Background

Youth Vision – Rites of Passage for Young people

There are no defining moments that express the transition from childhood to adulthood for our young people today and they often receive very little support at such a challenging time. This combined with other challenges young people face, can result in young people losing sight of a vision for their future.

Youth Vision started in 2008/09 as part of the Foundation for Planetary Healing and went on to become and independent registered charity and a limited company with its own Board of Trustees.

Youth Vision is for young people aged 11 to 18 yrs old, providing support and learning to develop the inner awareness and self-esteem necessary for adolescents to make a healthy transition from childhood to adulthood. We use practical wilderness exercises with therapeutic purposes, survival skills, group outdoor activities, earth awareness, Native wisdom as well as teaching traditional skills such as willow weaving or drystane dyking.

We have an on-going renovation programme at our base at Theipmuir Reservoir in the Pentland Hills Regional Park and have secured funding for the next two years to continue to develop our Youth Groups, Community Workshops and our relationship with our partner schools.

Youth Vision provides young people with the opportunity to build self esteem, develop confidence, positive attitude and behaviour, enhance and maximize their process of integration with the adult world. The outdoors work at the farm steading outside Balerno, provides a safe space for the young people to explore their own views, thoughts, expressions and feelings. Our therapeutic but fun outdoors exercises encourage them to work on themselves, become stronger people, establish their own identity as an individual and become aware of the responsibilities that come with that.

Listening and being listened to is the foundation of our work that supports young people in the process of building confidence, self-esteem and self-belief. Team work is a strong part of the work and through that they gain an awareness of others around them and how they can integrate, became a valued team member and then part of a bigger community.

All members of our staff team undergo an advanced PVG Disclosure. In addition our staff have backgrounds in nursing, youth work, and counselling and forest school.

The support and interest from parents/guardians is very important in the process and we encourage their involvement as much as possible. E.g. signing their application form, showing an interest in what the young person has been doing in the project, picking them up or dropping them off, answering our evaluation questionnaires, etc.

Youth Vision is a very unique programme and we are proud and delighted to be offering it to young people, supporting them to have a smooth and happier transition into adulthood.

All of our Youth Vision ‘graduates’ are able to keep in touch with us and often come back for volunteer days and the annual summer camp and short Vision Quest once they reach 16 to signify the Rites of Passage.