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Kirsteen Fast Tracks Support in New Board Role

Kirsteen Sawers has been appointed a non-executive director of Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) and in her first week has signed up to take part in Pedal for Scotland on the 8th of September, a 45 mile cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

A Director with Barclays based in Glasgow, Kirsteen is passionate about the impact sport can have on building confidence amongst young people and was instrumental in setting up an award winning netball club in Bishopbriggs, having taken up the sport herself.

Kirsteen will be taking part in the cycling event alongside SSF’s CEO, Kirsty McNab, whom she met at a Buggy Bootcamp following the birth of their children seven years ago.

She said, “I haven’t owned a bike since I was 13 so taking this on is going to be a big challenge!

“When I was at school my PE teacher was a great role model to me and gave me the confidence to realise that I could go to university and have a successful career.  I’ve never forgotten that and through Kirsty, I’ve admired the work SSF have been doing all over Scotland for some time now to help vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.  If I can reach out to any young people the way my PE teacher did to me then I will be delighted.

“Life is tough for these young people for lots of reasons and sport is a great way of creating a community and providing an opportunity to engage and help.  I’m really looking forward to contributing to the Board and helping to shaping the charity’s valuable work.”

Welcoming Kirsteen to the Board, Kirsty McNab, CEO added, “Kirsteen will be a great ambassador for the charity and has been quick to roll her sleeves up and get involved.   She has an impeccable skills set which will be of tremendous value to our work and I’m delighted she’s on board.”

Local young people create safe Friday night activity

A group of brilliant local young volunteers have worked together to re-launch a community basketball session in Benarty to ensure that other young people can benefit from the initiative in the same way that they did themselves.

The volunteers led by Ewan Mcturk gained support from local councillor Mary Lockhart to secure a new venue and have planned a fundraising disco later this year. Ewan commented:

“There are lots of young people walking around the streets without anything to do so I wanted to provide them with a safe, social environment where they can have fun and play basketball”

The group of volunteers receive training and support from Scottish Sports Futures, a charity focussed on using sport as a tool to change lives. They have put learning into practice in re-launching the session which initially started at Lochgelly High School in 2013. These awesome young people really want to make a positive difference in their community so have taken on all leadership aspects of this project from coaching at the sessions to marketing to get kids off the streets.

Shell Twilight Basketball sessions are designed to provide fun and engaging sports activity for young people aged 11 to 21 years and to give them access to a positive experience at times which can see higher levels of anti-social behaviour. The new sessions are free and will operate every Friday night from 6.30pm to 9pm for both males and females at the Benarty Centre in Ballingry.

Shell Twilight Basketball is supported by title sponsors Shell and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities fund, which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland.

The national diversionary programme, sponsored by Shell UK Ltd, aims to ensure young people have a safe place to take part in physical activity, make friends and learn a range of skills. The sessions also address a range of issues through interactive workshops such as mental health and wellbeing. Training opportunities are also available to support young people to achieve their full potential.

Shell UK Ltd.’s Communications & Social Performance Advisor, John Raine commented on the initiative: “Shell Twilight Basketball is an exciting initiative that is making a real contribution to social inclusion by giving young people the opportunity to make a number of positive choices for their futures while having fun and learning vital skills.

“Shell support communities near to our UK operations in a number of ways, through activities that meet community needs or address particular issues, often based on

their suggestions. Our contribution to communities ranges from providing grants to local charities to supporting projects that help reduce crime in the area.”

 

For more information visit http://scottishsportsfutures.org.uk/ Shell Twilight Basketball on Facebook or contact stephanie@ssf.org.uk

The Great Get Together

The Great Get Together weekend took place on 19 – 21 June 2019, which would have been Jo Cox’s 46th birthday. This was the fourth time that thousands of people up and down the country have got together to celebrate kindness, community, respect and the values we share. The Great Get Together is inspired by Jo Cox, who was killed on 16 June 2016. 

Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) wanted to take part in The Great Get Together to bring both Shell Twilight Girls sessions together on one night to highlight the importance of coming together as a community although they are all from different backgrounds. The girls from the Govan session can be quite isolated as many are from BAME communities where parents can be reluctant for them to be involved in wider community activities. We have worked hard to ensure parents and young people see Twilight as a safe, inclusive place where they can come to on a Friday night.  The girls from the Wellhouse session suffer from territorialism and young people do not often venture into new communities or areas so have limited chances to meet young people from diverse backgrounds.

