Kibble Admin, Author at Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: December 1, 2022

Pupils at Kibble’s Goudie Academy have been awarded the Green Flag Eco Schools Award, recognising their outstanding contributions in protecting the planet for future generations.

The Green Flag is one of the most prestigious Eco-Schools awards, where pupils follow a Seven Step Framework to complete the programme. Despite the challenges set by the pandemic, pupils received high praise for their commitment to sustainable Development and climate action, as well as having learned and actively participated in litter prevention, reducing environmental pollution, waste minimisation, waste management, health and wellbeing and local environments throughout their journey.

The award recognises the achievements of the whole school community who took part in a wide range of activities, events and community projects alongside local charities to make a real impact.

The commendation was awarded just days prior to the COP27 World Conference; with pupils also taking the opportunity to hold a round-table discussion closer to home. The Kibble COP27 Conference brought together young people and staff to celebrate the incredible accolade whilst addressing issues around: recycling, energy, food waste reduction and sustainable travel. The Eco-schools project was initiated at the COP26 conference the previous year, with young people also taking part in a number of classroom activities, workshops and marches aligned to the world events.

Litter Picking and Recycling

Litter picking groups were set up to collect and recycle plastic bottles and other items found around our campus. To make a difference in our community, we volunteered with the Darkwood Crew in Ferguslie Park to collect and recycle litter. Afterwards, we visited the Community Market at the Tannahill Centre in Paisley to see the difference that Kibble’s weekly collection and donation of food parcels and Christmas food drive was making. We have a close partnership with the Darkwood Crew, where young people also donated £3000 through the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) and have plans to volunteer in future to support young people’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

“We picked all the rubbish up outside Ferguslie Park with the Darkwood Crew. We found lots of rubbish that was lying about including a trolley. We put the rubbish in the trolley and the council picked up all the rubbish bags. After we went to the Tannahill Centre and learnt about how they help people who can’t afford food.” Young Person, Kibble

Outdoor Classroom and Gardens

Among the other activities and events to help us achieve our Green Flag status included the creation of an outdoor classroom which was co-designed and developed by young people, planting of fruit, vegetables and flowers to promote pollination, the design of a new school logo promoting our core values and making beautiful bird boxes and benches in our craft and design class. As well as an outdoor classroom, our green-fingered pupils and staff have been creatinqtg a new garden outside our Technical department complete with a beautiful willow arch, colourful plants and seating banks with planters which are filled with fruit trees and bushes.

“A space for outdoor learning would help us by being in different scenery and creating a calm space to learn. It would let us have more options in how we want to learn. School isn’t just about the classroom and young people can struggle in the classroom so getting outside would help them by being able to explore learning in a new environment. It is about experiencing new things and learning skills that will help us in the long run.” Young Person, Kibble

Eco Mural

As part of the curriculum, pupils in Craft and Design worked alongside local artist Kevin Cantwell to complete a stunning mixed-media mural that sits pride of place within our school building. The entire piece is made from recycled materials and shows a concrete cityscape surrounded by sprawling sea, mountains and blue skies. In the distance you can see wind turbines generating natural power and aeroplanes circling overhead as modern living meets the natural world. The artwork is incredibly beautiful and young people thoroughly enjoyed being part of this.

Reducing Food Waste

As part of the award, young people have been growing and selling ‘mix vegetable boxes’ to staff across Kibble, with monies raised going towards the Dog Trust charity. In addition, the apples harvested in Home Economics class have helped to enhance young people’s basic food preparation and cooking skills, with an understanding of which foods contribute to healthy lifestyles.

Health and Wellbeing

There has been a flurry of activity to promote active, healthy lifestyles with young people taking part in regular yoga and mindfulness sessions, promoting key calendar events such as Purple Friday with cycling and walking challenges, Forest Schools activities and Sailing Voyages with Ocean Youth Trust. These opportunities have allowed young people to experience the great outdoors, supporting their mental and physical health.

