Kibble Admin, Author at Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity - Page 2 of 24
Posted: May 27, 2022

Deputy Head Teacher, Mark Robertson has built his career at Kibble, helping to mould the Senior Phase educational provision. His impact on Kibble has been huge. As Mark retires and all at Kibble gather to wish him well, his legacy continues with a nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Education Awards 2022.

Mark has played a vital role in inspiring learners, their families, fellow colleagues and the wider community and beyond for over 29 years. He dedicated himself to being an exceptional role model to young people. He has contributed to care experienced pupils achieving qualifications, gaining life experiences, including travelling abroad and ultimately shaping their successful futures. The prestigious Scottish Education Awards announcing Mark as a finalist is a tremendous way to celebrate his contribution to education.

Kibble held a presentation for Mark’s retirement. Everyone was welcome to honour Mark’s time at Kibble and the difference he has made as an educator. All wished Mark the very best for the future, although are fully aware he will remain close by and on-hand to offer support to previous pupils and past colleagues. Together, we reflected on his Kibble career and agreed he was deserving of a nomination for Scottish Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Photos of Everyone Wishing Mark All The Best for The Future


Reflect on the Impact Mark Had on Pupils, Families and Colleagues

Beginning his career as a Child and Youth Care Worker, Mark transitioned into education and progressed into the role of Principal Teacher, followed by Deputy Head Teacher. Mark completed a Master’s degree in Business with a focus on developing a Business Model for vocational training and tertiary education services within Kibble. Mark has grasped opportunities to gain extensive qualifications and undertake further education and training to ensure his teaching methods develop and evolve in line with the ever-changing needs of young people.

As well as focusing on career development for himself, he has in tandem implemented ways to help pupils achieve qualifications, gain work experience and form aspirations to secure a job which they enjoy. Mark helps ensure young people have access to gain qualifications in line with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), offering a variety of subject choices, as well as a high level of support with literacy and numeracy. Mark has incorporated employability skills into course delivery and assessment to ensure pupils are equipped with knowledge and skills reflective of the current job market.

An example of the difference Mark has made to the lives of his pupils can be demonstrated through a previous pupil who Mark was a guidance teacher and mentor to. The young person is now a full-time employee at Kibble within the catering department, having gained all the relevant qualifications with Mark’s support and motivation.

“Mark is funny, caring and a hard worker. He has helped me by providing a work experience placement that I know will benefit me in the future”.

Young person

Mark goes above and beyond to enrich experiences of young people. The study trips he organised and fundraised for are excellent examples of why he deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award. At Kibble, pupils are often care-experienced and have previously faced trauma and adversity. They have unlikely travelled out with their local area and have low expectations of taking a plane trip. However, due to Mark’s commitment, several educational excursions were made possible.

As part of the educational tours, two pupils travelled to Ecuador, spending time with local people and improving their poor housing conditions through the “Determined to Succeed” initiative. Through ‘Classroom for Malawi’, five pupils and six staff members built two classrooms and funded a teacher. The trip cost over £30K and involved fundraising activities across two years. A trip to Baltimore in America to make a stand for Civil Rights involved six pupils and four teachers. Each journey, from the process of fundraising, to arriving and making a difference was a huge achievement.

The travel experiences gave care experienced pupils an understanding of the wider world, gaining awareness of culture and differences; a perspective they would not have learned without Mark’s involvement and tenacity. The fundraising aspect taught students entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, as well as helping towards other qualifications. Fundraising gave an insight into the meaning of community, increasing awareness of philanthropic issues and instilling moral values. Pupils worked together and recognised their power and responsibility in making a difference. Through the entire experience, pupils gained life skills that equipped them with the motivation to be a positive force in the wider community and beyond.

Mark leads on organisational funding projects to ensure the school has the resources available to fully support pupils moving forward to positive futures. Through initiating employability and tenancy projects, young people have received extra tuition and additional support to gain national qualifications, including the Tenancy Award – a qualification that prepares care-experienced young people to sustain independent living.

