Wednesday, 23 November 2011
GET IN - young Ambassadors campaign
A group of teenagers had thought long and hard about what are the things affecting and even holding back young people growing up in poverty in Scotland. In their search to find a barrier for poor kids to achieving their full potential, they identified that it is often really hard to access leisure activities. There's the cost of the activities, there's the cost of travel involved. Maybe there's nothing available locally, or it's just too dear to get to or to get in. Leisure isn't just about a bit of fun, but really an important part of young people's lives. It's about socialising and keeping fit, development and something worthwhile to do. For those young people excluded from it because it's too dear, they are losing out on a lot.
The young people, who are the Scotland Ambassadors with Save the Children, came up with a solution: a discount card may help pave the way towards equal access to leisure. But, I hear you say (if you are in Scotland and know anything about young people), there's the Young Scot card already? Well, admittedly there is. How come then that lots of young people don't have one or don't use it? Once again, the Ambassadors identified why the Young Scot Card wasn't working for all young people and how it could possibly be improved.
On Monday, their GET IN Campaign was launched, at the Poverty Summit that they had organised and led. The summit brought together decision makers, movers and shakers and above all young people from various other projects that Save the Children is running in Scotland. While the Ambassadors presented their campaign and discount card idea in the "Dragon's Den" of politicians and Co., the other young people thought about how they could contribute to the campaign.
My personal high point was when children from both of the groups I currently work with grabbed the microphone out of my hands to stand up and present their ideas in front of an audience of about 70 adults in suits. As if it was the most natural thing to do. Sniff, it was rather moving seeing "my" 9 year olds telling it like it is.
This is meant to be the start and we need as much support as we can get to make the campaign a success and to move things forward. Please check out the Get In Campaing Facebook page and like it, share it amongst your networks. Tell any young people aged 11-19 and living in Scotland about the campaign survey (there's an iPod to be won!) because the more evidence of barriers around access to leisure the stronger the voice of the campaign will be.
And here they are in action, Scotland's Save the Children Ambassadors: