Since the easing of lockdown restrictions Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has been working across North Ayrshire to relaunch our sport for change programmes, enabling us to re-engage with young people who require support the most. This has included Shell Twilight and Active:2:Grow sessions in Irvine and a brand new Shell Twilight diversionary session in Ardrossan.
Since the return to outdoor sport, SSF has worked collaboratively with local and national partners to relaunch our Shell Twilight session’s in Irvine. In addition to this, we have relaunched an entirely new Shell Twilight session in the Ardrossan area. To achieve the successful launch of these diversionary sessions, SSF has worked closely with relevant local partners including North Ayrshire Active Schools, North Ayrshire Youth Services, KA Leisure, Police Scotland, and Scottish Fire and Rescue. Our collaboration with these local partners has allowed us to identify communities across North Ayrshire, that are most in need of SSF provision, particularly around diversionary activity.
SSF has continued to take a person-centred and youth-led approach to ensure that the young people continue to be at the heart of everything we do. In this regard, SSF has completed multiple consultations with young people around their needs and wants as we return to outdoor delivery. We have also worked with North Ayrshire Youth Services to complete detached youth work and street work sessions to help inform the programme planning and delivery of our Shell Twilight sessions. The intelligence and insight gained has played a vital role in ensuring that our SSF programmes continue to be targeted at the right young people in the right communities at the right times.
Our new Shell Twilight multisport diversionary session launched in the middle of May 2021, with an incredible 17 young people showing up for the first night’s activities, and the numbers have grown week on week since then. During the session, our SSF coaches utilise the power of sport alongside youth work principles to provide the young people of Ardrossan with a positive and engaging alternative to anti-social behaviour. The session is free, open to all, and provides a safe, fun environment to make friends and be active. The session is also supported by North Ayrshire Active Schools, North Ayrshire Youth Services, Police Scotland, and Scottish Fire and Rescue. In addition to this local support, with the help of our amazing partners at Tesco, we have been able to provide free fruit and water to the young people at our sessions. The session runs every Friday night 7pm- 8pm at Elm Park MUGA.
Since the turn of the year, we have also worked with 17 SSF Young Leaders across the local authority. During the lockdown period, these young people have completed various training and accreditations including Child Protection, COVID training, SSF Wellbeing workshops, and our Education Through Cashback modules. In addition to this, the SSF South West team has worked with our colleagues in the National team to provide volunteering opportunities for these young people within our Shell Twilight diversionary sites, providing valuable experience and support for these young people as they progress on their leadership journeys.
In addition to the diversionary sessions, on 2nd June the SSF South West team launched our referral-based mental health and wellbeing programme, Active:2:Grow, in Fullerton Connextions, Irvine. This programme was designed and delivered in partnership with SAMH and promises to be an exciting new strand of SSF delivery within the Irvine area. Again, a massive thank you to all our local partners and referral agencies including North Ayrshire Active Schools, Irvine Royal, Greenwood Academy, and Children 1st for helping us to promote this programme over the last few weeks.