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Multi-agency partnership launches re:connect activity programme for Moray's young people

By Lorna Thompson

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COASTEERING, gorge-walking, kayaking, circus skills and film-making are just some of the activities on offer to young people in Moray through a new Covid-recovery youth programme.

The re:connect partnership brings together youth work agencies, Moray Council, Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, and outdoor learning and arts organisations to reach out to Moray's young people and support the development of local activities and opportunities.

The first phase will see re:connect pop-up events in the region's main towns, combining street work with various activities and giveaways. Free snacks will be provided by Tesco and Asda.

Young people will be able to put forward their ideas for recovery at the pop-ups. As well as outdoor and arts-based activities, they may want to set up a local youth club or drop-in or get involved in the upcoming COP26 fringe events.

Moray Council’s children, young people and families manager, Fiona Herd, said: "Our shared vision for re:connect is our commitment to help make young people’s ideas a reality and make Moray a place where young people have a voice and where they can make a difference. It’s about harnessing their enthusiasm, skills and opinions to create opportunities with them."

Re:connect is funded through the Youth Work Education Recovery fund distributed by Youthlink Scotland. Schools will be sent the programme of events, and events will be advertised via the police and council’s social media channels.


Elgin-based Police Inspector Andrew Wilson said: "As we continue to recover from the pandemic it is important to reflect on the impact this difficult period has had on the children and young people here in Moray. We’ve engaged with and listened to them throughout this time and know that their family's health, social isolation and school closures are just some of the worries they have had to endure.

"Looking to the future with positivity, we’re delighted to be involved with the re:connect partnership which is fully energised to deliver youth participation and engagement in a range of activities that will improve the health and quality of life for all our children and young people and reduce their risk of harm.

"The partnership is promoting positive lifestyle choices and helping those taking part in the wide variety of youth engagement activities to discover new talents and skills, giving them the confidence to get involved in their local communities."

Moray SNP MSP Richard Lochhead said: "As we move towards recovery, children’s mental health must be a priority and activities like these will not only provide young people locally with support from youth work agencies, but taking part in these group events will hugely benefit their wellbeing.

"I’m delighted to see the council, the police and the NHS working together to deliver this fantastic initiative and hope that children across Moray will enjoy taking part in re:connect."

Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross said: "This is a great project for young people all over Moray.

"It’s really encouraging to see so many organisations and agencies come together to provide exciting activities and opportunities for young people in the area.

"For more than a year we have been living through this global pandemic and it has had a significant impact on young people here in Moray and all over the country. That’s why it is so good to see re:connect launched and I know it will have a really positive impact on those who get involved."

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