SACO Flyer

SACO – Scottish Academy of Construction Opportunities
In partnership with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), SACO helps teach 16-29 Young People who are unemployed or not in education or training employability skills. It also helps offer them the opportunity to gain work experience in the construction sector. SACO provides accredited and industry specific training, and the opportunity to gain certification and qualifications from SQA. We also provide health and wellbeing sessions covering topics like motivation.

SACO flyer

Padlocks of Self-Love by Hayley Adams


Jordyn joined our Explore and B’Leave programme in June 2022. This programme was developed in response to the covid-19 pandemic, and it focuses on supporting young people aged 15-18 to make the transition from school to post-school activity.

Having identified a long-term goal, to attend Dundee University in 2023 to study Computer Arts, Jordyn joined the programme to build her confidence, enhance her self- esteem and improve her social skills.

As part of her Personal Development Award Jordyn had to select an unfamiliar leisure activity to participate in.

To this end she chose an Art Workshop at Hospitalfield House; A Victorian House with a walled garden café and fernery dedicated to contemporary art and ideas.

Padlocks of Self-Love


Padlocks of Self-Love

Run by artist Sally Hackett as part of a long-term commission & part of the development, the blacksmith made a garden gate leading to the walled garden, entitled ‘Padlocks of Self-Love’.

The workshop encouraged us as individuals to celebrate love for ourselves in an act of creativity and expression. We created small icons and representations of our self in wax; which will be cast in brass and attached to the gate in the walled garden, to be kept as part of the permanent exhibition there.

Jordyn made a blue sea dragon and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

Hayley Addams. Employer Liaison Officer at Barnardo’s Works Tayside. Supporting young people in Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

YPG – 2 Year Anniversary – Case Study

Date – August 2022

Local Authority – Dundee City

Programme(s) – E&B, F4W, EF2, 3 & MA at Buttons and Bows Nursery




Ellie is 16 years old. She is a trainee Early Years Practitioner at a local nursery studying for an MA / SCQF level 7 Qualification.


A typical day for Ellie within the Nursery involves; Ensuring that all the children booked in for that day attend the nursery. If anyone is missing, Ellie or another member of staff would contact the toddlers’ parents. Ellie then sets up the morning activities. She also retrieves a snack for each infant as per the daily made-up meal plans. After that, they then do a fun activity with the toddlers, such as messy play, art, play rom or whichever activity they choose.

During lunch time, Ellie and the other members of staff help distribute the toddlers’ lunches and assist them to eat it. The staff then clean up the toddlers as well as the nursery. For the children that want to have a sleep, they can do whereas the ones that do not are kept occupied such as doing puzzles and other similar activities.

At 1pm the infants that get collected by their parents. They are given a handover of what their son or daughter has done that day at the nursery by a member of staff. The staff then help tidy up the nursery and give handovers to the parents of the infants that stay on later once they are collected by their parents.


Ellie’s Journey and Experience

Ellie at Work 2

Ellie’s journey and experience to enable her to be where she is today is; Ellie joined the Barnardo’s Explore & B’Leave programme in March 2021.  At that point, she was dis-engaged with school and engaging in risk taking behaviour.  We worked with her to set some realistic goals and to explore career options. Ellie then moved on the Barnardo’s Fit for Work Programme where she attended sessions with MyBnk. These covered Budgeting, being Independent, Banking/Borrowing & Beyond Today. Ellie achieved an SCQF Level 4 Personal Money Management Award. She gained a lot from being on the programme and has decided that she wanted to return to school after the summer.

Ellie left school in December 2021; She then joined Barnardo’s EF2 programme in January 2022. Ellie completed her SCQF level 3 Steps to Work qualification. She also attended First Aid Training and a Care Mix Course. This included Protecting Vulnerable Groups, Infection Control and Administering Medication.  Additionally, Ellie attended sessions with Y Dance. She also completed her SQA Personal Achievement Award (Bronze at SCQF Level 2) in Performing Arts.



