We had a great start to last weekend at Youth Scotland with a Trustee and Staff virtual strategy day. Who would have thought a year ago that we would have been doing that? Definitely not us. It isn’t the youth work way - where are the ice breakers that require you to move round the room and get to know folk? What about the regular tea breaks and the chat about the things you have discovered about your colleagues as you get to know them a little bit better with some time out of the office. I miss all of that.
But our event at the weekend was still good and really productive. It was a time for us to continue to build those staff and trustee relationships which are so important for an organisation to thrive. It was time to take stock, reflect and plan ahead. What had we learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic? What different things had we tried that worked and didn’t work? What do we want to keep going forward with and what do we now leave behind?
We know that local youth work makes a huge difference to young people, it is based on relationships, it improves health and well-being, educational attainment and employability and we think it can be part of Scotland's social renewal programme with young people. Dona Milne
A few years ago Youth Scotland refocused its efforts on community-based youth work, increasing support for our members. We increased our training offer for staff and volunteers, enhanced our leadership support for young people and subsequently widened the opportunities available through our youth work awards. These form the four pillars of our strategy for 2020-23. But all our work is about supporting local youth work provision to ensure it can be the best it can to enable young people to achieve their potential.
We know that local youth work makes a huge difference to young people, it is based on relationships, it improves health and well-being, educational attainment and employability and we think it can be part of Scotland's social renewal programme with young people. Our vision is that Scotland values community-based youth work and its impact on young people’s lives. Not for Youth Scotland’s benefit, but for young people’s benefit because we know the difference it can make.
I am pleased to say that Youth Scotland is in a good place. Our funders and supporters have stood by us during the pandemic and we are really grateful for that. Our staff have been creative and found new ways of working. It has enabled us to continue our support for local youth work. We plan to use this position of strength to continue that support.
We have heard a clear message from young people, which is that virtual youth work is ok, but they are desperate to get back to face to face youth work and so are our members. Youth work has responded quickly to the different phases of the pandemic and it will be ready for the next phase too. Youth Scotland will continue to provide whatever support is needed to our members so that they can do what they do best: help young people in Scotland achieve their full potential.
Chair, Youth Scotland
You can read more about how Youth Scotland's Strategy 2020-23 Changing Lives Through Community-Based Youth Work, supports local youth workers and groups on this page