Connect Berwickshire Youth Project is a community-based organisation in Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders. The organisation is focused on helping make the world a better, happier place. With the help of experienced staff, they organise fundraisers, exciting community-building events, and in-depth training sessions for volunteers.

“I first heard of Young Placechangers when my manager told me about the residential. The outside of our club was messy and unwelcoming and we wanted to change that so that the area outside looked nicer, friendlier and more accessible. That is why I got involved with the Young Placechangers programme”

Young Placechangers residential weekend

Three young people from Connect took part in a Young Placechangers Residential training weekend in June 2018 where they were introduced to the Community Placemaking tool, the Place Standard, stakeholder mapping and creative consultation techniques.

“I attended the residential, and I learned all different kinds of things such as: what makes an area safe, how to do community mapping and I also learned how to get feedback from young people in a fun and creative way. The residential gave me more of an idea about what I wanted my area to look like after I had changed it

Following the weekend Connect secured a Young Placechangers seedcorn grant (£500) to take forward their place changing idea.

The Connect seedcorn grant project

Stage 1 of the project was to clear the “bushy mess” from outside the youth centre in Eyemouth and to make the youth centre more visible to the public. This involved a lot of teamwork to clear the ground cut trees and snip everything down to fit in the skips and woodchipper.

All Connect staff took part in the project as well as young volunteers and the local Men’s Shed. The caravan site close by provided help and the group had help from Alec spence Landscape Gardening.

“Members of the public walked past and gave us so many compliments and told us how much of a good job we were doing. We also had a few people stop past that had tried to do our project in the past but were not successful, so they were very pleased to see that we were successful”

Community Placemaking and the Place Standard

Community Placemaking and the Place Standard were used at the Residential training weekend to introduce the young people to ways of looking, discussing and evaluating their places they live, work or play. The young people shared these techniques with others back at their youth project.

“As soon as I got back from the residential, I started working on the plans we had made. The residential gave me the motivation to get it done—we put a budget together and we got in contact with people that could help us change our space. This made me feel more involved and more included in the process of changing the area and it’s nice to know that I have helped to make the change”

Next steps

At the end of their seed corn project the group from Connect applied for an Ideas Fund grant (£3000) to continue the transformation of the outdoor space next to their youth centre. The Young Placechangers Development Officer is working with the group to strengthen the project and connect with other community groups and place changing initiatives in Eyemouth – so watch this space!

“The programme has helped me build my confidence by getting me out there, traveling somewhere new, and meeting new people. I now feel I can talk to new people, just like I did at the residential. It has also made me feel more included in sharing ideas and view, making decisions and making changes. The thing I enjoyed best from Young Placechangers is I got to hear from everyone else and our opinions were always heard by everyone. I felt included"

Find out more about Connect Berwickshire Youth Project

Find out more about the Young Placechangers programme

Download the casestudy as a PDF