FYT in Scotland - a brief history

Events, training and support

Training events and awareness raising

Right from the start FYT in Scotland ran traning events, linked like-minded people together, and gave advice and information.

The earliest training event in Scotland that we have a record of is a Scottish Training Week-end which was held in 1967. This was staffed by Ian Balfour and Phillip Hacking. The number of those present is given as 120.

Training events were also held in 1968, when the event was led by John Butler and Michael Eastman with 45 people present, and in 1969, led by Keith Steven and Michael Eastman, with 30 people present.

In November/December 1970 training days were held in Glasgow (50 present), Edinburgh (30) and Aberdeen (16). In early 1971 a training week-end was held at Dunblane (with 34 people present).

Jim Punton was appointed as FYT Training Officer, based in London, in 1971 and a key event in FYT's development in Scotland was the "tour" that Jim did in 27 November/12 December 1971. Meetings were held in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Motherwell, Falkirk, Prestwick, and Aberdeen. There were meetings for ministers, and separate meetings for youth workers. The minutes of the FYT Scottish Committee record that the total numbers present over the 12 days of these events was 254, and for 195 of those attending it was their first contact with FYT.

Throughout most the 1970s one week-end training event was held each year at residential centres such as St. Ninian's in Crieff and the Gean House in Alloa: February 1972 Crieff (36 present); March 1973 Gean House (34 present); March 1974 Gean House.

These training events were organised by the Scottish FYT Committee. Early minutes record discussions about the methodology used at FYT events and whether such methods were suitable for Scotland.

May 9 1970 "The principle of Inductive Training was the subject of a general discussion. The Committee supported the use of this educational method in our training programme with the following caveats: ... The Scots were felt to be more conservative and less open to the use of new methods... Care is therefore needed to explain what is happening and to support the individual in the process..."

In the late '70s and througout the '80s training events continued to be held on a regular basis - both general trainng events and also training events for the camp leadership teams.

Linking people together

FYT has always seen part of its role as linking people together for mutual support, encouragement and thinking together. The way that has been done has included:

Here are a few pictures from training events etc.


Muriel Pearson at a publicity event

Clowning workshop at a Cumbernauld training week-end, September 1984

The FYT office at Queen's Crescent, 1989

At a training event at Cumbernauld, September 1984, with Andy Thornton, Muriel Pearson and others


Training event at Muslin St. - Joe Houston and Graham Bryce in foreground

Training event at Muslin St. Lesley Reid and Allan Fisher

Graham Aitken and Kenny Symon arive for a meeting at the Queen's Crescent office, 1990

Training event at Muslin St. - Michael Miller, Ian Milligan & Linda Small in foreground


Training event with Jim Punton and Graham Aitken

December 1977 at the meeting which set up Frontier Youth Camps - just a few of those who were there

Eildon Dyer and Graham Aitken in the FYT office

At a training event at Laetare Centre, Linlithgow. Gary Mitchell on the left. May 1985

We hope to have more pictures here soon.


Support to individual pieces of work

FYT has always seem itself as having an important role in this. From the setting up of the Scottish Committee in 1970 the committee members saw an important part of their work as making contact with those involved in "frontier work" and giving advice and encouragement. Not only did this provide help to these units but it also gave FYT a "picture" of what was happening on the ground, including the difficulties that were being encountered and the innovations that were taking place. These findings could then be passed on to others.
This has included: visits to such work; providing team training; regular contact and encouragement; meeting with church management groups etc.