Our History | Kibble

Kibble’s deeply rooted history has its origins in 1840 upon the death of Miss Elizabeth Kibble, heiress to a large textile fortune. On her death in 1840, she left a portion of her wealth to “found and endow in Paisley, an institution for the purpose of reclaiming youthful offenders against the laws”. Kibble has evolved for more than a century and a half from this point and has always stayed true to its original mission: supporting young people facing adversity. Kibble is one of Scotland’s oldest charities and seeks to honour Elizabeth Kibble’s legacy by continuing to support young people from the local area and across Scotland.

This institution has lasted through the generations and has evolved into Kibble as we know it now. From the beginning, Kibble placed a strong emphasis on equipping the young people it looked after to lead purposeful and independent lives after they left the school. Our earliest records show that young boys were trained and found positions in trades such as tailoring, shoe making, agricultural and dairy work.

This focus on providing disadvantaged young people with the skills, experience and training to successfully embark on independent life is an ethos that has endured under several different leaderships through more than a century of radical social change and various incarnations of the education model.

Changes in the education system have seen Kibble function as a Reformatory School, an Approved School and a List D school until its current model of an Education and Care Centre was created in 1996 after a re-organisation of local authority boundaries and funding. While the focus on skills and training remains strong, Kibble continues to respond to the needs of young people as they arise and this now includes a strong emphasis on care and the protection of vulnerable young people. To meet this need, our range of services has widened considerably while we remain committed to providing young people with the care and support they need to overcome adversity and live empowered lives. If you’d like to explore more of Kibble’s history, please visit our Lasting Legacy website.

View our history timeline below to show Kibble’s development through the decades.

Major events

  • Institute of Directors (IoD) Awards presented to Jim Gillespie

    Kibble’s CEO, Jim Gillespie presented with the Institute of Directors (IoD) awards for Director of the Year for Agility and Resilience and Regional Director of the Year for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

  • Awarded the Outstanding Performing Business Award

    Kibble received the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce (ROCCO) award for Outstanding Performing Business over 25 full time employees.

  • HR Network Magazine’s CEO of the Year Award for Jim Gillespie

    Kibble CEO, Jim Gillespie announced as HR Network Magazine’s CEO of the Year.

  • The Herald Scottish Top of the Employer Award and the Medium Employer of the Year Award

    Kibble awarded The Herald Scottish Top of the Employer award and the Medium Employer of the Year award.

  • S1Jobs Recruitment Best Charity of the Year Award

    Kibble won Best Charity Employer at S1Jobs Recruitment awards.

  • Extension of Forest View Primary School

    Our therapeutic primary school will see the build up to four new classrooms in order for us to help more pupils, who need a helping hand to engage with learning.

  • Fostering Base in Hamilton

    A satellite Intensive Fostering office in Hamilton was opened to increase support to our foster families in the Central belt.

  • Puddle Lane Early Learning Childcare Centre

    Kibble opened Puddle Lane for all children aged 0-5 years old from across Renfrewshire, Glasgow and surrounding areas, with Kibble staff, friends and family receiving a generous discount. As a leading child and youth care charity and social enterprise, we have the specialist knowledge, experience and expertise in education, and early learning and childcare to provide high quality childcare to our staff and wider community.

  • Bute

    In April 2021, Kibble expands its number of residential care houses by opening Bute, a small four-bedroom care house for 12–18-year-olds, which provides a high level of support and focuses on building interpersonal relationships. Bute has adopted the essential components of therapeutic care and education.

  • Garnock Lodge

    In January 2021, Kibble’s residential and community services further expanded with the remodelling of Garnock Lodge in Renfrewshire. At the bottom of the huge garden, discover a wooden Hobbit House.

  • Forest View Residential Houses

    Alongside our Forest View Primary School, Kibble opened two individual houses, Ness and Tay, which are four and five bedroom and provide nurturing accommodation and therapeutic supports to children aged between five and twelve.

