Peer education & volunteering

No Knives, Better Lives

We currently work in partnership with Scottish Government initiative No Knives, Better Lives, which trains young people as peer educators as well as training the trainers to help tackle antisocial behaviour and the prevalence of knife possession in Scotland.

Through this partnership we are able to provide free training to groups of young people and adult workers. If you would like to learn more, contact Calum Ware on admin@fastforward.org.uk.

Peer Education

Peer education is based on the belief that young people often learn effectively when the message is given by other young people. This way of working is also beneficial to the personal and social development of the peer educator.

It is also often used with topics that may be considered difficult to approach. Sexual health, drugs and alcohol education, bullying and other ‘sensitive’ issues are approached from the young person’s perspective.

With training peer educators develop the confidence, skills and knowledge to deliver a session. The process is one of personal development, increasing self-esteem and gaining skills that are transferable to future work or training. Peer educators gain confidence from each other by delivering and shadowing sessions with Fast Forward staff.


Our volunteers ensure that we remain relevant to the needs of young people. Volunteers get involved in a variety of projects including researching potential areas for work, designing materials and creating resources and assisting in programs.They can run workshops at a variety of events and promote the benefits of volunteering for young people. No previous experience is necessary.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to see our Volunteer page.

Scottish Peer Education Network (SPEN)

We support peer education projects across Scotland through operating SPEN, the Scottish Peer Education Network. If you're interested in finding out more about the network, joining, or starting and developing a peer education project of your own, get in touch through the SPEN website.

Developing life skills

There is no set length of time for involvement, some remain for a few months and some stay for years. Support is given to help volunteers move on to whatever destination they feel is best suited.


Peer education is based on the belief that young people...


Gemma's perspective

“As a 17 year old without any experience I was offered lots of voluntary work by local organisations, but nothing really to do with youth work. I was particularly interested in the idea of young person to young person education about drugs and alcohol because my school education on this hadn’t been so great. I had seen many of my friends end up  in risky situations with alcohol, mostly due to lack of understanding. During my time within the volunteer team I received training which gave me communication, facilitation, presentation skills and confidence. As a volunteer I got the chance to shadow more experienced volunteers and work with the staff of Fast Forward.  This gave me insight into how projects are run and different ways to work with young people.”

Gemma went on to complete a one year Project Scotland placement and at the end of her placement she remained involved with the project as a volunteer support worker.

“I had almost 3 years experience of working with young people but found it difficult to gain employment because I had no qualifications. When a job as a development officer at Fast Forward became available – the volunteer’s manager encouraged me to apply.”

Gemma has been employed by Fast Forward since 2009 using the skills and knowledge she gained as a volunteer to educate young people and adults throughout Edinburgh.

Read more from
Gemma's perspective

Gemma began to volunteer with Fast Forward