Serving, Encouraging and Equipping is the motto of Go Youth Trust.
The Christian organisation and Scottish charity, which operates out of the former YMCA offices in Falkirk’s Glebe Street, is hoping to take that motto and expand the services it is offering.
Working in partnership with local churches, including Maddiston Evangelical, Albert Gospel Hall in Grangemouth, Falkirk Baptist Church and Olivet Evangelical, Go Youth Trust has been offering after-school clubs, early-intervention mentoring, befriending groups and residential camps for the past five years.
It also is active further afield, working at a local level with schools, churches and groups and 350 children across Central Scotland.
Now, however, the charity is trying to reach out to even more people.
Go Youth Trust held a coaching day on Saturday which saw 20 of its own trained, PVG-registered volunteers being trained in mentoring to help more youngsters deal with a range of issues including behaviour and engagement.
Dave Bremner, director and founder of Go Youth Trust said: “We currently work with schools in Grangemouth, Falkirk and Central Scotland, offering mentoring, behavioural intervention and personal development.
“By training more mentors who are volunteers within the organisation, we are hoping to go out into more schools in the next year and offer one hour of mentoring per week for the whole school term.
“We predominately work with children between seven and 11.
“We find it is a great time to work with children before certain behaviours get too entrenched.”
One school which has been involved with Go Youth Trust is Moray Primary in Grangemouth.
After inviting the organisation’s youth worker to work with children over the past few years, the school has found it a very positive experience and a way of helping to support children at risk of disengaging from education.
Ghislaine Tait, head teacher, said: “Go Youth Trust is connected with a few of the local churches in Grangemouth and many of our children attend different activities it holds after school or during the school holidays.
“Over the last few years, they have also been coming in to school and working with children who have been experiencing difficulties, either at home or who are having behavioural problems which effect them in school.
“The youth workers work with them and really help them to build up resilience or manage their anger to deal with certain situations.
“They have worked with small groups of children who we have identified as in need of some support and it works very well.
“We had two boys a couple of years ago who we didn’t think were going to stay in school but, with a range of support, including the youth worker at Go Youth Trust, they did.”
Go Youth Trust is also excited about expanding its current base at 1 Glebe Street.
Dave said: “We recently took over the running of the old Falkirk YMCA Christian Institute building on the corner of Glebe Street and Newmarket Street. The building has been falling into disrepair over the last decade. We are excited about returning the property back to its original purpose of serving the young people of Falkirk through Christian mission.
“We are expanding what we offer there – the first floor is very big – and we are hoping to deliver a youth centre in Falkirk town centre which will serve as a drop-in centre for teenagers.
“We think it’s important for teenagers to have their own space, somewhere they can call their own, which can be used for lots of different activities.
“The new centre will be open during afternoons for youth drop-ins, personal development programmes and training.
“We are also really excited about working with the Falkirk Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which is providing the majority of the funding to bring the outside of the building back to its original state.”
For more info, visit www.goyouthtrust.org.uk.