Funding boost for vital partnership helping young people in Perth and Kinross achieve their potential

By Douglas Dickie

An initiative helping young people in Perth and Kinross achieve their potential has had its funding extended.

It follows an independent review of the Strategic Youth Work Partnership across Perth and Kinross by youth and community development consultancy Catch the Light.

Both the Gannochy Trust and Perth and Kinross Council have pledged to support the scheme for a further two years, taking it up to 2024.

Through work delivered by local youth work agencies, the partnership provides support, facilities and events to help young people aged 11 to 19 develop and thrive.

A further £600,000 of funding will be given to seven youth work agencies across five areas, the same levels received between April 2019 and March 2022.

These include the Logos Youth Project in Strathearn and Strathallan, KYTHE Youth Project in Kinross-shire, the Strathmore Centre for Youth Development, the Alyth Youth Partnership and Coupar Angus Youth Action Group in Eastern Perthshire, The Breathe Project in Highland and Strathtay, and Tayside YMCA in Perth.

The Strategic Youth Work Partnership is a collaboration between The Gannochy Trust and Perth and Kinross Council set up in 2019, to provide £900,000 of funding over a three-year period to support youth work across the region.

The funding has provided financial security to youth centre charities across the region against a backdrop of funding cuts in Scotland. According to Catch the Light’s report on the second year of delivery, £305,000 has been invested so far in youth work, reaching over 1000 individual young people, including up to 15 per cent of the secondary school population in Perth and Kinross so far.

As the programme has grown, 22 new funders have come on board.

Councillor Caroline Shiers, lifelong learning convener at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “The report by Catch The Light reflects the really positive effects of the partnership to date; particularly with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic which was a time of significant uncertainty and worry for everyone, and especially for young people.

“Having spoken with some of those involved in the delivery of youth work over the past 18 months, I know of the hard work and commitment put in by all the organisations involved and thank them for all they have done.”

David Gray, chair of The Gannochy Trust, added: “The collaborative approach of the partnership has produced many positive outcomes for young people across the region, and the youth agencies’ delivery has exceeded our most optimistic expectations.

“Our collective work has helped buck the national trend of diminishing youth work, which is particularly noteworthy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The council and the trust look forward to working with our partner agencies to continue to develop the delivery of youth work services in Perth and Kinross.”

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