David Reilly, Development Manager at SCDC, gives us his thoughts about the recent Young Movers Community Celebration night - and the difference young people are making in Glasgow.
Kids today… We’ve all heard the moans, and we can all be quick to criticise and generalise about young people. So it was a real tonic to attend YoMo’s Community Celebration awards in Glasgow’s Tollcross and see a room full of people of all ages come together to celebrate young people volunteering their time and talents to their community.
YoMo (Young Movers) are a charity empowering young people across Glasgow’s East End. They’ve been around for 12 years, as old as some of their volunteers. Their core activity is supporting young people to run Glasgow North East YouthBank; where young people design a process to disperse funds to other young people with ideas to help their community, building skills and confidence as they go. They also manage a programme of training & support to youth and community groups to deliver Youth Achievement Awards. YoMo make community builders and their community celebration was a night to bring it all together.
We had the chance to appreciate young people using their imagination and skills to make a difference. Love Milton got a shout out for bringing generations together by hosting and preparing dinner parties, we celebrated twilight basketball in Reidvale and heard about the impact of anti-bullying and anti-sectarian workshops by young people, for young people.
A real stand out was hearing about St Paul’s Youth Forum who have created a young person led community garden in Blackhill complete with chickens, bee hives, community allotments and an outdoor pizza oven. We think their next project should be called Hens and Honey. They are making a real difference by selling low cost fruit and veg to the whole community.
Tara Bentley from Volunteer Glasgow was there to give out individual achievement awards to people who had volunteered their time in these and other projects. Many of the young people there were being recognised for investing 500 hours in their community. By our quick calculation, over 5,000 hours of priceless community activism was celebrated at the event. All of it making Glasgow a better place.
Youthbanks run by YoMo and others were forerunners of participatory budgeting that’s now taking root across Scotland. The event used PB methods to ask attendees to vote for the Youthbank Project of the Year. All the nominees showcased what young people bring to our communities but each person had to vote for a winner.
At SCDC we were biased, having worked for a year in Sandyhills, helping the community to organise to turn a disused space into a thriving community hall. A year down the line young people have joined and are chairing the hall committee, and have organised their own youth committee and youth group.
Joe Mcelvar was a proud parent at the awards and talked about the impact the youth work in Sandyhills has had on his son “I can see some difference in him and his pals. They’re good boys but at their age boys are easily led, YoMo are keeping them off the streets and showing them the right way.”
Carly Colquhoun and Darren Deans stole the show when they spoke in front of 200 people at our International PB Conference 2016 and we were chuffed to see this make it onto YoMo’s impact wall.
Drum roll … and the result was joint winners - Glasgow Clyde College employability students and Sandyhills Youth Committee!
A great night ended with SambaYaBamba’s Youth band performing and the words of Harry Young in our ears – young people make Glasgow.