Kibble Admin, Author at Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: March 28, 2023

It’s important to celebrate happy milestones and 25 years’ service is a great achievement, which Kate, Jeanettie, Trish and Sue have all recently celebrated at Kibble. Thank you to them for sharing their inspirational stories. Read about their career building experience – they may inspire you to join Kibble and start a rewarding career too.

Meet Kate

Kate exemplifies the monumental impact a role in corporate services can have in an organisation that focuses on creating connections, forming friendships and cultivating a sense of belonging. Kate cheerily greets everyone at Kibble and brings a presence everyone enjoys being around.

When reaching 25 years’ service, beloved Domestic Assistant, Kate was celebrated by all with young people gifting her handwritten notes and thoughtful gifts.

“I heard about Kibble through a friend and was delighted to successfully be offered a role that could offer me a work-life balance as I raised my own children.

“Since I started, Kibble has become much bigger and it has been great to see us being able to help more and more young people.

“I take each day as it comes. To me, Kibble is one of the best places to work.”

Meet Jeanettie

Our Head of Finance, Jeanettie originally joined the organisation as a Finance Assistant. Kibble’s support paired with Jeanettie’s tenacity to develop and contribute to the organisation’s ambition to grow and help more young people led her to gain further Accounting qualifications and become a chartered certified accountant (Associations of Chartered Certified), all funded by Kibble.

Jeanettie shared, “When I first started at Kibble there were 200 employees and seven residential houses, now we have over 700 members of staff and support more than 150 young people.”

Throughout her career, Jeanettie has wholeheartedly joined in with the world around her, stepping out from the desk-based role in an effort to be a friendly, familiar face to all across Kibble. From joining an adventurous trip to Mull with young people, experiencing fishing, kayaking and playing rounders on an white sandy beach in Iona to performing on stage for a Kibble talent show and always showing up to events and pantomimes organised by young people. On Christmas morning Jeanettie is known to gift sweets, biscuits and chocolates to houses across Kibble.

“Everyone, every day and every year is different at Kibble. However, the priority remains the same – to build genuine connections and empower young people.

“I am an avid, long-standing ice hockey fan and over the years I have bonded with young people who share the same hobby. Throughout the season, I regularly catch-up with young people who were once part of Kibble and have since moved on but continue to follow the local ice hockey team.”

Jeanettie has played a key role in the growth of Kibble and been involved in huge project developments.

“Working at Kibble we are able to observe tangible benefits, seeing young people grow up and accomplish greatness – the progress can be them developing in confidence to say hello when meeting new people, or to achieving a job they enjoy.

“Kibble’s growth and expansion has been driven forward by our commitment to young people. It is our responsibility within the finance team to spend wisely for young people to get what they need and more. Everything we do is for young people.”

Meet Trish

Learning and Development Advisor, Trish began her Kibble career as a social work student from Cardonald college. For over 13 years, Trish provided care, love and support to young people before excelling in a role mentoring and training others with the ambition to make a difference to the lives of young people. As well as the corporate services role, Trish chooses to spend additional time with young people.

“I feel I haven’t worked a day in my life because I have done what I love – spending time with young people, building relationships and caring for them.

“I have given my all to being the best influence possible, sharing my Equestrian lifestyle with those interested and taking young people to Pony Club. I also join in with any experiences young people want to try and I am known for my acting skills within school shows.”

Trish was helping young people with their drama production when a guest drama instructor from the local college encouraged her to audition for the drama group ran by The Apollo Players Glasgow Musical and Theatrical Production Company. Trish successfully landed a role performing in the Kings Theatre where young people and staff all proudly watched her perform, gifting her flowers.

“Kibble is part of my identity and I would describe Kibble as family to me.

“To work at Kibble is massively rewarding with plenty of good times and laughs to be had”.

Meet Sue

Meet Sue, Kibble’s longest serving staff member with almost 37 tears’ service. First in her family to go to university, Sue began as a student on placement from a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work and was inspired to build a career with residential child care.

“I found at Kibble there was time to develop relationships with young people and make changes. I also enjoyed being part of a close-knit staff team and the camaraderie between us all.”

Sue has experienced Kibble evolving to continually meet the complex needs of children and young people.

“When I first started at Kibble, the focus was primarily education and led by a Headmaster. Over time, Kibble has adapted, recruited based on qualifications and placed great emphasis on training. Kibble is becoming increasingly trauma-informed with over 20 in-house psychologists forming the valuable Specialist Intervention Services (SIS) team.”

