The Scottish Boys Project (SBP) is the boys’ version of EPIC Assist Scotland’s highly successful Scottish Girls Project (SGP), which the charity has run since 2017. As with SGP, 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 believes SBP is just as efficient as SGP 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.
The SBP focuses on different topic areas each week. These are related to healthy living, respectful attitudes and self-development. The participants explore these topics through interactive activities and discussions. The following topics have been 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 run SBP in various locations for boys aged 9-13. The first project was held in the disadvantaged area of Craigshill in Livingston, West Lothian. It was conducted in collaboration with West Lothian Youth Action Project and was funded by Daisy Chain’s Trust. The second project took place in the old mining town of Tranent, East Lothian. For this project, EPIC teamed up with Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School and Tranent Colts Juniors Football Club. James Watson’s Trust provided the funding for the project in Tranent.
EPIC Assist Scotland also recently received funding to run SBP in Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire. This edition of the project took place from April to June 2019 in collaboration with the local youth organisation Y Sort-It and West Dunbartonshire Council. SBP was well-received by the participants, who indicated that they truly enjoyed the sessions.
In the first few months of 2019, the Mayfield Project took place at Mayfield Primary School in collaboration with the School and Midlothian Sure Start. You can read more about their program in the latest SBP report from Mayfield.