A project which supports vulnerable young people into employment, education, training and volunteering is up for a national award.
The Positive Achievements project, based in Kirkintilloch, has been shortlisted in the ‘Youth & Education’ category of the Nature of Scotland Awards. The winners willbe annoucned next month.
Young people involved with the project, which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund, have been taking part in its conservation and gardening initiative.
It means they can make a real difference to their local environment while gaining skills, experience and knowledge to help them move into and sustain a positive destination.
The scheme encourages young people to understand that they are part of a wider, natural environment and that they can make a difference to the wildlife and habitats on their doorstep.
They have been working with the Scottish Forestry Commission to conserve and develop land and improve access to overgrown areas of paths and woodland that are part of established walking routes.
They are given the chance to immerse themselves in their wild surroundings, enjoy the health benefits of the great outdoors and ‘do their bit’.
East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The Positive Achievements project has a history of success stories working with local young people, many of whom are at risk of disengagement and failing to achieve their goals or aspirations.
“The project gives them opportunities to improve their life skills, learn new things and improve their chances of moving into work, training or further education. It is a hugely worthwhile project and I’m delighted for them that they have been shortlisted for this national award.”
She added added: “In the last few years more than 160 young people and staff have achieved the John Muir Discovery Award whilst obtaining valuable skills for learning, life and work along the way.
“Getting their hands dirty, picking up new skills and literally seeing the fruits of their labour gives the young people a sense of achievement and pride.
“It is wonderful that their work is being recognised nationally and I wish them the best of luck next month when the judges make their final decision.”