All posts in Active East News

Local mentors leading the way to change lives. 

Press Release for release Tuesday 14th February

2017 marks 4 years since the Active East legacy initiative launched.  This weekend 19 new recruits to the much coveted youth programme took part in a residential training weekend developed, planned and delivered by young mentors who have themselves come through the programme.  Health inequalities, poverty and high rates of unemployment are just some of the challenges the award winning legacy programme is working to overcome with community youth and sport organisations and incredible young role models and volunteers from within the North East of Glasgow.

In the last year alone, young “Active Champions” have given 11,188 volunteer hours delivering a huge variety of sports and physical activity for young people in their community.  This is the in-kind equivalent of £111,880 of investment to increase levels of physical activity in the city of Glasgow.  To date young volunteers who have accessed the partner led Active East programme have been supported on their journeys to employment, further education and training.

Rohanna Irvine, Youth Development Coordinator with Active East said:

I am super excited to be recruiting more young people into the Active Champion Programme and preparing them for their volunteer journeys with partner organisations in the East End of Glasgow. It is fantastic to see so many young people wanting to take the lead and help other young people within the East End.

Edward Fitzpatrick has been involved since 2013 and is now a mini mentor with the programme and planned and delivered much of the content from the weekend for new Active Champions.  When describing his experience of the programme he said:

“One of my highlights of being involved in the Active East programme was meeting Sir Chris Hoy at an event during the Commonwealth Games. I really wanted to say to him he was my main role model but before I could he said that I was a local role model and making a real difference. This was an absolute high for me! But after this high came a really tough time, I didn’t get the exam results I was hoping for. However, I managed to gain an advanced higher A in Graphic communication. I was accepted to study at Glasgow school of Art where I knew it was hard to gain a place. Of course the grades I achieved helped but I really believe I got there because of the skills I gained through years of volunteering. As part of my product design course in first year, I got to go and do a project with Kirsty in Active East which was crazy as I got to give back so quickly.”

He finished by saying to the young volunteers: “help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours”. 

In January the Active East programme was successful in

being awarded £50,000 from the Scottish Governments Active Scotland Legacy fund continuing the initial investment made by The Robertson Trust, Comic Relief and the Governments CashBack for Communities’ initiative. The legacy funding will support new recruits and those already involved to begin creating their own peer education on topics they know affect local young people, they will be creating new exciting activity programmes, delivered for free, in areas which need provision most and after consultation to identify what kids really want to do. They will also be shaping a new and exciting training programme which will be delivered across Scotland designed to maximise the impact of sport and physical activity on social and personal development.

Andy Sinclair, Head of Legacy at the Scottish Government said:

 “We are delighted to offer continued support, through our Legacy funding, for the fantastic work that Active East do. The Active Champions in particular, give so much to their communities and do great work in promoting increased levels of physical activity

All of the Active Champions hard work is accredited through Glasgow Kelvin College’s Community Achievement Awards, they also recognise their achievements and can reflect their learning in updated CV’s and are encouraged and supported into further education, training courses and jobs.

Here’s to the Active Champions of Glasgow. Truly inspirational individuals working to change their own lives and improve the lives of others. These young people really are the future.

For more information on the Active East programme see our website –

Paul Nicholson: My week working with SSF!

This week I have been doing my work experience with SSF (Scottish Sports Futures). I have been involved in lots of different things throughout the week. On the first day of my work experience  I got to go to Celtic Park for a tour and also went to different schools across Glasgow teaching them about drugs, alcohol and healthy eating as part of the Jump2it programme. I have also coached some basketball sessions to the young people in the schools and they also got to meet the Glasgow Rocks players and get photos with them.

paul-nOne of my tasks this week was to support with sending emails to different organisations and businesses to see if they could donate anything to us for prizes for the big SSF Awards Night that is coming up on 30th November. So far I have managed to secure prizes from ‘The One 0 One’ off license and Ryze Glasgow!

Finally, I have been planning the Christmas night out for active champions, researching ideas and finding out prices to keep to budget. I have passed on all options to active champions so they can vote for which activity they would like to do.

This week I have learnt a range of new skills which have included computing, use of emails, communications skills and time keeping. All the work I have been doing this week will go towards my Community Achievement Award.


Minister for Public Health and Sport to attend SSF Awards 2016

Aileen Campbell MSP Minister for Public Health and Sport has confirmed attendance at what promises to be the best night of the year as Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) celebrate a year of incredible and inspirational achievement by young people in Scotland on St Andrews Night. The theme for the evening, selected by young people, Simply Scottish Fashion will be thread through the night as guests are treated to one of a kind performances all designed to showcase and celebrate young people.

