Published 25 October 2023

A creative project aimed at helping young people in West Dunbartonshire reconnect with their learning has been shortlisted for a national award.

The New Pathways project, led by West Dunbartonshire Council’s libraries team, has been shortlisted for a Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) Project Excellence Award.

The awards recognise the outstanding levels of commitment, creativity and value libraries offer people and the communities they serve.

As part of the project, workshops were led by professionals delivering creative and fun activities in literacy, technology and creative arts.

Pupils from Clydebank High School, Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, and Vale of Leven Academy took part in the courses which were specifically directed at young learners who were unable to fully engage during the pandemic lockdowns and faced individual challenges with the return to physical schooling.

The attendance of more than half the young people who took part in the project increased significantly to 100% and many of the pupils attended all the workshops.

The project expanded to include school leavers with young people attending sessions which had a stronger focus on alternative career paths and choices.

Councillor Daniel Lennie, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “This is fantastic news and great recognition for the project and the team behind it. The New Pathways project shows how valuable libraries can be to our communities and how they can play an important role in helping to change young lives.”

Councillor Michelle McGinty, Vice Convener of Corporate Services, added: “Well done to our libraries team for developing such a worthy project and delivering engaging and creative learning for our young people.  The courses also helped to reduce the attainment gap by offering creative and fun learning which helped pupils reengage with their learning and promoted positive mental health and wellbeing.