Ellie progressed to Stage 3 at the end of March 2022. She completed her Certificate of Work Readiness Qualification in June 2022. She was matched to a work placement with a local nursery during her time on EF3. We received nothing but excellent feedback on Ellie during her time there. Ellie made such a great impact that the nursery, Buttons and Bows, that they have taken Ellie on via the Discover Work Employer Recruitment Incentive (Dundee City Council). Ellie has commenced her MA studies at the nursery since too. All of the above have been opportunities that Ellie has opened and created during her time over the last 2 years of being part of the young person’s guarantee with Barnardo’s.

Ellie at Work 3

Ellies thoughts and feelings

What Ellie’s enjoys most about her current learning experience is that it has assisted immensely with Ellie’s confidence and anxiety. It has allowed Ellie to develop her work skills as well as gaining new Qualifications leading to Ellie’s current MA with the nursery. Ellie also feels that her current role as a trainee EYP is very rewarding looking after young children. She also feels a lot more productive each working day as Ellie now has a set routine instead of not knowing what to do with herself each day. Additionally she feels she has a lot more worth. Ellie also said that some parts of the job role are challenging, but she would not change anything about it.

Quotes from Ellie

The support Ellie has received through the Young Persons Guarantee from Donna and Bobbi from the Employability team at Barnardo’s in Dundee

“Without both of them I would never have achieved as much as I have today or be where I am at this present moment in time, studying for my dream career in becoming a paediatric nurse in the future. Donna and Bobbi, both supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams as well an enabling me to become so much more confident and self-resilient, I am so thankful and appreciative of them both and the time and belief they both gave me.”

Ellie at Work 1

“The skills I have developed are endless; time management from being in my current MA having to be ready to get the bus each day into work, my confidence as previously mentioned has come on leaps and bounds, my communicational skills, my teamworking skills with working alongside my colleagues at the nursery. All of these will assist me in the future too.”


The barriers Ellie has faced are Ellies anxiety and confidence as she has always struggled with them both. However with all the support Ellie has received she does not feel that they are barriers now.


Ellie’s plan once she has completed her MA / Level 7 Qualification

Ellie wishes to study paediatric nursing at Dundee University and become a nurse in the not-so-distant future. Ellie also wishes to share her success and experience with other local teenagers and young people within Dundee and surrounding areas to not let your barriers, or weaknesses get in the way and just go for it and join one of the Barnardo’s programmes as look at the success Ellie has created in reaching a positive destination and sustainable employment.


Barnardo’s Works Tayside supports young people in Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.




Discovering Your Potential Leaflet

Discovering Your Potential

Discovering Your Potential supports care experienced young people for up to a year to build their resilience and confidence, progress towards and successfully sustain their positive outcomes, e.g. further education, jobs or apprenticeships. Each young person is allocated a key worker who will provide ongoing support and signpost for specialist intervention as required.


Barnardo’s Works DYP Leaflet PDF


For more information about Barnardo’s Works Tayside. Please visit our Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross centre pages.

Ana Case Study by Jenny Stewart


Ana joined the Parental Employment Support Fund (PES) programme in March this year. She was referred to us as she had applied for an administrator role within our team but had been unsuccessful. She met with her employability coordinator discussed her circumstances.

Ana had moved 7 years ago to Scotland from Catalonia. She felt that in the 7 years she had been out of work that she had lost confidence and that her mental health had suffered during Covid-19. She also had never attended an interview in Scotland. Though Ana has a high level of English, she was very anxious about communicating at interviews.

Previously in Barcelona she had worked on many projects within children’s services with Save the Children, the Red Cross, and nurseries. Since coming to Scotland she had only worked on a self-employed freelance basis as a graphic designer and had also been volunteering in a charity shop.

Since having her children she had decided that she would like to work in an office-based role. Ana is a mum of 3 children and was looking to move back into work and regain a sense of identity out with “mum”.

Case Study

Ana built in confidence through her meetings with her employability coordinator. Through these meetings she was able to have opportunities to update her CV, discuss her skills experience and knowledge, talk through any worries, and be supported with regular job searches. Through this Ana also gained more confidence, motivation, and self-belief in herself.

