FYMCA Represents UK on SALTO Youth and Sport Training Programme

Darren Douglas at SALTO YOUTH Training course in Portugal

Forest YMCA (FYMCA) Youth Worker, Darren Douglas, was selected out of hundreds of applicants for a place on the SALTO-YOUTH (Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities within the European YOUTH programme) coordinated Sporting Young Citizens training programme in Portugal, from 7th- 13th July. The objective of the programme was to explore, through a variety of methods, sport and physical activity as a tool for increasing the active participation and inclusion of young people - particularly disadvantaged young people.

Delegates representing European countries such as Slovenia, Romania and the UK from teaching, youth and sports backgrounds came together over the course of 7 days and participated in discussions and workshops around sports and young people. Areas examined included youth and sports policies in different countries, the use of sport as a method to engage, and best practice examples on how youth work can help to promote the physical health and social wellbeing of young people.

Darren said, 'The Sporting Young Citizens training was excellent and very insightful. I was proud to have been chosen to represent the UK. The programme gave me the opportunity to share the experiences of youth work here in the UK, with a focus on our work in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It was a great networking opportunity and a good way to find out about different cultures and how the other youth workers manage youth-related political and social issues in their communities.  I'm looking forward to using what I learnt to encourage inclusion and build the confidence of the young people that we work with.'

Timothy Pain said, 'We were delighted when we heard that Darren's application was successful out of over 200 applicants from the EU. The training programme served as an interface between Forest YMCA - as a representative of the UK - and representatives of the European youth and sport community. We're really looking forward to working with our staff and young people to see how we can implement Darren's feedback into our youth service offering.'

SALTO-YOUTH is a network of 8 Resource Centres working on European priority areas within the youth field. It provides youth work and training resources and organises training and contact-making activities to support organisations, youth workers and National Agencies responsible for the implementation of the European Youth in Action Programme. The network is part of the European Commission's Training Strategy within the Youth in Action Programme.

IMAGE: Darren Douglas (bottom row, second left) with training programme delegates

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