Recently I've been very fortunate, and I feel as though I'm entering a new chapter in my life. After a long uphill battle with my mental health, I feel quite secure in myself for the first time in about five years, and I'm ready to begin sharing my experiences and using them to (hopefully) help others. It's become increasingly clear to me the importance of that, and though I hold no reluctant sense of obligation, I feel a purposeful sense of duty to others and I'm excited to see where this new chapter takes me.
It's due to recent changes such as this I feel equipped now to really immerse myself in work such as volunteering for great causes like YAP. I always felt I had a home there, even during some of my darker days, and I cannot express enough my gratitude towards all the amazing people at YAP, who work so tirelessly and selflessly to inspire young people.
Band-wise, I couldn't be happier, and I'm feeling more inspired and creative than ever. It is indeed a shame the toll current events are taking on artists and musicians; so it would be very easy for me to feel guilty about this lock-down period bringing out the best in me - as it turns out, I just needed a break; as I tend to feel under pressure to be productive and creative all the time. However, as indicated, I feel I'm in a position now where I can look outwards and support other people who are struggling. Regrettably, my own issues caused me to lose sight of these things and become disconnected from the very people I needed to feel alive.
I'm looking forward to all of this subsiding in the hopefully-near future,
and hope things will return brighter than ever for all of us.
My son has a duel diagnosis and I'm a lone parent with a long term health condition. We haven't been here long and don't really have a big network of friends or family close.
Lockdown has been hard but not from the classical sense. My son is very black and white and has decided outside isn't safe. He has used this to justify his wish to stay in his room or not leave the house. For him lockdown means he is living his best life with low demands and without the expectations and conformity or school or clubs. During this time it's fine but at some point restrictions will be lifted and he will need to go outside daily and of course go back to school. If we can't maintain some ‘leaving the house’ time I'm not sure how we will achieve that.
This had been a huge concern for me and an ongoing source of conflict at home.
Helen and Alex stepped in with some 1-2-1 cycling which is something I can't do with my son because of my health. He was resistant at first but Alex was amazing with him. He now goes willingly and looks forward to it. He is even starting to walk the dog with me.
I have a much more balanced child and I feel like we both made a friend.
Alex has also Introduced my son to the idea of some of the other services provided by the organisation and he is very excited about the cyber cafe re-opening. This is huge for him. He can walk there or even cycle and be independent doing something he will love and make friends in a safe environment.
Thank you so much Helen and Alex
The most important thing YAP gave me was a sense of place and also the confidence to express myself. I would never perform in front of others but now you'd be lucky to keep me quiet. I learned more than any music degree could teach me about playing with others. Even small tricks that help you 'hone your abilities' go a long way. Not every young person needs to know how to tune a guitar but they do deserve an environment where they can develop themselves socially.
My transition from Covey Befriending to INtegr8 at Youth Action Project was smooth and effortless and I credit this purely to the open conversations between myself and my Co-ordinator, the convenient way meetings were made around my schedule taking into account my home life, and the reassurance given that I was in fact wanted by Youth Action Project. Throughout the whole process I felt in control and listened to which gave me confidence that any young person I was paired with would be given the same courtesy. I feel a real part of the INtegr8 team and after two successful matches; I am reassured in my own abilities and Youth Action Project’s standards and commitment to young people.
Hi, my name is Dean and I have been working with Tooled Up for nearly a year now. I first became involved after working with the LITE project.
I have had the opportunity to try lots of different kinds of practical work. Building railway sleeper planters for the Quentin court garden project. Basic maintenance of the project vehicles (oil changes, coolant and tyre pressures). Building a BBQ and refurbishing furniture for the Addiewell community garden project, after assisting with clear up and tidying of the garden.
I was also selected to represent the project at an event for our funders, Ethicon in the Community.
I really enjoy my time at Tooled Up and feel that I am now much more prepared for work, after also attending some adult basic education courses.
I would like to thank West Lothian Youth Action Project and especially Barry and Joe for putting up with me and teaching me skills I will take into my working life.
Being involved with the Youth Action Project has turned out rather well for me, I've been given a lot of opportunities that I just wouldn't have gotten otherwise. What really kicked it all off for me was presenting the wee crofts news at the A.G.M back in November, although it was nerve racking speaking in front of all those people, the praise I received from people I spoke to afterwards more than made up for it! In the wee croft itself I am chairman of our committee, during my time doing this we have organised and held our Christmas party. After receiving a generous donation of party food from Tesco all went well and everyone had a good time at our last party in our current building.
With the building of our new home due to get underway soon we look forward to moving in and after all the hard work that went into securing it I'm sure we'll all appreciate it that bit more! Another one of the opportunities the YAP has given me has been to become a member of West Lothian's Youth Congress and I've been given the honour of representing the project there. And even if I don't become prime minister, being involved in committees and decision making is always a great thing to have on your CV! The project is in the process of creating it's own committee for young people, and with the first meeting on the 16th of january I look forward to meeting other people involved with the project there. Overall, being involved with the Youth Action Project has been great for me, and I really hope it continues long into the future.