At the SVRU we’re all about teamwork. From youth projects and schools to the NHS, prison service, government at every level and most importantly communities we look for opportunities to support and learn from others.
Here’s just some of the inspiring work we’re proud to be involved with around Scotland:
The Crib is a community-centre-on-wheels taking support, advice and music into the heart of communities across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The disused single-decker bus was bought for a £1 in 2019 and transformed by the residents of HMP Edinburgh to include a music studio, kitchen and hair salon.
The project was the inspiration of Heavy Sound CIC, a community interest company who work with young people struggling with mainstream education and adults who are involved in the criminal justice system. Heavy Sound run music workshops on the bus to help engage with young people in their own neighbourhoods. Their CEO and lead practitioner Jordan Butler said: “If we can use rap, hip hop or song-writing to engage with troubled young people we can help turn their lives around too.”
The Crib is supported by the Scottish Prison Service and Scottish Violence Reduction Unit with funding from the STV Children’s Appeal. In 2019 the project won a prestigious Butler Trust Award, which recognises excellence in the prisons, probation and youth justice system.
During the pandemic the bus became a lifeline for communities helping distribute food and providing a safe space for vulnerable young people. With need for the service growing in the current climate there is now work ongoing to create a second bus. Another vehicle has been donated and is being transformed once again by the residents of HMP Edinburgh. The connection with the prison gives those taking part a chance to give back to the community and develop new skills.
Once the second bus is ready for the road it will be heading to West Lothian and Edinburgh where Heavy Sound will work in partnership with local colleges to engage young people in training and education.
“We’ll have lots of services on board, like support with housing and benefits, as well as bike maintenance and music activities,” says Heavy Sound’s head of business development and operations Linda Bendle. “We’ll also be around for people who just want a cup of tea and a chat. We always have lived experience mentors on board who have been through the criminal justice system, who mentor the young people we work with.”
The Crib will also aim to provide support with addiction and recovery taking help into the heart of communities and connecting services.
Heavy Sound offer a range of support including mentoring for those involved in the criminal justice system from lived experience practitioners, and an additional curriculum for young people aged 12 to 16 who aren’t engaging with mainstream education. For more information about the Crib and Heavy Sound click here