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Muirhouse Youth Development Group

12 August 2014

Muirhouse Youth Development Group (MYDG) is a community based project that aims to engage young people aged 8-25 in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh through a wide range of fun projects and activities.

The organisation was established in 1997, when residents of Muirhouse were faced with a complex mix of social and economic issues, such as family breakdown and loss of traditional employment. Young people in the area had no where to go in the evenings, no activities to get involved in and ultimately many felt like they had no voice in the community.

As a result, MYDG began to take shape, led by local volunteers who wanted to make a difference and put young people back at the heart of the community. The group developed a variety of creative and innovative programmes of adventure, residential experience and sport to encourage learning and leadership.

One great example of this is MYDG’s decade long participation in European Youth Week, an annual event which offers inter-cultural experiences for young people from different countries and backgrounds and helps to build their confidence and self esteem.

In 2012, MYDG received a grant of £1200 to help pay for six young people, aged 15-25 to travel to Munich to take part in European Youth Week.

Dean Shanks, manager of MYDG Youth Team said, “This funding was a fantastic resource for us and helped pay for our young people to take part in an exciting programme of events that focussed on their hopes and aspirations for the future.”

MYDG volunteers have supported teams on the Caledonian Challenge for several years. Since 2010, they have been awarded grants worth £6050 from Foundation Scotland for their endeavour. Dean believes that young people gain a real sense of ownership by volunteering at the Caledonian Challenge and helping to support participants who are raising money for worthy community causes, just like their own. Pom Pom Finish Photo

To some extent, the success of MYDG can be measured in the young people who are such proud members of the group; valued, included and respected. By offering young people a range of opportunities, experiences and good memories MYDG is helping to ensure Muirhouse remains a vibrant and safe place to live, work and learn.

A team of young volunteers from MYDG returned to the Caledonian Challenge in 2014 and done a great job cheering on our walkers as they crossed the finish line at Strathfillan.

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