Children at a national care charity are building a new pathway to a brighter future thanks to an innovative partnership with a leading UK architect firm.

Specialist charity Kibble has given the young people it supports the chance to help redesign the organisation’s Skills Academy, an education and training centre based at Hillington near Glasgow, with the help of Ryder Architecture.

By teaming up with the UK practice, pupils at Kibble’s schools and other support settings are being offered the opportunity to shape the redevelopment project from start to finish through a consultation and design competition.

Kibble supports at-risk children and young people (aged 5-26) across the UK and the charity’s Skills Academy redevelopment will not only change the look and feel of the building but ensure the training on offer responds to the rapidly changing job market – all in line with the wishes and needs of young people.

Jim Gillespie, Kibble Chief Executive, said: “We are determined Kibble continues to provide innovative opportunities to develop the skills our young people need to succeed in the modern world, and contribute to the future social and economic success of the community.

“We want to support more of our young people, help support other young people, offer more career paths, develop more aspirations and create a better working environment.

“With the help of Ryder, children are getting to not only come up with the ideas for change, but actually help set the direction for the redesign project from start to finish – all while learning new skills.”

The project will drive the redevelopment of the Skills Academy, which is currently used for training and work placements, having previously operated as an indoor go-kart track.

The revamp started with a consultation period in March followed by a “Blue Sky Thinking Day” in April, where children and staff worked together to further consider options for how the building should look and feel.

The combined results helped to form a brief for a competition run in conjunction with Ryder, which will get underway this autumn.

The work ties in with the foundations of The Promise, where children and young people are involved in shaping the services they receive, as well as Kibble’s DYW (Developing Young Workforce) Strategy which promotes opportunities for co-designing and implementing learning experiences about the world of work.

Chris Malcolm, partner at Ryder, said: “We are really delighted to be partnering with Kibble to help the children redesign the charity’s Skills Academy. Communities are at the core of how we work, connecting people to place, and by encouraging pupils to share their vision from the outset we are ensuring the Skills Academy will continue to meet their needs and aspirations for years to come.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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