Project to help kids wins national award

PlusOne mentoring award for YMCA
PlusOne mentoring award for YMCA

A KIRKCALDY initiative which identifies and helps vulnerable youngsters experiencing difficulties in their lives back onto the right path has won a national award.

PlusOne, the mentoring scheme set up by the YMCA in Kirkcaldy, Perth and Bellshill just 18 months ago, scooped the ‘Innovative Team of the Year’ award at the Youth Link Scotland National Youth Work Awards in Glasgow.

It is already showing great success in Kirkcaldy, where there are currently 10 young people being mentored by 12 mentors, with four more on the waiting list.

Jill Robb, (32), from Kirkcaldy is the programme manager and helped put it in place. She is delighted that the team has been honoured with the award.

“The three schemes have worked hard to ensure everything has come together and it really is starting to show results,” she said.

“Of course it is a real team effort, and none of us could have done anything without the wonderful mentors we have on board who have done fantastic things with the young people.

This is really an award for everyone.

“There is currently a big evaluation being done by Dundee University and that will be completed by May and measure all areas of the project and tell us how we are doing.”

Mentors

PlusOne sees young people aged 8-14 years referred to the project through various sources, including police, education and social work, matched up with adult mentors who spend time with them – a minimum of a couple of hours a week.

They take part in activities they may be interested in or just chat to them about any problems they may be having and trying to help them stay out of trouble.

It relies on the skills and life experiences of volunteers who work with young people on a one to one basis to develop a positive and trusting relationship.

Mentoring relationships equip young people with the appropriate skills and knowledge to make confident and informed lifestyle choices.