Young Scot Extra is a brand new package of services designed specifically for young people post-school, up to the age of 26. It provides information, ideas, training and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens.
With an increasing shortage of opportunities for young people, Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland, recognised a need to develop a new service which would support young people making the transition into independent living.
Young Scot Extra was launched June 2010. It is a package of services designed specifically for young people post-school, up to the age of 26.
Everything about the service, the name, brand, content and platform, has been created in partnership with young people through consultation and testing. The Young Scot Youth Health Panel, a group of young people supported by Young Scot and NHS Health Scotland, was integral in the development of new health information content for the launch of the service.
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Young Scot Extra targets those furthest from the job market. The project helps young people with any information needs at the time of transition, with specific focus on health, employability and financial inclusion. The health content is built around the five key areas identified as essential:
The serivice is accessed through the
Young Scot Extra website which allows users to search content for the information they need.
Mental wellbeing is one of the key health information topics featured. Articles on anxiety, eating well, exercise, self esteem, sleep, stress and alcohol provide general information and signposting to specialist organisations who can provide further support.
The articles are supported by factsheets, video content relating to specific issues, and podcasts produced by Young Scot and specialist partner organisations.
Young Scot Extra has been on the road, engaging with young people at key events, including 'Crossroads Café', a 'pop-up cafe' which can be set up in any shopping centre or busy location to engage with young people. Successful Crossroads Cafes have already been delivered in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dumfries, with more planned for 2011/12.
Young Scot has also developed the 'Young Scot Extra: Life Support Manual', a full-colour 26-page booklet with information including health, housing and financial capability, as well as links and signposting to sources of information.
The digital platform has proved popular with page views increasing month on month since launch. The link to Facebook and social media has been vital, and Facebook has now taken over from Google as the top referral site for the
Young Scot Extra website.
The impact of the service has been that there are now more informed young people in the post-school age group, with a better understanding and knowledge of issues around health and independent living.
During implementation a great deal was learned about the importance of social media. Not just as a tool for promoting products and services but how it can be used to highlight specific information as well as how it is used by young people to share information with peers.
Work continues on information to ensure it remains of the highest quality including the development of mental wellbeing information.
Young Scot will also work to develop partnerships with colleges, training providers and the youth work sector to raise awareness of Extra amongst the 16+ age group.
Lynsey Paterson Young Scot Roseberry House 9 Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh EH12 5EZ Tel: 0131 313 2488 Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: search for “Young Scot”
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