To have achieved the Green Flag Eco-Schools Award is an incredible accolade and is testament to the hard work, commitment and compassion of young people in making our world a better place. This is only just the beginning and with ambitious plans in the pipeline to introduce an electric vehicle fleet, electric charge points, widen food recycling activities and strengthen our overall Zero Carbon campaign, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

“Keep up the outstanding work and a big congratulations again to Goudie Academy from everyone at Eco-Schools Scotland!

Posted: November 7, 2022

Young people who attend Kibble’s Skills Academy renovated St Mirren’s hospitality entrance under the guidance of a Joiner Instructor and gained their National Progression Award in Construction.

The Skills Academy is our modern education and training centre for young people aged from 14 years-old, which offers young learners the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, full training and qualifications in line with the current job market. The supportive learning environment, varied curriculum and practical lessons, partnered with rewarding work opportunities help young people develop skills that will increase their chances of finding and sustaining employment within a role they enjoy.

The Academy has a base in Hillington Park and within St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium. Through the partnership young people are able to learn and earn from a real, thriving business that caters to around 5,000 avid football supporters at each match.

First impressions count and The Skills Academy students were determined to utilise their skillset to completely revamp the entrance for those fans enjoying the hospitality experience, ensuring they received a first-class service as soon as they entered the building.

Young people received a design brief from an interior designer, which outlined the objective was to declutter and simplify the entrance, making it look inviting, on-brand and professional. Under the mentorship of a qualified Joiner Instructor, the apprentices brought the design to life using the trade skills they’d learned. Young people earned money, gained valuable experience and heightened confidence levels with their efforts helping them to achieve the National Progression Award in Construction.

The Design Brief

Hear from Kibble and St Mirren

“Kibble’s partnership with St Mirren was to provide young people with learning opportunities that will take place in a real-life setting and help them to build a career they enjoy.

“Our young people were determined to impress the club and the football fans with their joinery, painting and decorating skills and I am sure everyone will agree they have done an amazing job, the hospitality entrance has been transformed and looks great. It has been phenomenal to see their confidence levels grow and proudly add the work experience to their CV, strengthening their future career prospects.”

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kibble

“Our new hospitality entrance is looking remarkable and young people from The Skills Academy have been integral in the process, they paid extremely close attention to detail and finished their renovations to the highest standard.

“Young people understood the value of the project and their role in helping us create a grand entrance to offer a tremendous hospitality experience. It gave them the drive to further their skillset and fulfil potential.”

Keith Lasley, Chief Operating Officer, St Mirren FC

The refurbishment has only the finishing touches to go before it is complete.

Look at the Before and After Renovation Photos


Kibble won the prestigious title of Scottish Employer of the Year and Medium Employer of the Year at The Herald Top Employer Awards.

The Herald Top Employer Awards set out to celebrate the best of the employment industry in Scotland. Those who put their employees at the forefront of the business, provide opportunities for training and progression, have a diverse and inclusive focus and are committed to supporting their people.

Kibble received tremendous recognition with The Herald describing all that we do as ‘outstanding’. The accolade is a testament to the selfless staff team who show determination, love and compassion to young people every minute of every day, ensuring round-the-clock operations continue 24/7, 365 days a year.

Throughout the past 12 months, our dedicated workforce exceeding 650 members of staff have cared for over 250 young people.

It was a privilege to attend the event and be amongst some of Scotland’s most influential companies who, like us, recognise staff as the greatest, most valuable strength. Large businesses, national firms and charitable organisations gathered, and although from different industries and of variable sizes, we are all in agreement with placing great importance on creating an uplifting and motivating workplace.

Kibble fully understands that staff are the most important resource, we have an exceptionally committed workforce and strive to be a top employer in return.

Over 43% of employees have worked with Kibble for more than five years, the average length of time a staff member stays with one company.

