75 young people from across Scotland shape new pupil advice website
“You shouldn't feel bad if you need extra help. Remember, you’re not alone.” That’s the key message from the 75 young people who have been involved in the development of Reach, a new website for young people by Enquire, which provides advice and information about how they can get the help they need at school and what kind of support might be available.
Life issues covered on the website include being bullied; changing and leaving school; struggling with difficulties at home; feeling low or anxious; finding it hard to take part at school; being care experienced; and many more.
Amy Westendarp, Enquire’s Information and Development Officer for Children and Young People, explains: “Our youth advisors have worked with us to shape the website throughout its development. They told us that when faced with difficult situations, they ask themselves questions like ‘Why me?’, ‘Where do I get support?’, ‘When will I feel better?’ ‘How can this change?’. Having a resource like Reach with lots of practical suggestions and tips will help young people answer some of these questions.
“Our youth advisors also told us that listening to other people’s stories helps a lot, as you realise you aren’t the only one who needs support. That’s why Reach is full of young people’s voices and experiences; giving advice on what has helped them.
“The name Reach symbolises a really positive message that nobody is out of reach and the right support makes all the difference.”
MSYP Aqeel Ahmed, Convenor of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee for the Scottish Youth Parliament, plans to use the website in his work with young people: “I can't wait to share this with my local schools and throughout the country”, he said. “It is a fantastic resource to use in PSHE lessons and in school in general.”
Mark Stewart Young, Inclusion Ambassador from North Lanarkshire, said: “Reach provides advice on lots of important issues for young people. It’s got advice about social situations and making friends for younger pupils but it’s also got helpful stuff about stress management, school work and exams.”
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, welcomes the website. He said: “The Scottish Government wants every child and young person to have a positive experience in school. Having a resource like Reach so that young people can understand the support available and encourage them to ask for help if they need it can only help us realise that ambition.”
Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, believes the website is a fantastic resource for young people. “We know some young people find it difficult to get the support they need to help them learn both inside and outside of school,” she said. “This is a central point for information and advice and we hope this resource helps young people feel empowered and able to reach out to someone they trust.”
Tam Baillie, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, praised the work of all the young people involved and thinks the new resource will help more children and young people understand their rights. “The message that no-one is out of reach is an important one. The fact that so much of the advice and information comes directly from young people themselves will hopefully encourage other children and young people to feel reassured that they are not alone.”Enquire YP Website.pdf