Joe was referred by his school to the Pupil Support Service in Fife due to his refusal to follow basic school rules. He had a history of multiple exclusions and was verbally abusive to staff, including threats of physical violence.
The Pupil Support Service offered Joe the opportunity to participate in a Bronze level Youth Achievement Award. The offer was part of a package of experiences which were designed to help re-engage Joe with education in its broadest sense and allow him to experience success through gaining a recognised qualification.
The flexible nature of the Youth Achievement Award made it very accessible for Joe; he was able to plan his involvement and take responsibility for every aspect of his learning.
For his Award, Joe set himself 4 personal Challenges that were based on his interests:
Joe initially presented in a very confrontational manner however, with some intense work and nurture from staff, he began to engage with his Challenges and work towards completing his Award.
Staff reported that after only a short period of time, it was very evident that Joe was becoming much more confident and positive around all aspects of his education.
They could also see an improvement in other areas of the curriculum as the positive experience of participating in the Youth Achievement Awards transferred into Joe’s relationships with staff, which in turn improved work rate and attitude in other subject areas.
Lauren, 18, is working on her leadership qualification to become a Guide Leader with the 295thGlasgow Guide Unit. She’s also a member of Girlguiding Glasgow’s Croftfoot Senior Section.
Her leadership qualification is part of working towards her prestigious Queen’s Guide qualification, the pinnacle of achievement for girls in The Senior Section. Each participant must complete a variety of challenges within three years.
But it’s not all hard work and no play!
For the exploratory element, me and my friends organised a Guide camp around the theme of 'Big Fat Gypsy Dragon Den Wedding'. The Guides had to make dresses out of newspaper and toilet rolls and pitch their wedding ideas to us. We wore suits like the dragons to listen to their presentations – the winning group was some older Guides who were so funny.
We also went to London earlier this year as part of the award, and visited all the locations on the Monopoly Board which took ages! While we were there, we got to be part of the service team for the Queen's Garden Party which involved tasks like opening car doors for guests. I also got to meet the Queen, she was so cute!
Another project I took on as part of my Queens Guide was project managing a Glasgow-based wide game for hundreds of Girlguiding Scotland members, which we called 'Wee-G-Opoly'. I was a bit scared at first because the Senior Section team I was working with are all really good friends, so I didn't want to tell them what to do or boss them around! But in the end, we all worked so well together.
"School wasn't the best for me".
Aiden shares his experience of learning post-school and how youth awards can help develop skills for employment, add to the CV and provide a good talking point in interviews.
"I had no idea there were so many awards you could get outside school..... Awards can give you the chance to get the experience....that employers look for."
"My 100 hours Saltire Award will be really helpful to me on my CV....Schools should incorporate more awards like these to give you more opportunities."
At 17, Harriet, in her own words, was a typical teen from Glasgow. She had no ambition or drive, and was content to continue her part time job in her local hairdressers when she had finished school.
Then the opportunity came along for her to take part.
Her three weeks at Outward Bound were some of the most challenging of her life.
And with that challenge, came a whole new perspective on what she could achieve in life. She no longer wanted to settle for the life that she was living.
She too saw the potential that her Outward Bound instructor had recognised. And now with a new sense of confidence and independence, wanted to go out into the world and make a success of her life.
Harriet’s course gave her the chance to raise her aspirations and realise her potential.
Join the community of individuals and organisations that are registering to become Awards Aware to demonstrate the value that non-formal learning brings to young people, those that support them in learning and achievement, parents and carers as well as employers. Learn More.
“We support Awards Aware because in our role as the TSI for Clackmannanshire, we support the community at large, including young people. As a TSI we hold the remit for Saltire and so we are passionate to ensure that young people in our area achieve recognition for their hard work and would love to be involved in supporting to raise awareness of the fact that learning doesn't always happen in a classroom!”
Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface
“We support Awards Aware because we recognise the added value awards offer to young people, education and industry. ”
Developing the Young Workforce Edinburgh, Midlothian & East Lothian