Collectively, all at Kibble have the vision to ‘Transform Lives, Families and Communities’ through care, education and opportunity to ultimately, give young people a chance at life. In order to carry out the mission and provide the highest standard of care following a therapeutic, trauma-informed approach, a key element in the operational model includes Skilled and Supported Staff.

Investment into development is a priority with approximately 10% of staff, at any one time, across Kibble are undertaking PHDs and Master’s level qualifications in subjects relevant to both their own development and the changing need of the young people we support.

Specialist staff bring our services to life and help young people feel safe, supported and loved. We have long recognised that the complex emotions and behaviours of young people demand a skilled and qualified workforce, who are fully supported themselves in regard to health and wellbeing as well as learning and development. Our aim is to cultivate a culture that values respect, ambition and belonging. We endeavour to equip staff with the requirements needed for them to meet their ambitions and achieve, while creating friendships and close-knit bonds between colleagues and young people to instil a sense of belonging. As a result, staff remain at Kibble and seize the opportunity to gain further qualifications and accreditations to be the best they can be, help more young people and shape the wider care sector.

Begin a Rewarding Career

Posted: September 21, 2022

Michelle became a Child and Youth Care Worker at Kibble through our Staff-in-Training programme.

About Child and Youth Care Worker, Michelle

Mum-of-two, Michelle previously worked as a property administrator for West Dunbartonshire Council while volunteering with young people in her spare time. She decided to change her career and follow her dream of helping others by applying to Kibble’s Staff-in-Training programme.

Over the course of 12 months, Michelle studied for a HNC in Social Services and carried out in-depth work experience before qualifying as a full-time Child and Youth Care Worker. Michelle hopes her experience will inspire others similar to her to apply and work for Kibble in a rewarding role.

Michelle’s Words of Encouragement

“I was nervous about applying initially, as I have two children and I wasn’t sure how the change in pace would affect them.

“However, the staff at Kibble have been hugely supportive throughout the entire process and I found the work-life balance was easily achievable, particularly as we were offered a study day through the week.

“I would say the role is a fantastic opportunity for parents, particularly as we have so much to offer. I already have that nurturing side to me and I think that resonates with young people.

“I’m so proud to have achieved my HNC with Kibble’s support, it’s given me a real boost in confidence when I would never have believed I had the time or experience.”

Every day I learn more and more from both young people and my colleagues, but Kibble places a huge amount of emphasis on personal development.

“I’m excited to make the most of this and absorb all the information I can to become the best I can be.

Michelle’s story was covered in the Clydebank Post.

Become a Child and Youth Care Worker

Find out more about how you can begin a new rewarding career with Kibble.


Child and Youth Care Worker, Lola left the hospitality sector in 2017 to begin a career in care with Kibble and would encourage others to follow in her footsteps.

About Child and Youth Care Worker, Lola

Lola qualified as a Child and Youth Care Worker through our Staff-in-Training programme, which recruits people with life experience and provides full training and mentoring. Since joining Kibble in 2017, Lola has progressed her career and successfully achieved her Professional Practice Award in Mentoring SCQF level 7 qualification. The qualification will see her mentor and pass on what she has learned to her fellow colleagues.

Lola Shares Her Staff-in-Training Experience

“I moved into child and youth care from hospitality with little experience, but thankfully that didn’t matter due to the extensive and thorough training Kibble were able to provide me with.

“Kibble recruit people with all different experience as long as they have a drive to help young people.

“The essential requirement is the aspiration to support young people and provide them with a better chance at life – if you have that we will work with you to make sure you have the skills and experience to become the best carer possible.”

Career Development

The in-house Learning and Development team invest in employees gaining further qualifications and training. The hope is that by generating the most highly trained staff in the sector, we will be capable of providing young people with the support that they need.

Lola’s story was covered in the Paisley Daily Express.

Become a Child and Youth Care Worker

Find out more about how you can begin a new rewarding career with Kibble.

Posted: August 30, 2022

On Thursday 25th August 2022, we were honoured to welcome Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People to explore our children’s houses offering close, therapeutic support.

