One conversation equals one idea that has made a massive positive impact.

Networking events can often be sterile places. Business cards are exchanged and swiftly forgotten, and memories of conversations fade. However, when Iain Gordon, former CEO of Bethany, met with the manager of a social enterprise; one conversation sparked an idea that is providing young people in Glasgow with a unique opportunity.

When Bethany was asked to run a homework club in the community by Hillhead High School, the suggestion was made that we take the homework club to Pinkston Watersports, Scotland’s only white water training facility, and a legacy from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Hannah Blair, Manager at Pinkston Watersports, said: “There has always been a feeling that reaching the community was something we could be better at.”

“There, we utilise the classroom space for an hour to supervise and support children to do homework before letting them challenge themselves on the water, under the supervision of local coaches.”

Head Coach Fraser is a local himself, coming from Springburn, and he has seen the young people flourish on the water: “They look after each other. I see people checking each other’s buoyancy aids and helping carry the boats. Everyone gets stuck in.”

“When you are here you forget you are in the city, even though it’s right in the city centre. This is something for them to look forward to, a change from computer games.”

Hillhead High School is delighted with the club and sees potential to continue and expand. Deputy Headteacher John Meechan says:

This club is having a huge impact on our children. Many of them face challenges to complete homework and having this support and incentive is transformative.

One of the children attending the group reported that:

It gives me a place to concentrate. I do my homework faster and I can understand the material easier with the help of the tutors.

Bethany has been able to draw partners from across sectors to help facilitate this project, including a local housing association which provides the minibus and a youth worker.

Hannah Blair touches upon what Bethany brings to the partnership: “The attraction of working with Bethany is that we don’t have those links to the community. I don’t think anyone in Pinkston has – our expertise is out on the water. We have the water, the boats, the coaches but we don’t have the links with community.

Bethany has helped to bring that together.

Thriving children are less likely to become homeless. One conversation preventing homelessness across Scotland, one person at a time.

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