By Alistair Neil, Active East Youth Development Coordinator
Education is so important for all of the young people that we work with across every Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) programme. Within the Active East programme we work with young people from the East End of Glasgow aged 12-25.
Across the 4 strands of Active East every young person is educated in different ways. Whether that be through gaining volunteer experience in their chosen placement, gaining coaching qualifications from national governing bodies, taking part in educational workshops, or completing modules from SSF’s Education Through Cashback (ETC) programme. In addition to this, the young people get the chance to meet people from different background, cultures, nationalities and beliefs, gain new experiences, visit new places, and learn how to work in their stretch zone; all of which increases these young people’s understanding of the world and is so important to their development and a major part of growing up.
We aim to ensure that the qualifications chosen by the young people are all going to be used within their volunteering, and support them through college, university and work. For example we had 20 young people complete Ultimate Frisbee Dodgeball training which was then used to deliver taster sessions to our partner organisations around the East End of Glasgow, reaching 100 young people. This could also be used at volunteering sessions where they deliver different activities to young people.
The aim is not to tick boxes when young people complete qualifications, but to really work to ensure they are used to develop the young people’s skills and will be beneficial to them in the future.
One strand of the Active East programme is Chance:2:Be. This strand works with young people aged 16-25 for 12 weeks where they will complete 7 qualifications. These will including First Aid and ETC: Working With Young People in Sport. Each of these qualifications will assist the young person when they come to start their volunteer placements in a partner organisation of their choice. In addition to this, these qualifications will be beneficial when they are looking for college, university or apprenticeship placements, or for work as they have been practising what they have previously learned.
Using a youth work approach to education ensures that everyone we work with is gaining an education in the way that they learn best. We give the young people the choice of what qualifications they want to gain and how they want to use it. We aim to make sure that what is learnt is being retained and used to benefit each person we are working with.