is a grassroots nonprofit, led by young black people and people of colour (BPoC.) The charity provides a culturally appropriate youth service, with an emphasis on fairness in employment, positive destinations and performing arts, all of which has a positive impact on young people’s mental health.
Through a network of Ambassadors, IYS reaches out to children and young people aged 11 – 18, giving them a voice and offering them a safe space and a place to nurture their talents. A lot of the work that IYS does is to create pathways into the performing arts, giving young people a way to express themselves.
IYS received a Tiny Changes Covid Relief Fund grant in 2020. At that time, this small charity was under a lot of pressure to suddenly move their services online in lockdown, against a backdrop of funding cuts, surge in the Black Lives Matter movement and lack of culturally appropriate mental health services for BPoC young people in Scotland. This is their story.