The evening will be co-hosted for the second time by rising local star Andrew Marley who is himself involved with several SSF programmes as a participant young person, benefiting from training and volunteer placements and who has become a mentor and role model for younger people. Andrew is dedicated to bringing about change in the community he grew up in, the East of Glasgow, and is a driving force in recent charity developments to meet the needs of young people. This year he is joined by Kevin Brannigan, also from the East End of Glasgow and fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Ian Reid OBE founder and Chief Executive:

SSF is a young person led charity and the Awards Night is no exception to the ethos. We always look forward to this evening and year on year it just keeps getting bigger and better. I have no idea what the young people are planning for St Andrew’s night but I do know it will be a fantastic evening, that it’s a celebration of the achievements of some of the amazing young people we work with and a timely reminder that what we do matters to a lot of people”.

Aileen Campbell MSP Minster for Public Health and Sport said:

“I’m delighted to attend these annual awards which showcase some of the great achievements of these young people over the last year. All of them should be very proud. SSF does some tremendous work to promote sport and physical activity, often in disadvantaged communities. I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support some of the work through our Legacy 2014 funding. “

Without the support of partners, sponsors and funders, SSF would not be able to reach and impact the young people who live in communities facing disadvantage and we are delighted to have confirmed award sponsors; Youth Scotland, Melvin Creative and Bannister and Gasp who are also sponsoring all the print for the night as well as soft drinks for the young people in attendance, The Wise Group, Spiers Gumley, Pavilion, The Robertson Trust, RJM Sports, MyTime Active, Unison and Concept Northern.  Faxco Ltd, “The Photocopier & Solutions Company” have also sponsored to make this a night to remember alongside the Scottish Government Active Scotland Legacy, fitting as the legacy branded Active East programme is where this celebration began its life.

Mike Melvin of Melvin Creative commented:

Why sponsor the SSF Awards? Well, last year’s SSF Awards night was such a hit that we had the same guests asking to be invited again to this year’s event! The young nominees are a real inspiration, it’s a great, fun, positive evening and we even managed to gain some new business from those attending the event. It really was a simple decision to continue our relationship and sponsor another SSF Award this year”.

Winner of the 2015 Coach of the Year Award Precious James Miene said after last year’s event: “Volunteering with twilight has literally change my life it’s given me a purpose and a drive to make an impact in people’s life for the better, I would not change it for the world and I can never thank them enough for the chance to put a smile on someone else’s face.”

There are still some tickets available, contact for more details and see our website

Active journeys to positive destinations

A report available on Commonwealth Day, Monday 14th March, states that 80% of participants involved with a Scottish Sports Futures programme are from 20% of the most deprived areas in Glasgow. Award winning Active East is a youth work and sport project working with young people in the east end of Glasgow which used the 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst to address significant issues relating to young people’s lack of participation in sport and physical activity.

The legacy programme aims to increase activity levels amongst young people and encourage community participation and leadership through volunteering. The economic contribution of these young volunteers, Active Champions, over a 20 month period is estimated to be in excess of £60,000. Through the small grant element of the programme 70% of participants stated that they were more active at the end of the project than they had been at the beginning.

Joshua Juanatas, Active Champion said recently: “Active East is where I started and you can never forget where you came from they have been there for me since day one so massive thank you At a young age I have always looked up to people and have my own role models! Being a part of all these programs I’ve been the role model and young people look up to me! 100% awesome feeling! I can write a book here! So thank you for all the experience and awesome memories but also more to come.”

Fellow Active Champion Precious James Miene, who has recently been shortlisted in the 2016 Street Games UK coach of the year awards says simply: “”Volunteering has literally change my life it’s given me a purpose and a drive to make an impact in people’s life for the better would not change it for the world and I can never thank them enough for the chance of put a smile on someone’s face.”

 Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “Active East is a project that absolutely embodies the spirit of Commonwealth Games legacy. This report shows that the programme was very successful in bringing young people together and getting them involved in physical activity. I’m also pleased to see that Active East was so successful in engaging with young people in some of Glasgow’s more deprived communities. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly the Active Champions, who devoted so much of their own time to make the project a success.”

 The initial programme ran from 2011 to 2014 and on Legacy day 2016 findings and learning from an external evaluation commissioned by one of the programme funders, The Robertson Trust, conducted by University of Stirling are being shared. This evaluation looked at not only what was achieved through the programme, but what the specific elements of the programme were that were particularly helpful in leading to successful outcomes for participants. Building relationships through a youth work approach has been the key; putting young people’s perspectives at the heart of the programme to address their needs, ambitions and any barriers that they may have to engaging in physical activity.

Linda Macdonald Senior Development at the Robertson Trust said: “We know that sport can be a powerful tool to support young people transform their lives.  What the Active East approach has demonstrated is some of the key factors, such as being focussed on the needs and aspirations of individual young people, which can ensure that sport does make a difference.”

