New campaign for No Knives Better Lives. You can follow 'Mark's Story' and see what happens next. The aim of the campaign is to communicate the risks and consequences of knife carrying to young people across Scotland. Between June and March we’ll follow Mark's Story and the devastating consequences for his and the victim’s family, friends and community.

Sign up as a campaign partner and ensure that we’re reaching young people in your area. All you have to do is share the material that we put out with young people that you have contact with. Sign up here and we’ll get in touch with more information.

Contact: Orielle Taylor, Tel: 0131 313 2488 [ e-mail ]

Jim Sweeney MBE

News posted: 14-Jun-2016

We would like to congratulate Jim Sweeney, CEO of YouthLink Scotland, who has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016. 

Jim has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the youth work sector in Scotland. In his role as the head of the national agency for youth work in Scotland, he has brought together all the national youth work organisations and all 32 local authority youth work services, working in partnership with the shared goal of improving young people’s lives and inspiring them to be all they can be.  

His unstinting drive and commitment to ensuring that all of Scotland’s young people have an equal chance to succeed in life, alongside his stewardship of the youth work sector, has resulted in Scotland now being a world renowned leader in youth work practice, and young people’s rights and participation.

Chair of YouthLink Scotland, Alex Linkston, CBE said he was delighted at an award well deserved:

“He has brought passion, commitment and a huge energy to ensure young people receive the support they need to enhance and develop their own lives. He has also developed YouthLink Scotland into an organisation that is respected throughout the youth sector in Scotland and wider Europe, and by politicians of all political parties”.

Commenting on the award, Allan Watt, Director, Prince's Trust Scotland said:

"Prince's Trust Scotland is delighted to see Jim recognised for his immense contribution to young people in Scotland. He has been a consistent, energetic and passionate advocate for the amazing talents of our young people."

Marion Allison, Head of the CLD Standards Council said:

“Jim Sweeney and youth work are synonymous terms. His charismatic style has transformed youth work in Scotland by influencing people, policies and practice. His contributions to the CLD Standards Council have inspired a generation of professional practitioners, advising “always take the work seriously, but yourself… not so much”.

Since his days as a trainee youth and community worker in the seventies, through to his time in charge of youth work services for North Lanarkshire Council, and in his current role at YouthLink Scotland, Jim has fought against a ‘one size fits all’ education system, which he believes does not work for all young people. On behalf of the sector he continues to campaign tirelessly for youth work to embedded within our education system, giving those who struggle with school the opportunity to realise their potential.

Giving his reaction to receiving this honour, Jim added:

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this Award. I feel it reflects the journey we have been on as a sector and as a National Agency. The commitment of youth workers paid and voluntary inspire me on a daily basis as do the amazing young people I meet. I am also immensely lucky in having a board and staff team totally committed to our cause of making Scotland the best country to grow up in".

Sky Academy Sessions for Young People

News posted: 14-Jun-2016

There has been huge interest in the Sky Academy event day on 30 June and the skills studio sessions over the summer.

Due to demand Sky Academy will now run an additional event day on 28 June.

This session will take place from 13:30 – 16:45 and young people can participate in workshops, including an opportunity to get hands on with Sky’s amazing technology and create their very own television report. The session will be facilitated and supported by Sky Academy’s specialised team and transport costs can be reimbursed.

This is a fantastic opportunity, not only for young people to explore the practical skills involved in this area of work, but to experience a great day out.

YouthLink Scotland is co-ordinating bookings for this event and would like to invite you to bring a group of young people. This event is suitable for young people aged 11-18.

Please contact Marielle on 0131 313 2488 or email here to book places or for further information. 

Media Training

News posted: 31-May-2016

  • Boost your profile using the media - Showcase the impact of the work you do.
  • Get to grips with social media - Reach more people, attract volunteers, raise funds and run campaigns.
  • Interview skills - Learn the best way to get your point across and gather great case studies.
  • How to write a press release - Highlight the benefit of the work you do by using the power of the press both on and offline.
  • Toolkit and training - The toolkit will enable projects large and small to make the most of media coverage with a step by step guide to getting your voice heard.

Using traditional and social media, you can get your message out there, boost your profile and highlight the benefits of the work you do. The pack is also a great training resource for the young people you work with, giving them additional skills.

YouthLink Scotland is offering a one day training workshop to introduce the toolkit with Sarah Paterson, Senior Media and Public Affairs for YouthLink Scotland who is also an experienced BBC journalist.

Workshops will be held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Elgin and Stirling in August and September.

Price: YouthLink Scotland members - £35.00; Non-members - £50.00 (price includes media toolkit).

Book your place by email here.

#iwill Campaign Ambassadors – Recruiting Now!

News posted: 31-May-2016

Do you know a young person who gives their time to others? Who is making a difference in their community?

We are looking for Scottish young people aged 10-20 who are making a difference to become ambassadors for the #iwill campaign.

There are already 100 fantastic ambassadors from across the UK and this summer the #iwill campaign will be recruiting 50 more.

45% of young people in Scotland are volunteering, campaigning, fundraising or doing social action – so nominate some shining stars who can shout about it and encourage other young people to get involved!

Young Scot Reward members have the opportunity to accrue points through nominating/applying.

Further information and the nomination/application forms can be found here.

Take a look at these videos that have been created with this in mind:

"I want to make our community a better place to live in"

"Get involved in volunteering, as it' so rewarding"

"If everyone was nice to each other, the world would be a better place"

Nomination deadline – 8 July 2016.

Email Sam Newell at Step up to Serve or Liz Green at YouthLink Scotland.

John Swinney Visits YouthLink Scotland

News posted: 30-May-2016

Following the new Education Secretary’s visit to Scotland’s National Agency for Youth Work on Friday 20 May, the youth work sector welcomed his engagement with youth workers and young people. Commenting after the meeting, Jim Sweeney, CEO of YouthLink Scotland said:

“We welcome John Swinney’s approach to engage with all of us working to improve the attainment and achievement of our young people. If the attainment gap is to be closed for those most at risk from under achievement then a partnership between formal education and youth work at local level is essential.

“We need to realise that not all young people respond to formal education, they need another path, another approach that engages them and keeps them on their learning journey

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the members of the new SNP cabinet, and we congratulate John Swinney on his appointment to Education Secretary and look forward to working constructively with him. Now more than ever, it is imperative that youth work is an integral part of the Scottish government’s drive to improve outcomes for young people”.

Legal Helpline for Youth Workers

News posted: 15-Feb-2016

We would like to remind everyone about the FREE 24 hour HelpLine, ‘YouthLink Scotland Law Line’, for youth workers and youth work organisations in partnership with J. C. Hughes Solicitors.

This is a first port of call service for all youth workers and does not aim to take the place of any corporate legal advice organisations may retain. The law line will give comfort to many workers who may need immediate advice or help out of office hours. 

Telephone - 0141 778 2468 (Quoting YouthLink Scotland)

  • All calls taken by a fully qualified solicitor.
  • 24/7 cover.
  • Completely free and confidential advice.
  • Email and phone line responses.

Download the flyer here.

 YouthLink Scotland is a Scottish company limited by guarantee, no. 164547, Charity reference SCO03923 
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