Projects to Inspire

Take the Lead

Take the Lead (2017 – 2019)

Take the Lead was a three-year project which worked with young people in North Ayrshire and HMYOI Polmont.

Using dance, the programme aimed to increase ambition and aspiration by building young peoples’ confidence and capacity, health and wellbeing, and developing the behavioural, social and emotional skills they need to engage and progress into further learning and employability. As part of their involvement, young people also had the opportunity to gain various awards and qualifications. In its three-year lifespan, Take the Lead worked with over 700 young people.

What the participants said

“I’ve been with [Take the Lead] for a year nearly now. It’s had so much impact. There were times I wanted to leave due to my mental health, but then I knew how much it helped me in the past. Each week is always full of laughter. Honestly I could be here all day saying how great it is and how it’s a positive effect.” 

“I feel like you don’t judge me here. I look forward to coming here every week and having a laugh, but also feel like I am achieving something that I never knew I could.”

“I’ve learned that I can achieve a lot more than I thought I could. Now I feel like I can have a good relationship with adults because [the tutors] are so nice.”

“I never ever, ever used to speak up in class or with my friends and if anyone ever spoke to me, I would get so embarrassed. Now I am so happy because I’m confident and I can say anything that I want and add my opinions. I’m not shy anymore.”

“I have become more confident and now I have something fun to do instead of just sitting bored at home. It gets out my energy instead of being at home angry, so it is a release for me, I think.”

“YDance has definitely made me more confident in other sports now and has made me more energetic doing activity. To be honest I am happier here than anywhere else.”

“I feel happier and more confident in and outside of YDance as well. I feel better when talking to others and I am putting myself forward for new things.” 

Take the Lead Celebration Day 2019

Photos: Paul Watt Photography

Take the Lead Celebration Day 2018

Photos: Paul Watt Photography


Take the lead in North Ayrshire is run in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and Active Schools North Ayrshire.

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