Young people at Brownlow Integrated College in Craigavon are to benefit from a targeted Pupil and Parenting Programme along with counselling support, thanks to help from the John Wilson Memorial Trust.
Representatives of the John Wilson Memorial Trust, which was set up by Ulster Carpets, joined Baroness May Blood MBE (IEF Campaign Chair) at Brownlow Integrated College last Thursday (22 March). Trustee Caroline Somerville presented £20,000 to fund the college’s pastoral care service, as well as to help with a project to strengthen home/school links.
Brownlow IC provides a whole-school programme designed to support pupils both in school and at home but also offers a targeted programme for students experiencing problems such as mental health issues, family upheaval or health concerns. There has been a significant reduction in the government funding to schools to provide counselling and support, although there are increasing concerns in schools around Northern Ireland about pupil wellbeing.
Handing over a cheque for £20,000, Caroline Somerville said
“As a trustee of the John Wilson Memorial Trust, I am proud to be able to help the great work being done at Brownlow Integrated College. When the IEF first approached us to ask for a contribution, we visited the school and were hugely impressed by the ethos and vision of the school and its staff. The Trust is committed to helping our local community and to supporting young people; Brownlow’s mentoring and home/school programme represent excellent channels for that work.”
Stephen Creber, Principal of Brownlow IC, says
“We run a whole-school mentoring programme which enables all students to identify strengths and weaknesses and to plan to achieve. We also aim to help individual pupils who need more support. This funding through the John Wilson Memorial Trust is a massive help; we have a waiting list of pupils needing advice and counselling. Very often, personal, social and emotional issues are huge barriers to learning. By tackling these barriers, we can encourage children to better themselves both personally and academically.”
Mr Creber also plans to use the John Wilson Memorial Trust donation to strengthen links between the school and home, reflecting a current Department of Education campaign. Parents of younger pupils will be invited to Father/Son and Mother/Daughter days to develop relationships and explore how families can support students’ education.
The school was put in touch with the John Wilson Memorial Trust by the Integrated Education Fund. Baroness Blood, who is the IEF Campaign Chair, says
“The commitment by Brownlow IC staff to the education and welfare of young people of all backgrounds and abilities is exemplary and their mentoring programme deserves support. We were glad to help forge a link between the school and a prominent local business, developing a valuable relationship and underlining the school’s place in the wider community.”
News story taken from www.ief.org.uk