Media Release: New doors open for Caledonia Youth… as prevention and positive lifestyle choices top agenda

Hawys Kilday

A CHARITY that has, since 1968, provided young people with a range of innovative and quality services covering personal relationships, emotional issues and sexual wellbeing, is ramping up its range of preventative services, to roll them out throughout Scotland.

Caledonia Youth will increase its training provision for adults, as well as continuing to support young people through innovative one-to-one support work, counselling, tailor-made educational programmes and school-based programmes, particularly for more vulnerable individuals.

The team deliver interventions both on their own and in partnership with other third sector bodies, working in a wide variety of settings including within its own, accessible city-centre facility at 5 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, and across Scotland in young offender institutions, prisons, schools and youth-friendly environments.

This has been part of a long-standing strategy for the charity to move its concentration away from clinical provision, to specialist services that use factual age and stage appropriate information. Sessions cover risk taking, emotional issues, self-esteem, negotiation skills, sexual wellbeing, bullying, alcohol and drug use, and internet safety, to help young people make more positive lifestyle choices and support them in the often challenging transition into adulthood.

On Friday, the charity is set to close the doors of its Edinburgh clinic, on Castle Terrace, after 46 years serving young people in Lothian, following the termination of contractual services with NHS Lothian, which will see the TUPE of the Caledonia Youth clinical team. The health board is integrating the service with its Chalmers Sexual Health Centre.

“Our efforts over the past few months have been on ensuring the smooth transition of clinical services for our young clients, as well as securing the TUPE for a team who have years of experience dealing with issues that are often complex by their very nature, where young people are concerned,” said Hawys Kilday, chief executive of Caledonia Youth.

“Our focus, moving forward, remains positive. Using what is quite an unique skill set, we are building upon years of service development. We have greatly expanded the depth of our work, which now concentrates on preventative interventions associated with relationships and risk taking, at the same time being flexible to ensure we maximise the impact of each intervention.

“Support focuses on issues impacting upon a young person’s ability to adequately cope and deal with the transition into adulthood. Our aim is to improve resilience, reduce risk taking behaviour and enhance personal and family relationships. This approach has achieved positive results with young people right across Scotland and stands us apart from other service providers. Early individualised intervention is fundamental when it comes to minimising harmful and inappropriate behaviour. That is why we firmly believe prevention is worth investing in.”

Training is provided by Caledonia Youth for adults who work with young people, such as social workers, teachers, school nurses and support workers, as well as parents and carers, to help increase their own knowledge and confidence when dealing with what are often very sensitive issues.

“Here we are taking a positive out of a negative,” said Hawys Kilday. “Over the coming months, we will be reconfiguring the space created by the closure of the clinic within our Castle Terrace base and transforming the facility into a city centre hub for specialist one-to-one support, counselling and training, which we will use for our own sessions, as well as an income generator to help support other services. We will also continue to provide outreach services to groups across Scotland.

“It is an exciting direction for our charity, as we set our sights firmly on continuing to support organisations and individuals but, above all else, to remain determined advocates for our young people for many years to come.”

Young people can continue to access information and advice at, following the clinic closure on Friday at 3pm. From Monday 31 March 2014, Caledonia Youth office hours will be Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.00pm, when the team can be contacted on 0131 229 1402 for more service details.


Notes to editors – More information on Caledonia Youth services

One-to-one support – young people are offered one to one support by trained Caledonia Youth people, focussing on areas of need and issues that require to be addressed. The Caledonia Youth approach encourages clients to discuss a range of issues, which impact upon their relationships, risk taking behaviour and emotional wellbeing. These include relationships, family issues, self-esteem and confidence, managing feelings and anger, pregnancy, previous trauma or abuse, assertiveness, communication skills and sexual health.

Work is usually delivered using interactive and engaging educational mediums that are age and stage appropriate. Additionally, Caledonia Youth uses counselling skills to allow clients a safe space to explore their feelings about these issues. Clients are initially offered up to six sessions.

Results achieved by Caledonia Youth in its one-to-one support work have seen 84 per cent of clients who have completed programmes recording sustained or improved mental and physical wellbeing, with 83 per cent reporting they had maintained or improved relationships with their families or peers.

Counselling – helps young people who have experienced trauma in their lives and need ongoing intensive support and is provided by a qualified BACP acreddited counsellor. During sessions, young people address a range of issues including sexual abuse and body image, as well as complex emotional challenges and issues.

Training and capacity building – is provided for adults such as professionals, youth workers, parents, carers, or volunteers who work with young people, and covers issues relating to risk taking behaviour and relationships, which can cause concern and may well fall outwith an individual’s comfort zone. Training sessions help increase their own knowledge and confidence when dealing with what are often very sensitive issues.

Caledonia Youth delivers interactive sessions, which explore issues relating to risk taking and relationships impacting on young people. The aim is to increase knowledge and confidence, as well as help adults identify when young people may benefit from some additional input, therefore addressing individualised needs.

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