On Saturday 22nd of November we hosted a further ‘Risky Behaviours’ event, mainly aimed at primary, secondary and further education practitioners but also attended by representatives from our Health and wellbeing (HWB) partner organisations. The event took place in the Dalhousie Building at University of Dundee and was attended by over 100 delegates from across Scotland. In keeping with the spirit of the day, we took a risk in beginning with a flash mob style performance by students from Dundee & Angus College. Working in partnership with NHS Tayside, the dance/drama project is piloting support in mental and emotional wellbeing for secondary school pupils. Some of our delegates identified this as a highlight, which provided an “uplifting” start to the day.
The day was organised into three sections using the following HWB curriculum organisers:
~ Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
~ Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood
~ Substance Misuse
Each part of the day was introduced by a key note speaker. Firstly, Brian Donnelly (Directory of Respectme) presented a common sense approach to anti-bullying in schools with powerful messages on the nature, intent and impact of bullying. He also offered suggestions on how schools might re-think their anti-bullying policies and approaches, including online bullying. Many of our delegates stated that Brian’s speech was ‘inspirational’ and that his messages will have an impact on their future practice.
The second part of our day saw an excellent presentation from John Naples Campbell from Knightswood Secondary School on LGBT, which took delegates on an emotional journey as John gave insights into his personal experience. He called for a change in the way that homophobia is addressed in schools and offered resources and strategies to support children and young people.
Finally, Emma Hamilton from the Scottish Drugs Forum provided a very informative presentation on drug use in Scotland, with a particular focus on drugs that young people are accessing and using. Bringing us right up to date with the issues that need to be tackled, Emma offered suggestions on what schools can do and provided links to further sources of information and support.
Throughout the day 15 workshops took place showcasing examples of innovative practice, resources and strategies from a range of schools and partner agencies. Many of the workshops highlighted how partnership working has helped learners to become better informed and to develop the skills and confidence to make informed choices about risky behaviours. Details of all the workshops which took place can also be downloaded here: WorkshopDescriptors
A special thank you must also go to the range of peer educators, including those from Kirkcaldy High School, The Corner (Dundee) and LGBT Youth who gave up their time (on a Saturday of all days!) to present at this event. This was praised as a particular strength of the day, as it was felt that the contributions of the young people added depth to inputs and gave learners a voice. Many of the young people have commented on what a valuable (if a little nerve wracking) experience this was for them also.
Feedback from the event has been very positive with many participants already making use of the contacts, resources and ideas they gained from the day. Participants have also had the opportunity to put forward suggestions for future ‘Risky Behaviours’ events which will be of great use in our planning. Our next ‘Risky Behaviours’ event is due to be held in Inverness on 28th of February 2015.
Further information on this event including presentations and materials from the workshops and links to all of the partner organisations that took part can be found on the new Glow HWB Learning Community which can be accessed here: hwbrisky by searching for ‘HWB events’.
Many thanks to the representatives from University of Dundee, Dundee and Angus College, Respectme, Knightswood Secondary School, Scottish Drugs Forum, International Futures Forum, University of Dundee College of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, Dundee City Council, Fintry Primary School, North Ayrshire Council, NSPCC, Sexpression, LGBT Youth, Angus Council, Perth and Kinross Council, NHS Tayside, Kirkcaldy High School, The Corner, Medics Against Violence, ASH Scotland, Police Scotland and Tayside Council on Alcohol. An additional thanks goes to the Education Scotland staff who supported with presentations at this event.