A scheme devised by NHS Forth Valley health promotion staff to raise the confidence and self esteem of pupils in Forth Valley has proved a resounding success.
Nine girls from the five secondary schools in Clackmannanshire were recognised for their efforts at an event at Alloa Town Hall, to mark their completion of a ten week ‘Play Mentors’ programme developed by INTER-ACT – an NHS Forth Valley initiative which promotes the healthy development of children and young people by working in partnership with community organisations and partners.
The scheme, which is targeted at young women who are not thriving in traditional educational settings, was based in local nurseries and primary schools. Learning involved a wide range of inter-active and creative play techniques which explored the role of play in child development.
Over the ten weeks participants attended a weekend team-building residential course, weekly sessions at Forth Valley College, an eight week placement in a nursery and four sessions in a primary school, including a session working with INTER-ACT staff.
Tom Houston – NHS Forth Valley’s Lead Heath Promotion Officer for INTER-ACT – said: “The programme allows young women to take on a responsible mentoring role. This helps them to develop a range of interpersonal skills, engage with children and teaching staff, and become more able to plan and facilitate appropriate play activities for children of all ages, thus becoming a ‘Play Mentor’.”
Those who completed the programme were presented with certificates at the event, and given the opportunity to discuss their experiences with those who attended.