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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF ACHIEVE MORE SCOTLAND

This year has been a year like no other. None of us have ever lived through a pandemic, a lockdown and seen so many restrictions imposed on us. We understand why these decisions were taken and we understand that this current situation has left us all with many challenges. We at Achieve More Scotland understand the challenges that you have all faced: Not being able to meet up and socialise with your friends, not being able to participate in sport and activity, not being able to get outside regularly, get fresh air and a change of scenery has undoubtedly had an impact on both your physical and mental health and well-being.

Since 16th March we have bene unable to deliver our normal football, dance and gymnastic sessions within communities or deliver activity sessions within schools in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire with whom we have been working the past few years. However, we have been very busy. We have remained active and committed to supporting the people and communities with whom we have built up strong relationships over the past 10 years. Since lockdown was imposed on 23rd March 2020 we’ve been active in the Glasgow area on 4 days each week for the past 18 weeks, delivering food parcels and offering pop up food banks to vulnerable, self-isolating and shielding families in the following areas: Barmulloch, Shettleston, Haghill/Dennistoun), Cadder and Possilpark. Since week beginning 26th May, we’ve also been delivering food parcels to 28 families in the Wishaw area every Tuesday.

In addition, since 29th June 2020 we have been providing summer activities in 5 targeted Glasgow schools, with 30 children in each school each say for 5 weeks. We have provided 4000 breakfasts and 4000 lunches whilst offering these children a safe, welcoming and fun environment with positive role models delivering games, fitness activities and arts and crafts.

During lockdown we have also been active on social media to support campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatters, offering young people who are participants in our activities the opportunity to share their stories and experiences of growing up a young black person in Scotland. All of the work we’ve been doing has been invaluable to individuals and communities that we have worked with, however, each and every one of us at Achieve More Scotland has missed the daily contact and engagement with the children and young people who are a massive part of our activities and indeed our lives. You need to know that we’ve not forgotten you, we miss you and are very much looking forward to reconnecting with you in the coming weeks and months, just as soon as it is safe to do so.

Our coaches remain there for you, at the end of a phone or via social media. They are here to support you, they can offer advice and guidance on physical and mental health and well-being.

All being well, we hope that the country will continue to move in the right direction and we are aiming to be back delivering our dance and gymnastic sessions, as well as football coaching and a new, exciting Friday Night Football league and cup competition by the end of the year.

As we plan for a return to communities, we are open to hearing your ideas and suggestions about how we can develop our activities, any new activities that you would like to see included, or anyting that you think mght help young people reconnect with Achieve More Scotland as we return.

We’ve missed you and we are looking forward to even bigger and better activities as we move towards 2021 and beyond.

Continue to #aimhigh, #achievemore and watch out for updates in the weeks ahead.