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Program Partner

Volunteers will be hosted by the Church of Scotland Priority Areas Team who focus on supporting and resourcing the 64 most socially and economically deprived parishes spread across Scotland. This year YAV’s will have placements based in central Scotland in the city of Dundee where they will gain experience working with local churches and community groups. YAV’s will meet fantastic people living and working in Priority Area parishes; encourage people and communities to thrive through serving in church/community projects in one of the priority areas; have the opportunity to live in ‘intentional community’; and, find themselves appreciated, growing and developing in a unique and fulfilling way.

Find out more about some of the creative work going on in Priority Area parishes in Scotland by watching stories from local communities.

Good Places to be: Stories from local communities

Program Description

The Church of Scotland is the national Presbyterian Church and affirms that ‘Priority for the poorest and the most marginalized is the Gospel imperative facing the whole Church, not just the Church in the poorest places’. In keeping with this affirmation, the Church has directed additional staffing and resources to these areas of deprivation. Our way of working, focusing on people’s strengths and working in partnership has resulted in a wide range of creative programs.

We are committed to taking an asset-based approach to working in our communities, creating a church in Priority Areas which:

  • is indivisible from its local community, working with local people
  • sees local people as gifted, creative, resilient leaders
  • reaches out and stands with people in their most difficult situations
  • uses all ways possible to live the Gospel
  • seeks to be a family of church communities and encompasses the widest range of theology
  • is intolerant of and becomes prophetic about injustice

Priority Areas have been at the forefront of this pioneering work over the years. Working with local people, learning from them and recognizing them as leaders has enabled activities, programs and resources to be developed; to help overcome the effects of poverty.

Site Coordinator

Pam Mellstrom

One of the Church of Scotland Priority Areas Team Members in Glasgow


Intentional Community Living

scotland-yav-site-possibility-growsVolunteers will live together and have community space every week to spend time together for community building, reflection and prayer.  In addition, volunteers will meet with the site coordinator twice a month for group time to reflect on experiences, learn more about the impacts of poverty in Scotland and how the church and other agencies are addressing these issues, while also learning more about Scotland’s history and culture. 


Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) is a service and leadership development program through the World Mission division of the PC(USA). Young adults serve for one year in the U.S. or internationally, in areas such as fair trade or environmental issues, and have the opportunity to experience Christianity in a new culture. YAVs are between ages 19 and 30. Check out the YAV program blog here. 

Kara, Colombia


Matthew Begley
Destiny Marie Prinski


Molly Brooks
Lauren Hoak
Tracy LaMar
Hannah Nolen
Helen Richardson
Kris Scharstein


Katie Henderson
Calista Malone
Constanza Petersen
Leila Wright


Ekama Eni
Isabella Faginani
Olivia Marenco
Rachel Smith
Catherine Warren

Youth Radio Project

Placement Opportunities

Volunteers will serve in church/community projects in one of the priority area parishes.   The following are examples of the type of ministries where YAVs will be placed:

  • Children and youth projects including outdoor activities and house visits
  • Family support projects with a wide program of activities
  • Community cafés
  • Arts, music and drama projects for children and youth
  • Community growing and environmental projects to help tackle food poverty
  • Church community woodworking projects to develop members’ skills
  • Involvement in Self-Reliant Groups (SRGs) to help people learn new skills and build confidence to set up their own social enterprises
  • Chaplaincy in schools

On Sunday mornings, there will also be opportunities to be involved in congregational activities such as assisting in worship, leading children and youth work and other pastoral duties.


Volunteers will share an apartment in a central location which is a short bus journey away from most of the placements.


Age: 22 to 30

Education: College degree or equivalent age and life experience