Reflections on #YLSConf18: What’s love got to do with it?

It turns out a lot! Love was definitely in the air at the National Youth Work Conference yesterday.

Dr Louise Sheridan titled her presentation ‘What’s love got to do with it?’, but Dr Louise wasn’t the only person talking about love – it was a common theme running throughout the day. What better theme to celebrate young people’s participation in a whole range of contexts across Scotland than love.

It was a fantastic day (although we're biased!). Our lovely co-hosts Beth-Anne Logan and the Very Reverend Doctor Lorna Hood co-chaired the event, bringing their own unique experiences and reflections on youth work and Year of Young People to the conference.

Maree Todd MSP, one of the keynote speakers, thanked youth workers for their support and participation in Year of Young People and advised the government recognises and values “the strong contribution that youth work and community learning and development, makes to improving life chances for children and young people across Scotland”.

Duncan Dunlop had us flossing – yes a room full of youth workers flossing! Why? Because he was explaining what a youth worker is:

  • A young person: someone who can floss
  • An adult: someone who can’t floss
  • A youth worker: someone that will give it a go!

Watch the video on Twitter.

Dr Louise Sheridan proposed that 2019 was Year of Youth Workers and it was a popular suggestion! She also had us singing and talking about love, encouraging youth workers not to be afraid to use the word.

In the afternoon we had a panel session talking about the new research launched on World Children’s Day about the impact of community based universal youth work (find out more below). We also got to hear from Mhairi and Rachael, two of Scotland’s new #iwill ambassadors.

The awesome Listen, Think, Draw were at the conference capturing all of the content through illustration and created three wonderful masterpieces! Take a look at Listen, Think, Draw on Twitter to see their creations.

There were also 16 interactive sessions that were co-designed and co-produced by young people from organisations across Scotland, topics covered included board meetings, communications, radical youth work plus much more. Luckily, Listen Think Draw were able to capture the sessions in this illustration:  


There were lots of resources talked about and launched at yesterday’s event. See a rundown of materials below:

  • The Impact of Community-based Universal Youth Work – a brand new research report that looks at the impact of universal youth work and how that impact has been achieved.
  • The National Youth Work Induction Checklist – a checklist that can be used during induction training for youth workers. The topics covered help practitioners to meet the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work and the competences for Community Learning and Development (CLD).
  • The Link Magazine – our brand new Link Magazine all about young people’s participation across Scotland was launched and can now be viewed online.
  • Annual Report – the 2017 -18 Annual Report is now available online so you can see all of the things YouthLink Scotland achieved during the year.
  • The #iwill campaign was talked about by two new #iwill ambassadors, find out how you can get involved in the campaign and meet the nine new Scottish 2018 ambassadors
  • A video of the first ever FMQT Next Generation was played, you can watch the full broadcast and download the resource on our dedicated page
  • The National Youth Work Awards were mentioned yesterday and with the deadline fast approaching (26th November at 5pm) don’t forget to get your nomination in!

You can catch up on everything from the conference by taking a look at the #YLSConf18 hashtag on Twitter.

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