About Youth Work

Our vision

Young people in Shetland, particularly those most in need, will have access to inspirational and life enhancing learning experiences and opportunities that make a difference to their lives. Supporting them to reach their full potential as individuals and as active members of our community.

Our Approach

Our work with young people supports wider achievement and recognises development of skills for learning, life and work. Recognising young people as partners in their learning, we support young people to engage in learning and reflect on their achievements. We build meaningful relationships with young people and their families to involve them in the decision making process. By improving health and wellbeing, we support young people to build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Our work has a positive impact on attitudes and behaviours of young people helping them to develop goals and opportunities for their future. Outlined below are the three key features of youth work delivery:

  • Young people choose to take part
  • The work begins where the young person is at social, emotionally and academically
  • The young person is a joint partner in the learning process

 Delivery

Through our early intervention approach, our work with young people supports them to develop a variety of skills. We develop an agreement between a young person and a youth worker that the young person will take part in a programme of tailored learning and activity, which helps them to reengage in formal learning or supports their transition from school.

We provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young people. Our programmes support young people to overcome challenge, develop a wide range of skills and gain accreditation for their learning. Through a range of youth participation initiatives, we support young people locally, regionally and nationally to feel represented and included in decision-making processes.

What we do?

We offer a range of learning opportunities in all Shetland secondary schools, with members of staff based in Sandwick Junior High School, Anderson High School, Brae High School and Mid Yell Junior High School. We work with other secondary schools to provide opportunities for young people in Unst, Whalsay and Aith. Our work is targeted and participations are referred to most of our services. The Youth Service also have Bridges Support Workers who can work alongside Youth Workers in schools to provide opportunities for young people.

Furthermore we support the Employability Pathway. This sets out the stages of support a person could move through to successfully secure sustainable employment. The Pathway supports people who are unemployed or workless; who have more than one barrier to employment, and who have the potential to move into unsupported sustained employment or self employment. Participants can receive support at all stages if required, or start their journey at a later stage within the pathway, if they are already part way along the journey.

We are a fundamentally rights-based organisation, and our mission, vision, and values are grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In particular, Article 12: that young people have the right to express their views freely and have their opinions listened to in all matters affecting them. Therefore youth participation is at our core practice. We are committed to supporting young people’s engagement, representation and decision making at all levels. Youth Workers are supporting a number of pupil council groups and empowering young people to get involved and make a difference in their community.

We also have a range of part time sessional Youth Workers that are based within the community providing Youth Work in purpose built centres and public halls.