POVERTY and trauma are the two biggest challenges facing disadvantaged young people today according to the latest annual report by leading Scottish charity, Scottish Sports Futures (SSF).
The organisation supported more than 1,300 young people across 31 local authorities through delivering creative, community sports programmes.
Kirsty McNab, CEO, Scottish Sports Futures said: “It’s really challenging for lots of vulnerable young people at the moment trying to find their way in life and by far poverty and trauma are their biggest battles.”
“We provide food and health packs at all our sessions but dealing with poverty is relentless and places so many barriers to things we take for granted every day.”
“We are frequently told by young people that we’re the only people who care about them and that’s a terrible position to be in.”
“Our programmes provide a safe space and tailored support which provides hope and a sense of belonging, which in turn leads to increased confidence and behaviour change. It’s fantastic to see the positive change in young people but the poverty related attainment gap needs to be urgently addressed.”
A copy of the annual report can be found here which highlights the stories of a number of young people who have benefitted from SSF’s programmes such as Aiden who joined a programme after being stabbed in a gang attack. SSF initially established Aiden’s trust before providing safe transport to sessions and helped educate him, with the support of Police Scotland, on the consequences of knife crime. Today, Aiden continues to turn his life around and has turned his back on anti-social behaviour to participate in further courses.
Kirsty added” “The success of our programmes is based on listening and is very much down to their delivery by young people who understand and have that natural connection and empathy.”
“Based on need and the support young people require, we have just appointed a dedicated child protection and wellbeing manager and are looking to support practitioners, schools and organisations to help support as many young people as possible.”