SSF’s Great Get Together event was held at Glasgow Drumoyne Sports Club so we provided transport to allow the girls from Easterhouse to come over to Govan.  We also invited parents of the girls to come along as well as inviting local schools and other sports clubs in the surrounding area.

As part of the event our SSF Wellbeing Ambassadors who are part of our Spirit ‘Changing Lives Through Sport’  delivered an educational workshop around mental health & wellbeing. The focus was on the importance of social connections, bringing a group of young people together and the benefits that reaching out to those within your community can have on your mental health. The workshops also looked at celebrating happiness within girls and empowering woman to come together to support each other through kindness and respecting each other. This was brought to life using a piece of wool within the workshop showing the girls we all have things in common and we are all connected in one way or another.

On the night we had 20 young girls participate in The Great Get Together event. One the young girls was asked her thoughts on the educational workshops and expressed:

“It was so lovely to hear someone say something nice about me who just met me 20 minutes ago”

After the workshops both of the girl’s sessions were mixed into two different teams to allow them to play some basketball. Although the girls all come from a range of different backgrounds, they all love being physical activity and that was clear to see from the basketball game. One of the coaches said:

“It’s amazing that an hour ago none of these girls were talking to each other and now they are giving each other high fives and hugs when playing in the same team, it just goes to show the power of sport”

Once the girls had played basketball we provided food and soft drinks for the young girls, this was the highlight of the event as by this stage it was as if the girls had known each other for years. They were sitting eating and mixing with each other as a community, it was lovely to watch and reflect on.

As the event came to an end, the girls tool away t-shirts and goodie bags containing reminders of the important messages from the event about the benefits of coming together as a community. As the girls were departing there was a request for a follow up event:

“Can we get they girls to come down our area to play”

This put a huge smile on everyone’s face as it showed what a good connection the girls had between each other and the true benefit of bringing a community together from different backgrounds and the happiness and respect that a communities can gain from coming together.

On the night we had 20 young girls participate in The Great Get Together event. One the young girls was asked her thoughts on the educational workshops and she expressed;

“It was so lovely to hear someone say something nice about me who just met me 20 minutes ago”

After the workshops both of the girl’s sessions were integrated/mixed into two different teams to allow them to play some basketball. Although the girls all come from a range of different backgrounds, they all love being physical activity and that was clear to see from the basketball game. One of the coaches said;

“It’s amazing that an hour ago none of these girls were talking to each other and now they are giving each other high fives and hugs when playing in the same team, it just goes to show the power of sport”

Once the girls had played basketball we provided food and soft drinks for the young girls, this was the highlight of the event as by this stage it was as if the girls had known each other for years. They were sitting eating and mixing with each other as a community, it was lovely to watch and reflect on.

As the event came to an end, we handed out t-shirts and goodie bags for the girls as a memento of the evening, within these goodie bags were reminders of the important messages the girls gained through this event about the benefits of coming together as a community. As the girls were departing to go home the best quote of the night was a young girl saying to her coach;

“Can we get they girls to come down our area to play”

This put a huge smile on everyone’s face as it showed what a good connection the girls had between each other and the true benefit of bringing a community together from different backgrounds and the happiness and respect that a community can gain from coming together.

New basketball initiative in Fraserburgh to divert youngsters from anti social behaviour

An exciting new initiative at Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre is designed to provide fun and engaging sports activity for young people in the town aged 11 to 21 years and to give them access to a positive experience at times which can see higher levels of anti-social behaviour in the town.

Shell Twilight Basketball sessions are free and will operate every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm for both males and females. Trial sessions will be offered from 12 July to the end of the holidays when it is intended to launch the full programme.

The sessions are being run with Scottish Sports Futures who have benefitted from a partnership with Shell UK Ltd since 2010.  Shell Twilight Basketball is supported by title sponsors Shell and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities, which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland.

The national diversionary programme, sponsored by Shell UK Ltd, runs in areas of deprivation and aims to ensure young people have a safe place to take part in physical activity, make friends and learn a range of skills. The sessions also address a range of issues through interactive workshops such as mental health and wellbeing. Training opportunities are also available to support young people to achieve their full potential.

Scottish Sports Futures Manager Sean Brady said. “Our aim is to embed sessions in communities and ensure there is a legacy of local staff and young people to deliver the programme beyond our initial investment”.

