Young people sign up for first Sutherland Junior Warden Scheme
On Thursday (22 January) twelve S1 pupils from Golspie High School will be the first in Sutherland to become Junior Wardens as part of a joint project between the school, The Highland Council and High Life Highland.
The Junior Warden Scheme aims to provide an alternative and creative way to engage with young people and community groups, promote positive behaviour and encourage active involvement in the local community. The scheme aims to support young people to make a difference where they live and remove barriers to participation.
Over the 12 week programme the young people will pay visits to the Police Scotland Highlands and Islands Division HQ in Inverness, the Fire & Rescue Service and Balmore Animal Rescue Service to find out more about the work of these organisations. They will also be taking part in sessions looking at a range of topics including anti-social behaviour, recycling, housing issues and basic first aid. They’ll be carrying out some practical work in their local community too when they join council staff for walkabouts and litter picks.
Thursdays launch event in the Beachview Centre, Brora will begin with a welcome by Leader of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee, Councillor Deirdre Mackay. She said: “I’m delighted that the Council is able to facilitate and support this exciting new project and for most of the young people this will be their first opportunity to volunteer in their community.
“The scheme has been tailored to cover a wide range of topics with particular learning opportunities and experience in relation to the environment, health and wellbeing, wider community safety and community development issues affecting the particular communities the young people live in. I look forward to meeting the Junior Wardens on Thursday and wish them all well in their new roles.”
The pupils taking part are Kayla Marshall-Farrell, Findlay Adams, Beth Gordon, Kathleen Kelly, Catriona Marshall, Roddy Thompson, Donnie Stewart, Jean Anderson, Catherine Turner, Grant Hepburn, Danny Doogan and Robbie Murray.
On completion of the 12 week scheme they will be presented with a completion certificate and a Saltire Award for Youth Volunteering.
During the launch event Thurso pupils who took part in the very successful pilot project, which saw them working closely with Ormlie Community Association and the Community Safety Partnership agencies, will give a short presentation and talk about their experiences.
The Highland Council’s Children and Young People’s Champion, Councillor Linda Munro said: “What I particularly like about the Junior Warden Scheme is not only does it get young people really involved but this is done is a very engaging way which empowers those taking part. Everyone involved in the pilot project held in Thurso witnessed the growth in confidence of the young people as they developed new skills, increased their understanding of their community and enjoyed new experiences. I’m sure the Sutherland Wardens are very keen and excited and can’t wait to get started.
”At the end of the course there will be an awards ceremony in The Highland Council Headquarters in Inverness where certificates will be presented. I, along with my fellow councillors and council officers, will be keen to learn of the experiences and views of the young wardens. We will be listening to what they have to tell us about their local areas and the services provided by council and other agencies. This is key information and will be helpful in planning future service delivery.”
Ian Murray Chief Executive of High Life Highland added: “It is exciting to see all the hard work put in designing the programme by the young people, youth workers and partner organisations coming to fruition with the launch of a scheme that they can be proud of and will have a direct impact on them and their local communities. I am sure it will be a positive and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.”
North Highland Area Commander Chief Inspector Iain MacLelland said: "I'm delighted Police Scotland will be engaging with local youngsters on the issues affecting local communities. Hopefully it will be a positive and enjoyable experience for pupils to learn about the role of different organisations and how we can all work together to keep people and communities safe."