The visit is part of a wider exploration of Scottish care providers that offer an alternative to secure care, or step-down provision, for young people who require close care and support due to complex mental health and self-harm behaviours.

As part of the visit, the Minister was welcomed by David Nairn, Chair of the Board and our Chief Executive, Jim Gillespie to find out more about Kibble’s services before visiting children’s house Bute. Here, she was met by an enthusiastic young boy who showed Ms Haughey around the house and spoke of his footballing dreams and recent sailing adventure.

Bute has been designed to create an environment which offers the opportunity for a gradual and supportive transition for young people moving on from more secure settings such as a Safe Centre and acts as an alternative to community mental health provisions. It provides high levels of support and therapeutic care for young people with complex mental health needs, which are diagnosed, emerging or suspected, and those with significant risk to themself through suicidal and self-harming behaviours.

The house offers a safe and supportive space, which is therapeutic in design, yet youthful to reflect the tastes of young people that live there. Everything from the colours of the rooms to the soft furnishings and general everyday rhythms and routines have been carefully considered to promote safety, structure and routine.

The staff at Bute are highly experienced and skilled individuals with knowledge and training in neuro-developmental disorders and work in partnership with an integrated health and specialist intervention services teams, which includes Forensic Psychologists and Specialist Looked After Children’s Nurses, as well as qualified therapists across a range of disciplines including cognitive behavioural therapy, art and play therapy, counselling and family therapy.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer said: “Each of the young people that we provide care for have individual needs and our care provision needs to mirror that. It is imperative that we continue to evolve our services to ensure that we have the care setting required for each of our young people so that we are able to support them within a setting which is safe and therapeutic.

“It was a pleasure to give the Minister for Children and Young People a tour around both Bute and Mossway, demonstrating the careful planning and execution involved in delivering both houses and caring for the young people who reside in each.”

Children’s Minister, Clare Haughey said: “It is vital that children and young people with complex needs get the support they need. I’d like to thank the staff at Kibble that have worked so hard throughout the pandemic in challenging conditions to maintain the support for children and young people in their care.

“We’re determined and committed to fulfilling The Promise by 2030, and this includes exploring new approaches to secure care in Scotland.”

Posted: August 25, 2022

Pupils at Kibble’s Goudie Academy researched a social issue, selected a charity helping the cause and created a presentation to showcase why their chosen charity deserved to receive a grant.

What is the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)?

The Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), funded by The Wood Foundation, is a citizenship programme, which empowers students to make a difference in their community through local grant-giving, while developing important skills including teamwork, research and competitiveness.

Our Participation

Kibble’s Goudie Academy delivered YPI and in class, pupils learnt about different social issues before being put into groups to select a problem affecting their area, that they wanted to help resolve. The next stage was to research charities working towards their chosen cause before creating a team presentation on why their preferred charity deserved to receive a grant.

Each group met with charities through an online video-call and interviewed the kind-hearted individuals working to make a difference to the community. Young people asked questions and gathered information about the charity, what it takes to keep it running and the impact it has on people living in the local area. They were able to find out specific details about the charity and use the insight to create a thorough, heartfelt and accurate description of all the charity’s achievements day-to-day. The presentations effectively highlighted why the charity was important and how a £3K grant would be spent and the significant impact the donation would have on tackling an apparent, key social issue.

The Final

The two charities which made it to our Goudie Academy final were Darkwood Crew and Respect Me. Darkwood Crew is based at the Tannahill Centre in Ferguslie Park with the aim of ‘helping Ferguslie flourish’ by focusing on food security, fuel poverty, isolation and loneliness, mental health positivity, and the local environment. Respect Me is Scotland’s anti-bullying service and has the vision of a respecting, equal and inclusive Scotland, supporting children and young people to live free from bullying.

Our final was attended by members of the charities and representatives from YPI. Young people produced outstanding video presentations for the judging panel to review and decide who deserved the grant.

