Making a positive difference to young people’s lives and creating strong partnerships with the community is close to our hearts. Their endorsements are of the utmost importance, and increase our passion to reach further and help more...
What our young people say...
"I liked everything about this amazing project. From working with the children, to my peer group."
“I am so thankful I chose to do Growing2gether and that there was an opportunity like this. I know the others felt the same. We were treated with respect. Wish I could do it again.”
“Growing2gether gave me a lot of confidence and I can now speak to people better. It was nice to see my child grow - she really brought me on. For example, when I was reading a story, I thought that everyone was judging me, but actually they were just interested in what I had to say. Feedback about what I was doing and the thought of empathy really helped me. I realised it was not about myself, but about other people as well.”
I finally feel like I am ok as a person, I always thought everyone else was better than me, but being in this group has helped me to try different things.
“I don’t like talking about it, but my mum is an alcoholic … my dad too. I love them, but they could not look after me properly. A child needs to be given food and have a normal life. I live with a foster carer now.”
“Growing2gether gave me confidence and made me know for sure that I want to work in a nursery when I am older. I know I will have to work hard at school now if I want to get there. I am so thankful that I chose to do this course and that there was an opportunity like this. I know the others felt the same way. We were treated with respect and all the staff were friendly. Wish I could do it again.”
“In the group, we have been listening to each other. The facilitators do not judge us ... they listen too. I didn't think I was going to like it as much as I do. We don't want it to end.”
“Everyone on Growing2gether has become my second family to me, they have taught me a lot about myself. I have loved every second of it.”
"I love coming... it's my best day in the whole week 'cos I know that what I am doing is positive and the child I am working with runs up to me smiling when I arrive. I feel I am making a difference.”
“It has been so much fun here at nursery with the little ones. I have learned so much and it has been a blast.”
Overall, I feel as if I have grown as a person and I have gotten more confident...Thinking back over the last 14 weeks feels incredible
“I didn’t think I’d be very good, I thought I’ll do it and get the work experience, but this was wrong.”
“Some Thursdays I wouldn’t really be in a good mood but walking into the nursery put a smile on my face.”
“I hope everyone is as proud of me as I am of myself.”
“As the weeks went on my confidence kept on growing and I realised that being in the nursery would be the highlight of my week, every week.”
“It helps socially and with education if you’re not attending school. A good experience if you are struggling in the system.”
“My mum had two teen pregnancies and was a mum of two by the age of 17. I’m a lot closer to my mum because of this project as I now know what she went through. I’ve become more confident in myself and I enjoy working in groups.”
“The most challenging thing about being in Growing2gether was getting out of my comfort zone and working which was really hard for me at the start. The thing I most enjoyed was working with the children because I got to find out a bit more about them and I could understand how some of them were feeling.”
“I was a bit hesitant and nervous when I first came to G2G, but after a few weeks I was more relaxed and more involved. I enjoyed when the child was able to learn something new. It was bit challenging to create a bond with my buddy.”
“You won’t regret coming because it is really fun and good for college and for confidence and experience.”
“Growing2gether has given me more self-confidence and am also more experienced in working with young children. I have also enjoyed working with the staff at the nursery.”
“When I might have been feeling down or sad, I would remember all the little children I am going to see on that day.”
“Growing2gether has given me a lot of things, not just mentally but physically as well, like how to handle a situation.”
“I have grown a good bond with the child I was asked to work with.”
I was shy and nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed being with the children. It was challenging to find my place at the nursery. I just knew that I had committed to something and I enjoy being around the small children.
“I would say to someone who is considering starting Growing2gether, “Go for it. It’s a good experience.”
“There were good and bad times and I learnt a lot from the kids and I like to think they learnt a lot from me too. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would.”
“At the end I was happy and proud that I got the chance to take part in the programme. I’ve met some very nice and caring people. It made me think about working with kids in the future.”
“I felt honoured to help. I felt really useful.”
“Mentoring was going to be a challenge at the start but as I got into it I learned it was worth it.”
“It’s been fun even though there have been ups and downs.”
“My biggest challenge was having to say goodbye to them.”
“What I liked most is that the nursery staff trusted and respected us enough to leave us with the children.”
“When I first went, it wasn’t what I expected and I thought it was boring. I loved playing with the kids, bonding with them. I forgot all the bad things in my head.”
“I am really thankful I got this chance to be in Growing2gether, because I’ve learned more and It’s made me look differently at some people. And I would recommend it to my friends.”