When Ana felt prepared and able to start her job, she was booked on an information season at the job centre about the roles available at Social Security Scotland. After this she applied for one of these roles. She was supported through all 3 stages of the application process. This involved her being taught the STAR method and how she could use this within interviews. Ana passed Stage 1 and Stage 2, but sadly she was unsuccessful at the video interview stage. This was very disappointing to Ana. But due to the resilience and self-belief she had built due to her continuing to engage with her employability coordinator she was able to get straight back to her job search.

Ana was then informed by her employability coordinator of an open day at Embark. Ana went down to hand in her CV. Upon arriving at Embark she was informed that a candidate had not turned up for their interview so did she want an interview right now. This previously would have been something Ana would have not feel able to do. But due to all the training she had been undertaking she decided just to go for it. Ana completed the interview well, using the STAR method to formulate her answers. Later that day Ana was told that she had the job!

After PES

Since then, Ana has been receiving in work support from her employability coordinator to support her with the move in to work. She is doing amazingly. She says her journey with PES “felt very supportive” and that “Someone was with me; it wasn’t just me alone”

Jenny Stewart

YPG Event – 6/5/22 by Jenny Stewart


Young person’s event on the 6th of May 12-4 at Dudhope Park.

The aim of this event was to gather young people’s views on the Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG), what it means to them, and what their understanding is of it. We were keen as we come out of Covid and were able to work face to face to have an exciting and empowering day for our young people. The day was organised to show them that their views and opinions matter and that they can shape the future of how the Scottish government supports young people.



We wanted to create an event that gathers young people’s views and opinions ensuring inclusivity and full participation. We decided to ensure inclusivity that we will gather data in several ways to suit all our different learners:



We organised activities to get our young people active and moving.  We gathered data through a game of Rounders. During the game we asked young people questions at each base before they move on to next. We also organised a game of Corners. Young people were encouraged to go to the red corner if they feel the current YPG supports their aspirations.



We organised a large-scale art activity where we made a mural with the question “What does your future look like”. Young people were encouraged to use different materials to create images and words of what they want to achieve from the support of YPG.



We planned a nail stall. It was planned that a young person would be doing nails along with the help of a young person and having informal conversations with young people around YPG to gather data.

For the young people that do not want to get their nails done but that would also like to give auditory data we planned a song writing workshop and a focus group.


Reading and Writing

For reading and writing we created an online survey that our young people could use anonymously in the run up to the event to share their views on YPG. This was easy read and made in such a way that we really allow for a depth of data from the young people and without leading their opinions or creating bias. We also offered sessions for young people who needed support to complete a form in the lead up to the event. We additionally had staff available to support with forms on the day and an anonymised suggestion box.


Other Activities

Most importantly we wanted this event to be fun for our young people! Our kickstart project worker took a lead on this and planned several activities. These included a scavenger hunt and a dance off. A photo booth with props was also planned to be used to film young people answering questions about YPG. We also played music throughout the day too. Additionally we ordered food for all staff and young people to enjoy together.

In terms of paperwork, we tried to keep this to an absolute minimum. We did this as it can be a barrier to participation for many of our young people. Additionally, to get a rich level of qualitative data, we required this event to be fully inclusive of all young people.  We advertised this event by having informal conversations with our young people about what the YPG is and how they would like it to look.


Data Gathering and Common Themes

Overall we felt we had a fantastic event with lots of our young people participating. We managed to gather a wide variety of data. From analysing the data, we identified some common themes:

  • Many young people felt supported by their Barnardo’s project worker’s. Young people would like more support with mental and physical health and/or disability. They would also like support from schools especially during 4th year. Other young people felt they would benefit from support from employers and the job centre
  • Many young people were unaware of YPG other than through conversations with their project workers. They feel that schools and the job centre did not make them aware of YPG, what this is and how it affects them. They felt there was not advertising and information about YPG that they had seen.
  • The main barriers identified by young people were Mental Health, Disability and Physical health. Also identified as barriers were living rurally and age. Many young people felt a barrier for themselves was not being supported by school when transitioning from school to post school activity.
  • Young people would like more opportunities in “things they like” and “interesting” careers. Such as construction and childcare, more volunteering and work placement opportunities and practical experience.


We have then used this data to feed back to the Scottish government. We have also used the data gathered to inform our practise in terms of how we support our young people into positive destinations.


