Since Y2K first opened doors at the manse more than 20years ago the health and wellbeing of local young people has been at the very heart of the organisation.
In 2021 our vision continues to be “for young people in Mayfield & Easthouses to be healthy and happy, feeling safe and secure to become confident, fulfilled individuals”.
Long time support from the Robertson Trust, various awards from National Lottery Funds and many other small and medium trusts and grant makers over the years has meant that we have been able to remain true to our community-based, youth-led approach. This ongoing faith in Y2K’s commitment to working with our young people to devise and develop creative services, supports and activities relevant to the lived experiences of those most in need is more important than ever in these unprecedented times.
Guid 2 Go
Funded jointly by National Lottery Community Fund ‘Young Start’ and the Robertson Trust, our Guid 2 Go service builds on learning and experience from a wealth of work carried out through healthy living projects over the lifetime of Y2K. These include our year of young people ‘Helfy Guid 2 Go’ programmes, ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Y2Kitchen’ holiday hunger project, ‘Nae Butts’ and ‘Peer 2 Peer’ tobacco action projects, ‘Don’t be a Loser’ gambling awareness project and our Easter, summer, and October break programmes of activities.
Guid 2 Go Tuesdays for S3+ ran 6.30pm-9.30pm promoting the importance of healthy and happy lifestyles. Every Tuesday night there were fun activities which included cooking, games, and participative workshops.
We also offered Guid 2 Go Friday sessions from 3:30pm-5pm each week during which young people could take part in boxing sessions in partnership with Easthouses Boxing Club. Open to any young person S1+.
Guid 2 Go during Lockdown
In response to need we have developed a range of digital resources & we continue to offer a menu of options for our young people. Online, outdoor/community work, indoor group & 1:1 supports within local schools as well as at Y2K are delivered in line with Govt. guidance & following the route map through & out of lockdown.
The impact of social isolation on the mental health and wellbeing of our young people is staggering. They tell us they are feeling isolated, stressed, bored, and fearful. During the months of lockdown, they have been struggling to keep healthy and active; they tell us they have had difficulty sleeping, feel concerned about family and friends and have no sense of choice or control over what is happening around them and no way of processing this.
“It’s rubbish not being able to come to Y2K because the drop-ins are what I need to bring me out of my shell when I am feeling low… just knowing I can get out of the house and pop in to have a laugh or just be around my mates made such a difference. I didn’t realise how much…”
“I’m really worried about my mum ‘cos she’s a carer and every time she has to go to work, I feel sick, but I don’t want to show anyone how upset it makes me… the Y2K has been a lifeline.”
With schools returning in August Y2K worked in close partnership with Newbattle High School, assisting with youth supports out and about in the community over break and lunchtimes four days per week. In this way staff have been able to reconnect with young people after the long months of lockdown and start to build relationships with new S1 pupils who would normally have been accessing Y2K drop-ins as a gateway to our supports.
In August we launched a new 180+ six-month pilot project that we had planned pre-Covid-19. This community outreach approach could not have been better timed and has been a real boon to the young people especially since our open-door drop-ins are completely out of the question in these challenging times. See article in local paper. https://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/people/midlothian-youth-project-y2k-gets-back-our-streets-2955972
In November Y2K staff and a few young people met digitally with LAYC to help them to better understand the relationship between young people, smoking and mental health. LAYC & Youth Borders prepared a report for ASH Scotland; Smoking, Young People and Mental Health. The staff and young peoples contributions were invaluable and are reflected throughout the report, including direct quotes!
ASH Scotland are very pleased with the recommendations presented in the report and will incorporate this learning into their future plans and priorities as an ongoing piece of work over the next 3 years.
Having multi-year funding support for Guid 2 Go means that whatever happens next, Y2K will be here for our young people and our communities. We must be able to support young people to re-socialise safely at the other side of this and to ensure they are supported in the losses they will have experienced during the pandemic.