Mark has an open-door policy and offers full support to his fellow teachers. Mark has led by example by completing his Master’s qualification and has influenced colleagues to undertake continued professional development opportunities. The approachable nature he possesses is appreciated by staff.

“Mark has always offered support and been there with advice, sharing his experience of undertaking further study allowing us to relate to him. If there is help needed anywhere then Mark is first to be there”.

Principal Teacher, Tracey Jardine

Overall, Mark’s fundamental principle in teaching is to build meaningful relationships and connections. Throughout his career, Mark has sometimes been the sole, consistent adult in young peoples’ lives. He has nurtured the academic and vocational abilities of pupils, while providing them with opportunities to experience the wider world and gain valuable life skills.

Mark has been instrumental in bringing to life Kibble’s overall goal to empower young people to believe in themselves, feel a sense of belonging, fulfil their potential, achieve and work towards a positive future.  Mark genuinely represents Kibble’s inspiring learning and development culture, encouraging both pupils and staff to be ambitious. By leading by example, fellow teachers have looked up to Mark and together, have strived to provide the best educational experience possible for pupils.

Posted: May 23, 2022

Our Learning and Development team welcomed those who wish to train and become Child and Youth Care Workers as the group interviews began for Staff-in-Training.

Through Kibble’s Staff-in-Training course, people with a drive to make a difference to the lives of children and young people can earn, train and gain qualifications to ultimately begin a career in care. Upon completion of the 12-month programme, candidates are guaranteed an interview with Kibble for the rewarding role of Child and Youth Care Worker.

Kibble recruited earlier in the year for caring individuals to join Staff-in-Training. Those who successfully passed the first stage of the application process were invited to a group interview.  Learning and Development along with previous Staff-in-Training graduates, Hazel and Aleisha hosted the roundtable. Both Hazel and Aleisha have worked with Kibble for over 3 years and provided a wealth of knowledge about what the programme and career entails, sharing a complete, genuine overview to the new recruits.

The day involved fun team-building activities and encouraged open discussion with question-and-answer sessions. All tasks helped everyone get to know one another and confirm their suitability to the responsibilities involved in undertaking the course. The candidates thoroughly enjoyed themselves and stated it had given them an insight into the role and Kibble itself as an employer. In line with our value of belonging, we strived to create a relaxed, positive experience for the potential recruits.

A highlight involved the team-building game, which saw candidates pretend to be on a desert island and having to cross the sea with their mat that acted as a ‘steppingstone’. Together they had to pass safely with some members blindfolded. It was a true feat of working together to develop trust and communication to problem-solve. All showed tremendous camaraderie.

The question-and-answer session paved the way for open discussion, which ranged from The Promise to what happens next in the application process as the candidates are keen to move forward, join Kibble, begin their training and start a career in care.

Photos from Staff-in-Training Group Interview

Posted: May 13, 2022

Young people marked Mental Health Awareness Week by getting creative.

Young people were determined to raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week and support one another. Art is a favourite subject for many, and posters were designed to encourage others to be kind to their mind. The inspiring artwork reminds those who pass by that mental health is wealth.

The week has encouraged us to increase awareness of mental health as well as the importance of creating memories together. Our shared experiences can help us provide emotional support to each other, create happy memories and feel a sense of belonging. Kibble’s key values include belonging, respect and ambition.

Posted: April 13, 2022

Recruiting Now for Staff-in-Training

We are in-search of individuals with life experience to become Child and Youth Care Workers. Through our Staff-in-Training course, candidates earn, achieve qualifications and gain real-life work experience, spending time with young people. Upon completion of the 12-month programme, the candidates are guaranteed an interview with Kibble to begin a new rewarding career.


Work for Kibble and help give young people a chance at life. For our Staff-in-Training course, the essential requirement is the drive to make a difference. With Kibble’s training and mentoring, there is an opportunity to become a fully qualified Child and Youth Care Worker.

“Our investment in employee development continues throughout your career as we want all staff to be the best they can be and to have the capability to meet the everchanging needs of young people.”

