Hazel has had a tough year. In short succession she had to deal with losing both her grandparents, the transition from primary to secondary school and then the impact of lockdown. Funding from STV Children’s Appeal has enabled DRC Generations, a youth-based charity in West Glasgow to support her through these difficulties and to grow in self-confidence.
Hazel has had a tough year. In short succession she had to deal with losing both her grandparents, the transition from primary to secondary school and then the impact of lockdown.
It was a lot to cope with and it affected her confidence and it would be easy to retreat into herself.
Help was at hand however when she began attending the Peer Educator programme at DRC Generations, a community youth project based in West Glasgow and funded by donations to the STV Children’s Appeal.
Many young people who attend the organisation have experienced substance abuse within their family home. The peer educator programme works with high school pupils who work alongside primary school pupils to inform them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Dad Chris explains:
“Getting involved has given Hazel a gentle push into becoming an active citizen. It’s given her responsibility and boosted her confidence. Having peers talking to peers about the issues of drugs and alcohol is more credible than adults coming in to do that”.
Since lockdown, DRC Generations has also been working hard to keep young people engaged and occupied. Hazel has benefited from taking part in online quizzes, scavenger hunts and even a family baking session, described by Chris as “fun and chaotic”!
“It was so good being able to be online in a supportive and purposeful way where Hazel could engage with peers and other adults [youth leaders] who are not your parents – it was so helpful and better than just mindlessly playing Mindcraft and the like” adds Chris.
“As parents, we could also chat with other parents and get support and encouragement too”.
Hazel said: I feel that DRC has really boosted my confidence, not as much as maybe I would like, but I know that will come because I have seen that in the older kids that come along”. Without DRC lockdown would have been much more difficult, I would have felt isolated and lonely, but when groups went online we were able to have some fun again”