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Inspired by North of the Sun
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project started after the youth group attended BANFF screening of North of the Sun. The members spent so much time talking about how inspiring the film was, they wondered how they could themselves have such an experience. They really liked the fact that it was young people that had taken the initiative to do something about the state of the beaches whilst having a once in a life time experience away from the fast modern day life that they live in. The young people decided to hold the three key Erasmus + Youth funding objectives at the centre of their project they want it to offer the opportunity to boost their skills and employability, focus on themselves (young people) and use methods that help to modernise the current youth work and training practices available to themselves. They decided to apply for funding to help them achieve this project, this would allow them to offer the project to more young people, they were particularly interested in offering it to those similar to themselves that had fewer opportunities for social or economical reasons. This when looking at the budget meant they needed to apply for substantial exceptional costs to purchase equipment, pay for accommodation and food as well as pre exchange training to assist participation of all. The project will use informal teaching methods; learning by doing, learning through film about the seas in Europe and how we mistreat them, volunteering to help change the situation, the chance to experience being in another culture and finally they want to inspire other young people by creating a film or photographic exhibition of their experience, therefore creating the opportunity for others to learn from the project and findings, a key Erasmus + objective. The project aims to address the members needs, including the fact that many have a low educational level and negative experience of school. As many of the young people are identified as NEET or having few opportunities (social,economical, disability or geographical) it was important to them that the planned project would validate the work done by themselves and for this reason they have chosen to start working with Youthpass and Europass as they offer the most flexibility around individual qualifications. Each participant will also complete the John Muir Award which is given for learning gained in nature. The group wanted the project to help to meet their needs by challenging themselves, involve peer lead learning, use informal holistic education methods, encourage them to be more self motivated, self regulating, learn leadership skills, meet new people and experience new cultures and lifestyles and finally learn new life-skills that they could use forever. As mentioned above by staying in line with the key Erasmus + youth objectives. As a group we discussed the needs and issues we felt would materialise when fulfilling all their objectives. The first as mentioned above was ensuring that we found a way of validating the work as many were anxious about not having any qualifications, they wanted to ensure clear learning outcomes, that in the future would help them to increase their employability this included ensuring all the young people achieved a basic level in English, Maths, and in line with Erasmus + objectives the project will actively promote the use of language learning and linguistic diversity in order to increase the participants access to European education,training and youth programs. As discussed above all members of the project will create a portfolio of work and various certification. The second issue that worried the young people was the issue of money and cost of activities, equipment etc (if they wanted to carry out all the mobilities etc they had planned), as nearly all those currently attending the group and partner groups are from low income families with high youth unemployment, or homeless young people. They felt that applying to the Erasmus + programme would enable them to fund a large part of the project, they recognised early on how important it is to plan a thorough budget to ensure that all aspects and desired objectives and activities could be achieved and all those young people that wanted to take part could. The third issue was that although the young people recognise the importance of going abroad and the learning opportunities it gives them many were actually anxious about being away from home. The group felt this could be overcome by ensuring that all members are well prepared by the youth workers before going.The main changes we made to this original profile was the locations of the activities - and we also managed within budget to offer the training course to more young leaders within the budget.
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