Kibble Admin, Author at Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: September 19, 2023

Within our children’s residential houses for those aged from 5-12-years-old there is great outdoor space for kids to spend time outside.

This summer, children have made fantastic memories exploring, whether it has been visiting the beach, climbing the timber playpark, building a den in the forest, or running around the Astro-Turf garden. A sign of increased confidence amongst children who come to Kibble, is their willingness to affirm how they personally want to spend their time. The adults who children are surrounded by dedicate themselves to building trusting relationships, the grown-ups take the time to find out preferred hobbies and activities and encourage children to be open-minded to new experiences.

The Magic of Dens and Forts

One young person’s favourite summer hobby was den-building. Each day a new piece was added to the structure as the young builder took pride in the project. Nature had the power to evoke a sense of calm and tranquillity on this young person and by assembling their own growing den, their self-confidence increased in size too.

Adventure Climbing

Upon arriving at Forest View, one young person was in awe when the friendly adults revealed the fun playpark in the garden. Behind the green forestry and along an enchanted trail, there is a tall-towering climbing-frame and a separate obstacle course-inspired climbing wall along with a seesaw and much more. Together the children run down to the swings, and safely balance along the wooden beams and stretch to find their footing as they make their way to the top.

Beside the Seaside

Open the door to Arran Villa and you’re at Largs beach and adventure playground – the seafront is on the doorstep for kids to enjoy. We also have our own huge garden with a Hobbit Hut, where we’ve had humongous fun hosting BBQs and cycling on our bikes.

Posted: September 4, 2023

Kibble’s Skills Academy offers young people the chance to complete academic, practical and entrepreneurial projects. The students who selected to qualify in Bike Maintenance have gained valuable employability skills and are working towards the prestigious Saltire Award.

About the Qualification

The Bike Maintenance students are working towards the qualification of SCQF Level 3/4 in Cycle Maintenance and are set to achieve the employability units of Personal Development Self and Work, Work Placement, Steps to Work and SQA Employability. Through the vocational course taught by experienced Instructor, Robert Ross, young people learn essential skills in how to repair and maintain bicycles to a roadworthy standard.

Each student can independently complete a quality assurance master checklist when evaluating if a bike is fit-for-purpose. Methodically, the frame, wheels, handlebars, pedals and chain, breaks and gears, along with the saddle are all observed and reviewed with the relevant tool selected to repair if needed.

The process of applying difference tools and placing bike parts together can be therapeutic as the young bike mechanic must concentrate and focus on the task in-front of them and disregard all other distractions.

Instructor, Robert Ross, praised the independence shown by the existing students as they have tremendous problem-solving skills and always try and suggest a solution when a bike has an issue. The students in the class have also developed team-building abilities and communicate with one another about the next steps in how to best repair the bike fault.

“I want to further expand my knowledge and skills in Bike Maintenance and have the chance to learn about more advanced tools.”

Bike Maintenance Student

The students have the ambition and willingness to continue increasing their knowledge of complex bike tools and equipment.

The Practical Responsibilities of the Bike Mechanics-in-Training

The students’ enthusiasm has expanded outside the bike workshop at The Skills Academy. The young Bike Mechanics-in-Training join Instructor, Robert Ross, in maintaining the bike fleet across Kibble including the bicycles belonging to the children who live at Forest View and Arran Villa. Cycling is one of their favourite activities to do therefore the upkeep is an important responsibility.

Additionally, the bikes used by pupils for PE at Kibble’s primary and secondary schools are maintained by The Skills Academy’s bike workshop.

Valuable and Entrepreneurial Projects

Upcycling is achieved by our driven cycle technicians as outdated and unused bicycles can be refurbished and returned to working condition. The repaired, second-hand bikes are available to purchase from The Skills Academy for a minimum fee to make owning a new bike accessible and affordable to more people within the community.

Upcycled bikes have also previously been donated by ourselves to children’s nursery schools and St Vincent’s Hospice. The experience of cycling should be enjoyed by all who wish to try the fun-packed activity.

Inspiring the Younger Generation to Learn About Bike Maintenance

Our Bike Maintenance students are motivating the young generation to learn the valuable and lifelong skill of being able to care for your own bicycle. Our students volunteer at the local Fordbank Primary School and run bike maintenance workshops passing on their knowledge to younger pupils.

The commitment young people have made to volunteering at the local school is helping them work towards being recognised by The Saltire Award, which will see the students gaining a nationally recognised certificate, signed by Scottish Government Ministers, to celebrate and reward their voluntary achievements. It is a prestigious accolade that will stand out to future potential employers.