CEO, Jim Gillespie

“Through Kibble’s Staff-in-Training programme, I became a fully qualified Child and Youth Care worker gaining a HNC in Social Care. The investment in my progress continued and four years later I am now studying for a Master’s degree, funded by Kibble.”

Child and Youth Care Worker, Caoimhe

Join Our Online Recruitment Sessions

Find out more about our Child and Youth Care Worker Staff-in-Training course by joining us for a virtual information session. Send your preferred timeslot and receive a link to the session by emailing: [email protected]

  • Wednesday 20th April | 12.30 – 13.30
  • Wednesday 20th April | 19.00 – 20.00
  • Wednesday 27th April | 12.30 – 13.30
  • Wednesday 27th April | 19.00 – 20.00

Next Steps

Posted: April 7, 2022

Staff-in-Training Is Opening Soon for Applications

Soon, we will be recruiting for our Staff-in-Training course, which provides people with the opportunity to become a fully qualified Child and Youth Care Worker.

The essential requirement is a drive to make a difference. We are in-search of individuals who want to be a friendly, familiar face to children and young people.

“I recommend Kibble’s Staff-in-Training course. Earn while you learn with on-the-job training and great support and mentoring. The guidance I received helped me combine family time, working and studying for the HNC. I am now employed by Kibble as a full-time Child and Youth Care Worker. Go for it!”

Child and Youth Care Worker, Michele

Join Our Online Recruitment Sessions

Find out more about our Child and Youth Care Worker Staff-in-Training course by joining us for a virtual information session. Send your preferred timeslot and receive a link to the session by emailing: [email protected].

  • Wednesday 20th April | 12.30 – 13.30
  • Wednesday 20th April | 19.00 – 20.00
  • Wednesday 27th April | 12.30 – 13.30
  • Wednesday 27th April | 19.00 – 20.00

Watch Our Video

Find out about the role directly from our Child and Youth Care Worker Jim. As Kibble cares for children and young people aged between five and 26-years-old, our Child and Youth Care Worker role can offer the opportunity of plenty job variety.

Posted: April 5, 2022

Young people at Kibble alongside teachers took part in the innovative theatre programme ‘BROAD’ at The Tramway in Glasgow alongside Scottish Ballet.

The immersive programme, co-designed by arts organisations Company Chameleon and Odd Arts, aims to build resilience and support young people to manage adversity through a culmination of theatre, drama, dance and psychology.

Six young people took part in the week-long workshop programme where lead dancer Kevin Edward Turner of Company Chameleon and Scottish Ballet’s Rhianna Laws taught a series of dance sessions exploring emotional intelligence, self-expression, drama, dance and movement, performance and teamwork. All young people positively engaged with the sessions, enjoying workshops with the professional artists and performing alongside their friends. Kibble’s Education Manager Laura Cairns explained:

“The programme was a huge success with the young people, and it felt like we had all formed a close-knit performance company. The workshop leaders were hugely inspirational and motivating, helping to create a safe, supportive space where everyone felt comfortable to express thoughts, ideas and emotions which then flowed into the performances”

“We couldn’t believe how engaged young people were and before they even began performing, they stood on the floor with their heads held high and the sense of pride and confidence they demonstrated was radiating from them. It was a joy to watch them learn and to see them so immersed in the workshops”.

As well as the workshop programme, young people and staff were also treated to a tour around the impressive Tramway Theatre, home to the Scottish Ballet. Young people were particularly impressed with the costume studio and shoe room where tutus and ballet shoes from past performances including Swan Lake and The Snow Queen lined the walls. Principle Dancer at Scottish Ballet, Jerome Anthony Barnes also stopped by to speak to the group and give insights into his career as a dancer.

The entire experience from beginning to end was incredibly inspiring, creating a welcoming and inclusive space for young people to shine. We’re already looking forward to next year and the opportunities the innovative partnership will bring. 

