Spinach for Popeye-Congress 2009

Youth in Action

Partners / countries involved

Falkirk Council ( United Kingdom ); Odenwalkkreis (Germany); Den Helder (Netherlands); Gothenburg (Sweden); Comune di Nuoro (Italy);

Held in Falkirk, Scotland, the 2009 “Spinach for Popeye” programme aimed to gather practitioners towards a youth exchange programme. The programmes started 12 years ago and its objectives were to explore, develop and sustain new and innovative programmes of practice in order to support work with vulnerable young people at risk of exclusion from school, of not achieving their full potential, or who were lacking confidence and motivation.

Over the years this project has helped to promote and support a more positive transition from school into further education, training or employment for a high number of young people. As a result of this project, a number of new initiatives, resources, collaborative projects and approaches have been explored and developed. These have made a difference in the lives of many young people. During the Congress, participants are offered the potential to learn and experience new ideas and methodologies which they could apply in other aspects of life.

The objectives of the 2009 Congress “Supporting Families to Support Young People” was based around the importance of the role of the family or carers in supporting the young person through the transition period and how to build and sustain quality support systems for these groups. Workers who attended the Congress were from a range of partner organisations including schools, youth services, social work, police, employment and training, college and social services. 

Lessons Learned

The programme continued with a further Congress held in the Odenwald in Germany between the 5th and 9th November 2012– with the theme “Changing Attitudes, Developing Practice, Improving Chances” – “Challenges for Professionals, Families and Young People”. Sadly Den Helder in Holland did not continue as a partner but we were pleased to welcome Nuoro in Sardinia to the programme.

“The “Spinach for Popeye” Congress has been an excellent and invaluable opportunity which has enabled us to develop and sustain European cooperation around matters of collective interest and importance for young people … and the issues, needs and challenges they face. We have each learned from others’ experiences and best practice and have maintained links in the years following the Congress in 2009. As a result of this cooperation we have taken forward a number of innovative projects and we are still working and learning together on new projects. The funding from YiA is excellent and without this support these types of projects would not be possible.” Mark Meechan, CLD Manager at Falkirk Council.

  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 November 2011
  • Project completed
  • 31 October 2014

Project owner contact

Falkirk Council
Lesley McCarthur
00 44 (0) 1324 506260

Project Website