Overall, the Bike Maintenance students are leading by example and showcasing the accomplishments that can be reached when you are encouraged and supported in a subject you enjoy learning about.

Posted: August 29, 2023

Pupils from our Goudie Academy created artwork to remind everyone to treat one another with kindness and respect.

Pupil and teachers casted and decorated their own plaster boat to highlight ‘we are not in the same boat, but we are in the same storm’. The art piece was inspired by author, Damian Barr, who shared: “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.”

The collaborative art piece celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and reminds us to show empathy to others as we may be in the same situation under different circumstances.

One pupil designed their boat based on the one they sailed during an adventure trip with Ocean Youth Trust. It signified that when sailing a boat, there is a lot to think about – a life jacket is needed and time for maintenance to keep the boat clean from salt water. The same is true for life as some people have access to more helpful tools and resources than others.

The meaning of the nautical art project is one we will try to always remember and live by. We will be kind and respectful to the people in our lives while building trusting friendships to go through challenges and happier times together.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kibble said: “We aim to empower young people through education and motivate them to enjoy learning.  We are always impressed by the creativity of our young people, especially when it comes to practical skills and artwork. This art piece represents a message we are proud to support at Kibble.”

Posted: August 14, 2023

Last month, we celebrated Volunteers Week by welcoming new volunteers to Kibble. The most recent voluntary team gifting us their precious time have now started their fulfilling role in various services across Kibble.

Our services, which have given a warm welcome to volunteers, include a number of our residential children’s houses, education as well as our mental health services, IVY and SAFE.

We are extremely appreciative to those kind-hearted and caring individuals who decide to dedicate their time to Kibble and contribute to making a difference to the lives of children and young people. Although Kibble do not ask potential volunteers for specific qualifications or experience, the role does require specialist mandatory training and a genuine drive to help others. Time is taken to train, select and match volunteers to our essential services.

It is inspiring to have enthusiastic and positive volunteers amongst our qualified and committed staff team. All together, we can help give young people a chance at life.

Posted: August 9, 2023

On 27th July, a team of avid young footballers put their best foot forward to take part in the annual Who Cares? Scotland Care Cup at Powerleague Glasgow. Attended by over 100 young people from across Scotland, The Care Cup brings together care experienced young people from across Scotland to have fun, get active and enjoy some healthy competition to determine what team would lift the cup and reign victorious.

As always, there was a great turnout from young people across Kibble, with seven enthusiastic young athletes taking part. Teams were split by age group, with two teams competing in both the under 15’s division ‘Rising Stars’ and over 15’s ‘Prime Ballers’.

As the whistle sounded to kick-off the day’s events, our young footballers worked together with their team mates to line up the ball and gain competitive advantage. Scores of fans awaiting their shot at glory cheered from the side lines, encouraging young people to give it their all regardless of what team they were supporting.

“It was my second time at The Care Cup. I was there last year too. I loved it. I was mostly striker, and I scored a couple of goals. The happiest thing was everyone was cheering us on, even when we were losing. Rather than booing us, they were cheering us on and saying, “well done, you did good out there”. Everyone was so nice and kind.”

The enthusiasm and camaraderie between all of the players was palpable, reaching fever pitch when a goal was scored by one young person at Kibble moments before the final whistle. The young goal scorer was rewarded for ‘Best Player’ at the final prize giving, recognised for her ability, positive attitude and goal scoring prowess. She commented: 

“I thought the Care Cup was really fun. I didn’t expect to get the trophy for best player. It was completely out the blue, but I was so proud of myself. When we got back, I lay on the couch and couldn’t get up. I was sore for three days!”

Events like The Care Cup are a great way to bring people together to meet new friends, have lots of fun and celebrate their achievements. Jemma Kane, Advocacy Coordinator – Kibble committed: 

“I’m so proud of the seven young people who took part. On the pitch, they approached their matches with a positive attitude and willingness to give their best. They were fair, respectful, and considerate of each other – true sportsmanship. And most importantly, they had fun. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a victory for the Kibble teams, but they were all winners in my eyes”.

We’re already talking about next year’s event and will look forward to welcoming new players to the Kibble team.

Posted: July 28, 2023

Kibble students from The Skills Academy, who have the ambition to build a career in construction, are completing renovation projects across St Mirren with the progress being noticed and praised by first team manager, Stephen Robinson.

