Highland Youth Social Action Groups Ignite Change with Inspiring Projects

Gavin Morgan introducing the YSA

After 18 weeks of hard work, the groups from Inverness, Alness, and Tain proudly unveiled their incredible Youth Social Action projects at Eden Court, Inverness. Families, teachers, and other guests gathered for an evening event filled with lived experience, creativity, community spirit, and meaningful impact.

Young people welcoming the guests
YSA standing in a circle outside Eden Court

Self Care Soothe boxes

Young people smiling with thier soothe boxes

Inverness High School, Millburn Academy and Tain Academy worked together to  develop their project on Self Care through the creation of individualised soothe boxes. The personalised boxes were created for positive mental health, supporting the reduction of anxiety and panic. 

Each box was unique and individual; the young people shared various sensory items, such as something to smell, touch, look at, and taste. This helped members of the group to  feel grounded and relaxed.  Self soothe boxes can be a useful coping mechanism for anyone of any age and can be used in any situation. 

One participant explained, "It's like making a first-aid kit for your mental health. Having everything in one place means that when I don't feel great, I can go straight to my self-soothe box."

Young person talking about thier experience
Individualised self soothe boxes
Young person talking about thier experience

Young people from Alness created three powerful short films addressing Community Violence. The young people were involved in the direction, development and production of these projects. Their youth led focus and strength of voice was paramount to the overall production. The films included shadow puppetry and manga animation, making them both emotive and visually stunning, allowing the young people’s creativity to shine. The ‘Manga’ animation was created by one of the young people specifically for this project; both themes told  the story of traumatic experiences endured by the young people.

One group from the Highlands chose the difficult topic of bullying, reflecting both community and school experience. Their video represented true experiences of the group and was a deeply challenging process for them to work through. The video demonstrated the harsh realities of bullying that today's youth experience. The group chose to remain anonymous in both videos (by altering their voices) as well as their group location - due to their concerns of repercussions  being identified.

It was heartwarming to hear the young people share their personal developments, and wider experiences throughout the evening. Their strong sense of belonging and increased self esteem has been a catalyst for change. The night culminated in the participants receiving Certificates of Achievement for completing the 18-week Youth Social Action Project as part of the Growing2gether Community Programme.

Positive community action, new friendships, and another success for Growing2gether!

Youth social action group with certificates

Thank you to our facilitators Dawn, Marit, Craig and Jill, who have held these groups so skillfully over the last four plus months and to everyone who made this event possible.

Thanks to Eden Court for hosting and the funding from the Scottish Government.

Scottish government logo and eden court