We are delighted to announce that thanks to an award from The National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players, alongside funding from The Promise Partnership Good Childhood Fund, we can begin an exciting new chapter in the life of Youth Justice Voices.

Youth Justice Voices is a Scotland-wide participation project, jointly run by Staf and the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) which seeks to amplify the voices of care and justice experienced young people (aged 16-25) to influence national change. They work in creative and fun ways to ensure that young people feel connected, can build on their strengths and can ultimately lead the project.

Over the last 3 years they have made a huge impact on the lives of young people, particularly those who have been part of Youth Just Us, the steering group of young people with care and justice experience. Here’s just a snapshot of what they have achieved

  • Meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney to discuss removing the cap on the Care Experienced Bursary
  • Co-producing Nae Danger, the No Knives Better Lives educational online game
  • Responding to the 19th Kilbrandon Lecture by Dr Claire Lightowler
  • Working alongside Police Scotland to share their experiences of the justice system and informing their Corporate Parenting Plan
  • Contributing to Staf’s bi-monthly Participation Practitioner’s Forum
  • Presenting at many conferences and events
  • Being short-listed for a Howard League Community Award,

That is by no means all. To say they have made an impact would be an understatement.

The funding has also supported Inside Out, the youth-led steering group for experienced young people in HMPYOI Polmont, who are passionate about driving change and raising rights issues, which Youth Justice Voices runs in partnership with Barnardo’s Scotland Youth Work Team,

This new funding will ensure that the work of Youth Justice Voices can continue and we hope to reach out to more young people across Scotland with care and justice experience to ensure their voices are heard, relationships are built and positive change is made in a creative and supportive environment.

The support will also enable us to build on the team already in place and we are excited to announce we are recruiting for a Youth Justice Voices Participation Worker. You can find more information at www.staf.scot/jobs.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our previous funders, The Life Changes Trust, who have been so much more than just a provider of income. They have been a constant champion and source of support and as Youth Justice Participation lead Ruth Kerracher said

We would like to thank Life Changes Trust for their funding, support and kindness during the last three years. Without this, Youth Justice Voices would not be what it is today.”

Jo Derrick, CEO Staf said… “We will always be grateful to Life Changes Trust for coming alongside Staf and CYCJ’s vision to establish a co-designed and co-led group that amplifies the voice of Care and Justice experienced young people. Over the past 3 years Youth Justice Voices have had a phenomenal impact on policy and practice. We are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund and The Promise have recognised the value of their voice and support our collective vision to amplify and develop this further across Scotland.”

Fiona Dyer, CEO Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice said

“The past three years have been an incredible journey, and we have enjoyed working alongside Life Changes Trust and Staf to make Youth Justice Voices the success it is today. We are so proud of everything these inspiring young people have achieved, and the changes that have happened as a result of using creative participatory methods to empower the group and amplify their voice. These achievements would not have been possible without the funding of Life Changes Trust, and alongside Staf, we are very grateful to them. We are excited to be working with The National Lottery Community Fund and The Promise on the next chapter for Youth Justice Voices.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said:
“National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country. This project delivered by Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum, is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others.  National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work and to help communities thrive.”

Carolyn Sawers, Acting Chief Executive The Corra Foundation which administers the Promise Partnership fund said

The Good Childhood strand of The Promise Partnership will support spaces for co-design and change. Corra is delighted to administer this funding on behalf of Scottish Government, and we look forward to seeing the ways organisations drive forward important change and #KeepThePromise

If you would like more information on the project, please contact [email protected].