“Our mission is to be an anchor in the lives of young people and support them throughout their personal journeys. Providing opportunities that make a difference to the lives of young people in Muirhouse will enable them to have a positive sense of their own future and the world around them.”
MYDG is not a simple youth work programme. It is not a “service provider” in the most usual sense of those words. It is an indigenous organisation, committed to its own longevity; working with and through its local community; with young people finding and making their places within it as they grow up, as they gain independence, and as they become able and capable of being increasingly responsible for steering MYDG and ensuring that it creates opportunities for others who come along after themselves.
MYDG could be described as a process of social change, or “a quiet revolution”, which has empowered several generations of young people from North Edinburgh. MYDG is never top down; it is always about relationships; it puts young people first; it is there when they need it and there for them to return to. It is their organisation – feelings that transmit far into adulthood, as young people of MYDG’s past continue their commitment and contributions to the organisation as adults.
MYDG began in 1997. The local social context was characterised by extremes – family breakdown, loss of traditional employment, drug and substance misuse becoming more widespread, domestic violence – but interspersed with people who wanted to make things change for the better. Young people in Muirhouse and adjacent areas of North Edinburgh had nowhere to go in evenings, no activities, no focal points, no voice. Organic, unstructured, peer and volunteer led, MYDG began to take shape, and welcome support came from local agencies who provided premises and resources, with a strong community commitment. MYDG was small and low profile, yet determined, and was hugely successful in the ways in which young people benefitted – from being listened to, from forming relevant and constructive relationships, from having new experiences, and from others believing in them.
Our main areas of work
MYDG engages young people with a focus on the following 4 areas of work: