Successful project could be shipped out across Borders

The youths who were involved and had their pictures taken were Connor Jackson, Jason Riach, Declan McFarlane, Colin Richardson and Charlie Mitchell. The facilitators in the picture are Sharon Rees Community Learning Development, PC Jo Flynn Locality Integration officer and Wullie Potts youth worker
The youths who were involved and had their pictures taken were Connor Jackson, Jason Riach, Declan McFarlane, Colin Richardson and Charlie Mitchell. The facilitators in the picture are Sharon Rees Community Learning Development, PC Jo Flynn Locality Integration officer and Wullie Potts youth worker

A SCHEME aimed at creating responsible youths in the community has proven so successful it could be used as an example across the Borders.

Scottish Borders Council’s community learning and development department and the safer communities section of Lothian and Borders Police have been working together on a project where young people were encouraged to think about how their behaviour effects the wider community.

It came following a series of anti-social behaviour incidents at the Kenilworth Road and shops areas of Burnfoot last summer.

PC Jo Flynn, locality integration officer, told the Hawick News: “We were targeting young people, particularly after the incidents last year. We were looking to see if we could change their perspective of things and make them aware of how their behaviour impacts the community.”

The five youths who took part were Connor Jackson, Jason Riach, Declan McFarlane, Colin Richardson and Charlie Mitchell.

The project, which was run over the past 10 weeks, saw them set targets for themselves and also provided them with the opportunity to make positive peer relationships by learning new skills, carrying out restorative work, and also team building exercises.

Not only are they all in the process of successfully completing their Bronze Youth Achievement award, but Colin and Charlie are both going to be mentors to the next group of youngsters.

PC Flynn added: “This has been the first project of its kind and it’s been a great success. There will be another course after the summer and it would be good if this could be rolled out throughout the Borders.”

Since last summer the number of calls to the police about youths in the Burnfoot area have dropped dramatically.

The youths were all presented with certificates by Hawick councillor George Turnbull.