Anti – Bullying Week 2022 – The Role of Youth Work

For this Anti-Bullying Week 2022, we reflect on the important role youth work plays in reaching out and supporting young people who may feel trapped and isolated from the effects of bullying.  

Bullying is an issue that affects countless amounts of young people every day and is a leading cause of depression, mental health and self-esteem issues. According to the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the theme of this year’s campaign is Reach Out; reaching out to show each other the support we need. One of the primary goals of youth work is accomplish this by providing a safe space for young people to feel comfortable opening up about what may be troubling them, including bullying.  

Organisations like ours seek to provide a friendly and inclusive environment, which is an invaluable resource for young people who may experience bullying from any environment, including digital. Bullying can take many forms, some physical and verbal but cyberbullying has also become a more pressing issue each year. Youth Worker Kieran McPhail states; 

“Bullying is still a major concern and consistent worry of young people with technology and social media making it far easier for a young person to be bullied and picked on even in the comfort of their own bedroom, a place that for many is a safe space, their haven.” 

Youth workers also play a role in helping young people to feel safe and create an open and positive environment. Club activity allows young people to meet and make new friends, get away from stresses they may feel at home or school and receive help from the effects of bullying and other social problems they may be experiencing; 


“I think youth work and in extension youth workers play an indispensable and valuable role in creating and maintaining a safe space for any and all young people, allowing young people to have a space where they can express, create and be themselves freely and without judgement. A youth worker will be there and be dependable, to listen and support a young person.” 

“Behind many of these spaces, there’s a group or organisation with youth workers who are dedicated and willing to create and maintain a culture of openness, no judgement and a space where young people will always be listened to, heard and safe in these spaces.” 

To find out more resources online that can be used to help in the Anti-Bullying campaign, please check the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website. Together, we can all reach out to do our part to ensure as many young people as possible do not suffer due to the effects of bullying.  

This year’s October week began with a bang with our Halloween Hackathon! 🎃🎃

On 17th October, we hosted an all-day Halloween- themed Hackathon for our young people to attend! This was our first Hackathon in our current space, so we set out a plan for our young people to split into groups and come up with a campaign to tackle an issue that has been haunting them – climate change, bullying and other social/environmental issues that concern them – and their proposed campaign to present a solution. Attendance was high and we were ready to get started! 

The results were a full day of coding, creating and campaigning as our young people designed their campaigns to present at the end of the session, helped along by our dedicated youth workers. One of our favourites was the Fraudo campaign – one of our groups decided their haunting issue was the current price of Freddos and their solution was to design a competitor made with 100% soy milk for 10p. This campaign led to the development of an empire with additional products such as the Bite, the Bendy Wendy and the Tablet, cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives. Soon enough, some subtle advertising (described as “totally not propaganda!”) began appearing in our space and suddenly we had a craving for some Fraudos! It was a hilarious and creative campaign and we are immensely proud of our young people’s imagination.  

We also had plenty of Halloween tunes, sweets and pizza for lunch! We received some feedback from our young people as well, with comments such as “It was great, I liked the sweets!” and “I liked the Hackathon!”.  

This is hopefully the first of future Hackathons and other events we will be hosting in the future in our space and we hope to see more of our young people there! 

To sign up for our current weekly youth clubs and future events, please register on our Eventbrite. For more information and regular updates, please follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin.  

Paisley YMCA October 2022 Newsletter

Check out our monthly newsletter with info about upcoming new activity in our space, as well as an article about some amazing work done by our young leaders. For more regular information and updates from us, please check out our official website (paisleyymca.org) and our official social media accounts! #paisleyymca #paisley #renfrewshire

Our New Youth Club Schedule 2022 💥

We are thrilled to reveal our brand new youth club schedule following the end of our Summer of Fun 2022 Programme! This club schedule begins on the 22nd August with plans to continue until the end of 2022.

There will be four clubs running in our space every week, as well as our online Coder Dojo and Silly Coding every Thursday in partnership with Renfrewshire Libraries.

We have Mecha Mondays, where young people can come for coding and stem/tech-based activities! With our coding software and PCs, this is a great club for young people to come and develop their tech-savvy skills with our youth workers. On Wednesdays we have our mainstay favourite STEM Girls, where girls can come together for STEM-based activities and highlight the importance of representation in STEM.

We also have Future Fridays, in which our youth workers will help young people with ongoing projects and activities aimed at improving their skillset and providing access to technology and stem-based equipment they may not otherwise have access to.

Finally we have Satur-Play, an entirely game-based club focusing on any kind of game our young people would like to play. As well as technology and board games, we are also introducing Dungeons and Dragons to our list of games! One of our youth workers is an experienced and amazing Dungeon Master who knows how to create the most exciting adventure while explaining how to play along the way. Whether you’re a well-versed dragon slayer or have never played once before, we’d love to see you there!

All of these clubs in our space will run from 6pm – 8pm, except Satur-Play which runs from 1pm – 3:30pm. Details on how to register are available from our Eventbrite page. If you require any more information, please email claire@paisleyymca.scot. We hope to see you there!