Youth-led sports outreach and detached youthwork

Heart and Sound is a youth work and creative media charity based in Dunfermline, Fife. They offer a range of programmes for 11-16-year olds including the afternoon toastie club, Respect Me project, Wild Hearts and Young Leaders.

After attending a Young Placechangers residential weekend, Heart and Sound secured a Seedcorn grant to take forward their placechanging idea:

“We wanted to make Heart and Sound a little bit greener and create a usable outdoor space where we can deliver projects, sit outside and enjoy some fresh air.”

The project created an area for planting and a picnic space at the entrance to the building where they meet. Different youth streams contributed to different aspects of the project, with the over 16s helping the youth worker with the physical construction of the project.

The group thought young placechangers was a great way to have an impact on the local area and to get young people thinking bigger than their immediate surroundings and start asking questions about how things can be done better or more efficient. Soon the group were making plans for an application to the Ideas Fund.

“We can make a real difference to our community by identifying local community assets and building upon them. This project has really sparked a desire to get a detached team set up with equipment that we can take to parks and events and reach young people where they are at.”

Detached youth work sessions were organised around Fife using sport as a method to engage with young people who wouldn’t normally engage with traditional youth work. The locations were identified by young people using the community mapping tool exercise and the Place Standard toolkit.

“The community mapping tool that we were taught at the residential was a fantastic tool that we have used in several ways since the residential. This has helped engaging the young people in putting together funding applications and it was used to get input on where we should target our detached youth work”. 

The project has increased the reach and engagement of Heart & Sound. Young people who got involved benefited from increased exercise and social contact; many are now attending regular projects and sessions at Heart & Sound. The project’s Panna Cage was also used to provide lunchtime sessions for pupils displaced after a fire at a local school.

More Young Placechangers case studies

greenspace scotland engages and empowers young people through the Young Placechangers programme.

Young Placechangers puts young people in the lead role – bringing together the wider community to look at local spaces and plan improvements. The Young Placechangers programme has used a co-production approach to develop and pilot a training and support programme enabling young people to transform both the place they live, their relationship to it and the wider community.

Young Placechangers