We are delighted to announce that we’ve received two years of funding from the Young Start Fund delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. This funding (£25,400 in Year One & £20,400 in Year Two) will go towards supporting our Youth Participation Manager post which is key to delivering our Youth Participation Programme.
Our Youth Participation Programme has been hugely popular consulting with over 600 Armed Forces children and young people across Scotland supporting them to share their experiences about military life and empowering them to enact positive changes in, and for their own communities. The Programme now has 7 local advisory groups across Scotland and a National Youth Participation Forum which takes representatives from our local groups and works to deliver a national action plan on a number of issues important to our young people.
Armed Forces children can face a range of issues which they tell us can be barriers to them reaching their full potential in their education and in life. By Secondary School they are on average their fifth or sixth school often across different countries and curriculums. Young people tell us that they struggle with making friends, coping with new school systems and examinations and dealing with parental deployments all of which have a significant impact on their confidence, wellbeing and ability to progress in school.
Since the groups have been established we have seen significant improvements in the confidence and happiness of some of the young people that we support. A Community Development Worker has said “One of the children engaged in the Programme had been isolated from her peers and unaware of the activities available to her by her local welfare service. Following the residential she has already had a sleepover with a friend she has made on the residential and has attended holiday activities. It’s been amazing for her.”
Colin Flinn, Chief Executive from the Royal Caledonian Education Trust says “We are hugely grateful to Young Start for supporting our highly successful Youth Participation Programme. We believe wholeheartedly that listening to the views of Armed Forces children, and empowering them to improve the experiences of future generations of their own community is the best way to deliver real long-term change that will help all Armed Forces children to reach their full potential. We are most grateful to Young Start for joining us on that journey.”