The fondest memories of Kibble for Sue include spending time with young people and colleagues she has had the privilege to meet over the years.

“I will always remember the first young person I cared for. There has been brilliant times to reflect upon – going on trips, exploring the West Coast and telling ghost stories while camping.

When an influential manager I had, decided to retire, he surprised me by thanking me in his speech. He expressed how grateful he was of my patience and input.”

Sue’s role is now within Learning and Development, helping with Kibble’s training programme and supporting those with life experience to become qualified Child and Youth Care Workers. It is a valuable task, which brings Sue joy.

“To see people who have the personality and drive to start a career in youth care and take on the HNC qualification is extremely rewarding. They may initially be nervous about the academic commitment but to encourage and support them to reach the milestone of qualifying is an incredible feat to be part of.”

Sue is one of the forces striving to make the world a better place for children to grow up in.

Begin a Rewarding Career

Join Kate, Jeanettie, Trish and Sue and help give young people a chance at life.

Posted: March 8, 2023

International Women’s Day 2023 is encouraging everyone to #EmbraceEquity. ‘Equity’ has connotations of ‘even’, ‘fair’ and ‘equal’. However, more so, ‘Equity’ recognises each individual has their own set of circumstances, and allocates the tailored resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. The term fully promotes inclusivity.

As Kibble values belonging and has the ambition for all to be included in forming lasting connections, we understand the importance of equity. It is our hope for all to feel safe, supported and empowered to fulfil potential.

Three women who lead by example in creating an inclusive environment at Kibble have shared their words of wisdom in the hope of motivating everyone to continually move forwards and look ahead optimistically.

Be brave, be bold and push yourself out of your comfort zone at every opportunity.

Jackie Blair, Head of Education

Natalie Connell, Acting Head of Operations, expressed her understanding of challenges and offered words of strength, “Life can be difficult and no one is perfect. Remember, it is ok to make mistakes. Life is about taking tiny steps and progressing slowly towards your goals. You may be struggling today, however, your struggles do not define you as a person.

“Hold onto hope, take one step at a time and embrace the support around you. Things will get better and easier.”

Melissa Isaac, Service Manager, provided inspirational encouragement, “Always have faith in yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone to learn and achieve more. Whenever you fail, dust yourself off and try again.”

Karen Kerr, HR Manager, shared, “Go for what you want in life, don’t be afraid to dream big and be passionate about what you love. Life is what you make of it and whatever path you decide is right for you in life will be the right one – and remember to have fun along the way. You only live once!”

We encourage you to always remember these words of wisdom.

Melissa Isaac, Service Manager; Natalie Connell, Acting Head of Operations and Jackie Blair, Head of Education
Posted: March 6, 2023

From Italian fine dining to hearty home cooked favourites, each month our school holds a Supper Club to delight the taste buds of young people across Kibble.

The Kibble café has been set up to welcome avid diners after school, with the menu being chosen each month by young people. As well as choosing the menu, young people are also encouraged to dust off their aprons and roll up their sleeves to help prepare and cook the meal alongside Carol. To date, Supper Club guests have enjoyed Chicken Milanese, hearty carrot and coriander soup and home-made brownies with cream and fresh raspberries. It’s an opportunity for young people to get creative and cook their favourite meals, which could be anything from good old mince n’ tatties, curries or pizza.

Of course, the Supper Club is much more than the food – it’s a chance to get together after school with friends, listen to music and chat around the table.


Our new sponsorship agreement with St Mirren Women’s team is a multi-year deal, which will enhance the team’s day-to-day operations as the Scottish Women’s League One side seek to reach Scotland’s top-flight in the years ahead.

The move is hoped to encourage greater participation and access to the game for women and girls across the local community.

Kate Cooper, St Mirren Women’s Head Coach, said: “It is an extremely exciting time for women and girls’ football in Scotland, with its growing coverage, participation and reach into our communities, so we‘re really proud to be announcing this new deal.

“It is fantastic for our club to have Kibble’s long-term support and this sponsorship deal creates a win-win for us all as we look forward to the continual growth and development of our partnership.

“I know there will be common areas we can help each other on, so I have no doubt this initial deal will be the beginning of a much wider positive impact we can help make to our local communities.”

Kibble became part-owners of St Mirren Football Club in March 2020 alongside the St Mirren Independent Supporters Trust (SMISA). The partnership is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, creating the only fan-owned top flight club which is also run in partnership with one of the country’s biggest charities.

