My future, social enterprise for young people in youth work
The aim of the project is to promote the awareness and access to social rights for young people in Muirhouse and surrounding areas. The project works alongside young people involved in the MY Future (training and development) and MY Adventure (social enterprise) projects in various activities and actions designed to develop a better understanding and access to social rights especially relating to education, employment and access to sport, outdoor and leisure activities. The STABLE (Support and Training through Activities Building Long Term self-Esteem) element of the project, a pilot project funded by EYF, aimed to increase access to social rights for young offenders.
According to the 2009 mid year estimate there are approximately 750 young people aged 16-25 in the Muirhouse area. Approximately 37% of the entire population of Muirhouse are income deprived. Young people in the area are three times as likely to be unemployed as the city average. Young people from Muirhouse are much more likely to be amongst the lowest performing 20% of pupils. The last set of S4 results (2008) indicate that local pupils have an average tariff score of 103 compared with a City average of 181. These low scores mean that it unlikely that many S4 pupils will stay at school beyond the compulsory stage and are also highly unlikely to be able to access higher education. Previous statistics from School Leaver Destinations Reports confirm this pattern.
In conclusion, the educational, health and employment prospects for young people are bleak. This project offers a serious attempt to redress this balance by giving opportunities to develop social, educational and employability skills
17 young people who dropped out from school were directly involved in the project activities; 35 young people dropped out from school, young offenders, migrants.
Social rights addressed
Education – high rate of early school leavers, low mainstream educational attendance and attainment (exam results).
Employment – high rates of local population, especially young people, experiencing long term unemployment, few opportunities, post code discrimination and lack of sustainable or desirable employment.
Sport, outdoor and leisure activities – lack of facilities to pursue normal sport, outdoor and leisure activities.
Social rights – the media and public lable the young people as ‘problematic’. The Muirhouse area suffers from a particularly negative stereotype. There is also a loack of non-formal education in social rights therefore restricting knowledge, partcipation and access to ‘youth participation’ instruments that could affect change and allow for their voices to be heard more clearly.
The result of the MY Future project is that a group of young people in the Muirhouse area have a better awareness of social rights and how MYDG’s work helps promote access to these rights. Many of the participants of the MY Future project are now employed or volunteer with MYDG or MY Adventure and are working directly to increase awareness and access to social rights for other young people. The ENTER! Project has helped in making social rights more visible and explicit within MYDG’s organizational structure.
Follow-up and sustainability:
MY Future has been successful in securing further funding through State Street Bank and Action 1.2 Youth Initiatives. This will allow further training and development of young people in the local area.
MY Adventure is now a separate organisation from MYDG and currently has many bookings from outside organisations and employs young people who have graduated through the MY Future programme.
The training and development model of MY Future is an integral part of MYDG and we will continue to explore ways to support the development of young people in the area.
MYDG actively supports MY Adventure through booking the organisation to deliver particular youth activities.
The current stage of the project: About to be finalised
Web site: MY Adventure