Girvan Youth Trust

Changing Lives

South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards 2018

The South Ayrshire Youth Forum Awards took place on 6th December in Troon.  GYT had 3 young people and 2 groups nominated under different categories (Citizenship, Unsung Hero, Digital Media & Art, Democracy and Community Involvement).

The Youth Participatory Budgeting Group from GYT were the only ones lucky enough to win their category (Democracy), however, we are very proud of our young people for getting to the final and for the hard work and commitment they show in their volunteering roles with Girvan Youth Trust.

25 Years of Local Youth Work

November saw us celebrate 25 Years since Local Youth Work was established in Girvan and 10 Years since Z1 Youth Bar opened.

This saw us hold a number of events including a Parents Open Evening, Volunteer Night, Open Day and a Party Night too!

We were also sharing stories on our Social Media accounts from young people past and present, volunteers and some of our staff team too!

Project SEARCH Graduation

On a beautiful day at Culzean Castle & Country Park on Friday 28th September a very special celebration took place for 7 young people with a Learning Disability or Autisic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from throughout South Ayrshire. The young people had just successfully completed an 8 month internship, working at Culzean Castle and Country Park. Each intern was commended for their hard work and dedicated commitment throughout their time at Culzean.
The interns were individually recognised and celebrated for all of their efforts at Culzean through their own special day
‘their graduation ceremony’. This gave them the opportunity to tell the audience which included their family, friends and
many of their colleagues at Culzean about their journeys as interns. The highs, the lows and what it all meant to them.
By the end of the speeches there were few dry eyes in the auditorium.
Each graduate received an award presented to them by Norman Stromsoy the CEO of DFN Foundation who
run Project SEARCH in the United Kingdom. There was also some inspired speeches from Ian Conforth
the Project SEARCH Business Liason at Culzean Castle & Country Park, Bill Logan—Project Manager, Girvan
Youth Trust and Greg Cassidy—Head of Essential Skills, Ayrshire College. All with wise words for the
Interns about moving in to Employment.

So what is Project SEARCH?
Project SEARCH is a unique and successful employment scheme for young people aged 17 – 24 with a Learning
Disability/ASD to successfully gain paid employment. This year 7 interns completed the Internship and in
year 2 which begins in January 2019 we plan to increase this to 10 interns. Each intern takes part in 3 work placements, each lasting 9 weeks throughout their internship. These placements include areas such as; gardening & grounds, rangers, catering, food service, housekeeping, retail. The feedback from the staff within the departments and from the interns has been extremely positive in our first year; with the gardening team even creating their own award for the graduation! “The Cabbage Award” which was given to an intern who was described as “someone who cheered the team up every day”. One of the longest serving gardeners Ian, who presented this award created some laughs around the auditorium with his light hearted stories about the positive experiences the interns had within his team.

Throughout the interns time within their placements they learned many new skills. They developed skills that would increase their employability, such as Punctuality, Team Work, Commitment but also many skills relating to the specific jobs they were doing including; baking within catering, planting in gardening, pricing items in retail. Each intern builds an
array of skills that will help lead to successful employment.
When in their placement the interns are supported by our full-time on site job coach.
Their role is to identify each individuals support needs within their job role and to come up with approaches to overcome any barriers they may face. This is vital for the success of the young people and for the staff at Culzean to know there is always someone at hand if required. The interns full day at Culzean is 9am till 4pm and their work placement is 10am till 3pm, 5 days a week. For many this is a massive change to their lifestyles but it has been admirable to see how quickly they adjust to this and actually thrive!
There is also a full-time Job Instructor based at Culzean who spends 1hr at the beginning and end of each day with the interns, teaching them skills around employability. Including; Interview Skills, CV Writing, Job Searching etc. The young
people receive a recognised qualification for this part of the internship.

The Job Instructor is also continually active supporting the Interns to apply for jobs; building relationships with families and employers.
As previously mentioned the main aim of Project SEARCH is to gain paid employment for 16 hours +. It was a fantastic achievement for the young people to graduate from their internship at Culzean however that is not the end of their journey with Project SEARCH.
We will continue to support each of the graduates to gain employment and within the workplace. This is when all their learning and experience gained at Culzean will be put in to practice in the world of work.

If you are interested or may know someone who would be interested in applying for the January 2019
intake for Project SEARCH South Ayrshire please contact;

Daryl on 07703464027 email: or Clare Baird on 07718312910 email

Closing Date for Applications is 1st November 2018.

Three main partners manage Project SEARCH South Ayrshire – Girvan Youth Trust, Ayrshire College and NTS Culzean
Castle and Country Park we also receive much appreciated ongoing support from other partners including;
Skills Development Scotland, Employability & Skills SAC, the Department of Work & Pensions and the Chamber of
Commerce amongst others.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our funders who have helped to make Project SEARCH happen
in South Ayrshire. These are; the Grants Youth Opportunities Fund, Bairdwatson, Gannochy Trust, the BIG Lottery
Investing in Communities Fund, South Ayrshire health & social care partnership & the Developing Young Workforce Fund.

Award Winners!

Last night, the team who organise and deliver Music on the Prom and our Summer Kids Entertainment Programme attended the West FM Cream of Ayrshire Awards as a finalist in the ‘Contribution to the Community’ Category. And guess what….THEY WON!

The team would like to thank the programme sponsors, those who voted for us and of course, those who support the Music on the Prom and Kids Entertainment Programme.

As Bill says, “This wasn’t just for Girvan Youth Trust, this was for Girvan”.


A.M.P. our new art and music project will be starting on Monday 1st October in the Z1 Youth Bar, 6.30-8.30 pm. Why not come along and try a new musical instrument, singing lessons, open mic nights, djing, sound and light tuition, art and much more! Our non-alcoholic bar will be open too! There are plenty of volunteering opportunities to try out to, hope to see you all there and best of all its FREE!!

Cream of Ayrshire Awards

Music on the Prom and our Summer Kids Entertainment Programme have been nominated for a Cream of Ayrshire Award.  Public voting has taken place over the weekend and the Music on the Prom team will be attending the Awards Ceremony on Thursday 4th October.

Music on the Prom

Sunday saw the ‘Spectacular Season Finale’ of this year’s Music on the Prom 11 week programme.  

We kicked off the season with ‘Scotland Rocks’ back in June and our ‘Finale’ saw us finish with BOTH ‘Men of Motown’ and ‘Simply Rod’ a Tribute by James Frew. 

PB Team Residential

Heather, Davy and the Youth Participatory Budgeting Team went on a Team Building Residential to Outward Bound Trust’s Loch Eil Centre.

Aaron gave us a few sentences about their three days away; “The time away with the PB group to a few days of team building at Loch Eil with Outward Bound was fantastic, the things you learned about yourself was interesting and it was great to be able to show your true colours! I would highly recommend Outward Bound courses because the things you learn see and do is one life time opportunity and you won’t get a better chance.”

Project SEARCH Update

Interns are now coming to the end of their second rotations and are continuing to learn and develop new skills in their respective departments.

Intern Euan Bryce, has spent his second rotation with the ranger team and says “Project Search has helped my confidence grow in work related situations”. As well as continuing to work hard in their placements students are now focussing on job searching and looking for employment.

Intern Gabby secured her first ever job interview this week and stated “I would have got through my interview without the Project Search staffs help”. Fingers crossed we hear good news next week!

We have one week left before our summer holidays and have workshops on Online Safety and Stress Management as well starting on our new promotional video which will be used for our graduation, held on Friday 28th September.