Often visitors to our organisation ask what is wrong with the young people we work with. What an upside down view! We see each person as able to actively contribute to our society and make a difference – we genuinely believe community is about being better together.
As a social enterprise, it is easy to be dismissed as having a “fluffy” view of the world but Calman Trust operates in a very unfluffy space. In order to survive our organisation needs to be commercially rigorous and we need to constantly balance this with ensuring that our work with young people is core to our business.
We believe that the focus on moving young people off benefits is missing the point. What is much more important is that the capability and enthusiasm of young people in the Highlands should not be wasted but that they become active contributors to society. If they simply sit and do nothing there is a cost to society that is more than the cost of benefits, it is the cost of lost opportunities for everyone.
It is important to support young people because the whole community is stronger when everyone participates. There is a benefit to everybody to utllise the entire resource of the community.
Practically we don’t just provide training for the young people we work with. We help them learn how to work, we give them real work experiences and we support them to become able to live independently. We see all their fabulous skills and potential, not what is wrong with them.