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Shining a Light on Mental Health

 By Shell Twilight Basketball staff and participants

Amanda Hiddleston is 1 of 20 Scottish Sports Futures’ Wellbeing Ambassadors who helped to plan and deliver a mental health and wellbeing themed basketball tournament at Oriam in Edinburgh on Sunday 7th April.

The event saw over 250 young people come together from Shell Twilight Basketball sessions across Scotland as far afield as Dingwall and Stranraer.

Amanda tells us about her thoughts from the event:

The tournament on Sunday was a great opportunity to let other young people know how much sport and physical activity can play a massive role in helping improve mental health and wellbeing.

In my role as a Wellbeing Ambassador and as a member of the steering group for the event I was excited to be part of the planning process and see things develop from our initial meetings and from our residential in March where along with 20 other Wellbeing Ambassadors we developed mental health and wellbeing workshops and ideas for the event.

It was amazing to see our plans come to life! On the day I delivered workshops on the topics of stress, pressure and social connection which all allowed young people to come and have fun in an interactive workshop whilst learning about the topics and taking away the message that sport can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

The tournament was just an amazing fun filled day which challenged me to grow in confidence and step outside my own comfort zone. It was so rewarding and encouraging to see the young people who attended grasping the theme of the event, having fun and taking away the message that sport and physical activity can have positively impact mental health and wellbeing.

 

The Shining a Light on Mental Health tournament was made possible through funding from the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity Fund, read more about it here.

Active East’s Highland Hostelling Adventure

 By Alistair Neil, Active East Youth Development Coordinator

At Active East we are incredibly lucky to have amazing funders and partners who support and believe in the work we are doing and help us give the best experiences for the young people we work with!

One recent example of this is through funding we recently received from the Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund. This allowed us to take a group of young volunteers to Oban for the weekend. Active East work in partnership with lots of youth and sport organisations throughout the East End of Glasgow and support young people to volunteer, gain training, accreditation for their volunteering and help at local and large scale events.

Receiving funding from our various funders, partners and sponsors allows us to take young people away, gain new experiences and learning new skills. This Residential was a great opportunity to do just that!

We stayed in Oban Youth Hostel from Friday 22nd March – Sunday 24th March, giving many of our young people the chance to experience staying in a hostel for the first time, as well as visiting a new part of Scotland. The hostel provided our meals for the weekend and also a great space to do team building activities, planning for 2019, and for our young people to get to know each other better in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by friends.

On the Saturday we were able to explore Oban and see the sights! We had a roller disco and went bouldering at Atlantis Sports centre, and saw the amazing view from the top of McCraigs Tower. The afternoon was topped off by watching a game of Shinty! We then returned to the hostel for dinner after a walk through Oban’s town centre.

We then spent another night doing more games and hearing the Active Champions’ ideas for 2019 before heading home on the Sunday.

This funding gave us a great opportunity to take away a group of young people away and give them time to relax, bond, experience a new place and plan what they want their volunteering to look like in 2019.

One Active Champion said “The weekend was amazing! I really enjoyed walking around Oban and being able to just chill as a team. My highlight was going to McCaigs Tower and playing games together, the walk was really funny”.

 

We couldn’t provide any of these amazing experiences without the help of our partners, funders, and sponsors. So if you want to work in partnership with SSF, or help us fundraise so we can continue our work, contact our development manager Emma Reid on 0141 218 4640 or emma@ssf.org.uk

Case Study – Lochgelly

Shell Twilight Basketball sessions have been delivered every Friday in Lochgelly since June 2013, to provide young people in the community with a safe place to take part in positive physical activity. The session brings people together to improve confidence, life skills and overall wellbeing. There is a real need in the community for activities like Shell Twilight Basketball. Lochgelly and the surrounding area are deprived and really suffer from issues with youth disorder. Shell Twilight Basketball offers a unique approach to engaging with young people, our sessional staff integrate youth work and sport to ensure participants are at the heart of the programme.

A participant who recently became a volunteer coach, had this to say about the programme;

“I think the Shell Twilight Basketball session helps the community by getting kids out of the house, getting them off the streets and bringing them into a safe environment.”

Our session leaders are vital to the success of our programmes. For a lot of the young people we work with, our sessional staff may be the only positive role models in their lives. Our ambassador programme gives the young people the opportunity to develop their skills as a leader and role model. Two participant volunteers commented on the importance of role models and what they do to positively influence at their session;

“The first role models I ever looked up to were my coaches at Twilight.”
“I feel that I’m considered to be a role model as I’m always cheerful, I try to engage with everyone and give them someone they can talk to if needed.”

