Youth Services

Liber8 delivers a proactive and reactive approach to tackling alcohol and substance misuse problems in Lanarkshire. Our Youth Projects are tailored around identified needs of children and young people. We have projects delivering a range of interventions and activities designed to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol and substance misuse on children and young people. The young people we work with are recognised as being hard to reach and on the whole are not engaged with other services. We target young people who are involved in alcohol and substance misuse or on the fringes of becoming involved. 

Our Youth Project includes support, intervention, prevention and education mixed with alternative and diversionary approaches.

Street work

The StreetBase Project staff team work within various Hot Spot communities throughout South Lanarkshire, these particular localities have been identified as being in need of the support that the project brings.

Our aim is to target young people aged 10 - 18 years, on a consistent and ongoing basis. The young people are either affected directly or indirectly by alcohol and or substance misuse. This can be through their own consumption or by a significant others misuse/consumption.

Our staff, work at key times within the communities, in areas where many of the issues are being experienced. Our predominate work nights are between Thursdays to Sundays between the hours of 6:30pm - 9:30pm. Our role is to target and engage with young people on the streets, in the parks and woods, who are involved in the above issues or at risk of becoming involved.

In addition to our main focus of reducing harm, we also work through many of the linked issues that often come hand in hand with alcohol and or substance misuse. We also ensure we provide appropriate education, prevention, intervention and support through an alternative and diversionary approach.

The StreetBase Project is currently active in the following areas with a minimum of three night’s coverage in each targeted area:

  • Rigside
  • Halfway
  • Fernhill

The Trading Post is an educational tool box which encompasses workshops and offers 6-12 week Education and Awareness raising group work sessions. These activities are undertaken on a voluntary basis by young people and used to raise awareness, increase knowledge and offer support. The Trading Post focuses on health and wellbeing and provides opportunities for children to develop the life skills necessary to become successful learners and confident individuals.

The Trading Post Course has been developed over a period of 14 years and covers a variety of issue based group work and focussed outcome measurement.

Group Work:
There are currently 12 core components of the group work, however, the core subjects can be changed to cover a variety of particular issues which are affecting the individual young people attending, for example mental health; health and wellbeing and sexual health. In some instances, specific subjects have been covered by specialist staff.

The ethos of the Trading Post is a 6 to 12 week group work programme which is followed up by young people being breathalysed on a particular key night where often the consumption of alcohol would be experienced. This would normally take place around 9pm on the night in question.

By completing the group work and having a majority of clear breathalyser results, a certificate of completion and a pre agreed incentive would be given to the young person.

Breathalyser Documentation
Every young person taking part in the course will be breathalysed on a key night where consumption would be the norm, this will be carried out throughout the duration of the course.

Monitoring, Recording and Evaluation
In order to measure the effectiveness of the Trading Post programme all young people taking part would complete a monitoring measurement tool. This allows clear evidence of whether the programme is aimed at the appropriate age level and whether the information being shared and delivered is having the desired effect

In addition a brief questionnaire will be completed by all young people prior to and after taking part in the programme

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on outdoor wild places It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration. The John Muir Award is an environmental award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect, enjoy and care for wild places through a structured yet adaptable scheme. The Award is not competitive but should challenge each participant. Taking part will develop an understanding of and responsibility for, a chosen wild place or places. For some this will offer an opportunity to explore values and spirituality.

The John Muir Award was launched in 1997 by the John Muir Trust to:

  • Promote educational, social and personal development through exploration of wild places and involvement in conservation
  • Encourage an environmental agenda within youth organisations 
  • Ensure that social circumstances don’t exclude people from opportunities to experience wild places. 

There are four challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award, to achieve an Award each participant must:

  • Discover a wild place
  • Explore its wildness
  • Conserve - take personal responsibility
  • Share experiences 

There are 3 levels of the Award, encouraging progressive involvement. The same 4 challenges above are repeated for each level, with increased involvement in time, activity and ownership.

  • Discovery Award (introductory level) minimum 4 days (or equivalent)
  • Explorer Award (intermediate level) minimum 8 days (or equivalent) 
  • Conserver Award (advanced level) minimum 20 days (or equivalent) over 6 months

In partnership with the Scotland Fire and Rescue Service, the Fire Reach programme is designed to help young people understand the job Fire Fighters do on a daily basis and to highlight the dangers of hoax calls and hydrant abuse.

As part of the ‘Links to Life’ Course, the young people could attend for example, a 5 days one week intensive programme and take part in a variety of activities similar to what the Fire Fighters go through themselves.

The Fire Reach programme has been successful in reducing attacks on Fire Fighters, hoax calls and hydrant abuse. Every individual who participates receives a certificate to acknowledge their effort and participation.

In addition to the many programmes and courses undertaken by the StreetBase South Project, there are programmes which have been specifically aimed at improving the Health and Fitness of the young people we work; mixing these courses with a blend of issue based group work themes. These programmes can include:

• A specific six week Gym Programme
• A specific Hydraulic room Programme
• A six week “Dance” programme utilising our mobile state of the art Dance equipment

In addition to the fitness programme social topics are explored, including:

• Alcohol and Substance Misuse
• Sexual Health
• Diet
• Relationships

Liber8's is committed to consulting with and involving young people in all aspects of our activities, we recognise the challenges we face in securing representative participation. We have implemented strategies which support successful, effective and meaningful young person participation and have had considerable success in securing and acting on our consultation with young people

Over the last 5 years there have been two Youth Steering Groups who had been identified and engaged with the project before being encouraged to become part of the Youth Steering Group. Each of these young people were identified through work conducted on the streets through our normal street work operations and recruited to become an active voice within the organisation.

We worked with both of the groups intensively and through time, they undertook a variety of key components such as The John Muir Conservation Award, Team Building Skills, Consultation Work, Drama Production, Public events and volunteering. To date, most are known to have gone on to Full Time Work, Further Education or another positive destination.

At the current time, we are looking to recruit a third Youth Advisory Group from young people living across South Lanarkshire. The group would represent the localities below:

  • Lesmahagow
  • Clydesdale
  • Larkhall
  • Hamilton
  • Blantyre
  • Cam/Glen