Top award for seahorses, skills and support project
Seahorses, skills and support, Dunure Village Youth Club brought art and great youth work together to create what is now an award winning youth project in coastal Ayrshire.
The youth club picked up the prestigious Time to Shine Arts and Creativity Award, which is sponsored by Creative Scotland, at the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016 in Glasgow.
Dunure Youth Club's Seahorses Project has made a significant contribution to the lives of young people in this coastal village. The youngsters involved have been involved in a vibrant hive of creativity where they have learned new skills, developed an interest in the arts, and their own heritage, as well as increasing their confidence. The giant willow seahorses which dominate the local harbour are part of a lasting legacy created by this innovative youth arts project.
Minister for Children & Young People Aileen Campbell said: "I'm delighted to have been invited to join so many inspiring individuals at the Awards – to celebrate and promote the immense value of Scotland's youth work sector to our young people and our wider communities. Youth work not only builds the self-esteem and confidence of young people for future opportunities, it also helps to prepare them for the world of work – providing opportunities for awards and life experiences they may not achieve otherwise. I congratulate Dunure Youth Club on receiving this award."
Claire Monaghan, Head of Communities, South Ayrshire Council said: "South Ayrshire Council is always keen to work with groups and individuals to help promote our area as a hub for arts and culture. I am delighted that Dunure Youth Club has been recognised for their creativity and innovation."
Mhairi Eaglesham, Youth Worker said: "Dunure Youth Club were honoured to be selected as a finalists in the Time to Shine Arts and Creativity category. This truly has been a project which was led by young people but included the whole community. As winners we are thrilled to receive this award."
Commenting, Jim Sweeney, Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, said: "Every year my respect increases for the dedication shown by youth work volunteers and staff, who despite tough economic times and reducing budgets keep their focus on enabling young people to change their lives for the better. Dunure Youth Club is a great example of the dedication shown by youth workers, they demonstrate how great youth work can inspire young people to participate and achieve.
"This year's winners have all shown the hugely positive impact that great youth work has on our young people. There is unfortunately not equality of opportunity for all young people in Scotland, and it will take time, policy change and commitment to achieve this goal. Youth work is an essential part of our education system, empowering youngsters to take charge of their own futures and giving them a safe space to develop their ideas and talents."