Posted: March 9, 2022

Goudie Academy marked No Smoking Day by producing a video and hosting an informative assembly. Across Kibble, there is a tobacco-free policy as young people and staff are supported in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Goudie Academy pupils held a school assembly to increase awareness of the risks associated with smoking and the dangers of nicotine. Young people themselves created a video that was educational as well as humorous to capture the attention of their fellow pupils at the meeting.

Within the production, one pupil took on the persona of ‘Professor Nicotine’ and shared scientific facts. Our mathematics teacher became Countdown’s Carol Vorderman to emphasise the high cost of smoking. As a result, pupils thoroughly agreed they would rather spend money on fun, luxurious items instead, including a fancy car. Young people confirmed their advice to any smokers would be, “stop smoking now to be minted later.”

Staff were invited to discuss their thoughts and when asked by young people to describe smoking in one word, the answers ranged from “stinky” and “unhealthy”.

Through funding from the Renfrewshire Health Improvement Team, Kibble has dedicated Smoke Free Coordinators.

“I encourage young people to make healthy choices by teaching them about the dangers of smoking. As young people become well-informed about the dangers smoking and nicotine cause, they are more likely to decide never to start, or to quit. I am readily available to fully support and assist young people to stay tobacco free and lead a healthy  lifestyle.”

Smoke Free Coordinator, Barry

We are mindful of our responsibility to the health, safety and wellbeing of all at Kibble. Overall, No Smoking Day was a reminder to young people to happily remain tobacco-free.

Posted: March 7, 2022

The last Friday of February marked Purple Friday, the LGBT Youth Scotland annual fundraising day. Kibble celebrated and whole-heartedly joined in to raise funds through events and activities.

For Purple Friday, a collective challenge was set. All participants across Scotland had the mission to collectively walk the outline of the country in one day and raise £20,000. As part of the feat, Team Kibble had to walk a minimum of 5K and raise £350. By the end of the day, Team Kibble had impressively surpassed the target to reach an incredible 331K.

Across Kibble, everyone was determined to contribute steps to the overall total. There were group walks planned at The Skills Academy, Forest View primary school and amongst staff teams such as our Learning and Development department. The step count was boosted with Zumba and a stationary bike that was kept moving throughout the day. While our bake sale was constantly busy with delicious treats selling like hotcakes, increasing the amount raised in our purpose of ensuring LGBT people are valued.  

As staff, pupils and young people came together with the shared vision of making Scotland as inclusive as possible, a strong sense of belonging was felt. Together, we laughed and worked hard to meet our step count and fundraising target, contributing to a great cause while having fun. The camaraderie created an extremely joyful experience.

“Purple Friday was the best day ever; I was living my best life the whole day.”

Goudie Academy pupil

Kibble holds the value of respect and Purple Friday helped to showcase the acceptance of the LGBT community. Young people themselves expressed the importance of sending a positive message that the LGBT community are safe, included and supported.  

“It is important for all young people and staff to know their identify is accepted at Kibble, that everyone will be supportive and that any form of bullying is unacceptable. It is powerful to make sure young people and staff feel safe as soon as they arrive, boosting everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.”

Young person from the LGBTQ+ pupil support group

In partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland, Kibble has successfully achieved the LGBT Charter, gaining knowledge and confidence to create an inclusive environment where LGBT people are valued. We will strive to continue making all feel welcome. 

“I am delighted for Kibble to have achieved the LGBT Youth Scotland Charter. I am proud of how we have grown to become an organisation that is more inclusive and values diversity and is a safe space for our LGBTQ young people and staff.”

Executive Director Neil McMillan

Look at our photos from Purple Friday

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Young people at our Safe Centre, alongside the staff team took part in a ‘Big Sleep Out’ on Tuesday 1 March to raise funds for charity Action for Children.

The budding group wanted to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families and chose to brace the sub-zero temperatures to help raise vital funds. The group of five pupils and six staff set up their station for the night with a roaring fire topped up with kindling, a ping pong table to keep spirits high, camp chairs, sleeping bags… and of course multiple cups of hot tea. However, big Keith’s music through the boogie box left a lot to be desired!