Shell UK Ltd.’s Communications & Social Performance Advisor, John Raine commented on the initiative:
Shell Twilight Basketball is an exciting initiative that is making a real contribution to social inclusion by giving young people the opportunity to make a number of positive choices for their futures while having fun and learning vital skills.

“Shell support communities near to our UK operations in a number of ways, through activities that meet community needs or address particular issues, often based on their suggestions. Our contribution to communities ranges from providing grants to local charities to supporting projects that help reduce crime in the area.”

Cllr Anne Stirling, Chair of the Communities Committee, said “I am delighted that SSF and Shell are helping bring Shell Twilight Basketball to Fraserburgh.  It is a priority for Aberdeenshire Council to invest in young people and improve the lives of those in our communities. This project helps to achieve that by providing healthy physical activity, support, training and positive role models”.

Chair of the Sub Committee David Cook added “Basketball is a very inclusive sport and one which is already very popular in Aberdeenshire.  With the Shell Twilight Basketball we hope to introduce a new audience to the sport who will really benefit from the inclusive, supportive and most of all fun, environment it offers”.

The free sessions will be run by staff who are experienced in both basketball and youth work.  There will be opportunities for the young people taking part to meet sporting heroes from the professional Glasgow Rocks Basketball team and even to visit them for big games.

For more information visit Shell Twilight Basketball on Facebook or contact the Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre.

Join SSF as a Youth Director

We are looking for a young trustee (aged 18 – 25) to join our board of directors. Youth Director Role SSF 2019

We are proud of being a youth led charity and are especially proud and delighted to be advertising this role during volunteer week 2019.

At SSF, our mission is A world where young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and we very much look forward to having a young person joining our amazing trustees to set and guide our strategic direction. 

We use the power of sport and physical activity to engage with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Scotland and empower them be confident, healthy and happy.

We do this using our proven and recognised Sport for Change model and its range of person-centred, youth-led programmes that provide positive experiences, inspiring role models, engaging social education, training, and youth volunteering opportunities. As a result, we seek to encourage a positive change in young people’s attitudes and behaviour that enables them to recognise and fulfil their potential, and to make a valuable contribution to their peers and their community.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to our CEO kirsty@ssf.org.uk by Friday 14th June. 

Mental Health Initiative Tackles Cyber Bullying

By Alan Hendry, Jump2it Schools Education and Development Coordinator

 

For the last year Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) have developed a young person led Mental Health Steering Group. This steering group which is led by Scottish Sports Futures’ Wellbeing Ambassadors is focused on developing peer to peer training around raising awareness and sharing knowledge on a variety of mental health issues facing young people from various communities across Scotland. The main aims of the SSF Wellbeing Steering Group has been to improve knowledge and understanding of mental health, tackle the stigmas attached, improve young people’s confidence and promote the positive benefits which being physically active can have on mental wellbeing.

In the coming three months the Jump2it programme will be working with SSF’s Wellbeing ambassadors to develop educational content for primary school children focused around raising awareness of mental health issues and changing young people’s preconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health.

Following on from consultation with teachers and pupils from various schools participating in the Jump2it programme this year, educational content around mental health seems to be placed very highly on the school’s agendas and is considered to be very much relevant to their pupils. This subject has also been closely tied to social media and the use of online platforms. In addition, there has been a need identified by teaching professionals around raising awareness of online safety within young people.

Through consultation with teachers and young people alike, it has become evident that these two subjects go hand in hand, with the rise of social media use clearly impacting upon the mental health of young people. Social media has increased the prevalence of cyber bullying ten-fold and with young people’s social lives increasingly moving online, this can lead to many damaging effects around mental health.

Never before has the use of social media and online platforms been so ingrained into the lives of young people in today’s society. Only now, 15 years after the launch of social media platforms back in 2004 are we beginning to see how the use of this technology is negatively impacting on the mental wellbeing of young people within our communities. It is now time to take action and raise awareness of this issue with young people within schools and wider communities.

Through the Jump2it programme our aim is to use positive sporting role models to communicate to young people the negative impacts and risks associated with the use of social media and online platforms. Alongside this educational material developed by SSF’s Wellbeing Ambassadors will also be used to enable the Glasgow Rocks players to confidently speak to children about mental health, what this is, the stigmas attached to it and how we can best support each other to look after our mental wellbeing.

