The first in a series of reflections from some participants at our annual conference, Changing Futures, on Thursday 2nd February 2017. More to come! Jamie is a youth and community worker with the Spartans Community Football Academy – a new type of school that’s about a whole lot more than football! Find out more on this link, or contact Spartans directly – details below.
The day kicked off with a review of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study, which looked at the impact of ACE experiences on the child and how this impacts in later life. Some examples of this are:
– Children who suffer ACE’s but have someone to talk to are
less likely to suffer substance abuse and/or crime issues.
– Children who suffer ACE’S are likely to suffer the consequences of these later in life.
– Children with 4 or more ACE’s are 32 times more likely to have difficulties with learning.
We heard the stories of two volunteers, who have both had ACE’s, who have now turned their lives around – one who spent significant time in a mental health institute and the other who is a recovered heroin addict. These young people are now volunteers from the Turn Your Life Around.
The woman who had previously been in a mental institute (amongst several other issues) has now set up her own social enterprise called Real Talk: Storytelling for Mental Wellbeing.
The second volunteer is also now working with a charity called Aid and Abet.
It was particularly interesting to hear the story of Tracy Berry from Forthview Primary School, who is the Family Support Teacher. Her sole job is to engage and build relationships with the parents of pupils at the school. Eileen Littlewood, headteacher at Forthview, says Tracy’s success has “literally saved lives”. She spoke a lot about the importance of helping the parents and the evidence that points towards this directly helping young people in education.
I particularly enjoyed about hearing from two Care Experienced Campaigners from Who Cares? They described their experiences of living in the care system and how they believe it can be improved.
John Carnochan – an “interested bystander” spoke at length about how he believes the education system can be improved – in particular proposed that children shouldn’t start school until they are 7.
Youth and Community Worker
The Spartans Community Football Academy
94 Pilton Drive, Edinburgh EH5 2HF
0131 552 7854