This innovative youth-led programme provides young people with the opportunity to work together as a creative team, to assess the needs of their community, identify an issue that they care deeply about and to design and deliver a project that will address this issue. It builds the confidence, emotional health, employment and life skills of young people, helping them to reach their full potential.
The young people research community need, plan the project and budget, use communication skills, and reach out to Third Sector partners specialised in their project topic. Two skilled facilitators run each 16-week programme, twice a year, outside of classroom time.
More than 90% of young people believe that they have learnt valuable ‘life skills’, as a result of participating in this programme.
Launched in January 2019, this programme builds on our nursery-based Growing2gether mentoring programme. It was developed because Growing2gether graduates told us that they wanted a follow-on programme, so they could continue giving back to the community in other ways.
I decided to do the project again as I thoroughly enjoyed the last project and it gave me a sense of fulfilment as well as the opportunity to make friends, new and old. I would wholeheartedly recommend the programme.
Joshua Williamson, aged 15, Charleston Academy.
To date, young people have delivered seven Growing2gether Community projects on topics such as: mental health, teenage pregnancy, homelessness, domestic abuse, self-harming and drugs. These initiatives have reached 14,000 people in the community.
Bags with positive affirmations addressing mental health issues, produced by programme participants in collaboration with mental health charity, Birchwood Highland:
A book with stories, poetry and illustrations addressing self harm and support for change - collected, written and illustrated by participants:
A mural was designed and painted by participants to highlight mental health issues:
A film about teenage pregnancy was made by a group, which was presented at the Highland Youth Parliament.
“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.” Kelly, participant in this project.
More about the Programme
Growing2gether Community has many positive impacts:
- On the young participants’ mental health in terms of reducing anxiety and depression.
- In how they are perceived in the wider community.
- Other young people benefit from the spread of positive messages via local newspapers, social media, charity websites and schools.
- Relationship building with Third Sector organisations like the Wave and Mikey’s Line.
All of the above builds a sense of connectedness and respect within the communities.