With the creation of our Youth Justice Voices participation group outside the central belt, we hope to mirror the success of the current Youth Justice Voices project, with a group of young people ages 16-25, from a diverse range of backgrounds, tackling issues we may have seen less of within the central belt. Branching out to these communities will allow us to hear from a wider range of young people and achieve a truer representation of Care and Justice experienced young people across Scotland. At the heart of the project, our goals are the same, we want to continue to amplify young people’s voices and support young people to affect future change in their communities, and nation-wide.

The steering group will have its first meeting February 16th, 4:00pm at Westburn in Aberdeen. This will be a fun, informal info session, where young people can learn more about the group, chat and have some food. Workers who support young people are also welcome to attend. We’ve identified the Northeast as an area we would love to expand our work in due to the creative nature of the young people in these communities. We’ve seen first-hand the success that creative projects can have regarding positive outcomes for young people, and we’re determined to challenge stereotypes of Justice and Care experienced young people, and show that not only can they be creative, but that their creativity can influence change in their communities and be extremely impactful.

Aberdeen City Council, as well as other local partners and organisations have been extremely welcoming, and we’d like to thank them as a collective, massively. We’ve identified a common goal, in supporting Care and Justice experience young people to be given the opportunity to express themselves, through a variety of fun, pro-social activities in a comfortable space, as well as potentially representing other Care and Justice experienced young people across Scotland, speaking up for those whose voices are not being heard. We’re keen to link this new group with our other Youth Justice Voices groups, providing these young people with a network, where they can attend fun, social events with other young people, build relationships, and come together to support each other.

I’m extremely excited about the project, personally. Having experience working in smaller communities across Scotland, with Care and Justice experienced young people, I know the impact rurality has on young people. I have seen the detriments of lack of opportunity. However, I’ve also seen young people thrive when given the basic tools to succeed. Myself and my colleagues at STAF and CYCJ are certain that will be the case with Youth Justice Voices, wholly due to the young people, and we’re buzzing to get going.      

If anyone has any questions, would like to hear more about the project, or Aberdeen info session on the 16th of February, then please email [email protected] or check out the flyer here.