The Scottish Boys Project (SBP) is the boys’ version of EPIC Assist Scotland’s highly successful Edinburgh Girls Project (EGP), which the charity has run since 2017. As with EGP, SBP provides a weekly interactive learning space for young boys over the course of 7 weeks. In the project’s sessions, the boys come together and receive group mentoring to help encourage each other to make informed choices regarding their mental, physical and emotional health. Another outcome is the development of new and pre-existing peer support networks.
EPIC Assist Scotland is currently running SBP in two locations for boys in P6 and P7. The first project is being held in the disadvantaged area of Craigshill in Livingston, West Lothian. It is being conducted in collaboration with West Lothian Youth Action Project and is funded by Daisy Chain’s Trust.
The second project is taking place in the old mining town of Tranent, East Lothian. For this project, EPIC has teamed up with Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School and Tranent Colts Juniors Football Club. James Watson’s Trust has provided the funding for the project in Tranent.
Both editions of the SBP are focusing on different topic areas each week. These are related to healthy living, respectful attitudes and self-development. The participants are exploring these topics through interactive activities and discussions.
The following topics are being covered throughout the two first editions of the SBP:
- Communication and relationships
- Healthy eating
- Gender stereotypes
- Physical exercise
- Stress relief and relaxation
EPIC Assist Scotland has also recently received funding to run SBP in Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire. This edition of the project will take place from April to June 2019 in collaboration with the local youth organisation Y Sort-It and West Dunbartonshire Council.
SBP has so far been well-received by the participants, who have indicated that they are truly enjoying the sessions. EPIC Assist Scotland believes SBP will be just as efficient as EGP in encouraging young people to adopt good behaviours and habits which are important in order to live a healthy lifestyle. These habits are likely to continue later in life and the Scottish Boys Project thus aims to make an impact on participants’ lives for a long time after the completion of the project.