Since 2017, we’ve been empowering youth from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities to realise what’s possible. We have delivered various projects across Scotland that bring youth together in a safe, supportive environment. These include a number of Scottish Girls Projects, Scottish Boys Projects, and Scottish Youth Projects. Check out EPIC’s current International Youth Project.
Scottish Girls Project and Scottish Boys Project
Through the Scottish Girls Project and Scottish Boys Project, we provided a weekly safe space for young people over a 7-week course. In the project’s sessions, youth came together and received group mentoring to help encourage each other to make informed choices regarding their mental, physical, and emotional health.
The engagement and feedback from participants were very positive in all editions of the project. The projects were found to be an effective way of encouraging girls and boys to adopt good behaviours and habits which are important to living as a healthy young person. Most importantly, these behaviours and habits are likely to continue later in life. The Scottish Girls Project and Scottish Boys Project showed the capacity to make an impact on participants’ lives for a long time after the completion of the project.
The Scottish Girls Project was delivered five times to various youth cohorts.
- Wester Hailes (April – May 2017). The first edition ran in April and May 2017 with primary school girls in the low-socioeconomic area of Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. It was conducted in collaboration with the WHALE Arts Centre and funded by the South West Neighbourhood Partnership Health Matters.
- Edinburgh Central Mosque (January – March 2018). The second edition of Scottish Girls Project, funded by Ponton House Trust, started in January 2018 and ended in March 2018. The participants were Muslim teenage girls, and the sessions were held in the Edinburgh Central Mosque.
- Clydebank (January – February 2019). In early 2019, a project in Clydebank with Y-Sort-It and West Dunbartonshire Council commenced. It targeted girls aged 11-16 who were either from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds or were recently resettled refugees. The funding was provided by the Alexander Cross Cameron Bequest.
- West Lothian Action Projects. Two projects in Livingston with West Lothian Action Project ran from March to April 2019 and October to November 2019. The projects were for girls aged 8-11 from socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
- Wester Hailes (April – May 2019). In 2019, we re-ran the Girls Project in Wester Hailes with WHALE Arts. This time girls aged 5-11 participated in the Project, which was run in April and May 2019. The funding came from The University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Local Community Grants.
The Scottish Boys Project was delivered four times to boys aged nine to 13.
- West Lothian Action Projects. 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.
- Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School and Tranent Colts Junior Football Club. 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 Junior Football Club. James Watson’s Trust provided the funding for the project in Tranent.
- 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. Scottish Boys Project was well-received by the participants, who indicated that they truly enjoyed the sessions.
- Mayfield Primary School. 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.
Scottish Youth Project (Level 2)
The Scottish Youth Project (Level 2) was the second level of our Girls and Boys Projects. After several requests from participants and partners to develop a new, extended version of the Girls and Boys Projects, Scottish Youth Project Level 2 was born.
A project by youth, for youth
Youth participants from the local community were consulted and involved in planning meetings for the development of project content. This meant the project was developed by youth, for youth.
We understand how important it is for youth to have strong role models in their lives, so another youth participant was involved in constructing and leading each week’s sessions. This took the peer-to-peer mentoring focus of past projects to a whole new level.
The new project delved deeper to provide a more advanced focus on the subjects covered in the level 1 version, namely healthy eating, physical exercise, self-esteem, and the development of communication skills. This allowed the participants to build on and further develop their skills. Each session revolved around discussions and activities to encourage participants to think about and engage with the topics addressed.
- Y sort it, Scottish Youth Project Level 2 Online Delivery (June 2020-Sept 2021) took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It delved deeper into topics to provide a more advanced focus on mental health, physical health, social media and cyberbullying, alongside social issues like gender stereotyping/LGBTQIA+ and refugee and cultural diversity awareness.
International Youth Project
The International Youth Project is EPIC Charity Scotland’s current youth project. The project has had a number of successful iterations in partnership with other organisations.
- Whale Arts (September 2021). EPIC the IYP at the Whale Arts Centre in Wester Hales. It covered three sessions from the IYP: 1) Mental Health & Wellbeing, including guest consultant, Lillian Shipton, HCPC registered Arts Psychotherapist; 2) Physical Health and Body Positivity, including guest consultant Molly Nixon from Yoga Mandala; and 3) New Scots and Cultural Awareness, including guest consultant Mahdi Saki from Safe in Scotland.
- EPIC You Before 2: Relationships and Consent (September 2021 to March 2022). EPIC You Before 2 funded by Population Matters was a series of workshops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Leeds. Workshops featured topics like gender-based violence, consent and the law, and the planned, wanted pregnancy. You Before 2 provided an information lanyard, bracelets, custom t-shirts, NHS information materials, and love heart sweets, and participant organisations received a contraceptive display kit and a consent pack FPA as the project’s legacy.
- Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness, IYP online delivery (September 2021): EPIC designed and delivered 3x sessions of the International Youth Project and Mental Health Awareness Trainings in August/September 2021. The three sessions of IYP were: 1) Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2) Physical Health, Body Image, and Self-esteem, and 3) Social Media and Cyberbullying including guest consultants Sheldon Chadwick, Drama Practitioner, and Lauren Crowder, Yoga Instructor from Eleven Eleven Yoga Studios.
- Y Sort It (January 2022 to February 2022): EPIC delivered three sessions of IYP to Y Sort It in their Clydebank Youth Centre: 1) Relation and Consent EPIC You Before Two; 2) Art and Design in the Community, including a community mapping project; and 3) Mental Health and Wellbeing. The project included two guest consultants: Dr Rebecca Foljambe from You Before 2 and Sheldon Chadwick, Yoga/Meditation Practitioner.