Fulfil Your Potential At The YMCA

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The enterprising people at Perth and District YMCA are on the look-out for young people to join their Princes Trust Team Program - a project changing young lives for the better.

Gill Farnington, Assistant Team Leader for the program commented:“The Princes Trust Team Program is a 12-week personal development programme aimed at 16 to 25 year olds who are not in work or education and have barriers stopping them from doing so.

We do loads of things on the course. There’s ice-breakers and team-building, and getting to know each other for the first couple of weeks. We travel for a week to Loch Tay for a residential where do lots of outdoor activities such as canoeing, abseiling, and canyoning.  

Princes Trust Program - Rock climbing
When we come back we spend three weeks doing a community project picked by the young people. They source their materials and spend two weeks on this, followed by two weeks of work placements, building on their current interests.

Then we do CVs, employability skills, mock interviews, and go on days visiting various local organisations, getting them experiencing lots of new things.

At the end of it all we have a big celebration where they invite their friends and family to see them get their certificates. The whole time they’re working toward a qualification that they can use to move onwards. Having led one team program, I can see the change from beginning to the end”.

This sounds like a great opportunity for young people, many of whom have perhaps not been afforded the right opportunities to allow their potential to be realized to the fullest. It seems natural then, a change in confidence is evident.

“You see a huge growth in their confidence, through the relationships they build. There’s such a growth in their self-esteem. It’s quite amazing to see. The program gives them a purpose. With a lot of young people they don’t know should they go to college, or if they should apply for a job. They're unsure what direction to take in life.

You see a huge growth in their confidence, through the relationships they build. There’s such a growth in their self-esteem. It’s quite amazing to see.This gives them the chance to sit back and get them thinking about these things. It makes them think about their strengths and what they're good at”.

What does she think it is that the program does right – that evokes such positive reactions in the young people on it? “Princes Trust isn’t like going to college, it’s not like going to school, it’s not structured. It’s run by us, but led by them.

They get out of it what they put into it and a lot of what we do is decided by them. For example, they decide the community project, they decide what we’re eating at residentials, there’s a lot of planning by them. It can be very empowering.”

This all sounds incredibly positive, and if I hadn’t been sold already on the veracity and merit of this program, my conversation with Logan – a young person who had been on this program in past – would have utterly convinced me. He told me over the phone:

“I wanted to go to college and I had no qualifications - I didn’t like school and it wasn’t good for me so I left. The Princes Trust really helped me. Next April I’m volunteering in Tanzania to help out on a project for the local community there, which I never would have done if it wasn’t for this initial programme.

I helped out with arranging and getting involved in events. Through this, I was introduced to new people, and it built up my confidence a lot. Before if you told me I’d be speaking to a reporter I wouldn’t have the confidence to, but I’ve gained so much confidence through here that I feel able to speak to you today.” And as for what he’d say to a young person thinking of applying:

“I recommend this programme to so many people”, Logan tells me, the genuine enthusiasm evident in his voice, “I’ve had so many nice experiences. Everyone is so down to earth and friendly.

It’s thanks to them I went from having no qualifications to having a health and hygiene qualification. It’s given me so many opportunities to get involved in leadership roles. It’s really changed my life. I have had so many new experiences and there’s still more to come”.


The programme is currently looking for young people from a range of backgrounds, aged 16 to 25 who are not currently in employment or education to take part in their next programme, which takes place from the 24th of September 2018 to the 14th of December, 2018. This is a FREE full-time 12 week course that is run at the YMCA, 5 Charlotte Street, Perth. This programme will not affect any benefits.

For further information or to refer a young person please contact:

Barry Davidson – barry@ymcaperth.com - 07815597915

Gill Farnington – gillian@ymcaperth.com - 07971484836

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