The S2 DYA Crew are a group of young people at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton who were working towards their Youth Scotland Dynamic Youth Awards. Supported by the CLD team West Dunbartonshire Council, they attended a Young Placechangers residential training weekend where they were introduced to the Community Placemaking tool, the Place Standard, stakeholder mapping and creative consultation techniques.

Young Placechangers project in a nutshell

The group of pupils were involved in a series of environmental projects in the school grounds to make the place more welcoming and to incorporate growing spaces. They had been gifted over 1000 native trees from The Woodland Trust. Being a new school campus, and the merging of two schools, there had been some negative reactions to this in the community and here was an opportunity to invite members of the community into school grounds to plant trees as a new legacy for the area – and create a woodland on the hill.

The young people wanted to organise the tree planting themselves, and research who in the school community and wider community could help and could be invited. On the planting days members of the community were invited in to help plant the trees. They were offered tea and cake for their hard work.

10 young people in the S2 DYA Crew group, 2 CLD team members and over 60 people came out to help on the day.

‘I was surprised by how good I was at planting trees and how many people came to help’ 

Community Placemaking and the Place Standard

The Placemaking approach helped the group to think about who they could get involved in the project, both inside and outside the school community, and they learnt about how to influence decision making in the local area.

Next steps and new partnerships

The aim is to establish a gardening group, set up a kitchen garden and use produce in Home Economics. It is hoped that they can build on the project to encourage help from people in the local community who can do skills sharing with the pupils.

On the tree planting day, parents and grandparents came out to help, with representatives from the Police and the local Environmental Trust too. It was an important step in creating a new sense of community around the new campus built environment.

Youth Scotland Dynamic Youth awards 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