Tweeddale Youth Action provides safe space in the community

SOSE has supported a Scottish Borders-based youth charity to help them continue offering support and a safe space to children and young people across the Tweeddale area. 

Tweeddale Youth Action is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation which delivers a vast number of projects and activities for young people aged 10 to 25, supporting them on the journey from childhood to adulthood. 

Engaging with SOSE

SOSE first started engagement with the group through joint locality-based working with Scottish Borders Council.

From initial discussions, it was clear there were some areas of support that SOSE could provide, from community asset development and market research, to business and recovery planning.

SOSE has also linked Tweeddale Youth Action to external partners and wider agencies, to widen their reach and access new opportunities.

All of this work around research, policies and strategies aimed to assist Tweeddale Youth Action to target funders for assistance.

Dave Hodson, Locality Manager of Tweeddale Youth Action said: “SOSE have been hugely supportive of the work we do with children and young people, and they have been an invaluable source of advice and support over the past couple of years.”

Support for redevelopment project

SOSE has awarded a £7,881 grant toward the phase one development of their Innerleithen base.  The base, located in a Category C listed building, required renovation to allow the charity to continue using it.

The building hosts a communal space used for the provision of their planned activities and support work with young people in the area and is also home to their social enterprises. 

Income generating social enterprises

The charity operates two social enterprises – Bike Punks and Food Punks – as a way of generating additional income, with all profits being reinvested into the charity. 

Dave says “The repair work which SOSE assisted with has allowed us to support ever increasing cohorts of young people and given us access once again to our Bike Punks metalwork workshop and Food Punks commercial kitchen.”

Bike Punks teaches bike repair and metalwork skills to young people. Cycling and cycle tourism are an increasingly important part of our local economy. Bike Punks can support young people with the skills they need to access local jobs that support cycling, including the Mountain Bike Innovation Centre expected in Innerleithen in the coming years.

Food Punks is a chef-led catering organisation that teaches cooking and catering skills. What started as cookery sessions for young people has now resulted in a successful outside catering operation. 

Both social enterprises help the young people involved to develop their communication, work ethic and teamworking skills, while generating income to go back into the charity.  Involvement in these social enterprises gives young people essential employability and life skills to take forward into adulthood. 

Looking ahead

Tweeddale Youth Action is now looking toward the future and ways to evolve and best meet the needs of its young people. 

Dave added: “We are continuing to receive support and guidance from SOSE on phase two of our development plans to marry the needs of our community, young people, and our Food and Bike Punk social enterprises, to create a welcoming space for young people that will sit at the heart of Innerleithen’s community.”

Team SOSE says

SOSE Community Development Advisor Lisa Denham said: “With Tweeddale Youth Action having taken ownership of their own building this year, this sets down a marker and gives a future legacy of youth enterprise within Innerleithen and Tweeddale. 

“Our support will help protect these services and help the organisation move towards becoming more self-sufficient by generating income through their successful Food Punks and Bike Punks enterprises, which gives young people essential employability and life skills.”

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Tweeddale Youth Action

“SOSE Community Development Officers, Jan Pringle and Lisa Denham, have been a pleasure to work with. They are sources of well informed, helpful advice and good cheer. I really feel like they get us.”

Dave Hodson, Locality Manager at Tweeddale Youth Action