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Peer project award

THE PEER education project run by the recently closed Shetland Youth Information Service has won a second volunteering award for its work.

The project was set up last year to train young people to raise awareness amongst their peer group about challenging issues such as sex, drugs and alcohol.

The group met weekly until funding to SYIS was suddenly cut last month by Shetland Charitable Trust.

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However the council, the charitable trust and SYIS directors have hinted that the peer education project is likely to be revived under the council’s new youth strategy, which is to be published next month.

This week the peer education project was awarded a Volunteer Friendly Award, to add to the Shetland Youth Volunteering Award it won last November.

Meanwhile councillor Peter Campbell, an SYIS director and former charitable trust member, has threatened to write to the Scottish charity regulator after a letter he wrote concerning SYIS funding was not circulated to fellow trustees.

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Campbell and fellow council-appointed SYIS director George Smith resigned from the charitable trust this week in protest at the way the funding was cut.

SYIS chairman Brian Gregson said the organisation was very proud of the work that had been done with the project.

He added: “It is a little ironic the award has been made when there’s a question mark over the whole thing.”

Negotiations have been taking place this week between the council, the charitable trust and SYIS over the future of the organisation’s 14 full and part time staff, who found themselves out of a job with less than a week’s notice.

“Every effort is being made to protect the staff’s interests,” Gregson said.

Other Volunteer Friendly Awards went to Advocacy Shetland and the Shetland Befriending Scheme.

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