Meet the finalists: Health & Wellbeing

The last two years have been some of the most challenging times for young people in recent history. With a loss of community, connections and socialisation, many young people have found themselves isolated, alone and unsure of where to go for help. Our three finalists of the Health and Wellbeing category know this all too well, working tirelessly to overcome the many challenges and barriers the pandemic has brought to make sure they can connect and support young people continuously.  

Regen:fx Youth Trust 

South Lanarkshire  

Regen:fx’s GoTo Mental Health Service is a new and innovative approach to support young people through mental health issues.  GoTo brings together qualified youth workers, trained in Cognitive Behavourial Therapy (CBT), and dedicated counselling, provided by Liber8 Lanarkshire, to offer intensive support and wraparound packages for young people. 

The service is an impactful partnership between great youth work, counsellors and the Regen:fx Youth Advisory Panel, led by young people with lived experience of mental health issues. They provide one-to-one support, youth leadership, peer mentoring, psychoeducation group work, life skills and CBT counselling.  

100% of participants reported an increase in more positive mental health and well-being which demonstrates the power of this partnership.   

“When I started GoTo I was missing a lot of school and hadn’t attended for a month, but I worked with the youth workers who supported me to go back and I am now getting ready to sit my Nat 5 exams.”  Young participant 

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Royston Youth Action    

In with a big splash of impact is Royston Youth Action. Over the pandemic RYA have provided a creative approach through their activities, ensuring young people felt connected and valued.  

Mental health is at their core. Despite the challenges, they found new ways to connect with young people. Cold water therapy, one-to-one trips, art and drama therapy, targeted work with both boys and girls, and a walk and talk group for older girls, as well ensuring those waiting on CAMHS referrals had access to counselling.  

RYA has worked diligently to support young people with their mental and physical health. They have provided a space for young people to speak about their feelings, emotions and problems.  

The positive relationships they build led to three young people separately disclosing to youth workers that they planned to take their own lives. The interventions by staff were successful and these three young people are now flourishing and in a far better and safer mindset.   

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The Rock Trust  

Many of the young people the Trust work with have slept rough – in parks, under bridges or in stairwells. They are Scotland’s youth-specific homelessness charity, using youth work to connect with young people who face multiple challenges.   

They use a therapeutic and trauma informed approach to supporting young people’s mental health through creative interventions, self-expression, self-awareness, building confidence, and processing difficult life events and memories.  

The qualities the art therapists hold that create great youth work include: compassion, flexibility, patience, creativeness, and the ability to hold a safe space. Experiencing traumatic events and mental health struggles can be lonely and scary, but through this service young people do not have to face these obstacles alone.  This youth work approach has proved invaluable to the 500 young people the Trust supported last year alone.  

 “It is how I got through the week, to keep me focused. If I had a bad weekend, I knew I would have support during the week.” Young Person 

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