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Helping Argyll’s Young People

with housing, employment, health and wellbeing and information and advice

Health and Wellbeing

In order for our young people to hold down a job or sustain a tenancy, they need to feel good about themselves both physically and mentally, and that’s exactly what our activity programme aims to achieve.

Our approach to activities, health and wellbeing is all about:
  • Broadening horizons
  • Building confidence
  • Stretching comfort zones
  • Developing positive and healthy daily routines
  • Engaging in new experiences
  • Promoting new opportunities
  • Enhancing skills and developing new skills
  • Building new relationships
  • Strengthening young people’s connection with their local community, clubs and facilities to promote social integration and inclusion that extends beyond the programme.

Healthy Eating – you are what you eat! A ’cooking on a budget’ group runs in both Dunoon and Rothesay on a weekly basis – young people choose what they would like to cook, purchase the ingredients within the given budget, and are then supported to cook the meal together. Our aim is to encourage healthy eating by giving young people the opportunity to experiment with food and develop their skills to become more confident in their cooking ability. Moreover this provides young people with the chance to try something different that they can share and enjoy in the company of others.

Alternative Sport Programme
– Young people don’t always get the chance to try different sports. Perhaps they were always the last one picked for the team at school or they couldn’t afford the fees. So this programme gives our young people the opportunity to get involved in a range of both indoor and outdoor sporting activities that they may otherwise never have had the chance to do. Examples of the alternative sports we provide include badminton, basketball, tennis, golf, carpet bowls, and shinty. We hope that by creating these opportunities and introducing young people to new sports that it will spark an interest that can lead to longer term involvement in the sport beyond our programme. Again this is why it is so essential that we work closely with the local community and arrange these activities with local sports clubs, giving young people the opportunity to continue engaging in the activity beyond the taster sessions, thereby increasing social inclusion.

Football – HELP have used football as a successful vehicle to engage particularly with young men. A number of young people have participated in the Homeless World Cup and have had the honour of being capped for playing for their country. In Rothesay we have linked with Calums Cabin to run a tournament in memory of Calum Speirs a young man who lost his battle with cancer and whose memory lives on through Calums Cabin and Calums cottage accommodation available to other families going through similar experiences. Locally we deliver our own football sessions for our young people which is all about having fun, scoring goals and blending a team together for any tournaments that we compete in throughout the year. On a weekly basis we also support our young keen footballers from both Dunoon and Rothesay across the water to Greenock where they train with Street Soccer Scotland. Partnering up with Street Soccer has opened up a number of fantastic footballing opportunities for our players, and this exciting new relationship only continues to grow stronger and stronger.

– Young people who have been in care don’t necessarily have a photo album documenting their life experiences. Through Photography we can help young people to build their story – where they went to school, where they played and what they liked as a youngster. It’s an opportunity for them to tell their story and to reflect positively on their life and their personal journey.

Parenting Group– Many of HELP’s young people are young parents, and so we run a parenting group that gives young people the skills to do the best jobs in the world - one that is often the hardest. The parenting group runs all year round with activities including First aid for Babies and Children, Baby Massage, Book Bug, Buggy Buddies, Weaning and Nutrition, Baby Swimming Classes, Trips to Fun World and much more. We also like to make a big deal during the holiday seasons by celebrating festivities with annual Easter Egg Hunts, Halloween Parties and Christmas Parties. During the summer months we also put together an exciting summer holiday programme whereby weekly trips are organised for mums and children to enjoy lovely days away, including trips to Kelburn Country Park, Ettrick Bay, Millport, and the Inveraray Highland Games.

All of our parent group activies aim to create an opportunity for young parents to come together, socialise, learn together, ask questions and ultimately become more confident in their parenting skills.

Life Coaching – Each year we have organised a programme of lifecoaching activities with Nick Smith from Xpand. His fantastic activities have included rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, weaselling, high ropes, mountain biking, gorge walking and various team challenges. Such activities have proven to be a fantastic way of mentally and physically challenging our young people and bringing them out of their comfort zones - whilst further developing key transferable skills including effective communication, leadership, team working and problem solving.

What young people said about the differences our activities make to their lives........

100% of our young people surveyed agreed that the support they received from HELP had ’Improved their lives’.
98.33% said they felt more connected to their local community.
98.33% said that they felt staff consulted them about what they want and need.

Year end June 2019. The total number of engagements in activities reached 542.

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