Crossroads Aims of Youth Work
a. To make room for young people to shine, where they can discover themselves and something of their own aims and purpose and can enjoy just being themselves.·
b. Young people will learn new skills, be involved with community, learn to analyse their own situation and solve their own problems and experience moments of unconditional joy.·
Current Youth Work Project: SHINE
The Shine Project is aimed at alleviating the direct effects of child poverty while seeking longer-term solutions by focusing on work to redress the effects of young peoples’ exposure to adverse childhood experiences (AECs)
• directly address food insecurity and leisure poverty
• support and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing·
• and build capacities and attainment linked to resilience and *agency (*capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices)
The provision of an integrated centre-based and outdoors focused youth work service; a safe caring supportive and focused community centre in Laurieston Gorbals alongside access to green wild natural environments across Scotland where young people can learn, be healthy and flourish.·
We also deliver activities and experiences that will encourage young people to take a fresh positive perspective of their local area and Glasgow as a whole; building a positive connection to their neighbourhood and city.
We understand poverty in the Scottish context as a complex issue. Much evidence points to socio-cultural (e.g. low social capital, poor social health, discrimination, limited community engagement, lack of community cohesion, dependency on professional support) and inter-personal (e.g. isolation, a lack of social attachment, a lack of a sense of belonging, low self-esteem) factors as primary contributors to persistent poverty & inequality and tackling these issues forms the focus of our youth work.
We work alongside young people aged between 8-24 years old living in the Greater Gorbals area, supporting and promoting their social, emotional and physical wellbeing. We aim to achieve this by providing an integrated centre-based and outdoors focused youth work service; a safe caring supportive and focused space that young folk feel they have ownership of alongside access to green wild natural environments where they can learn, be heathy and have fun.
To this end, we will provide the following experiences activities and services:
A programme of outdoors based day-trips residential, camping and expeditions: we will organise at least 6 residential and camping trips each year for 70+ young people to some of the most stunning areas of Scotland. There we will enjoy challenging and exciting experiences in completely different environments the young people are used to. These experiences afford young people an unusual level of freedom, engages them in higher levels of physical exercise through new activities, and inspire a sense of adventure and challenge, helping raise their confidence, self-worth and resilience.
Access to structure and routine in 3 hour evening youthwork sessions: every Mon & Wed for juniors (8-12years old) and Tues & Thurs for seniors (12-24 years old) for 48 weeks (192 sessions in total). Occasional Friday & Saturday activities will be delivered as need emerges. Between 30-50 young people per session are expected to access the following activities and experiences:
Evening youth work sessions will provide regular opportunities for physical exercise creative activities and contact with people who make you feel safe and who value you as an individual. A positive routine can help to distract and reduces feelings of low mood or to dwell on unhelpful thoughts and it can open up possibilities and positive alternatives to current, negative, situations.
Building trust and staying safe: Steady contact with reliable and supportive youth workers and peers develops vital social and relational skills; engaging slowly in relationships and assessing for risk as well as understanding what a healthy relationship looks like. Engaging with a youth worker and taking part in shared activities, hobbies and experiences with peers can help build trust safely and maintain positive relationships essential for good emotional and mental health. Our doors will be open with someone at hand from 10am to 9pm each week-day and at any other time if required – being present and available is a core value at Crossroads.
Emphasising and promoting self-care in youthwork sessions: improving diet; being aware of the damage alcohol, drugs and tobacco have on developing bodies; finding a balance between spending time alone and time meaningfully connecting with others, will contribute to better long-term health and well-being for young people. Every session will include a sit-down meal of wholesome hot food for everyone present. Together we will grow staple produce in raised beds, choose ingredients and menus, cook and eat together. Access to free healthy food tackles the immediate need of food poverty and a skills programme related to budgeting menu development and culinary skills seeks to addresses the issue in the longer term. We expect 4 young people in 2 session per week to engage in the culinary skills programme.
Mindfulness and relaxation activities: we will work alongside the young people through the Barn’s youth committee to develop a range of experiences and activities aimed at improving mindfulness and relaxation helping young people ‘switch off’ thoughts that can lead to an increase in anxiety or low moods. Learning to relax and have opportunities to do so and ignore bad thoughts can be very helpful. We expect around 20 young people per session to access this option.
We provide residentials and camping experiences throughout the year. Our trips to the wilder places in Mull and the Cairngorms can be particularly challenging and uncertain experiences; a completely different environment, an unusual level of freedom, and higher levels of physical exercise through new activities all add to a sense of adventure and challenge, raising the confidence, self-worth and resilience in the young people. These outdoors experiences are linked in to accredited award opportunities. We offer an accredited awards programme across 80 sessions per year, giving free access for all registered young people to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and John Muir Award. Both the John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Awards have a strong outdoors learning element contributing towards building confidence, resilience, skills for work, and social bonds.·