Street League won the Youth Employability: Removing Barriers award at the 2016 SURF Awards.

The SURF Awards, which identify and celebrate success in revitalising Scottish communities, are delivered each year by SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum, in partnership with the Scottish Government.

SURF’s panel of 18 independent judges assessed this year’s applicants and selected 13 projects for 2016 across four categories, with Street League being nominated in their category alongside Rathbone and ENABLE Scotland.

Speaking during the awards ceremony, where Street League’s award was presented by Kevin Stewart MSP Minister, Andy Milne, CEO of SURF, was full of praise for Street League’s operations in Scotland. He said: “The judges visited their Paisley office and got the opportunity to speak to senior staff within the organisation, a number of Operations Managers, and most importantly a group of young people who were attending an employability workshop on the day. There were a number of areas within Street League’s operations that impressed the judges. Firstly, they have excellent employer relationships with some of the major employers in Scotland, which I’m sure has played a significant part in their very impressive outcomes results across the organisation. Secondly, 1300 young people were supported with over 1000 achieving a positive outcome last year. It was also impressive to see how Street League have evolved over the years to become a major training provider and embraced the idea of SQA qualifications and Employability Fund contracts at stages two and three of the Strategic Skills Pipeline. It is now comfortable operating within an output-related funding model.“

Before Housing & Local Government Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP presented the award, Andy Milne added: “As always the feedback from the young people being supported by Street League speaks volumes about the quality, value and impact of the charity. Coupled with the keen contributions of their staff, Street League are well on the way to contributing to their vision of ending youth unemployment in Scotland.”

On winning the prestigious award, Street League Scotland’s Managing Director, Dougie Stevenson, feels the organisation’s dedicated team of staff deserve a huge amount of credit. The work they undertake isn’t easy but they’re changing more young lives than ever before, he said: “Moving someone into work is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things you can achieve and 1024 young people into employment, education and training is no small feat, with over 600 jobs being secured last year.“

Dougie Stevenson added: “The award is fantastic recognition from our industry peers and testament to our staff and to the managers who have worked so hard to help alleviate disadvantage and the poverty that our participants face.”