Scottish Government ministers have visited two of Aberlour’s services this week to meet with young people, volunteers and staff as part of Volunteers Week 2019.
Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd, pictured right, visited our Youthpoint Moray service, based in Elgin. She spoke to young people about how they are supported by the service and took part in some of the group activities the service runs for young people across Moray, including music and baking groups.
Youthpoint Moray works with young people in the area who need a little extra help and support. Often this is because they are struggling to make and sustain friendships and are at risk of becoming socially excluded or isolated. They may be experiencing other difficulties in their lives, such as parents going through a divorce or a family member struggling with addiction.
The service works with young people in several ways, including providing dedicated one-to-one mentoring support as well as facilitated group activities designed to build confidence and self-esteem and to help increase social networks.
Speaking about her time visiting the service, Ms Todd said: “Growing up is tough, and often young people just need someone who isn’t a relative or a friend to talk to. A consistent and reliable role model, who has only their best interests at heart, can be exactly what a young person needs to succeed. I’d like to thank all of the volunteers I have met today for giving up their time to make a difference in someone else’s life, and to everyone at Aberlour for all the valuable work they do in the community.”
There was also a visit to our Scottish Guardianship Service by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell.
Ms Campbell came along to hear about our new befriending service for young refugees, which aims to provide further community and social support for unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children and young people who are supported by the Scottish Guardianship Service.
Young people and volunteers described their experiences of arriving in Scotland alone, often traumatised by the journey they have made to get here, having left their own country and family members behind as a result of fleeing war or persecution.
Tweeting about her visit: “Inspired & uplifted by the volunteers from @scotrefcouncil & @AberlourCCT who do so much thru the Guardianship Service & now befriending. Incredible to hear the dedication of volunteers & humbling to hear the impact on unaccompanied YP who need love& support”.
The Scottish Guardianship Service is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government, in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council, and provides all unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children and young people with a qualified and trained statutory Guardian, who advocates on their behalf and supports them through the complex asylum process. Since it was first established in 2010 the service has supported more than 400 unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children and young people.
Jennifer Reston, Head of Volunteering said: “Our volunteers are giving their time and making a massive difference across our services and teams and we are truly thankful and appreciate every single one of them.
“More children and young people need our help and support, if you have any time to give, we would love to hear from you. We’re looking for volunteers for both Youthpoint Moray and the Scottish Guardianship Service. Take at look at our volunteering page for these opportunities and many more”.