Meet the finalists: Equality & Diversity Award – sponsored by BBC Children in Need

Do you know what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes? Youth work supports young people to recognise and challenge discrimination in all its forms.

It’s about being the change, and youth workers across Scotland are supporting young people to take the lead and overcome barriers of inequality and prejudice. Those shortlisted for this award are champions of equalities.

This award is kindly sponsored by the awesome team at BBC Children in Need:

“We’re delighted to be a part of the National Youth Work Awards and sponsoring this year’s Equality and Diversity Award. The event is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of the very best projects and people making a difference to the lives of children and young people in Scotland. “

It’s time to meet the finalists…

Action for Children Heritage and Inclusion Project, Edinburgh

Included not excluded. We all have a right to be involved, try new things, have fun and experiences that can be life-changing. For young people from minority ethnic backgrounds, this is not always the case, and that is something the Action for Children Heritage and Inclusion Ambassadors were not going to put up with.

They have co-produced a Charter that aims to help schools develop social justice and inclusion programmes for BME young people, creating positive experiences within the wider school community.

The Charter delivers champion groups in schools to ensure everyone has access and they have been successful in driving change, more BME young people are getting involved in all aspects of school life, from presenting to teachers through to running equality workshops for other pupils.  The Charter is supported by the local community as well as MSPs. It’s a great example of young people’s determination to tackle discrimination with their voice and not accept an unacceptable status quo!

Interest Link Borders

For this Borders youth project, there are no barriers to participation. Relationships and friendships are forged every day thanks to the dedication of staff and volunteers.

Interest Link Borders supports 100 children and young people with learning disabilities each year, providing both one-to-one befriending and group sessions.  As a result, young people are able to take part in a range of fun activities, from pottery classes to glamping breaks.

Addressing social isolation and loneliness and providing respite for carers, the project helps young people develop their self-esteem and improves wellbeing. Young people who benefit from befriending say their confidence has improved, they are much happier and they have made new friends.  

The Spartans Youth Work Team, Edinburgh 

Community intuition, knowing your neighbourhood, knowing how to connect with people who live and work beside you. Spartans do know their community, they understand the challenges faced by young people, they reflect the needs of the community, and provide the support they need to grow and flourish. 

The Spartans Youth Work Team is ensuring that all young people in North Edinburgh have a safe place to play, socialise and take part in fun activities. Whether it’s FooTEA, Spartans AM Breakfast Club or their new Welcoming Club for the Syrian Community.

In 2018, they celebrated their 10th anniversary, and what a birthday, they now support over 300,000 young people and deliver over 3,000 hours of face-to-face youth work each year.

From attending the club seven years ago to volunteering today, Liam put forward this nomination for SCFA: “I feel safe… I feel more confident now.”

Book your ticket

If you've not booked your ticket for the National Youth Work Awards and want to join these awesome finalists as well as many others, head over to our National Youth Work Awards page where you can book your ticket and meet all of the other fabulous finalists.

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