The Skills Academy is our education and training centre with locations in Hillington as well as St Mirren’s SMISA Stadium and Training Complex. Young people gain qualifications and practical skills within subjects they enjoy. Overall, our hope is to strengthen employability skills and help them to develop a fulfilling career.

Students have shown great enthusiasm and determination in developing trade skills through The Skills Academy by choosing to gain SCQF Level 4 qualifications in Painting and Decorating, and Construction Craft and Technician.

As part of the coursework young people have gained experience in the real-life business setting of St Mirren, learning from professional trainer, Craig Dunn. The young apprentices have been a key support in maintaining the stadium and training ground to the stringent health and safety standards. The main developments at the Training Complex have included renovating St Mirren’s first team gym floor and changing room floor. The large-scale projects had to be completed in a timely manner and fit in with the busy football fixtures and strict training schedule.

One young person excelled in renovating replacing changing room floor with the experience contributing to their joinery unit. Education Manager, Tracey Jardine commented on how much the student’s confidence grew from the opportunity to showcase their skillset.

Great attention to detail was essential while working and pace and all students involved exceeded expectations. The vast improvement and craftmanship was noticed immediately with first team manager, Stephen Robinson praising the quality of the complete refurbishment.

Younger pupils have seen the transformations that have been a result of the expertise learned by the older Skills Academy students who are completing their construction qualifications, which has inspired more youngsters to follow suit and explore a similar career path.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive, Kibble said: “We partnered with St Mirren to be able to offer young people the opportunity to develop their skillset and gain valuable qualifications while learning in a real-life business setting.

“To see students enthusiastically want to be involved with real project developments and give thought into their career prospects and plan for future is extremely motivating. The work Kibble does makes a huge difference to the lives of young people and we will continue to grow and achieve our vision of giving young people a chance at life.”

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Posted: July 25, 2023

From 4th – 9th June, a group of young seafarers took to Scotland’s scenic waters for a life-changing voyage with Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) Scotland.

Aboard the Alba Adventurer sailboat, five young people, staff and crew set sail from James Watt Dock Marina on a four-day voyage around Scotland’s rugged coastline. Sailing around the west coast, the 18-strong crew took in the breath-taking sights of Loch Tay, Largs, Tarbert, Oban and the Kyles of Bute.

Following months of preparation and anticipation, young people at Kibble alongside staff teams took part in raft-building sessions, learning about teamwork and safety, before trying their hand at sailing a small boat. But, whilst they were prepared for the sail, nothing could prepare them for the experiences they encountered on board the vessel, learning new life skills, developing friendships, discovering opportunities and learning more about themselves. The four days were all about fresh sea air, good fun, laughter, music and friendship – the perfect anecdote to end the school term. 

All Hands-on Deck

As soon as the sails were hoisted up on day one, it was all hands-on deck as the crew got to work on navigating the waters, reading a map, learning the knots and doing all necessary safety checks as the vessel made its way under the setting sun. Between the sightseeing, there was a lot to be done and everyone helped to steer the boat, prepare meals, clean, make beds and work the sails. All young people on the voyage were praised for their commitment, listening to all safety instructions and enthusiastically rolling up their sleeves with every task. One young person commented:

“This is the best experience of my life since coming into care at the age of 12”.

By day, the crew navigated their way round coastal towns and islands. On one of the days, the boat anchored at Largs where everyone disembarked for a BBQ on the beach in the glorious sunshine. Evenings were spent enjoying delicious, healthy meals and on the second night there was a disco on the deck with great music and lots of dancing. It’s fair to say the adults couldn’t keep up with the sleek Tik Tok inspired moves of the younger crew! This night proved to be one of the highlights and was an opportunity for everyone to let their hair down after a busy day sailing.

On another sunny evening as the temperature gauge hit record highs, the crew anchored at the coastal village of Tarbert and enjoyed fresh fish and chips on the banks of beautiful Loch Fyne. As the sun set on another long day of fresh air and exploration, it was time for bed. Back on board the boat and under the night stars, stories were read aloud, and everyone was tucked up in their cabin beds and rocked to sleep by the gentle waves. 

Everyone who took part in the sail agreed it was a life-changing experience and one they would never forget. One young person commented:

“If you get the chance to do the Ocean Youth Trust voyage, I can’t recommend it any more highly! We got to see so many places, I even got to see Bute and never thought I would ever get the chance to see that in my life”. Young Person, Kibble

Life-Changing Experience

For one young person, this voyage was to mark the start of a significant life-changing opportunity. Recognised for her attitude, commitment, knowledge and willingness to take on every task with enthusiasm, she was selected to join the Ocean Youth Trust crew in Spain as part of their foreign exchange programme. Through the programme, the young person will join the crew this summer as they welcome students from countries across Europe. This was an incredible achievement, with only five in 100 young people across the UK being selected for the programme. With their energy, skills and enthusiasm we have no doubt they will excel in this opportunity and enjoy meeting new people whilst experiencing different places and cultures.

