A course held at Newtown Park aimed at helping young people on their journey towards employment has been hailed as a major success.

The Newtown Kicks course was run over a period of 10 weeks, with 11 teenagers attending two days a week. Five of the 11 participants – comprising of nine male and two females – came from the Bo’ness area.

The course not only involved classroom-based work within Newtown Park but also activities on the pitch, aimed at ensuring the participants are better prepared for the work environment both mentally and physically.

Participants were given the chance to achieve three SQA qualifications, improve their interview techniques and develop IT skills as well as improving their physical fitness. 

The course was delivered by the Falkirk Foundation - the second course of his kind in which they partnered with the Newtown Park Association.  

The Falkirk Foundation's physical activities and wellbeing officer Grant Ferguson felt this that this had been one of the best attended courses they have run and that the success rates were outstanding.

“The main takeaways from the course were that of the 11 teenagers who started the course, 10 attended all sessions and achieved all three SQAs. The 11th participant only missed the last two sessions as he started a job which in itself was a positive outcome.”

An NPA spokesman said: “We felt that the delivery of the programme by Grant Ferguson from Falkirk Foundation was outstanding, as proven by the results.

“But equally important was how he managed to enthuse the participants, and to see them smiling, laughing and joking at every session was unusual to see in an educational setting.

“Also, it was encouraging to see that a number of the participants had secured employment and that others were going on to hopefully achieve additional qualifications. 

“And we greatly appreciated the Robertson Trust providing the funding to allow us to run the course.”

Officials who attended the Newtown Kicks presentation: (back row, left to right) Derek Allison (Chief Executive Falkirk Foundation), Stacey Devine ( Councillor Bo’ness), David Lapsley (NPA), Grant Ferguson (Physical Activities and Wellbeing Officer Falkirk Foundation), David Aitchison (Councillor Bo’ness), Carole Brown (Bo’ness Athletic). Front row - Madelene Hunt (Chairperson Bo’ness Community Council), and Ann Ritchie (Councillor Bo’ness)