  • The Skills Academy

    Formerly KibbleWorks, The Skills Academy has been re-energised into an innovative employability, education and training centre to help young people find and sustain rewarding employment. Through the partnership with St Mirren, students gain real-life work experience and valuable training opportunities in the thriving departments of an exhilarating Scottish Premiership football club.

  • Kibble Partners With St. Mirren Football Club

    In February 2020, Kibble formed an innovative partnership with St. Mirren Football Club. As the owner of 27.5% of the football club, Kibble combines their youth-centred, educational and commercial expertise, with St. Mirren’s first-class sporting facilities and national profile.

  • Therapeutic, Trauma Informed Model Introduced

    Initially piloted in early years, this model combines six key elements that make up our approach to delivering therapeutic, trauma informed practice.

  • Shared Living Service Recognised at GO Awards

    The service received 'Highly Commended' at the GO Awards Scotland which recognises excellence in public procurement.

  • Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY)

    In November 2019, Kibble began hosting the IVY project with support from CYCJ to provide therapeutic support and interventions for young people who pose a serious risk to others.

  • Forest View Primary Opens

    In August our first therapeutic primary school opened its doors for children needing a helping hand to engage with learning.

  • New Kibble Brand and Website

    To provide a modern and bright new identity that reflected our charity's ethos, we launched a new brand identity which included a new logo, website and materials.

  • Kibble Hosts International EFeCT Conference

    We welcomed international experts on therapeutic, trauma-informed care to explore research and best practice on healing the hurt in young people.

  • Shared Living Project Initiated

    With finding from Scottish Government and European Social Fund, in September 2018 Shared Living was set up to provide family living for young people who have faced trauma and multiple placement breakdowns.

  • IIP Gold Award

    Kibble achieves the Investors In People Gold award for a second time.

  • Appointment of CEO Jim Gillespie

    Jim was appointed as CEO to lead the future direction of the charity.

  • Awarded UK Best Service Provider

    Awarded UK Best Service Provider by the National Government Opportunities (G0) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2017/18.

  • Implemented Business Continuity Standard

    Implemented Business Continuity Standard ISO22301: Societal Security Business Continuity Management Systems Requirements.

  • Volunteering Friendly

    Achieve Volunteering Friendly Award.

  • Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship Awarded

    Dan Johnson, SIS Senior Forensic Scientist undertakes a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to Scandinavia and the USA to study ground-breaking techniques with vulnerable young people.

  • SIS completes young people research

    SIS completes research on the profile of young people referred to Kibble.

  • Investors in Young People

    Achieved Investors in Young People Gold Award.

  • Kibble wins awards

    Achieved IIP gold Award, 2 Scotland Excel GO awards (Excellence in our Communities) and Excellence in Innovation.

  • Opening of Garnock Lodge Primary School and Arran Villa

    Opening of Garnock Lodge Primary School and Arran Villa – a pre-fostering service and residential care home for 5 – 12 year olds.

  • The Experience Opens - Young Workforce Development Centre

    Kibble’s Young Workforce Development Centre – The Experience – opens in Hillington Park offering work experience in the leisure and hospitality sector.

  • Kibble Outcome Framework

    Implementation of the Kibble Outcome Framework.

  • EFQM award

    Achieved EFQM Committed to Excellence award.

  • Social Pedagogy

    Widening of Social Pedagogy workshops, study trips, national networks and university modules.

  • Trauma Treatments

    Specialist Intervention Services team introduce a range of trauma treatments.

  • Housing Support Services Launched

    Housing Support Services and ‘Care At Home services’ launched.

  • Adult Placement Services Established

    Adult Placement Services established to meet the needs of young adults (16-25) looking for foster placements in the community.

  • CYC-Net Annual Conference

    Hosted the Child and Youth Care Net (CYC-Net) Annual Conference.

  • Two New Residential Care Homes Opened

    Two new residential care homes opened on campus.

  • Lapwing Lodge Primary School Opens

    Lapwing Lodge opened - a primary school in the community for young people unable to manage in mainstream education.

