Published 14 April 2020

A weekly learning programme to improve wellbeing for families across West Dunbartonshire has been launched.

The Feel Good Friday programme offers a range of different learning challenges, which can be completed by young people on their own or with their families.

The ideas focus on improving the social and emotional wellbeing of different age groups – 5-11 and 12-18 – as well as adults as they deal with social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Children can also access support through the programme, which can be accessed on the Council’s website and Facebook page.

Challenges so far have included ideas for journaling, tips to unwind, suggested family activities and mindfulness exercises.

It is one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by West Dunbartonshire’s Education service to help school communities while the buildings are closed to the majority of pupils.

Staff at Hubs, which are open for the children of key workers, have been working with local partners to continue to address holiday hunger during the scheduled Easter break.

As well as ensuring lunch provision is still available to those who need it most, they have also put together and distributed activity packs and Easter eggs. Any excess food from lunches being provided at the Hubs is being donated to local food banks.

Following the Easter holidays, a range of books are being made available to collect from the Hubs for families who have limited access to books. This will ensure parents and carers can read with their child and continue to engage with them in their literacy learning. A number of ideas about how to use these books at home, including applying and using the word of the week in fun and playful contexts, will be accessed via Google Classroom and text message.

An app which provides additional emotional wellbeing support for young people has also been launched in the area. Big White Wall is free to access anonymous online community aimed at 16-24 year olds, where members can support each other, get advice from trained professionals 24 hours a day, as well as access a range of recommended resources.

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “These are very strange times for us all, and I’m pleased to see that so much thought has gone into how we can make things a bit easier not just for our young people but for their families too.

“The range of resources being made available online allow a continuation of the curriculum, but also address social, emotional and mental wellbeing too, which is so important when we are experiencing so much change and uncertainty.“I’m so grateful to the teaching and support staff for all their efforts during this time, including the practical support with meals and books, which will mean that no pupil in West Dunbartonshire should miss out as a result of this pandemic.”