The final decision was made with Darkwood Crew being awarded £3K and Kibble generously donating £1K to Respect Me. The money was donated in July and upon returning to school, pupils were keen to hear if their donation has helped.

The Impact

Darkwood Crew have shared that the £3K donation has had a great impact so far. The financial support helped them restock their Community Market, which offers food support by providing £15 worth of shopping every Thursday to those who need it.

Darkwood Crew Community Development Worker, Terry McTernan said: “The money received has helped us fully restock our Community Market in an attempt to help navigate the cost-of-living crisis in the coming months. We are expecting an uptake in demand, so this has helped us prepare and is a very welcome addition to our toolbox.

“We are extremely grateful to have been awarded such a large sum of money and would like to take this time to emphasise the benefits this will bring to many across our community.”

Alex Reid, YPI Scotland Delivery Lead was thankful to the pupils of Kibble: “Your efforts for YPI have been nothing short of incredible and inspirational this year in very difficult circumstances.  Thank you for your unwavering commitment to the programme.”

“Our pupils strongly believe no one should go hungry and were determined to do what they could to help make sure families could get themselves good food.

“Young people of Kibble are extremely proud that their efforts have had a direct impact on people looking for help and are keen to continue fundraising for causes that will help the local community.”

Audrey Baird, Executive Director of Kibble
‘Cheque’ it out The Darkwood Crew received £3K

YPI is the flagship initiative of The Wood Foundation’s ‘Developing Young People in Scotland’ portfolio of activities.

Posted: August 9, 2022

Last week a group of budding young footballers put their best foot forward for the annual Street Soccer Care Cup 2022. Run by Who Cares? Scotland, a national organisation for care experienced people, the highly anticipated event brought together young people with care experience from across Scotland to take part in the soccer tournament.

Against the backdrop of the Glasgow Powerleague arena, eleven excited youngsters and seven staff at Kibble donned their school football strips representing Goudie and Mirin Academy. The day kicked off at 10am where everyone took part in a quick warm up and stretching session, ahead of the first matches at 11am. There were 20 teams in total, with young people at Kibble forming three of these: ‘The Grasshoppers’, ‘Inter troops’ and the perhaps the less assured ‘No Clue’. We think the kids may have been referring to the staff players here!

From the moment the whistle blew at 11am, it was nonstop fun… with a fair bit of competition thrown in. There was a real mix of ages taking part, and all demonstrated incredible sportsmanship with their support of others in their own and opposition teams. The atmosphere was incredible as the teams took part in a series of play-offs throughout the day, amalgamating in a prolific match final. Of course, everyone who took part was a winner, but it was the Inter troops team at Kibble that proudly lifted the trophy in their division.

Everyone who took part in the event raved about it and are already talking about next year. The camaraderie, support and moral within the teams was incredible and the atmosphere was electric. New friendships were made, some were rekindled from years gone by, but overall, this was an event that celebrated inclusion and belonging. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Who Cares? Scotland for organising this fantastic event, which has become a firm favourite on the Kibble calendar. Well done to everyone who took part, and we’ll see you on the pitch next year.

“It’s been good to get out on an activity and play with the rest of the boys.”

“I’ve enjoyed it. The best part has been getting to play proper football. I was the goalkeeper for my team and I made a few saves.”

“It’s been good to get out on an activity and play with the rest of the boys.”

“It was a good day out. I enjoyed myself and I got to see my old staff too. I’d like to come again next year”.

Posted: July 25, 2022

Kibble is helping young people prepare to live independently and thrive in their own home with support from a Nationwide Community Grant.

The thought of moving forward into employment and living alone can be daunting. Suddenly having the sole responsibility to manage finances, maintain a job, cook and have a social life can feel overwhelming. Many individuals face this milestone with guidance from family and friends. However, for others, there can be a lack of support as a result of facing adversity and trauma from a young age.