The pairing has allowed us to expand our young workforce development programme and improve the future prospects of young people by creating new training and employment options to help them gain important skills and qualifications. From becoming ball attendants at matches to renovating the club’s hospitality entrances as well as receiving support to maintain independent living, young people are learning the various skills and experience required for employment across the club and the wider world of work.

The charity’s sponsorship of the Women’s team marks the next step in the dynamic partnership and Mark Macmillan, Director of Corporate Services at Kibble, said: “We recognise the valuable role played by St Mirren Women and Girls’ Academy in motivating a younger generation of players and we want to support the work they do.

“Through our sponsorship, we aim to support the team’s aspirations and encourage more girls to join the youth team and hopefully progress through to the Women’s team for many years to come.

“We want to help St Mirren to continue to provide first-class youth development and further increase opportunities for young people to enjoy sport and fitness, experiencing the benefits of regular exercise while learning about skills in teamwork, patience and problem-solving.”

Together with St Mirren, we continue to strive towards our ambition of addressing local deprivation and exclusion through youth employment, community engagement, initiatives, and activities.

Posted: March 2, 2023

Change and Hope: Transitions into, out of and within care for young people

On 9th February, seven learners from Goudie Academy took part in a workshop alongside students from Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Masters in Service Design programme around Change and Hope.

In the workshop, learners discussed the different experiences they have had in moving into and within care, and what they feel could be improved / developed to make things better for children and young people.

All learners who attended were fantastic – honest and articulate about their feelings and experiences, speaking very well about what they would hope to change for future young people and their own hopes for moving onwards.

Following on from this session, we will work alongside the GSA’s Design Innovation Department to enable our learners to see first-hand where the design students work, and to enjoy a tour around Glasgow’s iconic art school to experience what being a student there is like.

“That was really an eye-opening experience, and we had a lot of fun talking with staff and students there.”

Glasgow School of ​​​​​​​Art Student

Posted: February 27, 2023

We’ve been busy taking part in Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 with the theme of ‘Let’s Connect’ encouraging people to make healthy, rewarding and meaningful connections. At Kibble, building genuine relationships is at the heart of everything we do. We were excited to get involved and support children’s mental health as we understand the significant impact meaningful connections can have on our overall health and wellbeing.

Our plans included visits from friendly dogs, dance workshops, aroma therapy blending. We also hosted our own dinner party. All experiences brought us together to laugh, chat and bond. Involving ourselves in fun activities, creates shared memories and helps us to thrive.

Find Out How We Marked Children’s Mental Health Week 2023

  • Therapy dogs came along to support pupils’ wellbeing
  • A lively dance workshop was run alongside Paisley-based Dirty Feet Dance Company
  • Pupils from Kibble put on a performance to an audience of other community groups
  • The sensory experience of hand-casting and crafting a masterpiece from beginning to end was a rewarding workshop
  • Through aromatherapy blending, we created our own fragrant oils that released scents to help us feel a sense of calm and designed another to elevate our mood

It was a fun-filled week with plenty of interactive group experience we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Friendly dogs, hand-casting and delicious desserts.
Posted: February 24, 2023

Children, young people and staff across Kibble celebrated Care Day by ceilidh dancing at Who Cares? Scotland’s ‘Carelidh’ event.

Care Day 2023 is the world’s largest celebration of people who have care experience, whether that be through adoption, kinship care, foster care, residential care, or secure care. Who Cares? Scotland held a sensational ceilidh dance to mark the occasion, inviting all to dress-up and dance the night away. The sensational event was attended by over 21 young people from across Kibble, ranging from our Paisley campus to Forest View in Lochwinnoch, Arran Villa in Largs and our other children’s residential houses across the West of Scotland. All wholeheartedly joined in with the classic dance routines, smiling from ear to ear as they spun around the room.

Jemma, who works at Kibble as a Who Cares? Scotland Advocacy Coordinator shared, “The Carelidh took place in Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh from 6pm, a fun-filled space for care-experienced young people to come together from across Scotland to connect and celebrate. There was live music, dancing, and other fun activities like a photobooth and face painting.

“Everyone was dressed beautifully for the occasion, from smart suits to dresses with flourishes of tartan to honour Scottish culture, as well as the sense of community and belonging.

