Award reaches out to young people in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas

An initiative aimed at countering antisocial behaviour and crime among young people in some of Aberdeen’s most deprived areas is working in partnership to support young people tackle the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards programme.

The Streetsport programme is helping teenagers from the city’s Northfield and Torry areas to gain life skills and develop their confidence, communication and team work in a bid to enhance their CVs and improve their further education and employment prospects.

Now, Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Charitable Foundation is funding the first group of up to 15 youngsters working towards the award’s bronze or silver levels.

Claire Drummond, Head of Charitable Giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a highly regarded programme that is now being made more accessible to young people living in Torry and Northfield who are already involved in a programme that sees them commit to regular volunteering, physical activity and skills development.

“We’re pleased to be playing a part in supporting this pilot to enable young people living in these areas an opportunity to transform and raise their aspirations, through achieving the milestones of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”

Aberdeen City Council’s Duke of Edinburgh’s award & wider achievement manager Mark Pain said that skills being honed by young people on the Denis Law Legacy Trust’s Positive Destinations programme overlapped with key elements of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, so it made perfect sense to look at how they could join forces to maximise the chances of offering a brighter future to participants.

Mark said: “The Duke of Edinburgh award helps develop confidence, resilience, friendships and skills for work and can be a passport to a brighter future, as colleges, universities and employers have high regard for this award so it can help open doors.

“The Positive Destinations programme has similar aspirations, and because these young people are working on elements that count towards the Award, that solidified our thinking.

“By taking part in the Streetsports’ programme, for example, young people are volunteering or doing physical activity, which counts towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There is flexibility to tailor the programme to suit the interests of the individual so they develop skills in areas that interest them.

“What may be more challenging is the expedition as many of the young people have never camped in the countryside before, but they will be supported to gain the knowledge and experience they need to do that.

“With hard work and determination, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is within their grasp and we at Aberdeen City Council are pleased to be working on this pilot with the help of our partners to offer them further accreditation.

“We hope that it will achieve positive results, by increasing life opportunities for young people across Aberdeen, regardless of their postcode or address.”

Graham Thom, chairman of the Denis Law Legacy Trust, which backs the Streetsport programme, also believes it dovetails perfectly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Graham said: “It’s a natural progression for the young people who come to our many and varied sessions to gravitate to the awards scheme and is all part of our and their efforts to improve their lives.”

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact. It encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. For more information click here.

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