In Lochgelly we have a group of volunteers who have grown through the programme and developed their skills to lead the session every week, completely unassisted. Over 20 young people attend the session weekly and it continues to attract new participants. One of the volunteers had this to say about the programme:

“Shell Twilight Basketball has helped me become a good role model and a good coach. They have given me opportunities to further my career e.g. Ambassador programme, UKCC Level 1 basketball coaching award and coaching my own team.”

These amazing participant volunteers are at the centre of everything we are trying to do to hand our tried and tested initiative back to the community. The Ambassador programme really has allowed us to create the next generation of Shell Twilight Basketball leaders who are more confident, more skilled and more aspirational. Alongside their volunteering commitments, each of the volunteers have recently moved on to positive destinations including college & employment.

“Shell Twilight Basketball has helped me at college as I take new skills learned from other coaches and take them to college and use them in my classes. It’s helped me be more confident with other people if I don’t know them as much. Shell Twilight Basketball has encouraged me to keep thriving to gain my career in sport (basketball) and to help me gain qualifications in this college year.”

We are really proud of the outcome in Lochgelly and the young people who have stepped up to ensure that the session can continue on a self-sustaining basis. The Community Use team have been fully supportive of the session and continue to offer a free space every week to make sure the young people in the community have something positive to do. We hope to see more of our sessions follow suit to change the lives of more young people across Scotland for years to come.

Vacancy – ETC Programme Manager

The Role

Education Through CashBack (ETC) is a national Scottish Sports Futures programme; developed in partnership with Youth Scotland, that aims to enhance sports coaches, youth workers and volunteers understanding of personal development through sport. 6 of the ETC modules are now SCQF accredited at levels 4 (Communication) and 5 (Working with Young People, Benefits of Physical Activity, Human Connection, Goal Setting and Conflict Resolution)

The ETC Programme Manager will undertake the organisation, marketing, development, quality control, and evaluation of this programme of training.

Scottish Sports Futures, in carrying out its functions as a “sport for change” charity delivering programmes to young people across Scotland, is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and delivery of any activities.

For all post information please see goodmoves:

https://goodmoves.com/vacancy/a4s0n000000d7ndqay-etc-programme-manager

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Furniss on 0141 218 4640 or sarah@ssf.org.uk, for information on the programme please see http://etcashback.org.uk/

 

PDT Administration

The People’s Development Trust at the Legacy Hub on Friday afternoon went into administration, causing the building to close to the public.

We at Scottish Sports Futures will continue to be based at the hub for the near future operating as close to business as usual as possible. Its deeply regrettable this has happened as we believe in the ethos of the community facility and we are especially saddened that so many had to suddenly lose jobs.

We will keep our partners, funders and most importantly young people updated with our own place of business.

For any queries please contact Kirsty McNab SSF CEO – kirsty@ssf.org.uk or call 07758884691

SSF have a new CEO

SSF team with Minister for Sport Joe Fitzpatrick

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has appointed a new CEO and three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board.

Formerly Head of Operations with the  charity, Kirsty McNab steps up to become the new Chief Executive Officer.  Kirsty, from Glasgow, has been with SSF for six years and has been instrumental in growing the charity’s sports based services for disadvantaged young people across Scotland.

A Graduate of Strathclyde University in Sport in the Community, Kirsty has been involved in youth development throughout her career and held posts with Badminton Scotland and Youth Scotland.

Kirsty said, “I am delighted to be leading our charity at such an exciting time. I believe that sport can change lives and am proud of how we demonstrate this at Scottish Sports Futures.

“We have a fabulous Board which will be further enhanced by our new appointments and I very much look forward to working together, creating a new strategy and building upon our success. We are very much a youth led organisation and I will be working to create new trustee roles for young people who have been beneficiaries of our programmes.”

Joining Kirsty on the Board in Non-Executive Director roles are Christopher Beaton, International Customer Marketing Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority; George Watson, IT Director at Stevenswood and trustee with sportscotland; and Robin Gillies, previous CA with the Edrington Group, member of the Children’s Panel and a mentor with MCR Pathways.

SSF CEO

Shell Twilight Basketball Outstanding Achievement Award

By John Bell, Shell Twilight Basketball Mentor

When I first started working with Declan he was a member of the Irvine Twilight session and the existing staff members had picked him out as someone I may wish to keep an eye on, I was told a story of Declan throwing a bottle of water during a session that was very close to hitting a youth worker that was present, I was then also told of the possibility that he may also storm out because of his problems with controlling his anger and emotion.