“It was an absolute joy to see young people dance the night away to the Gay Gordons, Canadian Barn Dance, and the Dashing White Sergeant – with some learning the dances for the very first time. Some young people were having so much fun on the dancefloor they didn’t want the experience to end

“The partnership between Kibble and Who Cares? Scotland has reached a whole new level and it’s a privilege to be part of it.”

Jemma was hugely appreciative of Kibble’s dedicated staff team who encouraged young people to join in and made sure everyone was able to go and have great fun.

Kibble staff members, Paige and Ross
The ‘Carelidh’

Photo credit: Who? Cares Scotland

Posted: February 6, 2023

Last week pupils at Goudie Academy warmly welcomed visitors from Milldale Day Opportunities for a special celebration to commemorate the life and works of the late, Great Scottish Poet, Robert Burns.

The new school café was filled with excitement as guests were served traditional Scottish fayre of haggis, neeps and tatties, a warm cuppa and home baking made by our Home Economics Department at Goudie Academy. It was an opportunity to chat, laugh and make new friends, with raffle prizes to be won, poetry recitals and a song list that wouldn’t have been out of place at Celtic Connections.

Once the delicious meal was washed down, the music was turned up and there was much enjoyment and singing along to Auld Lang Syne, Donald, Where’s Your Troosers? and The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond.

As the afternoon drew to a close, there was talk of the next meet up and a promise by one pupil to prepare her speciality, chicken korma dish.

It was a real pleasure to welcome our visitors and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow our connections over the coming year with new opportunities.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive, Kibble said: “The young people at Kibble are always enthusiastic to mark national celebrations and learn about the history and culture associated with them. This year, our hospitality students have worked alongside the drama students and music students to curate a fantastic event that pays homage to our national Poet, Robert Burns.

“It was wonderful to welcome the group from Milldale Adult Day Centre on to the campus to experience the hospitality our young people can offer, as well as enjoying a showcase of great talents from our drama and music students.”

Mark Robertson, Day Service Assistant at Milldale Day Centre said: “It was a fantastic afternoon and all of the adults at the Centre had a great time singing and enjoying the music, eating delicious food and being surrounded by good company. Young people and staff at Kibble pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone had a great time and we hope to come back again very soon to enjoy another get-together”.

Posted: January 30, 2023

The new year began with our celebratory staff event, ‘We Are Kibble’. Across Kibble staff were invited to join together, in person, to reflect on recent accomplishments before looking forward to the future with a drive to continue giving young people a chance at life.

Colleagues from various areas of the organisation came together from care, education and support services. Throughout the week, David Nairn, Chair of the Board attended along with Board Members and Trustees, Mary Hackett and Brendan Harris.

The event created an opportunity for open discussion and by taking the time to reflect on progress to date and agree future priorities, we were reminded of our shared mission and felt inspired to continue working alongside one another to ‘Transform Lives, Families and Communities’.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive, delivered an interactive session, encouraging questions throughout.

The session began with Jim sharing his pride in how Kibble remained fully operational through a global pandemic, and he reflected on the growth the organisation experienced during this time period, opening new services and improving existing operations. He credited the entire staff team for the great feat. Jim expressed sincere gratitude, thanking each person for keeping young people and colleagues safe, and for continuing to demonstrate love, care and respect to all.

Jim continued to discuss the strategic direction of Kibble, which places great emphasis on succession planning. As Kibble evolves in line with the changing needs of young people, our staff team must have the skills, confidence and resources to open pioneering services that provide the right support, at the right time. The learning and development infrastructure offers staff the chance to gain new qualifications in addition to accessing mandatory training courses. Over 60 members of staff are currently enrolled in further education including Masters level qualifications. Opportunities for staff to advance in their career internally has also been established. For example, the implementation of Senior Practitioner roles. Additionally, there has been significant investment into increased recruitment with 65 more care staff employed compared to the previous year. As a result, we have a reliable, competent and driven workforce.

The ambitious nature of both Kibble and each individual staff member leads by example as we understand the importance of motivating young people to look ahead and build a positive future for themselves. Jim gave further insight into Kibble’s young workforce development expansion, which saw Kibble partner with Scottish Premiership football team, St Mirren, in order create new training and employment possibilities. Young people can gain valuable work experience front of house, hospitality for events and conferences, facilities management, and grounds maintenance. Working at St Mirren, young people learn in a live business environment and find a sense of purpose in establishing a career they enjoy.

