Rohanna Irvine, SSF Youth Development Coordinator – National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016

National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016


Rohanna Irvine

Rohanna has been successfully shortlisted in the prestigious Youth Link National Youth Worker of the Year Awards 2016 because she is a hilarious one of a kind person who would do anything to ensure young people have the best possible life opportunities.

Rohanna stands out because she always goes way over and above and inspires everyone around her to be as good as they can be. She gives herself to the job and as a result really is changing the lives of young people she works with every day. She inspires everyone around her to be the best they can be, colleagues, managers and young people.

In her role with Active East, Rohanna has quite literally changed the lives of the Active Champions, an example of this is where she created a job within our organisation through our partnership with FARE on a modern apprenticeship for an Active Champion who is now leading on the mentor programme. She has given young people training opportunities, including ETC modules which they have identified, and listened to them to ensure they put this into practice through volunteering placements purposefully designed to allow them to flourish. If there is no training out there for example that would help upskill young people she will create it along with subject specialists. She allows young people to believe that anything is possible. No matter what their age, background, experience or education. They can work hard and support each other to achieve their dreams.


Rohanna is absolutely dedicated to her role as a youth worker with Scottish Sports Futures within the Active East programme in Glasgow. She supports Active Champions, young volunteers, and mentors with individualised programmes of awards and training to upskill them to volunteer within a network of 41 local youth and sport organisations in the East of Glasgow. Many of these young people require a great deal of support out with their volunteering roles delivering sport and physical activity for other young people. She is exceptionally skilled and has an innate ability to engage young people in a fun, supportive and bespoke way, reflective of their individual needs. Rohanna has created an award winning volunteer programme within which young people are supported to shape and progress the opportunities available to others.

Those who have moved on to university and employment have remained involved in the programme all due to Rohanna’s ability to embrace a youth work approach to programme development as well as young person development. She has created a mini mentor programme, enabling those Active Champions who have been involved in the programme for 2 years to take on a leadership and development role, supporting younger volunteers whilst developing their own confidence and abilities. In her role Rohanna has supported young people experiencing crisis with compassion and tenacity. Working with colleagues in social work and health care teams has ensured that these young people are not ‘lost’ and remain engaged and sustain positive relationships. Rohanna is an inspiration to all who work with her, young people, colleagues – she is regularly asked for advice and guidance for programme development, for things like integration of youth achievement awards, for planning residential trips and for supporting young people with complex needs. She always finds time for young people, whether this is for applications to university or Camp America, to do the West Highland Way, or to meet them at court, these are all things over and above her job role. She never ever asks for praise or recognition and this, regardless of the outcome on the 10th March awards night provides Rohanna with a well-deserved accolade for all her hard work.

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