Celebrating youth work in the community with Reach 4 and CashBack for Communities

Keith Brown stands speaking in front of a pop up banner that reads 'Generation CashBack'

The Reach events are back with Generation CashBack

ALLOA, UK (12 March 2022) – Justice Secretary Keith Brown and a consortium of young people from the Boys’ Brigade Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland, Scouts Scotland and Youth Scotland today came together to celebrate youth work in their community as part of the Reach 4 event in Hawkhill Community Association, Alloa.

Reach events are cross-consortium events co-designed by young people, for young people. Reach creates opportunities to come together, create friendships, learn with and from each other and showcase the impact that Cashback for Communities and the consortium is making in their lives. In previous years (pre-COVID) Reach has been run as one large event but Reach 4 has been designed as a series of smaller events, with close links to local communities and youth groups.

On Saturday, 35 young people listened a welcome and opening plenary from Mr Brown before joining him in some fun and exciting activities including: Special Effects Make-Up, Environmental and Feel-Good Things.

Speaking at the Hawkhill Community Association, Justice Secretary, Keith Brown said:

“Evidence shows that youth work can have a significant impact on improving prospects for young people as well as having a positive effect on communities.

“Growing community youth groups is vital to this work which is why the experience of established organisations such as Youth Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland, the Boys’ Brigade and Scouts Scotland is fundamental to the success of the Generation CashBack programme.

“The work of local development workers has been instrumental in supporting youth groups, particularly during the last two years of the pandemic when we have seen some truly inspiring work.

“Events like this help us celebrate all that Generation CashBack can offer youth groups and young people.”

Joining Mr Brown in the Reach event workshops and activities, Mercedes said:

“The best thing about today is meeting new people and making new friends. Just having a laugh and getting along – just getting to be yourself.”

Lauren and Lucy, Young Advisors who co-designed the event said:

“We had to go to a bunch of meetings and put our ideas in and talk about the work we would have to do and the workshops that we wanted.”

“At events like these we get to meet other groups. It’s nice to meet a lot of new people.”

Also attending the event, Ian McLaughlan, Youth Scotland’s Chief Executive said:

“Youth Scotland is delighted to be back in the community and celebrating Reach 4 with the young people from our consortium with The Boys’ Brigade Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland and Scouts Scotland. Generation CashBack has been impactful in the communities most needful of opportunities, training and development for young people, and at a time where it was never more needed. This event is a chance to come together and recognise young people and their contribution to our communities.”

“With support the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, Generation Cashback will continue to tackle inequalities by having a greater focus on young people from areas of need and the Reach event will continue to celebrate the difference it makes.”

For editors:

About Generation Cashback and the consortium:

Generation CashBack is delivered by a partnership consortium of four of the largest volunteer-led youth work organisations in Scotland, comprising of: Scouts Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland, The Boys’ Brigade Scotland, and Youth Scotland. It centres around two main strands of project delivery (‘Grow’ and ‘Lead’) that aim to grow youth group membership and increase engagement in disadvantaged communities.

The current phase of Generation CashBack runs from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023 and has been supporting the Scottish Government’s aim to tackle inequalities by having a greater focus on young people from areas of deprivation and other disadvantaged young people. As part of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, phase 5 of Generation CashBack will receive £1.7mil funding across the consortium, over 3 years.

In year 1 of phase 5, Generation CashBack supported 2,781 young people, 79% of whom were from SIMD 1 – 3. 99% of young people reported that Generation CashBack had a positive impact on their behaviour, and 98% reported improvement in their wellbeing against SHANARRI indicators.

About Youth Scotland:  

We are the largest national youth work organisation in Scotland, supporting 75,000 young people, 1,600 youth groups and over 8,800 youth workers. Youth Scotland has been around since the early 20th century and has a diverse membership network – from small rural youth groups to large urban projects. The common goal that we all share is better outcomes for young people.

Our membership network is made up of local youth groups of all sizes, Area Associations and Youth Scotland staff who can provide support and training on a range of youth work topics. We are proud of the varied, universal youth work our network delivers and the innovative solutions our members create in an ever-changing youth work landscape.