“At the start I wasn’t happy about the paperwork but….so much fun. I became more involved with the group work at my pace and if I wasn’t feeling great, the facilitators and the group understood and didn’t make me do anything I felt uncomfortable about.”
I am tired, definitely, but a good kind of tired where I am happy and satisfied with what I have achieved. These are memories I will never forget.
What our parents say...
"We feel happy to see he is doing something he enjoys. His confidence has grown a lot while taking part in Growing2ether."
"Growing2gether has given her an idea of future work ideas."
“He has more patience for his younger brothers and helps me with the responsibilities when I need it.”
“This has made him aware of opportunities in the true working world.”
“She was determined to be there every Friday. Very proud of her.”
My daughter enjoyed this programme very much and I was pleased to see her look forward to the sessions.
What our partners say...
“We have been supporting Growing2gether as an excellent programme that has a proven track record in supporting vulnerable pupils. While it has a key focus on the older pupils (generally S3 or S4), the programme is also very supportive of the younger pupils (generally N4).
The interventions provided by the facilitators enhances the skills and levels of empathy demonstrated by the older pupils, who in turn provide interventions in the form of attuned relationships with the younger children. This approach is designed to benefit both groups.”
“Growing2gether supports community inclusion and builds resilient communities. Young people at risk of no positive destination volunteer in their local community, gain valuable work experience and life skills, offering pathways for social/community engagement. It is a programme we are supporting to roll out wider across Highland.”
Bernadette Cairns, Principal Educational Psychologist, Highland Council.
The children’s self-confidence has increased by being mentored. They build positive bonds with the young people and our more vulnerable children gain much-needed one-to-one time.
Head Teacher, Dalneigh Primary.
“Our pupils have chosen to focus on mental health for their In the Community Project. This has involved a google survey sent out to pupils about what makes them happy and sad. The pupils in the project have decided to paint a wall within the school grounds, highlighting what makes their peers happy and sad. I’m fully behind this project as it focuses on mental health; one of the most pressing concerns of young people. On a broader level, it has encouraged the pupils to be more involved in community issues and developed their creativity at the same time. I’ve noticed that the pupils involved in this project have become more confident and it’s increased their awareness of community issues.”
Head Teacher at Charleston Academy
“Growing2gether is unique in the way that it develops skills, encourages participation and grows self-respect and responsibility in our young people. The opportunity for our pupils to develop a close relationship with a younger child is really an eye-opener. They learn what it is to be respected and, from that, follow the importance of resilience and reliability. The benefits for our pupils are huge – not just in terms of the importance placed on their work in the classroom, but in the development of essential skills, including attendance and punctuality, that they will need for their future life and work.”
John Rutter, Head Teacher, Inverness High School.
“Growing2gether provides opportunities for young people, particularly those struggling with self-confidence leading to under-achievement, to develop key skills. It is impressive how their sense of responsibility has been enhanced. Recognising that they have achieved a qualification spurs them on to achieving more.”
Mark Evans, Head Teacher, Golspie High School.
“We have been very pleased with the results of Growing2gether in school. Pupils who may have otherwise not engaged have really connected with the programme and talk with knowledge and enthusiasm about their involvement. I have no doubt that the programme is having a positive impact on other areas of their lives.”
Head Teacher, Dingwall Academy
"The programme is very successful at our school, we see positive changes in the young people who are participating, especially with the school 'non-attenders' and we notice a warm positive dynamic, with the young people looking out for one another."
Head Teacher, Charleston Academy.
“It’s a win-win situation for the children and the teens.”
“The young people are more engaged and show more initiative than some of the students we get on placement.”
"We can see that the children benefit from this 1-on-1 time. The young people are really staying focused with the children and support them well. They show initiative and also, really importantly, understand that the children need to do things for themselves."
Nursery Teacher, Cauldeen Primary School
“I have learnt so much. These are not teenagers I would normally have chosen to engage with, and they have been absolutely fantastic.”
“A positive development regarding speech in the quieter children, and our children grew in confidence with the young people.”
Most of the young people threw themselves into the nursery environment and showed great interaction with the children.
What our Trainee Facilitators say...
“Thus far it has really been a wonderful exploration of the psychology of young people. Look forward to the next training day.”
“I feel like the whole programme is a breath of fresh air.”
“This course is progressive, positive, energising - allowing adults to connect with adolescents to support their potential rather than getting in their way.”
Growing2gether’s Director for Scotland, Diana Whitmore and Director of Fundraising, Elaine Bennett at the Scottish Charity Awards 2019
Growing2gether’s Programme Manager, Marjie Beach and Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish Charity Awards 2019