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The place to be
Scottish youth trust reaches out to young people
24-02-2014 | Gateway to the Highlands
Callander is a bustling tourist town in Perthshire, and a popular stop en-route to the Highlands. For local young people, growing up in what is a rural idyll for holiday visitors can be a recipe for isolation and boredom. Many are bussed in from a wide area, and outside school hours there is little for them to do, and few places to meet up with their peers.
"The hub is the focal point of our rural community and a lifeline for the young people we support."
CYP manager Chris Martin
Callander Youth Project (CYP) has a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people growing up locally, providing access to a wide range of recreational, arts based and environmental activities. These include youth clubs and after school study support to opportunities to get out and explore the neighbouring National Park - with CYP staff trained as mountain bike and hill walker leaders. The charity's work helps build life skills, confidence and self- esteem and gives young people a voice.
The charity is playing an important role in providing training to develop youngsters' skills, notably in the hospitality and tourism sector. Tourism is a major employer in Callander, yet young people locally were not best supported in making the most of this opportunity. In partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, CYPT take young people on through the Community Jobs Scotland scheme where unemployed people are given six to nine month work placements, leading to a recognised qualification.
Striving for sustainability
In a bid to become self-financing, the charity bought a local hotel and developed it into a family-orientated social enterprise café, events space and 26 bed hostel, with the support of a Triodos Bank loan.
According to CYP manager Chris Martin it's a big step forward in the organisation's sustainability. "Owning our own premises, from which we can develop a hub, has enabled us to raise our own income and gives us the luxury of longer-term planning of our service delivery. The investment has already supported more than 200 individual young people to engage with youth work services, building their skills, self-confidence and sense of community cohesion through a range of challenging and exciting activities. The hub is the focal point of our rural community and a lifeline for the young people we support."
Callander Youth Project Trust is an independent, voluntary youth organisation, formed in 1997, delivering a wide range of key services for young people in the surrounding rural area - community youth clubs, job clubs, holiday activity programmes, art sessions, as well as health and sport initiatives. The charity also delivers a dedicated support project at the local secondary school and bespoke employability support for young people who have left school and are looking for work. It is the only full-time, independent, non-uniformed youth organisation providing services to around 700 young people up to the age of 25 in the 400 square miles around.