Heart and Sound is a youth work and creative media charity based in Dunfermline, Fife. The organisations offer a programme for 11-16-year olds such as an afternoon toastie club, the respect me project and Wild Hearts and Young Leaders.

The 16-24-year olds who come to the club become in involved in the recording studio where the charity offers free recording to bands. Heart & Sounds also produces promotion videos for other Scottish charities and free music videos for anyone under 25. All 13-25-year olds can make use of the recording studio facilities for their own music

Heart & Sounds have a three special groups “Youth Boards” of young people who help make decisions about projects we run, staff we hire, give feedback on the work and take part in blue sky thinking for the future.

It was members of the Sports/diversionary activities/skate reach youth board who first got involved with the Young Placechangers Programme.

Young Placechangers Residential training weekend

In June 2018, two young people and a youth worker from Heart & Sound took part in a Young Placechangers Residential training weekend where they were introduced to the Community Placemaking tool, the Place Standard, stakeholder mapping and creative consultation techniques.

"One surprising aspect was how well the two young people who attended the residential were able to bring back their learning and share it with the rest of the group"

Following the weekend Heart and Sound secured a Young Placechangers Seedcorn grant (£500) to take forward their place changing 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 Heart & Sound seedcorn grant project

The project has created an area for planting and a picnic space at the entrance to the building where they meet. They used timber joints to create a frame for a decking area with additional timber used to create a frame for a 3-sided sitting.

The hardest part of the project was ensuring that there was as many young people involved throughout the whole project and that it was not left to a few individuals. This was achieved by getting the different youth streams to contribute to different aspects of the project, then having the over 16’s helping the youth worker with the physical construction of the project.

“Our advice to others who want to take part in the programme is that that it is a very good program and it has some really positive impacts with your young people. The project is a great platform for the young people to really step up and taking a leading role in youth work”

The group behind the project also thought it was a great way to have an impact on your local area and get young people thinking bigger than their immediate surroundings and start asking questions about how things can be done better or more efficient.

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.

“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”  

Next steps

At the end of their seed corn project the group from Heart and Sound applied for an Ideas Fund grant (£3000) to change places around Dunfermline for the better by organising football and youth work outreach events in local parks. The funding has just been granted and the project is set to go!

 “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”

Find out more about Heart & Sound Youth Project

Find out more about the Young Placechangers programme

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