Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice, met with young people to discuss their experiences of being involved in CashBack for Communities projects.
Twenty young people attended the event on 28 February, held at YouthLink Scotland’s offices in Edinburgh. They represented each of the current 17 CashBack for Communities Partners and their projects across diversionary youth work, sport for change, creativity and journey to employment themes.
It was a great opportunity for young people to share their honest views of the programme and the impact on their lives. Many of the young people shared their personal stories about their backgrounds and personal challenges prior to taking part in the programme.
Many comments echoed the most frequent responses in a recent survey of participants as well as on-going evaluations. The aspects enjoyed most by young people were specific outcomes and indicators that are currently key to the programme:
- improving confidence; learning new skills (both transferable and those unique to project e.g. autism, sport specialism etc); improved school attendance; improved wellbeing; team or group work; and increased motivation
Other positive impacts felt were meeting new people, becoming more competitive, increasing independence and getting along better with others.
Many felt they benefitted from the knowledge and opportunities that CashBack Partners provide, particularly referrals or work with organisations for further or specialised help.
“Forwarding me on to the people that can help me and always being there, Also the help with the interview process as it got me a job.” CashBack participant
“The group sessions where I had to deliver presentations and talk to the rest of the group, this has greatly improved my confidence. I also gained a lot from one to one sessions with my keyworker.” CashBack participant
“Getting the placement really helped me it gave me the opportunity to spend time in a working environment and show the employer that I was reliable and committed, the placement resulted in me getting a job.” CashBack participant
“Having a day to give back to the community by hosting homeless people in the learning centre. Giving out things they need. Providing them lunch. Helped look at others differently, no matter their background” CashBack participant
“I was getting in a lot of trouble with the police before I started coming along. The youth workers helped me get my life together and make new friends away from the trouble I was in.” CashBack participant
“Volunteering at a children with disabilities swimming group made such an impact to me and now I want to work as a special needs teacher when I’m older.” CashBack participant
Massive thanks to everyone that came along on the day, for sharing what CashBack for Communities has meant to them and how they think it could be enhanced to support others in the future.