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Hope 2 Oban

BFG - Bright Futures Group

H2O has worked in partnership with Oban Youth Café, Community Learning and Development and Atlantis Leisure since August 2008 to form the Bright Futures Group (BFG), whose aim is to provide opportunities for young people over 16 who are not in education, employment or training (The More Choices More Chances agenda). The initiative takes a holistic approach to engaging, motivating and challenging the young people. The aim is that the young people involved will have been supported into employment or “Get Ready For Work”, an apprenticeship, further training, or will have increased their confidence and will have a ‘next step’ in place.

The Bright Futures Group learned a great deal from the Pilot project run from August to December 2008.  As a result changes were made to the format of the second programme.  These were in response to several factors, for example, the drop out rate of the girls from the organised activities; some young people’s difficulty with the transition from group work to one-to-one mentoring and the need for young folk to have more understanding of the purpose of the programme from the start.

The 2009 programme ran from September to December.  The initial residential was well attended and positive.  While the rest of the weekly sessions organised were useful for those attending, again it was found that attendance dropped off, was sporadic and that the girls tended to become disengaged from the group. It became apparent that a number of the girls babysat for elder siblings and so could not attend. Other young people found fitting into the group challenging. 

It is clear that this group of young people have very individualised needs and that any programme should cater more for each person separately to assist them towards their next step in life.  Therefore, the partners plan to offer a flexible programme which will have some fixed elements but will aim to help each young person identify targets and will support young people according to their needs. 

For nine months through the 2010-2011 period, H2O worked closely with Oban Youth Café to provide a drop-in space for young mums. Whilst this was successful for a few mums and babies, the opportunity was not well-attended and it was decided not to pursue this group further.

The current BFG partnership includes the original members along with Skills Development Scotland, Job Centre Plus, Oban High School, Stramash and Oasis. Opportunities currently available for young folk include a Learning Programme provided by the Social Enterprise Academy and a Driving Academy, whereby young people have the opportunity to practice their driving theory skills.