 

For more information on our Jump2it Schools Programme contact Alan Hendry – alan@ssf.org.uk 

ETC Tutor Training 2019

1st & 2nd July 2019

10am – 5pm both days

Perth

Who is the training for?

Experienced tutors and trainers who use sport as a tool to engage young people and deliver training as part of their role. Active Schools, Sports Development, Youth Services, governing bodies, etc.

 

What will participants be able to deliver?

Following completion of the tutor training, participants will be able to deliver ETC courses to fellow staff, volunteers, and young leaders who deliver sport and physical activity to young people. The 6 ETC modules you will be able to deliver are SCQF-accredited at levels 4 and 5, and the tutor training will cover all aspects of SCQF delivery. The content of the 6 modules is designed to be flexible, and those completing the tutor training are free to adapt content to suit the needs of the groups they will deliver to. The six modules you will be able to deliver are:

  • Working with Young People in Sport – an introduction to understanding young people and the role of the coach
  • The Human Connection – developing awareness of the importance of building relationships and the ‘human connection’ as part of effective coaching
  • Planning Effective Physical Activity Programmes – utilising Kolb’s learning cycle to explore the benefits that can be delivered through sport and physical activity
  • Communication – building understanding around the use of communication in sport and its applications beyond
  • Goal Setting – building understanding around the process of setting goals in sports and how these skills can be transferred into everyday life
  • Conflict Resolution – providing coaches with practical tools for dealing with conflict, aggression and challenging behaviour in a sports setting

We are also able to offer follow up training for those that wish to deliver Dynamic Youth Awards in a sports setting, or our Standard Life – Step Up in Life employability and CV writing focussed module.

For more information on SCQF accredited modules click HERE

 

Course Costs

The cost of the Tutor Training is £300, to cover two full days of training, plus aftercare and support from Scottish Sports Futures.

Subsequently, when participants deliver an ETC module, there will be a cost of £10 per learner, to cover the cost of resources and SCQF-accreditation. Fee waivers and subsidies are available for some learners, including those who are experiencing disadvantage or living in areas of deprivation. This is subject to availability, and determined by our funders; please discuss with the ETC team for more information.

 

Download your application form HERE

For more information contact Martyn Horsfield, ETC Programme Manager – martyn@ssf.org.uk

 

Education Through CashBack (ETC) is a national programme which develops the knowledge and skills of our volunteers, sports coaches and youth workers through sporting activity.

 

 

SSF Wellbeing Ambassadors on Body Image

SSF Wellbeing Ambassadors talk about Body Image for Mental Health Awareness Week

Everyone has a body image. Everyone has mental health. Having body image concerns is a very common thing but it doesn’t necessarily mean our mental health will be affected by it. So, what can we do when it does affect our mental health?

Our Wellbeing Ambassadors told us what they thought were the key issues that cause body image concerns

  • “Social Media. We see pictures of girls and boys with amazing bodies and with that comes pressure. Pressure to look the same and it’s just not real. We need to stop comparing ourselves to who we see on Instagram and on TV, it kinda makes us forget what normal is.”
  • “Trying to fit in and not be seen is very hard. Some people think that everyone is staring at them and judging them because of the way they look when actually it doesn’t matter what they think”
  • “Some people might have health conditions which affect their body shape”

What can we do?

More needs to be done on promoting a positive body image and supporting good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies.

  • Filter or ‘clean up’ our social media content (unfollow pages which encourage us to compare)
  • Be more aware of how to take care of ourselves in relation to body image.
  • Find joy in exercise/movement. It’s proven that physical activity can make you feel better!
  • Educate other young people on eating disorders and offer support
  • I don’t think people fully understand, especially younger people what body image is and how it affects your mental health. There should be more conversations around it in school/youth clubs to make sure everyone fully understands the affects it can have.

https://www.samh.org.uk/find-help (Providing mental health support in communities across Scotland)

An Ambassador’s Mental Health Journey

 By Declan Macdougall, Shell Twilight Basketball Ambassador, SSF Wellbeing Ambassador

 

