Youth work message delivered to politician

Alison McInnes MSP meets youth worker Martin Danzinger, Toni McGonigle, Sinead Turner and Chloe Arthur
Alison McInnes MSP meets youth worker Martin Danzinger, Toni McGonigle, Sinead Turner and Chloe Arthur

Young people from Ellon have been delivering a National Call to Action to local politicians.

In a Holyrood manifesto launch with young people at the heart of it, Scotland’s National Youth Work Agency, YouthLink Scotland has called for further investment in the youth work sector as part of the drive to close the educational attainment gap.

Hundreds of young people from youth work projects and organisations across the country have been meeting their local MSPs and MPs and telling their own stories about the benefit of youth work.

Local young people involved in local youth project, MODO-Circus with Purpose, met with Liberal Democrat MSP for the North East, Alison McInnes at Ellon Business Centre.

Martin Danzinger from the project said: “MODO uses circus to get young people engaged in activities across Aberdeenshire, helping them to change their lives for the better.

“Harnessing the skills and thrills of the circus, MODO helps young people to improve life chances, skills and self-esteem while celebrating the culture and community of the local area.”

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney said: “Our biggest asset is the young people we work with and I am delighted that so many young people have had the opportunity to deliver their own personal youth work story to their local politicians.

“We need to, each one of us, do all in our power to make sure youth work is valued and properly funded in every local area as youth work really does change lives.”

Closing the Educational Attainment gap is a key political priority, the youth work sector works with around 380,000 young people each week and has a key and valuable contribution to make, by supporting young people to learn and achieve in non-formal spaces and times.

The youth work sector is experiencing a decline in core and project funding, and cycles of short term funding make it difficult to plan and sustain local youth work services.

The National Call to Action containing 14 ‘Asks’ of Scottish Politicians, also calls for a Nationwide Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme, to help boost volunteer numbers.

Over recent years there has been significant investment in the school estate so our young people can learn in 21st century spaces, the youth work sector are asking for a three year capital fund, in order to ensure premises and equipment across Scotland are fit for purpose and enhance informal learning.