After over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth organisations throughout the UK have reported that lockdown restrictions have severely impacted our young people’s mental health, confidence in their skills, and prospects for the future. Studies show eight in ten young people (aged 16+) are deeply concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their education and 66% of youth organisations have reported an increase in demand for their services (UK Youth “Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Organisations” March 2021).
EPIC has created this project to help address this mental health crisis for young people, to help instil a sense of social confidence and equip our young people with key life skills. We want to encourage our young people to engage in international thinking and to acquire empathy of and a desire to understand global issues, the earth, and humanity as a whole.
The topics included in this project were, in part, requested by our partners and young people during a planning and development consultation, and thoroughly researched to keep with relevant cultural phenomena.
Our suggested optimal delivery is eight sessions, delivered over eight weeks, with each session lasting approximately two hours (delivered either online via zoom, or in-person group sessions). However, given that each session is designed to be independent from the other, we can work with partners to deliver fewer sessions (e.g. six or three sessions). There are ten sessions for partners to choose from: some sessions will introduce participants to issue based topics like gender stereotyping or homelessness, and other sessions will focus on personal development topics like mental health awareness or body positivity.
The EPIC International Youth Project is planned and developed to ensure it can be delivered to a mixed cohort of participants. The content can be adapted to suit age ranges for 11 to 13/14 years and 14 to 16 years and is suitable for either mixed gender or female/male only groups.
We recommend a group no larger than 25 participants per session. If delivered online, we feel that it works best if limited to a maximum of 15 participants per session, if possible. We will make suitable arrangements for participants with accessibility needs to ensure the project is as inclusive as possible.
Sessions are designed to work on their own, so partners can choose which sessions are most relevant for their audience or organisation.
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Physical health, body image, and self-esteem
- Communication and self-awareness
- Relationships and consent
- Social media and cyber bullying
- Gender stereotypes and LGBTQ+ identify
- Art and design in the community
- Homelessness in Scotland and beyond
- Money matters and financial literacy
- New Scots and cultural awareness
Partners can choose accompanying creative workshops, activities, or international guest consultants to attend a session. Each participant will receive an accompanying booklet/e-booklet and activity packs including art supplies, yoga mats, or cooking supplies (session topic depending). Arrangements will be made to ensure that participants receive pre-delivered activity packs before each online session.
Our team is excited to collaborate with EPIC Assist Charity to empower youth to offer tools for self-esteem and positive body image through yoga. We believe yoga is an effective way to empower youth with tools to support their overall well-being and the relationship they have with themselves and their body.” Molly Nixon- Yoga Mandala Project
EPIC Assist is a reputable charity with over 30 years’ experience making a positive difference within disadvantaged communities.
The IYP has been designed so that partners can ‘pick and mix’ the sessions that are best suited to the needs of their organisation. Partners can tailor their program of up to 10 sessions, with our suggested delivery of 8 sessions across 8 weeks. We also work with partners who wish to utlitise fewer sessions.
We have partnered with a wide range of organisations in Scotland to deliver our youth projects:
- Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity (SMHAC)
- You Before Two
- Yoga Mandala Project
- WHALE Arts Centre
- Y-Sort-It and West Dunbartonshire Council
- West Lothian Youth Action Project (WLYAP)
- Mayfield Primary School in collaboration with Midlothian Sure Start
“This interactive and immersive youth project creates educational outcomes by exploring and understanding the mind and body. This allows young Showmen to gain a greater understanding of their thoughts and feelings and the world they live in. It fills me with pride to be part of the consultation team, aiming to inspire and educate the next generation of Showmen.” Sheldon Chadwick- The Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity.
EPIC Assist seeks funding from like minded organisations to ensure the continued delivery of the youth project to disadvantaged communities across Scotland.
To learn more about how your support can fund the next project, please contact our Program Coordinator.
EPIC Assist acknowledges the support from the following sources in funding past projects:
- South West Neighbourhood Partnership Health Matters
- Ponton House Trust
- The University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Local Community Grants
- Alexander Cross Cameron Bequest
- Daisy Chain’s Trust
- James Watson’s Trust