YPI Scotland

The Wood Foundation is collaborating with four North-east organisations, focussing on sport as a gateway to supporting improved health and wellbeing for young people in the city.

Sport Aberdeen, AFC Community Trust, Dennis Law Legacy Trust, and the Russell Anderson Foundation have engaged with the North-east Wellbeing (NEW) Fund which will empower innovative approaches to community engagement and outreach through investment in best practice, collaboration, and learning.

Teams from each of the organisations are undertaking intensive service design training, developing their internal capability to better understand and address the needs of their communities. There will then be funding available for each to launch a community pilot of activity borne from this approach.

This novel funding approach by The Wood Foundation aims to empower communities to use their voice, alongside trusted deliver partners, to design the services they wish to see embedded in their communities. The Wood Foundation is deliberately not setting the parameters or criteria for funding, instead working alongside organisations to be innovative and trial new ideas.

Ali MacLachlan, UK Director at The Wood Foundation, said:

“As an organisation, we are committed to a culture of learning and this is woven through all of our internal and external practices.

“Covid-19 has exacerbated inequalities in Aberdeen, as it has everywhere, and the fallout from the pandemic will be felt for many years to come. We want to invest in long-term, community-driven efforts that work directly with those we seek to serve, developing new and innovative approaches which will make a real and lasting difference.

“Covid-19 has brought to the fore the need to review embedded protocols and practices. To not use this as a moment to be bold, be different absolutely devalues the experiences of the past 14 months.

“The organisations we have engaged in this initiative play a vital role in supporting the people of Aberdeen. Each brings a wealth of experience and an absolute, proven commitment to their service users. They have all been impacted by Covid-19 and share the belief that this is as a moment to galvanise opportunities, work as a collective, and be ambitious.”

They will work through the service design process together and have committed to collaborating to share learning, ideas, and best practice to strengthen the collective quality and consistency of health and wellbeing engagement with young people across Aberdeen.