Kibble, with funding from Nationwide, is helping care-experienced young people live independently and enjoy having their own home. The funding has enabled Kibble to deliver the SQA Level 4 Successful Tenancy award, which is specifically designed to prepare learners to live safely themselves and encourage them to explore and be part of their local area. The qualification equips young people with the skills and knowledge needed to start the process as well as maintaining living alone while preventing isolation.

Our Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod offers a helping hand to young people, ensuring they receive a high level of support with personal finance, cooking, gaining employment and more. Young people have access to valuable support that can help them create a safe space to call their home and live a healthy lifestyle. The responsibilities of living independently are made manageable through Gillian’s advice and encouragement. Young people develop self-esteem, self-confidence and look positively towards the future.

Finding employment for young people is a priority of the project. Assistance with CV writing, interview preparation and linking young people to jobs and placements all help young people to start working. The opportunity to gain work experience, begin a job and earn money creates a sense of purpose and helps form friendships. Overall, contributing to a happy and healthy home life.

Kibble held a job fair for young people to learn more about the career opportunities available to them. Local businesses were invited to discuss their professions in more detail. Young learners were inspired by a range of organisations including National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (NMIS), West College Scotland, Howden and more.

Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod has seen a change since the project began. She said, “Young people have made such progress in living independently, finding a job they enjoy and earning money since the project began. We recognise it is challenging to make the first step in applying for a job and then continue with the responsibilities of working while having your own home, however, there is a high level of support available to help young people see it through, feel a sense of achievement and plan for a brighter future.”

“One young person in particular has started plans for the future, expressing interest in learning more about saving with hopes of applying for a mortgage one day.”

Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod

Nationwide Paisley Branch Manager, Ronnie Girvan shared, “We are delighted to hear about the value the funding is bringing to the lives of young people who are living independently. The Nationwide Paisley branch will offer further support to young people by hosting learning sessions about how to save and how to apply for a mortgage. We will do all that we can to help young people develop skills in finance management.”

Moving forward, the project will continue to strengthen the confidence levels of young people, ensuring they are capable to maintain independent living throughout the future.

Nationwide Paisley Branch Manager, Ronnie Girvan presenting the cheque to Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod.
Posted: July 15, 2022

Posted: July 15, 2022

In her blog, Dr Helen Bratton, Consultant Clinical Psychologist from the Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY) service explains the role of formulation to understand young people’s experiences and inform possible interventions.

What is Formulation?

A psychological formulation can be seen as a tool used to bring theory and practice together into a shared narrative of a person’s experience, providing a framework for understanding and possible intervention. Formulation helps us to make links between what has happened to a person and how they may be presenting in the here and now.  It provides an understanding of how all areas of their life have an impact on them and how they try to cope.  It helps us to consider the function of challenging behaviours and to consider helpful solutions.

Psychologists use their knowledge of several theories to understand how a person’s current difficulties are related to their past experiences and how the problems are being maintained. We consider biological, psychological, social and systemic factors when gathering information for a formulation. A formulation is not diagnostic in nature, it is dynamic and incorporates theory alongside beliefs, thoughts, feelings, interpretations and reflections. To be purposeful, a formulation needs to be meaningful.

How does IVY use Formulation?

Formulation helps to identify unmet needs, maladaptive coping and unhelpful patterns in a person’s life.  Using this information, we can focus on the most appropriate areas for intervention.  A formulation should be open to amendment in light of new information or a change in circumstances.  This is particularly true in the life of children and young people whose lives can change quickly as they are going through a period of rapid growth and development.

At IVY we use formulation in all three types of service that we offer. Within consultations we use the information provided by teams to generate a psychological understanding of the young person, their world, the systems around them and their risk related behaviours. When we undertake Type 2 risk assessments, we build on the initial formulation to consider the risk related behaviours in more detail and to shape risk management recommendations.  In Type 3 interventions we use the initial formulation to guide our treatment plan and will amend and adapt our understanding as we go, integrating new information.

If you want to learn more about how we use formulation, please contact [email protected]