Holistic approach has benefits for all

7th November 2003 at 00:00
Anne Conlin Youth development officer

"I've been a youth worker in Glasow's east end and have been visiting Eastbank for years. My full-time job here is two-fold: to continue to support personal and social development programmes and to act as a link to the community.

"I've a lot of partnership experience and I function as a resource for the school. For example, I have links with the East End Carers Project, which has a youth element. If pupils have a caring role for a parent or sibling, I can put them in touch with the project.

"Pupils also come to me about 16-plus training for work.

"To me the New Learning Community is joined-up community work. It means the school does not work in isolation and that is to the benefit of both pupils and teachers.

"I believe I'm achieving more in this system, helping to support pupils and teachers.

"I'm still linked to Youth Services, so I know what they are doing in the east end at any given time. That meant, for example, during the October week, I managed to get four young people from the school out rock climbing and hill walking.

"It's early days for the NLC, of course. We've only been going officially since August. In two years we'll need evaluation."

Debbie Cattermole Health development officer

"My post is full-time funded by education and NHS Glasgow. I'm implementing a health promotion development plan to make the NLC a health-promoting centre by 2006.

"I work with all the schools including the pre-fives centres, primaries and the associated special educational needs establishment.

"I'm working through the health promoting framework, focusing on curriculum, ethos (anti-bullying and so on), staff health and environment, including looking at canteen menus to increase the uptake of healthy food.

"I link with special services such as H4U, which provides a local drop-in health centre and is promoting a health text messaging service, signposting young people to appropriate health services.

"I'm also here to improve links with parents to promote health, getting information to them and getting them involved in planning things like healthy eating.

"I'm hoping to enable young people to have better access to health services and to empower them to make decisions about their own health.

"It's a holistic approach. The broadest definition of health includes mental, emotional and social well-being, all that has an impact on a young person's ability to achieve in school."

Linda Bowie Save the Children development officer

"I'm working on a two-year pilot project with S1 and S2 pupils on values and citizenship to promote the citizenship agenda and encourage young people to be active citizens in the school and the wider community.

"We are going to establish dynamic youth awards, a project in which young people will set themselves challenges as individuals or in groups; for example, solving a litter problem and looking at recycling. The activity has to be of direct benefit to the school andor community.

"The aim is also to train some of the teachers so that the programme will be sustainable after my two years.

"It's really exciting. There's a lot of potential here. I think it's important that young people set their own challenges as this develops their self-esteem and heightens their sense of achievement."

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