As the temperatures dipped to minus 3, there was certainly warmth of spirit as the dedicated group shared jokes, stories and lots of laughs as they huddled together in their sleeping bags. We’re not sure whether it was David “Mainman’s” practical jokes that kept them going through the night or if it was indeed Education Manager Hilly’s legendary beef stew cooked on the campfire, but either way the incredible group rallied together and saw sunrise.

To date, the group has raised a phenomenal £825, smashing their original £500 target out of the park. Further donations can be made via the Just Giving page.

Once again, young people across Kibble never fail to make us proud with their generosity and willingness to step up for others. Young people have taken part in various fundraising sleep outs over the years and their determination and kindness shows no bounds. Well done to the Famous five!

“Lots of young people who come to Kibble are supported by Action for Children and we know how much good work they do. The young person who organised this sleep out personally has experience with them and would love to give something back to them”. Callum Reilly, Child and Youth Care Worker

“I really enjoyed the sleepout with the other kids and staff. It was very cold. I got a couple of hours sleep but the majority was good except the cold – I really enjoyed the food and snacks.” Young Person

“I really enjoyed the sleepout and it was fun. It was very cold but it was nice and warm in my sleeping bag. I feel sorry for homeless people “ Young Person

“The Big Sleep out was one of the best experiences I have done when in care” Young Person

“I have worked in Kibble for twenty two and a half years and the Big Sleepout was arguably the best and most worthwhile activity I have ever been involved in. Well done to everyone involved!” John Hillcoat, Education Manager

“Jura house young people and staff decided that they wanted to do something for charity. It was agreed that they would complete “A Big Sleep Out”. Staff and young people planned this meticulously and set up a just giving page to raise much needed money for Action for Children, as one of the young people had received excellent support from them in the past. At time of writing, they have raised over £800 which is fantastic. All young people and staff are a credit to each other the centre and to Action for Children. Well done to all! Gary Peebles, Acting Head of Operations

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In celebration of this year’s Festival of Care, which promotes the achievements of care experienced people, our schools held an immersive and interactive art exhibition on Thursday 4th March aligned to this year’s theme ‘Tending the Light’.​​​​​​​

Yesterday our sports hall was the backdrop for the illuminous arts exhibition, featuring a variety of art installations proudly created by over 60 young people from Forest View Primary, Goudie Academy and Mirin Academy. The exhibition was the amalgamation of a month of preparations by pupils and the expressive arts department, with artwork created in the classroom and evening workshops. The project was coordinated alongside Who Cares? Scotland and local artist, Dawn Hair, of RIG Arts.

According to Who Cares? Scotland, this year’s powerful theme ‘Tending the Light’ asked what it takes for us to Tend the Light and keep the beacons burning brightly for Care Experienced people across Scotland? What is the light that we are tending? Is it the light of The Promise, the light of love and care, of doing things differently? Is it tending our own light, making sure it burns brightly so it can be seen by those who need it? Is it the light of our Care Experienced people, nurturing their own inner beacons, supporting them to shine brightly?

Among the installations included lighthouses of various scales symbolising the guiding light that draws boats at sea to safe harbour, a colourful light feature created from recycled plastic, a light projection display, electrifying music, an illuminated Kibble logo composed of vibrant bottle tops and buttons as well as a projector casting shadows in red, green and blue – perfect for photo opportunities and a chance for young people to practice their gymnastic prowess! Of course, every opportunity is a chance to learn and achieve, and the exhibition forms part of young people’s national qualifications and wider achievement awards.

The exhibition was a resounding success and welcomed pupils from each school to come and see their artwork come to life. Kibble staff attended in their allocated times and to say there was high praise for the pupils was an understatement. We’re incredibly proud of what pupils have achieved and once again this demonstrates the incredible talent and creative imagination of young people across Kibble.

“So impressed! The imagination, creativity and colour has blown me away. Everyone involved should be so proud”. Jemma from Who Cares? Scotland

Outstanding! And showed lots of talent”. Dan

“Such colourful light houses – I loved them all”. Anon