On Friday 23rd June, the Gannochy Centre for Expressive Arts was the backdrop for ‘Kibble Keeps The Promise’, a celebratory event marking all that we have achieved, and continue to achieve, to keep Scotland’s Promise to care experienced young people.
The event was led by Kibble’s Promise Development Lead, Natalie Cowan, who shared Scotland’s collective ambition and updated young people and staff teams on all the incredible work happening every day across our services. Principally, Natalie described the ways that young people’s voices were being heard to impact the change they want to see. For many young people at Kibble, this was in opening up greater opportunities for friendships, more trips, being listened to and the importance of relationships. Language was high on the day’s agenda, with young people getting involved in the creation of a language dictionary aimed at eradicating the use of stigmatising language. The publication ‘Words Matter – Let’s Change the Patter’ is due to be published in the coming weeks, with design being led by from a talented young person.
Audiences enjoyed a thought-provoking performance from the drama group and interactive presentations were led by young people and staff teams on how their houses were keeping The Promise. All spoke of the importance of relationships, ensuring young people felt heard, loved and respected. Stories were shared of young people’s achievements and experiences with Ocean Youth Trust, Duke of Edinburgh Award, work experience opportunities, weekend adventures and summer holiday plans. One young person excitedly spoke of the Duke of Edinburgh Award as being one of the best experiences of their life! They shared:
“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
Also on the agenda were staff teams sharing the ways in which their practice has been shaped in line with The Promise and our therapeutic, trauma-informed practice model. This places the young person at the centre and combines a range of elements that work together to provide the right support, at the right time, for young people with experience of trauma. Insights were shared on how young people are supported to manage big emotions, and ways to help them open up and talk about their feelings. This included using sensory toys such as ‘worry monsters’ where young people can store their emotions in the toy which they can then talk through with an adult. We heard of the ways relationships were nurtured, the pride and admiration shown between young people and staff teams, and the jokes and typical rhythms and routines within the houses. Kibble is a place where children feel loved, respected and included. One young person shared:
“Before coming to Kibble, I lived in ten different places. Kibble is the best place I’ve lived and the one where I feel happiest. When I found the courage to come out, everyone supported and accepted me and at the school prom I wore a dress and thought people would make fun of me, but it was the exact opposite – so many people told me I looked beautiful.”
The grand finale of the event, and the one that sparked much hilarity across the room was The Promise Rap. Young people and the staff teams at South and North Houses donned their finest hip-hop attire and found their inner Jay-Z to recreate the iconic Beastie Boys hit ‘Fight for Your Right’ in a video that wouldn’t look out of place on MTV.
The Largest Room in the World is the Room for Improvement
In the words of this infamous quote and reiterated at the event is that we should continually strive to do things better. There is phenomenal work being done across Kibble and we can look towards 2030 with hope and pride at what we have achieved; but there is always scope for change.
Kibble is committed to continuing our work to Keep The Promise, working alongside and for young people to ensure their voices are heard, and to collaborate with others across the sector to help Scotland become a nation where children grow up to feel safe, loved and supported.