All young people who took part in the OYT voyage showed incredible commitment and we are so proud of what they have achieved and will go on to achieve with their new-found skills. As well as learning life skills through sailing, young people also received awards including an ‘Introduction to Sailing’ award and SVQF awards in leadership and communication. Jim Gillespie, CEO at Kibble commented:

“The Ocean Youth Trust Scotland voyages provide exceptional opportunities for young people at Kibble. With such an immersive experience, it’s a chance for young people to step away from the pace of everyday life and embrace the elements whilst gaining life experience, forming friendships and growing in self-confidence.

For many young people, this type of experience is very unknown, but that’s what makes the trip even more valuable. Every year we see young people returning from the voyage feeling inspired, energised and with their minds open to future possibilities. It really is life-changing for all involved.” Jim Gillespie, Kibble

As the sun sets on another Ocean Youth Trust adventure, the skills, experiences and opportunities gained will last a lifetime. We’d like to thank Ocean Youth Trust for making our voyage so special and for opening up incredible opportunities for young people. And of course, to our hearty young sailors at Kibble, a huge well done and congratulations on all you have achieved and will go on to achieve as you steer towards your future horizon.  The world is waiting!

Posted: July 19, 2023

Talented Kibble students from The Skills Academy built a sweetie cart for all to enjoy at our fun school events.

Our education and training centre, The Skills Academy gives school leavers the chance to discover subjects and topics they find interesting and receive the support and resources needed to gain qualifications in their chosen field. We want young people to know they have potential to achieve and build a career they enjoy.

Aspiring joiners are amongst the class of 2023, and they are always keen to challenge themselves with a new construction project. The students working towards their SCQF Level 4 in Construction Craft and Technician have methodically designed and built a custom-made party prop.

The unique, sought-after sweet stand is now a fun feature at our school events. The progress of the project has been inspiring – from young people confidently saying it was possible to build, to now seeing the sweet cart being proudly displayed at our parties and presentations with adults and young people surrounding it and creating their pick and mix. The sweet cart has gone to our recent Promise event and school prom.

We cannot wait to see the next creation complete by the talented students.

Posted: July 5, 2023

In the month of June, Kibble’s Safe Space to Talk service held afternoon teas dedicated to health and wellbeing. Across the two events, parents and carers, and Kibble staff, were warmly invited for a cuppa, cake and a chat. It was an opportunity for everyone to take some time out, learn more about the Safe Space service, enjoy a wellbeing treatment or take part in arts and crafts activities.

The afternoon teas were a real success, with opportunities for parents and carers to share photos and meet with some of the wider team in a relaxed setting. Everyone who came along also received a wellbeing pack with face masks, creams, herbal teas and lavender bags to support relaxation.

The events are part of a number of sessions the Safe Space to Talk service are running over the summer period, with plans to run a series of information workshops and sessions for Kibble staff. These will focus on sharing knowledge and insights on a range of therapies and interventions offered by the Specialist Intervention Services team. This is aligned to our Therapeutic, Trauma-Informed Practice model ensuring staff are skilled and supported.

Safe Space to Talk

Often referred to simply as ‘Safe Space’, the services were established during the pandemic to support Kibble staff who needed a safe, confidential space to talk with an in-house team of therapeutic practitioners and councillors. The service proved to be so successful that it remains in place to this day and is free to access for all staff working across the organisation.

Posted: June 29, 2023

All were invited to Kibble’s Pride Picnic for celebrations, discussions and fun. There were opportunities for catch-ups, presentations, music, food and face-painting. As we came together to mark Pride month and all we had learned about tolerance and equality, we applauded the progress made so far, however, acknowledged there is still work to be done.

One creative young person stood up and slowly rolled out a list of countries unaccepting of the LGBTQI+ communities. The moment was extremely moving as each one of us fell silent in the stark realisation that so many people live in a reality where they have no support to be themselves.

In contrast, across Kibble, everyone is welcome – young people, teachers, colleagues and families can be themselves. Happy, positive events are extremely important to bring us together, help us feel like we belong, safe in the knowledge we are amongst friends.

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