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Elgin Youth Cafe

01 July 2014
Group of young people having fun

Elgin Youth Development Group was established in 1998 in the rural area of Elgin, Moray to provide personal development opportunities for young people.  The group provide a wide range of projects and activities including a youth café that is open four nights a week and during school holidays.  They also provide after school clubs, a variety of training courses, outdoor education activities and a wide range of volunteering activities as well as issue-based sessions in the café.  They have a membership of between 100 and 200 young people, with up to 130 visiting the café drop-in each night. The young people come from within a 12 mile radius around Elgin and cover 6 secondary schools

The group applied to the ScotRail Foundation to help pay for extra sessional work hours to support the Project Coordinator of their Delta Force Project.  This project is designed to inspire young people to volunteer in their community helping breakdown negative stereotypes.  Since receiving the funding, Elgin Youth Development Group has enabled 25 young people to volunteer with over 15 community groups and charities. The young people have completed 23 projects since October totalling over 500 volunteering hours as a group. They have worked with national charities such as the Samaritans, SSPCA and the National Trust, as well as local community groups and charities such as Earthtime, Community Food Moray and Keane’s Stars. 

The ScotRail Foundation funding they have allowed them to accept more volunteering projects for the groups, sometimes taking on two projects a day as there were two members of staff to help run the projects.  Prior to receiving the funding Delta Force had to turn down projects due to staffing and time constraints to ensure the groups ran effectively and safely. With the funding they have been able to take on every project the young people want to do and recruit more young people into Delta Force. The award also enabled them to celebrate the young people’s accomplishments and have a dedicated worker helping participants attain the Youth Achievement and Saltire awards. 

'Delta Force has improved my communication skills and increased my confidence because I have got to work with people that you don't know, sometimes you have to work in a team and sometimes you have to work on your own. I love it!' Sarah aged 17.

'The Derby and Joan project was the BEST PROJECT EVER! I have increased my confidence working with the elderly and love it!' Gemma aged 17.

“The young people in Delta Force are fantastic, their enthusiasm and determination to improve their community is infectious. They have really enjoyed working with all of the different charities and community groups and I feel they now have a better understanding of their community because of Delta Force. Three young people have recently received their Bronze Youth Achievement Awards for their work in Delta Force; it is fantastic to see the young people accredited for their volunteering." Kate Chandler – Project Coordinator

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