I was to witness this very quickly.

Orrin, the coach at Irvine, and I had a chat about a way forward, Orrin having done some previous work with Declan on his issues agreed that us working as a team and being united on what was acceptable behaviour from Declan but also letting Declan know what he could expect from us was the best way forward.

Declan did show immediate signs of responding but was still having occasional incidents of anger and was still disrupting the session on a less frequent basis, progress was slow but myself and Orrin were determined to get the best from Declan and his obvious love of Basketball.

We were then asked by Twilight Basketball to speak to the session about the up and coming ambassador programme, Declan was immediately eager to be involved, this however presented us with a big problem, with Declan still having occasional bursts of anger we did not want other young people at the session seeing us to be rewarding or condoning this type of behaviour.

The same night three members of staff met to discuss the situation, such was the debate that it was taken to a vote to see if Declan would be put forward, and the vote fell in Declan’s favour by two votes to one.

Orrin and I told Declan the following week that we would be willing to put his name forward as long as we saw an improvement in behaviour at the Irvine sessions.

To his credit Declan began to improve on a weekly basis and was indeed put forward for the ambassador programme.

It became apparent very quickly on the weekend ambassador residential at Kilgarston that we had made the right choice in giving him another chance. Declan was now mixing with strangers and also actively encouraging others to take part. As a worker it was joy to see, it was decided that weekend that I would become Declan’s mentor.

 

I sit here writing this today and can honestly say the transformation in Declan’s behaviours and attitudes both within our session and outside of it is nothing short of phenomenal , this young man when I first met him could justifiably be described as withdrawn, angry, prone to outbursts, unwilling to listen and extremely difficult to work with. (I should know my job is a youth worker with North Ayrshire Council).

Today I would describe Declan as helpful, willing to take part, a team player, a good communicator, a delightful person to be around and a vital part of the Irvine Wolves Twilight Basketball Session.

Declan has actively helped me to deliver Educational timeouts on subjects ranging from LGBTQ+ rights, the white ribbon campaign against domestic violence, bullying, bigotry and racism.

He now attends the Glasgow Rocks college programme in Glasgow and is an independent self-assured young man, we love having Declan at our sessions and really admire the hard work he has put in to transform his life.

The last thing I will say about this nomination is this, when I first attended the session some of the young people wanted Declan removed, 14 months later and the group democratically and by a huge margin voted for Declan to receive this nomination.

Declan is more than worthy of this award.

 

Just in case Declan should not win this award I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful staff at Twilight Basketball and Scottish Sports Futures who have actively supported us in this whole process and have been a constant source of knowledge and understanding to our specific needs.

 

Jump2it Recognises Contributions of Sessional Staff

 By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools and Education Development Coordinator

All of our staff here at Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) highly value and appreciate the work of our paid and voluntary workforce. Without a dedicated and committed coach and volunteer base, which we rely upon on a daily basis, we would never be able to carry out anywhere near the same level of impactful delivery we have done over previous years, effectively changing the lives of thousands of young people across Scotland. It is for this reason that SSF continues to celebrate and recognise the hard work of our paid and voluntary staff through our annual SSF Awards Night, sponsored by SportScotland. This is a chance for the charity to celebrate the work and impact which the we have achieved over the last 12 months, with the help of our sessional staff, volunteers, young people and delivery partners.

Daniel Masters is one of the many Jump2it sessional staff members which we feel deserves formal recognition for his work within the Jump2it programme over the last year. As a result Daniel has been nominated for two SSF awards under the categories of ‘Spirit of The Year’ and ‘Event Champion of the Year’.

Daniel has worked on the Jump2it programme as a sessional coach for just over a year. During this time he has continually excelled in his position as a coach and has often gone above and beyond what is expected of any sessional staff member. Daniel’s proactive approach during Jump2it tournaments have assisted in providing and delivering outstanding community events, which allow young people from across various local authorities to come together in a fun and engaging environment, break down social and cultural barriers and share in the celebration of sport.

Throughout his time as a sessional staff member, Daniel has continually excelled at engaging with young people on a personal level. His bubbly and charismatic personality allows young people to naturally gravitate towards him as a coach. His ability to generate a fun, positive and engaging atmosphere is unparalleled. The manner in which Daniel delivers his sessions with the young people provides a truly unique and memorable experience for everyone involved.

