Boys’ Brigade Lead the Way for Youth Work

Young people of The Boys’ Brigade have teamed up with YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work, to stress to MSP’s the importance and impact of youth work in today’s society.

Set out to provide young people with essential skills, leadership opportunities attitudes that will jump-start their careers, the BB encourages its members to learn practical life experience in their units that will help provide them with the best start to their career.

Callum Skinner, (18), a young leader with the 4th Carluke Company, visited MSP Aileen Campbell at her Carluke office on Monday 9th November, to provide a first-hand account of the impact youth work has had on him and why investment is so crucial in this area.

Eleanor Selfridge, a BB captain and former cub for over 18 years, accompanied Callum to show her support for the importance of raising awareness of youth work in Scotland.

Callum, who received the Queen’s badge in 2015 and is currently studying Graphic Design at University, said:

“Being a member of the BB helps equip young people with the skills and experience to prepare them for life during and after school.

“It provides young people with the chance to learn in an informal setting, and at the same time, have fun and make friendships.

“During my visit to my local MSP, Aileen Campbell, I got the chance to explain why youth work is so important and how it’s positively helped my life, as well as other members. I think it’s an essential area that Scotland needs to back to ensure a positive future for young people.”

In addition to the MSP visits, the BB is working with YouthLink Scotland to raise awareness and recognition of youth work through networks, events, conferences, policy development, lobbying and campaigning.

Bill Stevenson, Director of Scotland for The Boys’ Brigade, said: “I can’t stress enough, the importance to invest in youth work in Scotland as it provides essential skills to young people ahead of employment, helping them onto their first steps on the career ladder.

“We need to ensure this investment is in place and continues to be so, to try and close the education attainment gap, ultimately reducing inequalities of life outcomes for young people.

“We believe every child deserves the same – equal chance to gain the skills and experiences that will kick-start their adult lives, whether that’s from our own programmes and activities, or from other youth work organisations.

“Hopefully these visits to MSPs encourage Scotland’s politicians to hear first-hand the importance of investing in youth work and how it will contribute to the positive future of Scotland’s young people.”

MSP Aileen Campbell added: “I enjoyed hearing from Callum the benefits he has experienced through being a member of the Boys’ Brigade. He has dedicated many hours of active service to the BBs and also the community – this commitment is something I am keen to celebrate.
“But what we also need to recognise is the endeavours of so many local volunteers who give up their time to allow young people to have enriching opportunities that create happy childhood memories but also provide valuable skills for life, learning and work.

“Youth work does change lives and I am happy to continue to support youth work in my constituency and beyond.”

On Friday 13th of November, young leader Sean Smith will visit MSP Ken Macintosh at his Glasgow office to build momentum of the BBs message on youth work.

Melissa Clark

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