Already, students from Kibble’s Skill Academy have gained qualifications, work experience and career opportunities through the club by renovating the hospitality entrance, working in the St Mirren shop, becoming ball attendants and more. The club’s catering, hospitality and events facilities have infinite potential to provide career opportunities to young people with food from the ‘We Are Kibble’ event being prepared by a young person, alongside talented Kibble Cook, Julie Hamill.

Overall, the event was an outstanding success with many greatly appreciative of the Kibble wide event. Staff were given the opportunity to shine a light on fellow team members who had gone above and beyond in their role; take part in fun, team-bonding activities and get to know one another, gaining an understanding of other roles and areas of the organisation. For the quiz, team names ranged from the Estates team calling themselves ‘To you, to me’ and those from Domestics naming their team ‘The Steamy’. Other humorous names included ‘Cheeky Monkeys’ and ‘Gorbals Cross University’.

It was an excellent experience to bring staff together, reconnect and feel a sense of belonging, united in our shared purpose to make a difference to the lives of young people. Kibble shows no signs of slowing down and we are ready for the year ahead.

Hear from Kibble’s Staff Team

“Fantastic to see the CEO and Senior Leadership Team seeking questions and feedback from staff. Interesting to know the direction of Kibble and how appreciated staff are.” Kibble staff member

“The event had a nice, relaxed atmosphere and it was good to hear from the CEO.”

Kibble staff member

“It was a good opportunity to get a variety of services together and reflect on the past few years. I would like this to happen more regularly.” Kibble staff member

Photos from ‘We Are Kibble’


Kibble’s partnership with St Mirren has enabled more young people to receive support in developing the skills needed to live independently and thrive in their own home with funding from Nationwide. 

In addition to supporting young people of Kibble, we have been able to offer our services to the wider community with help from our partners, St Mirren.

Through the Nationwide Community Fund, Kibble has supported care-experienced young people to understand housing choices, live independently, and enjoy having their own home. The initiative enabled Kibble to deliver the SQA Level 4 Successful Tenancy award, which has the purpose of educating young learners in how to acquire their own home and the responsibilities involved including taking care of their health and wellbeing and being a positive influence within the community. The opportunity was available for students attending Kibble’s education and training centre, The Skills Academy, as well as young people from the wider community. Those coming from local areas who enrolled within the course, attended St Mirren to complete the qualification.

Kibble’s Employability and Tenancy Officer, Gillian Tod coordinated with St Mirren to raise awareness of the Tenancy course opportunity amongst youngsters who were part of the club’s community outreach activities and employment programmes. Positively, the opportunity to gain a recognisable qualification appealed to most.

Young people who attended St Mirren regularly as part of the CashBack Off The Bench employability programme were interested in progressing their skillset further by joining the course, delivered by Kibble at St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium.

Cashback Off The Bench is ran in partnership with the SPFL Trust and held within SPFL Stadiums including St Mirren, it is a programme for young people to further their employability skills, attainment level, physical activity and mental wellbeing while improving their football skills. Young people who may be facing unemployment, leaving school, or enrolling in part-time education receive training and encouragement, which motivates them to plan for the future and build rewarding career aspirations.

By working closely together, Kibble and St Mirren were able to offer further opportunities to young people. Young people can be made more aware of the valuable support available to them and accept help in developing the independence needed to create a happy and healthy home life.

Jim Gillespie, Chief Operating Officer, Kibble said: “Kibble’s partnership with St Mirren has allowed both renowned Paisley institutions to join forces and help address local deprivation and exclusion through youth employment, community engagement and effective local initiatives.

“It is brilliant to see young people succeed and achieve qualifications and to know that by Kibble and St Mirren working together, we have made a difference to even more young lives than we ever could do working in silo. We are aware of one another’s community projects and have established collaborative working, as a result, we pull our resources together and increase awareness of the support available to young people within the local area.

“The SQA Tenancy award in particular focuses on young people being able to manage responsibilities without becoming overwhelmed. It ensures young learners have the confidence needed to create a place to call home, start a job, manage personal finances, cook nutritious meals, and join in with fun activities and events taking place within the community. For Kibble to be able to deliver this course at St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium to young people who live within the community and are trying to better themselves is changing lives. The qualification and high level of support provided from Kibble will help young people progress towards employment, training or further qualifications and create a bright future for themselves.”

Kibble welcomed young people recommended from Skills Development Scotland, Invest Renfrewshire and local housing associations to join the course. The connection with St Mirren helped to expand the community outreach and encourage even more young people to achieve the qualification.