Tell us a bit about your mental health journey…

I suffer from anxiety and random panic attacks that vary in severity. When I started Twilight, I suffered quite badly from these but didn’t really make it known and I bottled it up and this resulted in me not being able to control my emotions very well. I would show up to Twilight with my headphones on and not really try to connect or interact with people, I would take fouls personal and I tended to storm out a lot. The Twilight staff realised this was becoming a bit of an issue. They worked with me and spoke about different ways of being able to control my emotions better which helped a little but not much on a personal level. Then the ambassador program was brought up and I was instantly up for it, the idea of being able to spread my knowledge and love for basketball but I did have my doubts because I’m not very good at communicating with people I don’t know. Coming up to the ambassador residential I worked closer with the Twilight staff and managed to distill my fears and anxieties about the residential. I was a bit nervous as first but as the first night went by and everyone laughing and enjoying themselves I slowly came out my shell and the ambassador weekend opened me up, I didn’t feel scared or not included. From then on, I Have been able to be more out going and confident in my actions, to the point that I even got myself a college placement. I still suffer from anxiety and my panic attacks but now I am able to control them better and slow things down.

 

What impact do you think physical activity has on improving mental health and well-being and why?

I Think sport has a huge impact on mental health, even just the interaction between athlete and coach can be amazing for them. Some may only get out the house very often and going out to play a sport may be the only social interaction they get that day. I know from experience from many times I haven’t wanted to speak to anyone that even just interaction with teammates and coaches can make a world of difference. In that regard I feel that physical activity can do wonders for your mental health and well-being.

 

What do you think are the key factors facing young people relating to mental health and wellbeing?

Being aware that everyone’s issues are different. A method you use to help someone might not help others and it’s important to try to help the young person in the way they feel most comfortable.  It requires patience, there isn’t a quick fix when it comes to mental health, people are going to have good days and going to have bad days and you need to support them.

 

What are the things that you do that help improve your mental health and well-being?

When I am having an off day and I really don’t want to communicate with people I usually turn to basketball because everything about it is natural and makes me feel at home. If I’m having issues I sometimes will put headphones on and listen to music and write in a journal I have, sometimes I write about my problems and sometimes I write stories. I spend time with family or friends and try enjoy their company as much as possible. I spend time self reflecting and thinking about how I can slow down for when I am overthinking

 

What would you say has had the biggest influence on your mental health and well-being?

Basketball being one of the biggest influences in most aspects of my life has affected my mental health and well being. It has always been my escape from a bad day or if my anxiety has been bad lately, I can always find a safe place in a basketball court. There’s something about the pound of the ball against the hardwood that is oddly calming. Going to college has had a huge impact. I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things for myself and travelling five hours a day gives me a lot of time to self reflect.

 

What more do you think can be done to highlight the benefit of sport and physical activity to mental health and well-being?

Do more workshops on emphasising talking about your mental health, like making it a more common thing to do and reduce the stigma around talking about mental health. Get more young people to do the workshops to show that these things aren’t just an adult thing. I feel like it’s something that needs to be talked about in schools more so that people have more opportunities to speak to someone or to recognise where they may need help with things. I feel that we really need to do everything we can to reduce the stigma of talking about our mental health.

 

For more information on either of our ambassador programmes contact Ross Hutton – ross@ssf.org.uk

Active Champs Mingle for Mental Health

 

By Alistair Neil, Active East Youth Development Coordinator

 

Mental health problems in Scotland is an ever-growing issue and recent reports show an increase in numbers of young people suffering from mental health problems and decreased mental wellbeing. This is in addition to an increase in referrals to specialist mental health services. Sport has been proven to positively affect mental wellbeing and at Scottish Sports Futures we use sport as our tool to engage with young people all across Scotland.

At Active East we hold a Monthly Mingle for Active Champions to attend where they can catch-up, chat about their volunteering and hear about new upcoming opportunities. Each mingle is themed around the Sport Scotland monthly themes and this month is Mental Health. Mingles are hosted by Mentors who design the content of the evening.

This month we have Chanelle and Precious hosting. The pair were in the office with us this week to design the Mental Health Mingle, which will allow the Active Champions to speak freely about mental health, discuss how they can support other people to improve their mental health, and also how they can take care of their own mental health. Chanelle and Precious are both part of our SSF Wellbeing Ambassador programme which is run in partnership with SAMH.

Allowing young people to talk about mental health and be open about how they are feeling is very important to us. We always encourage anyone who might be feeling anxious or depressed, or even just having a bad to speak about it to someone they trust and can confide in.

Mentors Chanelle and Precious plan the Mental Health Mingle in the SSF office

Mentors Chanelle and Precious in the SSF office