The evaluation determined that Active East has demonstrated positive impacts on developing young leaders and creating opportunities for young people to engage in physical activities and sport. This is through the Active Champion programme made up of young volunteers aged 14-25 living or willing to volunteer in the East End of Glasgow.

Kirsty Partridge, Head of Operations of Scottish Sports Futures said: “Active East is one of the most special and truly inspiring pieces of work I have ever had the pleasure of working on. Not only are the Active Champions entirely dedicated to not only grasping every opportunity they can but they also genuinely want to make a difference in the communities in which they live. The Commonwealth Games provided such a once in a lifetime platform to motivate and create change and we remain excited about our work in the East End and with all our partners, sharing our learning and taking a youth work approach to engaging through sport”.

To get your copy of the report and read more about the impact of Active East directly from young people see here –

Active East legacy two years on, changing lives through sport

AE Front page

Click on the image to view and get your copy of the report.

Active East is a youth work and sport project working with young people in the east end of Glasgow which used the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst to address significant issues relating to young people’s lack of participation in sport and physical activity. It aims to increase physical activity levels amongst young people and encourage community participation and leadership through sport and physical activity.

The initial programme ran from 2011 to 2014 and on Legacy day 2016 findings from an external evaluation conducted by University of Stirling will be shared. This evaluation looked at not only what was achieved through the programme, but what the specific elements of the programme were that were particularly helpful in leading to successful outcomes for participants.

Young people at the heart – Scottish Sports Futures Celebrate 15 years of changing lives through sport

Andrew Marley - Parliamentary Reception 1280x768 (2)


The impressive Scottish Parliament building played host to Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) reception last week, celebrating 15 years of sport for change and showcasing some of the thousands of amazing young people that we have the privilege of working with right across Scotland.


Over the last 15 years SSF have developed well respected and evidence based initiatives that inspire and motivate.  Whether tackling social issues such as addiction and anti-social behaviour or providing meaningful volunteering and training opportunities that lead to employment, SSF makes a real, lasting impact that provides a brighter future for some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged youths.


The evening, attended by funding partners, MSP’s, Ministers, community partners and SSF participants was expertly hosted by Active Champion and aspiring young actor Andrew Marley who ensured the event was up-beat and interactive.  Guests had the opportunity to meet delivery staff and most importantly the participants who have benefited and supported a variety of sport and physical activity programmes in communities right across the country.


The event also launched the brand new SSF video filmed, edited and produced by a young volunteer Geetika Jhakra, the footage captures the essence of the organisation, heard from partners and young people and highlighting the great variety of activities that are delivered and the impacts that have been achieved.  SSF programmes have positively impacted, health, education, volunteering, employment and community safety and the footage can now be seen at


SSF Chief Executive, Ian Reid OBE said “I really enjoyed the evening it was great to see so many young people and partners in attendance and to meet new contacts who are interested in supporting our work.  We also thank the Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt for attending and recognising the contribution that SSF makes to the wider health agenda.”


SSF worked with almost 16,000 young people last year, supported over 300 young people into positive destinations and recorded an investment of over 7500 volunteer hours.  Guests on the night were encouraged to make a pledge to support the on-going development and delivery of SSF programmes and enable us to reach even more vulnerable young people.  Everyone can play their part in creating a safer, stronger, healthier Scotland and giving young people the future they deserve.

Walk, Donate or Volunteer to support SSF at the KiltWalk Glasgow 12 April 2015

Join Team SSF at the KiltWalk – To register to walk all you need to do is click here

  • Go to ‘Click here to register’ and select which walk you will do, either
  • During registration be sure to select ‘Scottish Sports Futures’ when asked to Choose a Team and enter the password ‘Sport’
  • Be quick, registrations for the Glasgow KiltWalk close on Friday 10thth April!
  • Then it’s time to get fundraising! KiltWalk have set a target of £200 for each walker to work towards so get creative! Once you have signed up we will be in touch with ideas and information about fundraising for SSF.

Join Team SSF and Volunteer at our Clydebank pit stop – If walking is not for you, then we would love you to join us and be involved by volunteering at our pit stop. This is an opportunity for us to showcase all things SSF and motivate KiltWalkers with fun entertainment at the half way point which is also the start of the Half Kiltwalk.

To register your interest as a Team SSF pit stop volunteer, please email Katie for more information about volunteer roles available,


If you are unable to walk at this year’s KiltWalk and unavailable to support as a volunteer on the day, you can support our work through donating at:

Please help us spread the word and encourage everyone you know to join or support Team SSF at any of the KiltWalks taking place this year.

For updates follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page. #TeamSSF #KiltWalk2015

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