#GameChanger has been designed by young people built on the well-established community links, strengths and positive culture of the Highland Wildcats. It encourages active-lifestyles, shared-learning, peer-support and community-connectedness. The project has the following outcomes:
Outcome 1: Young people have better physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Outcome 2: Young people access new skills and training opportunities.
Outcome 3: Young people become better connected with the wider community
This all started with asking a group of our young people aged 13– 19:
What are the issues that you and your friends face?
What can we do to make them better?
From there, the young people took over! They had a 3-hour brainstorming-session. They used post-its to identify issues young people in our community face and ideas on how they could help.
They identified the biggest issues they that and their friends face are: online bullying, anxiety/depression, lack of affordable sport, being lonely, not enough skills/experience for getting jobs, being too nervous to try sports and becoming unhealthy.
From the young people’s involvement in Wildcats, both playing and volunteering, they felt they improved soft-skills, gained confidence, coped better with failure, dealt better with anxiety, became more sociable, improved teamwork, found a career-path, felt part of something and had fun.
They wanted to give these opportunities to other young people. They started discussing all the skills we already had within our club and the links we had to other organisations in the area.
From this information, they put together activities they believed would tackle the issues. As the activities were their ideas, they plan to deliver them themselves as volunteers by leading sessions in schools, setting up social/adventure/teambuilding activities, supporting the delivery of courses, facilitating peer-support sessions, promoting in their schools/college, and linking with other organisations.
In later planning sessions, the young people went into more detail about the activities (where/when/duration) they want to deliver. They went about this by first asking, what put off their friends getting involved in the sport? From this they explored how they could improve or adapt activities to reduce barriers for young people to activities which will lead to many positive opportunities.
They considered what made them stick with the sport and their most memorable moments to identify the current strengths and how they can add to them with #GameChanger to bring about opportunities that exceed beyond just taking part in sport.
#GameChanger is supported bt The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust, The Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation, Reach Digital Telecoms Scotland and The Inverness Common Good Fund.