LYPP celebrates young people every day in Linlithgow

Meet the team... Graeme Lacey, activities co-ordinator and youth worker, with Katherine, Elaine and Russell.
Meet the team... Graeme Lacey, activities co-ordinator and youth worker, with Katherine, Elaine and Russell.

Linlithgow Young People’s Project will not directly be taking part in this year’s designated Year of Young People.

However, it works with young people in Linlithgow and surrounding towns, such as Bridgend, daily – year round.

Spruced up...LYPP will once again be potting plants to brighten up the outside of its premises, the Lounge, in the town's Vennel.

Spruced up...LYPP will once again be potting plants to brighten up the outside of its premises, the Lounge, in the town's Vennel.

And it has some of its own special projects to focus on this year too.

Four youngsters are working with LYPP to organise and run a local volunteer celebration event in June, in partnership with Linltihgow Community Development Trust (LCDT).

LYPP will be working with Burgh Beautiful to create a potted vegetable garden, as well as again sprucing up the area outside its premises, the Lounge in the Vennel.

And the project is currently seeking funding to launch a mentoring project in Linlithgow and Bridgend by the end of the year.

With so much going on, we caught up with the team to find out more.

Katherine Orr is working with four girls – Jane, Emma, Cara and Grace – to organise the volunteer event during the Marches celebrations.

A youth support worker, Katherine is also an LCDT trustee and was involved in the inaugural volunteer celebration last year.

She said: “There are more than 100 voluntary groups in Linlithgow and LCDT wanted to recognise them.

“So last year it organised a celebration in the Burgh Halls to thank them all for their efforts.

“It was such a success we wanted to do it again but, this year, we decided to do it in collaboration with LYPP.

“I’m now working with the four girls to organise the event, which we hope to hold in the Marches Marquee, possibly on June 11, although that’s still to be confirmed.

“The girls have sent emails out, trying to organise the venue, catering and music.

“They are organising it from the ground up – I’m just helping oversee it.

“Groups had their own slideshows last year thanking their volunteers and we’re hoping to do something similar this year.

“It’s a great experience for the girls and it will go towards their Saltire Awards, as we’re keeping track of the amount of hours they are putting into it.

“It’s also helping to build their confidence, speaking to adults to organise the event.

“It should be a great night and the girls are really looking forward to it.”

Russell Shields, youth and schools worker, is also rolling up his sleeves to work with youngsters on a Burgh Beautiful-inspired idea.

He said: “Last year we planted some pots with flowers outside the Lounge. Burgh Beautiful was delighted with our efforts and has asked us to do it again this year.

“However, it is also running a gardening competition for youngsters in Linlithgow so we’re working with our ASDAN class at the Academy on that.

“The class is for young people looking to do a project without another exam at the end of it.

“We’re hoping to get a couple of bigger pots to grow our own potatoes in. The potato crop could also be used in our Foodie Friday courses, which teach young people skills in the kitchen.

“The class will also be growing the flowers for our flower pots, which will help brighten up the outside of our Lounge premises.

“We have youngsters working on a range of projects – the gardening competition is ideal to teach them yet another skill.”

Elaine Kinloch, LYPP project manager, is also trying to source funding to launch a new mentoring project, which she hopes to get off the ground by the end of this year.

She said: “We’re hoping to do early interventions with young people from P6 at Bridgend Primary to secondary school at Linlithgow Academy.

“We want one mentor working with one young person for a full school year.

“The aim is to offer some additional support to young people who really need it.

“We see so many young people at different groups every week and we know that some are struggling – at home or at school.

“The youngsters would be referred to us by the schools but many of them know and trust us so we already have a relationship with them.

“Being able to offer extra support to those who need it would be fantastic.

“I’m hopeful we’ll secure the funding to launch the mentoring scheme by the end of this year.

“And, if it’s a success, we’d like to expand the service to include volunteer mentors.”

To find out more about the services offered by LYPP, visit the group’s website at http://lypp.org.uk.

Helping young people for 28 years

Linlithgow Young People’s Project (LYPP) is a youth project which was planted in the heart of the community way back in 1990, in partnership with the churches in the Burgh.

Its fundamental purpose then, as it is today, was to support the young people of Linlithgow and the surrounding areas in all aspects of their development.

LYPP’s primary focus is to foster a sense of hope in the lives and circumstances of young people which its workers come in contact with.

This is done by engaging them in a range of activities which enable them to express themselves in a wide variety of ways and by creating opportunities for them to learn about themselves and develop new skills.

The project has grown in size and scope over the years, and has gained support from the churches, the community and wider networks and organisations including the Rank Foundation, West Lothian Council and the Faith in Community Scotland Action Fund.

LYPP has three main areas of work which are co-ordinated from its office within the Lounge youth centre in the Vennel in Linlithow.

It works in schools, has a drop-in youth centre at the Lounge and carries out youth work in Bridgend.

In 2016, LYPP ran 104 sessions, with an average of 13 young people per session, giving a total of 1384 contacts.

In Bridgend it has two clubs – a football project and a games club in the primary school.

There are two youth sessions a week in the Lounge, as well as fortnightly cooking and upcycling projects.

LYPP also runs school holiday programmes with lots of opportunities to join the group for low cost trips.