Four youth workers from the Borders have been shortlisted for the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards.
Girlguiding leader Kirsteen MacKenzie has been nominated for her work with local young women.
A member of Girlguiding Tweed Valley, she has been a Brownie Leader in Selkirk for over 20 years. Kirsteen has made a real difference to countless girls and young women as well as supporting and mentoring adult volunteers. A young woman supporting her nomination said “I have benefitted a lot from the work Kirsteen has done. She’s always giving up her time and doesn’t often receive the recognition she deserves.”
David Hodson from Peebles is in the frame for Climate Change Champion of the Year for his work with Tweedale Youth Action. In partnership with Peebles High School, Police Scotland and PeeblesCAN, David has driven innovative green projects, increasing young people’s awareness of climate change. The Food Punks project combines Peeble’s CAN garden project with cooking classes, with youngsters learning about food from field to plate.
Graham Easton, CLD Worker at Peebles High School who put David forward for this award said: “David is a true Green Champion, his vision is designed around the need to reduce everybody’s carbon footprint while ensuring young people can still enjoy structured, sustainable and progressive youth work delivery.”
YouthBorders have been nominated for their youth arts programme ‘Thinking Differently on Alcohol’. The project in Galashiels is up for the Arts and Creativity Award.
Clare de Bolle, chief officer of YouthBorders said the project is successful because it connects young people and encourages them to take control: “It empowers young people to take the lead and educate their peers on how important it is to look out and support each other on alcohol.”
Another continued success story of Borders youth work, VOMO TV, also based in Galashiels, has also been shortlisted for the Arts and Creativity Award. Lisa Cowan, youth media development worker, said: “VOMO TV is one of the most innovative youth-arts projects in Scotland. It offer youngsters opportunities to develop skills through exciting TV and film activities using state of the art equipment, all free of charge. It brings new artistic experiences and the often inaccessible world of media directly to young people where they can develop their technical skills to produce their own media and speak with their own voice.”