Youth Workers Mobility project took place at the Atholl Centre, Pitlochry from September 20th to September 29th with participants from Belarus, Ukraine and Romania.
Project’s main purpose was to share ideas and practices on improving the lives of people with disabilities and promoting participation by disabled people in all areas of life. Also, one of the aims was to let the participants learn as much as possible about social enterprises in Scotland, so they could bring this knowledge back to their countries and make positive change there.
The project’s program included visits to several Scotland-based organisations who promote equality of opportunities for people with disabilities:
Watch Us Grow – A charity, who works with adults with special needs and/or disabilities in an organic garden, providing training for employment. Their students can carry out various jobs in the garden such as: planting seeds, watering plants, re-potting plants, attending to the wormeries, working in the polytunnel and selling plants to visitors.
Red Star Athletics Club - Glasgow-based athletics club for athletes with disabilities of all ages.
Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club - Active User Wheelchair Sports Club with basketball, rugby, tennis, badminton and curling sections for people in wheelchairs.
Mearns Castle Golf Academy – A golf club which has launched the Paragolfer, one of Scotland’s first pieces of equipment that allows individuals restricted to a wheelchair or those unable to stand without aid, the chance to play golf in an upright position.
Edinburgh International Climbing Area – Participants with disabilities (including those in wheelchairs) had a chance to be actively engaged in aerial assault climbing challenge with the help of staff members.
Candoco Dance Company Performance - Contemporary dance company of disabled & non disabled dancers. Candoco wants to push the boundaries of dance to make us all rethink what dance is and who can dance.
Bike station – A bike recycling charity, refurbishes and restores donated bicycles and sell them at affordable prices. They are also keen to help people learn to ride their bike safely, teaching cycle training and cycle safety to individuals and groups.
Freewheelnorth – A charity promoting cycling for everyone. Their Special needs Cycle Centre at Glasgow Green contains a range of adapted bikes, trikes, go-karts and other pedal-powered machines for people with different physical abilities.
Quotes from participants:
"I really enjoyed the program, even more than I’d expected. We were going to see social enterprises and how they work in Scotland, but apart from that we were given the opportunity to watch and take part in different sports activities and to have a look at the inclusion institutions.”
“It was very useful to find myself in such an inclusive atmosphere with both the disabled people with different kinds of disabilities and able-bodied. As for me I didn’t feel much difference between the people. It gave me a huge experience, but was challenging as well.”
“It is great that we spent time with people from other countries. It was interesting to find out more about them and their cultures.”
"I’m happy that I had the opportunity to get to know all these people, which gave me and my team experience, knowledge, new opportunities and new ideas.”
“I’d like to say thank you to the hosting organization STAND International. You’ve made the project which helps people open up and change their lives to the better.”