From its base, the Hub drop-in centre on Airlie Street in Alyth, its team of staff and volunteers run clubs and projects all over the town. The Hub is open to local secondary-aged children and young people for drop-in sessions four nights a week, and it also runs homework sessions one night a week for S1 and S2 pupils, a guitar group and a drama group.
In addition, AYP provides volunteering opportunities, holiday-time trips and individual support for young people to build confidence and skills. Around 80 young people living in this rurally isolated town use the project.
Towards the core delivery costs of £20,000 per annum to help cover youth worker salaries, running costs of the Hub, and project activities.
What’s happened so far with this project?
The Hub drop-in centre has been a great success, providing a central location in the town for young people to come in and feel safe, welcome and to get involved in their community. We have supported them with college and job applications, run a residential trip focusing on employability, and encouraged them to volunteer in projects in the town and beyond. Over the summer, we ran trips all over Scotland in our new minibus, continued support for young people making the transition from school in to work or further education, and we have just started delivering 16+ Activity Agreements with those young people in the NEET category.
And what's still to come?
Four young people who have been active with AYP over the past year have stopped considering themselves participants and have instead become young leaders. They shadow the youth workers and organise activities for the younger groups, and will engage in youth worker training. We have formalised our partnership with two other youth organisations in the area and created the East Perthshire Youth Alliance. This has allowed us to tender for a larger contract to deliver universal and targeted services across the area. An example of how we are working well together is the widening of the SCYD (Strathmore Centre for Youth Development) events team to encompass all of East Perthshire, allowing young volunteers in Alyth to take advantage of more high-profile opportunities.
What tips would you give to other organisations seeking funding for this kind of work?
My experience of The Robertson Trust and several other funders is that they have recognised the need to support organisations like us to ‘do what we do’. By that I mean we have become central to community life in Alyth, and the Trust has allowed us to offer a stable and consistent service. I would encourage other organisations to commit to a three- to five-year plan and see the vision through. We have had difficult days, but we are clear about what we are trying to achieve, and whilst being flexible in how we work, we have been united as a team in trying to achieve our goals.
What difference does this funding award make to the work you do?
The funding has made a huge difference to us. Not only has it provided stability and allowed us to plan with confidence, it has meant we could seek match funding from other organisations who have seen that The Robertson Trust has committed to us and therefore increased our chances of achieving the outcomes that we have set ourselves. The young people have received a reliable service from us and we have been able to follow through on our promises. This level of stability has allowed them to take on big projects, raise funds and make things happen - for example, we have had three trips abroad, developed our own garden and raised enough funds to buy a new minibus!
In order to successfully apply for funding under our Giving Strategy 2016-19, applicants must demonstrate how their work will contribute to one or more of the themes within the Trust's three new funding strands.
This application was eligible as a result of its fit with the following theme:
Funding Strand: Realising Potential Theme 1: Enabling young people to realise their potential
“The Robertson Trust has been a long-term supporter of this charity and we have been consistently impressed by the impact it makes. We are aware of the challenges around isolation that many young people face in rural areas of Scotland and it’s important that we fund work which provides a platform for improving skills, confidence and self-esteem.
AYP has a strong reputation in the local area and helped many young people become more engaged with school life. It has also developed a number of important partnerships, which has been key to offering volunteering opportunities, and we’ve been encouraged to see it working with the local high school to support young people who have been identified as requiring additional support.”
Lesley Macdonald, Head of Giving