Learning Through Lockdown highlights impact of Youth work
4th November 2020
High Life Highland youth projects have been highlighted as part of a YouthLink Scotland report that recognises the impact of youth work during the summer.
Examples of Highland activities are included in the report, one of which was supporting young people in Dingwall through the Activity Agreements programme, for those aged 16 and 17 who aren't in school, work or training. This has resulted in many of them gaining qualifications and some of them starting college.
Nigel Brett Young, Youth Work Manager for High Life Highland said, "The youth work sector across Highland has continued to engage and support children and young people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. I am delighted that the report has highlighted some of the good work that is going on."
Other examples of the impact in Highland are the work done by the Wick Youth team supporting vulnerable young people throughout lockdown, MFR funded fun learning packs jointly created by youth workers and the receiving children and young people, and support provided by the Fort William team in their local community for young people at especially difficult times.
The Lochalsh Girls Group worked together during lockdown and the summer period to improve their mental health, strengthen social networks and develop skills. Wellbeing and toiletry packs were delivered to houses and weekly online meetings were held to provide support and work towards the SQA Wellbeing award (SCQF level 4).
Nigel concluded, "Our supportive presence has proved successful by mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people's mental health, learning and development during the summer and we need to make sure we carry on making positive differences for young people and their communities during the winter months."
The Highland Council has welcomed clarification from the Scottish Government that hotels are eligible for the Business Restriction Grant. As hotel restaurants and bars follow the same rules as other restaurants and bars with last entry at 21:30 and closure by 22:30, they have now been included as eligible businesses to receive grant from this scheme.
Members of The Highland Council's City of Inverness Area Committee have today agreed a proposed £4,786,000 investment in council housing for 2021-22. The one-year Inverness Area Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme is part of the Highland wide HRA Capital Plan for 2021-22 which will see over £15m invested in improving the housing stock across the region.
The Leader of The Highland Council Margaret Davidson and Chair of the Brexit Working Group Jimmy Gray welcomed the Scottish Government's position paper on the replacement for European Structural Investment Funds. This paper was as a result of a wide consultation process in which the Highlands & Islands made a significant contribution towards.
The category B listed suspension Infirmary footbridge in Inverness which traverses the River Ness between Ness Walk and Ness Bank may need to close for public safety until The Highland Council considers and secures funding for necessary repairs. This was the message that the Council's Roads Operations Manager, John Taylor informed Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee this week.
A new useful guide has been produced to provide people across the Highlands with information and advice on the financial and other support that is available to them. The Highland Council, along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have brought a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details together in a user-friendly format aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, opened today's meeting with a presentation on Covid-19, including a Highland perspective. Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Committee, said: "I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Allison for his informative presentation on the virus that he delivered to Committee this morning." The presentation began by providing a brief background to Covid-19 before then providing an explanation of how the virus transmits between individuals and the presence of coronavirus in the Highland region.
At today's meeting (18 November) of the Council's Education Committee, Members were provided an update on the ongoing rollout of 1140 hours of funded ELC provision in settings across Highland. A report to the Committee outlined that of the 241 settings across the region, 202 Highland settings will be delivering 1140 hours by spring 2021.
The Highland Council is today (17 November 2020) launching a consultation giving the community until 12 March 2021 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register for Wick. The Highland Council does not currently hold a Common Good Fund for the former Royal Burgh of Wick.
This week, The Scottish Government has confirmed that The Highland Council area will again be placed into Protection Level One in The Scottish Government's 5 tier framework. This means our communities will for now continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions for our hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.
More than 1,250 new teachers and support staff have been recruited as a result of £80 million of support announced in the summer. Education Secretary John Swinney pledged the ring-fenced package of funding to help local authorities' recruitment for the re-opening of schools.