New course gives young Fifers a helping hand

Nicky Paton and Michael Fong who will be running a Steps to Resilience course for young people to help them build up their confidence and prepare them either for further education or work. Pic: George McLuskie.
Nicky Paton and Michael Fong who will be running a Steps to Resilience course for young people to help them build up their confidence and prepare them either for further education or work. Pic: George McLuskie.

Young Fifers who have experienced trauma and are not ready for the workplace are being offered support through an award-winning course.

LinkLiving is offering young people aged 16 to 25 the chance to take part in the personal development initiative, The Steps to Resilience, which launched last year as part of the Step On programme.

Nicky and Michael are encouraging young people to sign up for the award-winning course. Pic: George McLuskie.

Nicky and Michael are encouraging young people to sign up for the award-winning course. Pic: George McLuskie.

The project sees LinkLiving working with specialist health and sports science company, Total Health, to provide a nine-week course for vulnerable young people, which will start in mid-April, at LinkLiving’s bases in West Bridge Mill,in Kirkcaldy, Falkirk and Edinburgh.

The course covers six main topics: nutrition and exercise, confidence building, self defence, stress management, resilience and mindfulness. It runs for two days a week over nine weeks and finishes with a residential stay which builds on what the young people have learned over the preceding weeks.

Nicky Paton, employability and development co-ordinator, said the initiative was a great success last year.

She said: “Over the course of the year we had 12 people from Fife taking part and once completed, three of the participants moved into jobs and five went into further training - four of those five went on to become volunteers which is great.”

As well as achieving success with the course participants, the project also scooped a SURF Award which recognises best practice in community regeneration. It won the youth employability: overcoming barriers category.

Nicky said: “We were really pleased to have won the award because it showed just how far the project has come and what is being achieved with these young people.”

One of last year’s course participants said before she took part she didn’t leave the house very much, had few friends and wasn’t very confident.

Since taking part, she has gone on to become a peer educator along with another course member and they now give talks to youngsters about internet safety and cyber bullying which they would never have done had it not been for the LinkLiving scheme.

To find out more or to join the Steps to Resilience course email: michael.fong@linkliving.org.uk.