Scottish Sports Futures‘ Wellbeing Ambassadors have been supporting hundreds of Scottish young people during lockdown by delivering workshops and distributing care packages in a bid to keep in touch and support their mental health and wellbeing.
Designed by the charity’s Youth Panel, the care packages feature exercise routines, recipe ideas and fun challenges. The twenty Wellbeing Ambassadors, who are all volunteers aged from 16 to 22, have also delivered workshops and regularly have mental health conversations with the young people who would normally attend one of the charity’s sport and physical activity programmes.
A number of families in Barlanark and Maryhill have also been receiving care packages every two weeks which include nutritional challenges and advice; and physical and creative challenges to help them continue to make healthy choices.
During lockdown three of the Ambassadors have also undertaken training in suicide prevention. Funding support for the programmes has been provided by Changing Lives through Sport & Physical Activity Fund*; Investing in Communities Fund; and the SCVO Wellbeing Fund.
Kirsty McNab, CEO, Scottish Sports Futures said, “The work the young people have delivered to support other young people has been truly amazing and makes me very proud. For a number of young people with challenging home situations lockdown has been really, really hard, and it takes tremendous effort to keep them motivated and healthy but their commitment to participate has been amazing. Being able to just talk about their feelings is a tremendous help especially when they can talk to someone their own age with no judgement and with understanding.
“Before lockdown a number of families had joined one of our programmes to support them with nutritional changes and all of that good work and progress could easily have been wasted, but again the team has stepped up and created ways to keep them engaged and it’s been fantastic.
“The long-term impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing has still to become apparent and we’ve been collaborating with our partner SAMH and funders to see how best we can continue to offer support in the right places which is crucial to their future.
“As soon as we are able, we will be launching our sports programmes but our health and wellbeing activities will continue to play a large role in that work.”
Scottish Sports Futures use the power of sport and physical activity to engage with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Scotland and empower them to be confident, healthy and happy.
*This project is part of the Changing Lives Through Sport & Physical Activity programme which is jointly funded by sportscotland, The Robertson Trust, Spirit of 2012 and Scottish Government.