  • Silver Investors In People Award

    Silver Investors In People Award received.

  • Two Education Buildings & Gannochy Trust Centre Opened

    Completion of two Education Suites and The Gannochy Trust Centre for Expressive Arts.

  • Specialist Intervention Services Established

    Creation of Specialist Intervention Services (SIS), providing comprehensive assessments and psychological support to young people.

  • World Social Enterprise Forum

    Key partner in the inaugural World Social Enterprise Forum in Edinburgh.

  • Kibble celebrates its 150th anniversary

    Kibble celebrates its 150th anniversary with a range of events.

  • Kibble’s Safe Centre Opens

    Kibble’s Safe Centre opens - an 18 bed secure residential care home for young people at high risk of self-harm, or harming others.

  • KibbleWorks Established

    KibbleWorks established to support young people get the skills, education and confidence to enter the world of work.

  • New Residential Care Home Opened

    New residential care home opens on campus for high risk young people.

  • Intensive Fostering Services established

    Intensive Fostering Services established to meet the demand for young people seeking foster care placements.

  • UK Social Enterprise of the Year

    Kibble named UK Social Enterprise of the Year.

  • Programmes into Practice

    Kibble hosts international symposium on Programmes into Practice.

  • Promoting Kibble's work

    Strategic decision taken to promote the work of Kibble incorporating national and international study tours, presentations, knowledge sharing, staff exchanges.

  • CEO awarded Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship

    Kibble’s then CEO Graham Bell is awarded a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to study adoption, fostering and residential care of young people.

  • Robertson Trust Centre Opens

    Opening of The Robertson Trust Centre, a special educational needs centre.

  • “More than a School”

    “More than a School” Evaluation of Kibble Education and Care Centre undertaken by the University of Strathclyde.

  • Introduction of Multi-Service Centre

    Board take strategic decision to develop a multi-service centre, rather than a traditional education and residential care centre.

  • International residential care conference

    Kibble hosts international conference on residential care.

  • Two New Residential Care Homes Opened

    Construction of two specialist residential units on campus supported by the Lottery (Community Fund).

  • Community Services Introduced

    Community services introduced including supported accommodation for post 16s.

  • Kibble becomes an SQA approved provider

    Kibble becomes an SQA approved provider. In this year, Kibble achieves Investors in People Accreditation.

  • International strategic research

    Strategic research initiated with Finland, Ireland, Scotland and Spain with Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care to explore profiles of young people with multiple placement breakdown.

  • Vocational qualifications for social work staff

    Project with the British Council and the SQA to advise on creation of vocational qualifications for social work staff, based on Kibble’s model, in the Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

  • Strategic Funding Development

    Strategic Funding Development is introduced to secure ongoing capital and revenue investment.

  • Kibble Day Centre Opens

    Day Centre is built on the Paisley Campus to support young people from local communities.

  • Kibble Begins Operating on Fee-For-Service Basis

    Kibble Education and Care Centre begins operating on a fee-for-service basis.

  • 100% Grant Funding Ceases

    100% grant funding ceases on local government re-organisation.

  • Kibble becomes CCETSW approved provider

    Kibble becomes CCETSW (Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work) approved provider.

  • Kibble Education and Care Centre Established

    Kibble Education and Care Centre established. Company Ltd by Guarantee with Charitable Status.

  • Appointment of CEO Graham Bell

    Graham was appointed to lead the future direction of the charity.

  • Kibble becomes List D school

    Kibble becomes a ‘List D’ school under Social Work (Scotland) Act.

  • Re-designation

    Re-designation as Scottish Office Supported Approved School.

  • Reformatory School Welcomed First Pupils

    Kibble Reformatory School opened its door to disadvantaged young boys.

  • Grounds Purchased in Paisley

    Grounds were purchased in Paisley using the endowment to build a reformatory school.

  • Kibble Established following endowment from Miss E Kibble

    Miss Elizabeth Kibble, heiress to textile fortune left a portion of her wealth to establish a home for “youthful offenders” against the laws. This would become known as Kibble.