׽ͼ and St Mirren FC Support Local Young People with Nationwide Community Grant - ׽ͼ: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity

׽ͼ

Posted: January 30, 2023

׽ͼ’s partnership with has enabled more young people to receive support in developing the skills needed to live independently and thrive in their own home with funding from Nationwide. 

In addition to supporting young people of ׽ͼ, we have been able to offer our services to the wider community with help from our partners, St Mirren.

Through the , ׽ͼ has supported care-experienced young people to understand housing choices, live independently, and enjoy having their own home. The initiative enabled ׽ͼ to deliver the SQA Level 4 Successful Tenancy award, which has the purpose of educating young learners in how to acquire their own home and the responsibilities involved including taking care of their health and wellbeing and being a positive influence within the community. The opportunity was available for students attending ׽ͼ’s education and training centre, The Skills Academy, as well as young people from the wider community. Those coming from local areas who enrolled within the course, attended St Mirren to complete the qualification.

׽ͼ’s Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod coordinated with St Mirren to raise awareness of the Tenancy course opportunity amongst youngsters who were part of the club’s community outreach activities and employment programmes. Positively, the opportunity to gain a recognisable qualification appealed to most.

Young people who attended St Mirren regularly as part of the employability programme were interested in progressing their skillset further by joining the course, delivered by ׽ͼ at St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium.

Cashback Off The Bench is ran in partnership with the SPFL Trust and held within SPFL Stadiums including St Mirren, it is a programme for young people to further their employability skills, attainment level, physical activity and mental wellbeing while improving their football skills. Young people who may be facing unemployment, leaving school, or enrolling in part-time education receive training and encouragement, which motivates them to plan for the future and build rewarding career aspirations.

By working closely together, ׽ͼ and St Mirren were able to offer further opportunities to young people. Young people can be made more aware of the valuable support available to them and accept help in developing the independence needed to create a happy and healthy home life.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Operating Officer, ׽ͼ said: “׽ͼ’s partnership with St Mirren has allowed both renowned Paisley institutions to join forces and help address local deprivation and exclusion through youth employment, community engagement and effective local initiatives.

“It is brilliant to see young people succeed and achieve qualifications and to know that by ׽ͼ and St Mirren working together, we have made a difference to even more young lives than we ever could do working in silo. We are aware of one another’s community projects and have established collaborative working, as a result, we pull our resources together and increase awareness of the support available to young people within the local area.

“The SQA Tenancy award in particular focuses on young people being able to manage responsibilities without becoming overwhelmed. It ensures young learners have the confidence needed to create a place to call home, start a job, manage personal finances, cook nutritious meals, and join in with fun activities and events taking place within the community. For ׽ͼ to be able to deliver this course at St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium to young people who live within the community and are trying to better themselves is changing lives. The qualification and high level of support provided from ׽ͼ will help young people progress towards employment, training or further qualifications and create a bright future for themselves.”

׽ͼ welcomed young people recommended from , and local housing associations to join the course. The connection with St Mirren helped to expand the community outreach and encourage even more young people to achieve the qualification.

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