MYDG has always been an innovative and creative outward looking organisation searching for new solutions to social, local, national and international problems and issues. These solutions always start with the basic understanding that it is the strength of our relationships (social capital) and the depth of our understanding of oneanothers strengths that is the key to overcoming barriers and making lasting changes to young people’s lives. Its the bringing together of young people, youth work style leadership and support, a business strategy, customers who value the skills young people have and some start-up funding that has enabled MYDG to be enterprising. In 2010 MYDG, following an extensive young person-led feasibility study and pilot project launched its very own social enterprise trading arm MY Adventure – taking what we do best (delivering sports, activities, cycle mechanics and training) to partners and customers locally and nationally. MY Adventure was set up to engage, train and employ talented sports coaches and outdoor instructors who were previously disenfranchised and furthest from the labour market. Our aim is to create employment opportunties and maximise ‘on-the-job’ training opportunities for the young people that conventional business and markets have been unable to respond to.
Thanks to the support of the Robertson Trust, the Scottish Government’s Enterprise Growth Fund, the Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network and Just Enterprise MY Adventure has taken the best of the private, public and voluntary sector management, financial and organisational structures and created a buiness model which can both meet the needs of young people and provide quality services and products to its customers.
To its already 50 strong (and growing) customer base the movement from Outdoor activity provider to supportive employer with a social conscience is seamless – our prices are competitive, our standards high and in many areas our products are unique. In MY Adventures’ first year it delivered over 15 types of activity to over 600 participants and most importantly employed 9 young people and trained 27.
But the story doesn’t end there…
MY Adventure has inspired young people supported by MYDG to look at solutions to local problems and think out of the box. In the summer of 2011 2 young people successfully pitched their vision for a local ‘bike track’ and community space they called Cyclone to councillors and businesses. They have now acquired the lease to fabulous Gypsy Brae, Edinburgh and work is due to start in late september 2012
Futhermore, earlier this year, again 2 enterprising young people pitched their idea of a swimming fun session delivered by and for the community, to local businesses and secured a grant from the LIveUnlimited (First Port) team to set up Inflatapool which launches later this year