Jenny Stewart

Duncan Case Study by Jenny Stewart


Duncan is a young person who was supported on our Fit For Work programme. They are non-Binary so I will refer to them as they/them throughout this case study.

Case Study

Duncan had worked with Barnardo’s previously. They disengaged from Education due to Covid-19 as they were struggling with the online learning of their college course they got back in touch with Barnardo’s. We felt that they were most suited for our Fit For Work programme where they attended 12 weeks of activities which included:

  • Online sessions which gave them an opportunity to try out different online platforms such as Zoom. They even made a film entitled “zoom hell” online with the help of a local filmmaker. For the project, they wrote the script, filmed their individual parts of their phone and filmed online in a group session
  • A mybank sessions, these sessions gave life skills in how to budget, different types of interest and the costs of running a home themselves. It also gave good advice of debt and who the young people could turn too. This was a certified qualification
  • Walking sessions. Duncan took part in a walking challenge where the young people collectively walked the distance from Dundee to Aberdeen over several sessions. This helped to improve mental health and wellbeing and overall fitness as some of the young people in this group including Duncan were rarely leaving their house due to the lockdown the summer before.
After FFW

After Duncan had completed this programme, they were keen to still stay on with Barnardo’s. Duncan was interested in a career in CLD or social work. As such we decided he would come and volunteer with the next FFW group as he could share his lived experience with the new group. Duncan did amazingly in this group. We used a strength-based approach and incorporated creative art-based activities into this group which Duncan could lead on. This helped them grow in confidence and self-belief. Duncan also started to gain valuable skills that they could use on their personal statement for college.

At the end of the 12 weeks Duncan still required some support from Barnardo’s. During this time Duncan was successful with our support In getting a part time job in retail, this was amazing as it really helped to grow their confidence even more. As Duncan was care experience and was currently living in kinship care with his sister, we then registered Duncan with our Discover Your Potential programme which gave us the flexibility to give Duncan long term support, while on this programme, Duncan met with myself regularly. We applied for several college courses and Duncan received several offers before deciding on NC health and social care at Perth UHI.

Duncan has sustained college and is near the end of his course now, they even reached out and asked to do some of his college placement with Barnardo’s to help support other young people. They have now been given a conditional offer to study at university in London which Duncan is thrilled with.

Jenny Stewart

Explore & B’Leave Flyer

Explore & B’Leave

The Explore & B’Leave programme was developed in response to the covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on supporting young people aged 15-18 to make the transition from school to post-school activity; working on areas such as:

  • self-esteem and confidence
  • communication skills
  • life skills, budgeting
  • digital skills

and vocational activity such as:

  • career mapping
  • employer talks and visits
  • college visits
  • CV building

For more information about Barnardo’s Works Tayside. Please visit our Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross centre pages.

Jayne Smith

Hobbies: Running, Film, Music and Camping


Jayne has worked with Barnardo’s Works Tayside for over 4 years.

Jayne started as a Service Administrator before becoming the Finance and Administration Officer 2 years ago.

Jayne is responsible for the management of the service’s finances, keeping track of income, expenditure and the budget. She also processes all invoices, financial reports and financial claims.

The aspect of the role Jayne enjoys the most is being a part of making a difference in young peoples’ lives.


For more information about Barnardo’s Works Tayside. Please visit our centre pages for Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

Deborah (Debbie) Long

Hobbies: Being outdoors favourite place being by the sea. Debbie enjoys walking and spending time with her friends and teenage children. She loves live music so most of her down time is spent watching a band. She is vegetarian almost vegan, adores animals, and has had various animal rescue adventures.

Life Mantra: Celebrate the small things everyday and be kind.


Debbie has worked at Barnardo’s since 2012. Initially she worked as an “as and when worker” with Barnardo’s Works before securing a role with Children’s Services, delivering the Life Skills Project. She then worked as a Senior Practitioner and Team Manager with the SPACE and Family Service Dundee teams.  Debbie returned to Works in 2017 and has been involved in delivering our Employability Fund, Discovering Your Potential, Barnardo’s Best and Angus TRIBE Projects, and presently supports young people on our YPES programme.

For more information about Barnardo’s Works Tayside. Please visit our centre pages for Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.