At an organisational level Daniel is viewed as a brilliant ambassador for SSF, sharing similar values. Daniel has continually exceeded expectations, achieved his own ambitions, and supported young people to help them achieve their own. Throughout all elements of his work with SSF, Daniel has delivered a fun and engaging service which is continually underpinned by his compassion and dedication towards the young people who the Jump2it programme works with. Daniel’s drive, dedication and most of all his spirit make him a positive role model not only for the children he works with but also for his fellow coaches and staff alike. Daniel has established himself as a true Champion for SSF as an organisation.

 

For more information on our Awards Night head to our Awards Home Page

Active East Recognises Volunteers’ Achievements

 By Alistair Neil, Active East Youth Development Coordinator

 

It is so important that the amazing work that our young people do gets recognised, not only by the organisations they are working in, but nationally by governing bodies and the Scottish Government.

 

So far this year the Active Champions have given 8,739 hours, volunteering at their weekly sessions and at external events such as the European Championships. Without their positive attitude, effort, and commitment to providing young people with safe, fun spaces to play, relax, and make friends, many young people’s lives would not be the same.

 

The young people we have the pleasure of working with are inspirational role models for all people, young and old, and they prove this over and over again with the fantastic work they do. From designing sessions, deciding on the best way to deliver, planning and delivering residentials, to assisting in policy decisions, the young people we work with really take the lead on deciding their future, and the future of the organisations they work and volunteer in.

 

With this year being the Year of Young People it has shone a light on all the amazing things the young people of Scotland do, and has given them a voice that is being heard throughout all sectors. This is so important to ensure young people know their opinions do matter, and that they can make a difference to their own lives and the lives of those around them. The year has also brought new opportunities for the young people of Scotland including funding projects led by young people and awards signed by the First Minister that recognise their achievement.

 

At Active East and Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) we hold an annual awards night to recognise just how proud and inspired we are by the young people we work with. This gives all the young people from each of SSF’s programmes the chance to come together and share in a whole night dedicated to them. This recognition is so important to us as workers, and also to all the volunteers as it shows just how good a job the people we work with do and lets us celebrate this on a massive stage.

Active East participants at the Scottish Sports Futures Year of Young People Awards 2018

Interview with Rocks Community Club Volunteer

 Jump2it and Rocks Community Club (RCC) Coordinator Stephanie McLean interviews volunteer Abbie Fox about girls’ participation and her own experience in sport.

Tell us about your experience in sport.

I started doing Taekwondo when I was 7 years old and I achieved my black belt by the time I was 9. I achieved this through hard work and fantastic support from my instructors. I wanted to try a different sport, so I tried out basketball when I was 8 and I began training and learning about the sport with Drumoyne RCC. I want to play more basketball and practise more so I joined the team Glasgow Fever and I have been playing with them ever since.

 

Why do you choose to take part in Sport?

I choose to take part in sport because it gives me the opportunity to make more friends and interact with more people my age who have the same interests as me. I also do it because it helps me maintain my fitness and is my passion.

 

What life-skills do you feel you have learnt through taking part in Sport?

Some of the main life skills I have learnt through sport is how to be confident in my own choices and voice my opinion, how to work in a team and how to keep fit and maintain the level of fitness that I’m comfortable with.

Rocks Community Club Volunteer Abbie Fox

Rocks Community Club Volunteer Abbie Fox

How do you think we can make Sport more accessible to girls & young women?

I think we should advertise and create more all-female clubs and promote it to the younger generation so that girls can not only get involved in sport but learn some essential life skills along the way.

 

Tell us about your reasons for volunteering at Drumoyne RCC.

My reason for volunteering at Drumoyne RCC is I started at this club and I’ve seen it grow so I feel like I’m giving back to the club for helping me follow my dreams in basketball. I also enjoy helping getting more young people into sports and encouraging them to make friends.

Lastly, who is your female sporting remodel & why? 

My female role model would have to be my Glasgow Fever coach Rachel. She has helped me to improve my game by giving me advice, helping me to achieve my goals and it also helps to watch her play. She is a physiotherapist and that is what I aspire to be, as well as an amazing basketball player just like her. My other female role model is also Nicola Adams. She has inspired me that you can come from a completely normal background and if you work extremely hard you can achieve your goal.

Abbie with coach Josh and Rocks Community Club participants

Abbie with coach Josh and Rocks Community Club participants