Routes is shortlisted for a YouthLink Award!

“Routes is my safe place where I know I will always be listened to and staff are always on hand when I need them personally, at school or at college. They made college so easy helping me apply, sorting my funding and of course taking me to my induction. I told a staff member my dream job was working in Lush, they called the store got me an interview and I worked there in the lead up to Christmas. I mean who does that for someone like me? Routes does! I have had so many experiences in the past 5 years because of Routes, there is to many trips to tell you them all. I even went on a plane for the first time in my life to Orkney. I have made lifelong friends at the groups who understand what I have went through. Routes staff always think about what it is we want to do not what they think is best and support us in whatever we need. I am a confident thanks to staff at Routes always having my back when I need them.” – Ashley, aged 17

We’re thrilled to announce that Routes Young Person’s programme has been shortlisted for a prestigious YouthLink Award, recognising its outstanding contributions to youth development and empowerment. This nomination stands as a testament to the dedication and impact of the programme in the lives of young people, providing them with opportunities, support, and a platform to thrive.

At the heart of Routes is the principle of co-production, where young people actively participate in shaping the programme. From picking the name to creating the logo, every decision is made with their involvement. Heather beautifully captures the essence of this collaboration, stating, “We picked the name, every time I see it, I feel part of something and proud that I did that. Making something all these years ago that’s so important today.”

Summer, aged 13, shares her experience, highlighting the transformative nature of Routes: “What I like about Routes is when you say something like I want to go swimming. They make it happen, like it’s a dream that actually comes true.” This emphasis on turning aspirations into reality empowers young people to take ownership of their lives.

Sophie, aged 17, emphasises the personalised approach of Routes, stating, “Everything is focused on you and what you like doing. Claire knows I like Jaffa Cakes and every group activity brings Jaffa Cakes. It’s the small things that matter.” Such attention to detail fosters a supportive and inclusive environment where every young person feels valued.

Routes doesn’t just stop at participation; it actively recognises and nurtures the skills and achievements of young people. Eight individuals have completed Youth Dynamic Awards, with six more in progress. These awards, tailored to individual interests and goals, provide a pathway for personal development and recognition.

Moreover, Routes has supported 62 young people in further education, training, and employment. This includes assisting 37 individuals in attending college, offering comprehensive support ranging from application assistance to transportation guidance. For care-experienced young people, Routes ensures access to additional support, including the care-experienced bursary and advocacy within colleges.

The programme has also facilitated employability training courses for 16 young people, paving the way for paid employment opportunities. With dedicated assistance in CV writing, job applications, and interview preparation, Routes empowers young people to pursue their career aspirations.

Beyond structured activities, Routes provides consistent support through drop-in sessions at local schools and one-to-one meetings. By maintaining close communication with pastoral care teachers, Routes ensures holistic support for young people, addressing concerns and advocating for their needs within the educational system.

Tash’s journey exemplifies the transformative impact of Routes. Despite facing significant challenges, including anxiety and school refusal, Tash found hope and support through the programme. With guidance and encouragement, Tash discovered his passion for mechanics and flourished at Clydebank College, achieving 100% attendance and newfound confidence in his abilities.

Routes young person’s programme stands as a beacon of empowerment and support for young people, providing them with the tools and opportunities to realise their potential. As we celebrate our nomination for the YouthLink Award, we remain committed to our mission of fostering resilience, growth, and success in the lives of every young person we serve.

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