Weekend residential gives young people space to shape Cyrenians

25 May 2023
Promise residential 2023

A recent weekend residential has created a supportive space for young people to have new experiences, share their views and find their voice.

As part of its funded work with The Promise, Cyrenians hosted a weekend residential in Northumberland to support a group of young people in their choice of outdoor activities and to have conversations about their role in decision-making that affects their lives. 

The Promise Scotland supports people and organisations as they act to keep Scotland's promise to care experienced people. 

The residential was part of a year-long programme of youth-led activity focussing on the Youth Voice element of The Promise and the importance of young people being involved in national and organisational decision-making. 

The group of nine young people who attended, aged 18-23, are recieving support from Cyrenians. They came through a range of Cyrenians services, including the Cook School, Creative Natives, Residential Communities and the Fareshare Depot.  

Based at the Wooler Youth Hostel, in the beautiful town of Wooler in Northumberland for the weekend with support staff and volunteers, the group did a number of activities during the weekend including: 

  • A workshop exploring personal values and the Cyrenians values and why they matter.
  • Coasteering with Adventure Northumberland along the spectacular Northumberland coastline
  • A session finding out more about Cyrenians’ trauma-informed approach. 
  • A nature art session where we used our five senses to explore the outdoors and then get creative. 
  • A workshop looking at the Cyrenians ‘whole person’ and ‘skilled helper’ way of working and whether and how they saw these in practice. 

Feedback from the group on Cyrenians’ values and ways of working will feed back into the organisation’s next multi-year plan. 

On the success of the residential, Gail Wilson, Youth Engagement Leader, said: 
“For some of the participants, it took a lot of courage to come along on this weekend, as new places and new people can be challenging."

"It was great to see them take this step and get so much out of this opportunity." - Gail Wilson, Youth Engagement

"Particularly on the coasteering – which in the end involved us jumping off a cliff into the water – we were supported to take a leap of faith and it felt amazing. I was so proud to see them have the courage to do that, and to be part of that moment with them” 

Reflecting on their experiences at the residential, the young attendees said: 

“Learning new skills and finding things about yourself you never knew.” 

“A good way to step out of your comfort zone.”  

“I learned that I have a voice in Cyrenians.”  - Residential attendee

“Friendly, fun, caring.”

The youth engagement work of Cyrenians is ongoing and funded by The Promise, the national commitment to care-experienced children and young people. Click here to find out more about The Promise