Police Scotland Youth Volunteer’s Dundee Peer Education Team is one of our finalists in the Youth Volunteering Team of the Year category at the approaching Inspire Awards. The PSYV programme strives to establish a positive relationship between the police and young people, in a way which promotes being a positive role model and citizen, through volunteering within the community. In Dundee their two Youth Volunteer groups – Dundee East and West – came together to create a peer education team which aims to deliver educational interactive workshops designed and delivered by young people.

In the past the peer education team could be found creating and delivering activities to primary seven pupils in Dundee based on ‘risky behaviour’ such as sexting, internet safety and alcohol and drug use. This led to various successes such as members being asked to present at parent/teacher workshops and assisting Dundee City Council and WRASAC (Women’s rape and sexual abuse centre). Their work with Dundee City Council and WRASAC allowed the development of presentations and training packages and two volunteers accompanying WRASAC to a conference in Manchester to deliver a talk on sexting to ranked Police Officers from across Europe. They have also been previously asked by Europol in the Netherlands to give feedback on an educational package Europol were developing.

Today, these achievements have led the PSYV Peer Education team to collaborate with Dundee City Council on a new project to be written into Dundee school’s curriculum. The ‘PSYV No Knives Better Lives’ programme involves the PSYV peer education team building a programme on, and teaching S1 and S2 pupils about knife crime. This project too, much like the others, has been a great success with other PSYV groups in Scotland adopting the programme!

The PSYV Peer Education team are also nominated within the Youth Volunteering Team of The Year category based on their drive to make a difference in, firstly local children and teenager’s lives, which secondly, extends to communities as a whole. They believe that if they can change one person’s mind, make one person think twice about carrying a knife, they have positively contributed to Police Scotland and society.  Moreover, they maintain that their efforts to raise awareness can further encourage young people to help stand up and protect their communities. Peer Educator Sophie Dawes explains what motivates her – “The truly amazing thing about it is the unknown. You may never know what impact you could possibly have on someone. The lives you could change without even knowing.” We look forward to seeing you at the Inspire Awards Dundee PSYV Peer Education Team!

Rachel – Media Volunteer at Volunteer Dundee