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Pilton Youth & Children’s Project

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

About the organisation

Pilton Youth & Children's Project (PYCP) provides a range of community based services to support children and young people (5 - 25yrs) from its purpose built centre in the heart of the Pilton area. Operating seven days a week, the charity runs weekly, open access youth clubs, holiday programmes and parent groups, as well as undertaking schools transition work and providing employability support. 

About the award

Towards the costs of ‘FACENorth: Alternatives to Crime’ project This project emerged from a police-led initiative involving the Youth Offending Team, Scottish Prison Services and social work. It provides flexible engagement with young people (12-24yrs) involved in low level, criminal and anti-social behaviour to divert them from entering the criminal justice system. The project is delivered by two FACENorth Workers who provide intensive support for young people, involve them in broader group work, help them to increase their employability and also engage with their wider family to strengthen relationships. Referred young people are identified through local Youth Tasking and Coordination (TAC) meetings involving WSA partners, Police Scotland and Social Work. 

Q&A: Laura McLaren, Project Manager

What's happened so far with your project?

FACENorth (Focussing on Alternatives to Crime Edinburgh North) delivers a varied and needs-led programme to an identified group of young people who are at risk of crime, anti-social behaviour, social exclusion and alienation. Young people are supported to reach their full potential by developing skills for work and life and overcoming additional barriers. We provide a range of weekly drop in groups, specially tailored 1:1 support, additional groups such as community gardening groups, residential experiences and "scheme of work programmes". By engaging in our programme of activities, this also shows young people that life has more to offer than heading down a path of crime.

We recently took a group of young people to Camas on the Isle of Mull for a week to help the centre staff get ready to open for the season. This was called a 'work week'; which involved the young people digging trenches so water from the hills would not flood the house, carrying a flat packed shed over the mile and a half trek over moorland and helping create foundations for the shed to be built on.

What's still to come?

We plan to continue with our core programme but adapt areas of this to fit with the summer months. This includes running our "Midnight and Beyond" programme where we use a mini bus to take young people out of the local area at key offending times of 10pm-2am. We will use the opportunity to build relationships and engage in memorable activities such as "midnight fishing" and stargazing!

What tips would you give to other organisations looking to do this kind of work?

Relationships are key to our approach; we spend a lot of time getting to know each participant, their families and what is important to them in their lives. By using traditional youth work approaches such as unconditional regard and working with young people "from where they are", we have supported young people to turn their lives around.

How this fits with our Giving Strategy 2016-19

In order to successfully apply for funding under our Giving Strategy 2016-19 (launched August 2016), 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 2:  Support “at risk” young people to make positive choices 

To find out more details about all of our funding strands and themes, please download our Giving Strategy 2016-19.