Posted by Chiara 13 days ago in Fast Forward

Meet our new team member – Donald

Hello everyone, my name is Donald. I recently joined the Fast Forward team as a Project Officer. In my new role, I focus on looking after the exciting Going Forward project with my colleague, Hannah.

Prior to joining Fast Forward, I spent an enjoyable few years with Scotland’s tobacco control charity, ASH Scotland. In particular, I loved working with young people, youth workers and teachers in order to help them to make positive, informed and healthy choices on smoking and tobacco.

Having whet my appetite on addressing smoking and tobacco issues with young people, the prospect of supporting the Going Forward project was simply ideal for me!

So, the Going Forward project. What is it and what do we do?

Well, since May 2017, Going Forward has been delivering sessions to high-tariff, vulnerable and at-risk young people in a variety of educational, social and youth work settings. These include employability services, youth clubs, boys and girls groups, young parents groups, special educational schools, secure units, and mainstream schools.

The project delivers sessions relating to health and wellbeing and risk-taking behaviours. Topics that we have covered include:

  • substance misuse
  • sexual health and relationships
  • online safety
  • problem gambling.

Going Forward sessions have been developed in consultation with practitioners and young people. This means that our sessions are specifically tailored to the needs of both individual organisations and the young people that they support.

Our sessions provide young people with information about risk-taking behaviours, and encourage them to reflect on their understanding and attitude of health and wellbeing. Each session offers harm reduction advice to young people who are likely to engage, or already engaged, in risk taking behaviour. The rationale behind the sessions is that they should empower young people by enabling them to make informed and healthy choices.

Going Forward encourages young people to be more responsible and active citizens. The sessions that we deliver enable young people to consider the consequences of engaging in risk-taking behaviour, both for themselves, and for their wider local community.

Whilst Going Forward sessions clearly address some emotive and thought provoking subject areas, we aim to ensure that the sessions are fun, interactive and tailored to meet the young people’s needs and abilities. We usually work with groups over a 4 – 8 week period (4 – 8 sessions). The sessions are free (provided young people meet the criteria set out above). The project is delivered throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

If you have a group of young people who you think would benefit from the work of the Going Forward project, or if you would just like to find out more about what we do, then feel free to drop us an e-mail at goingforward@fastforward.org.uk or give us a call on 0131 5544300.