Over and above the open-nights, when the cafe operates as a drop in centre, we run a wide variety of projects for young people; this is just a flavour. It should be noted that all our activities are free, so as not to exclude anyone, but for some activities a returnable booking deposit is taken to ensure attendance.
Divas and Heroes
EYDG’s strategic direction and day-to-day decisions are made by the young people’s management group; the ‘Divas and Heroes’, which support the adult board of directors. Young people have to apply for their positions and are formally interviewed, providing them with coaching and experience of interview techniques and committee skills. They have a major say in all key Café decisions; ‘run by young people for young people’.
Operational Management Team
Our Operational Management Team consists of young people from the Café who work in the (non-alcoholic) Cafe bar and kitchen areas providing a variety of cooked snacks for Café users in the evenings. The young people go through ‘employment in microcosm’ (job application process, CV, interview, appraisals, contract, PAYE, etc.) giving them an experience of best employment practice. During the appointment they are trained in key skills including food hygiene, budgeting, accountability, dealing with the public, organisational skills and the importance of healthy eating.
Very similar to the above, the working well project presents a similar work experience opportunity for NEET young people (Not in Education Employment or Training) with a focus on the broader work of the youth café. Two individuals at time get a taster of each aspect of the work of the group; youth work, social enterprise, admin, kitchen, etc.
Delta Force is a community service initiative supporting young people to undertake tasks in the local area, including graffiti removal, and helping elderly people and stewarding local events. It provides young people with practical life skills, and aims to build positive relationships between young and old. It encourages young people to become active members of their communities, as well as illustrating the positive contributions that young people are able to offer.
Cross Generational Outreach Project
We are currently evolving into a community hub with a Cross Generational Outreach Worker running projects that encourage young people to get involved in a voluntary capacity in their community. There are also opportunities for older people to help out with the broader youth work. It was recognised that the above two projects are very similar, so they are run together to create synergy; examples of work undertaken include homework club, computer / tablet / smartphone support and an intergenerational steering group.
Healthy Living Programme
With funding from Children in Need and NHS Grampian, the Cafe now employs 2 Health Promoting Youth workers. Working with a remit to encourage young people to make healthy lifestyle choices, they deliver weekly cooking and fitness classes, in addition to other awareness promoting activities.
‘Eat Canny’ – Working in partnership with other Moray organisations such as the Food Bank, Step by Step and Moray Food Network, the cafe provides a range of activities for both young people and the wider community with a firm focus on Healthy Living.
The Healthy Living Award awarded to the café in 2015, over arches the entire work of the group and gives a standard to measure all our activities against.
A popular activity under the banner how healthy lifestyles is the use of our smoothie bikes. We have two, which are in regular use to whip up a chilled fruit smoothie – ‘put in the work to get the drink’
Love ‘ur’ Selfie
This is a new take on an employability course. In addition to looking at banking, CV’s, budgets and cooking for yourself, this course looks also at some of the softer issues around self image, confidence and personal relationships both on and offline. Run for the first time in autumn 2015, the course runs 3hrs x 6weeks.
16 to 25 Chill Out Group
This is an on-going initiative where we open the Cafe on a Monday evening to this age group who are not in employment, education or training and offer them a place to socialise, get advice, counselling, help with job hunting and use of the facilities.
Although there are 17 paid members of staff within the Cafe, volunteers are fundamental to its continuing success. There is currently a core group of c40 adult volunteers who enable the Café to open in the evenings for young people; in return for their dedication to the cafe, we provide them with coaching and mentoring, in addition to a variety of personal development and training opportunities including first aid, child protection and conflict resolution courses. They undertake much of the work of the group, ranging from youth work to washing and ironing.
Youth Team – support
We have a qualified and experienced youth team that organises projects and activities, runs issue-based group work and one-to-one sessions, and provides advice, support and positive adult role models for all local young people. We are always available to provide help for young people, and in the past this has ranged from helping with homework to attending court and Children’s Panel hearings to support them.