Declan's Story

Testimonial from Declan's Social Worker.

Hi all

I wanted to say a huge thank you. The Declan that first came into the Good Shepherd Centre and the Declan that presented so well yesterday and is now at home, feel like two different people.

I can’t thank you enough for all the work every member of staff has done for Declan and for me!

The routine, the boundaries, the care, the self-learning and ability to recover he has had within the Good Shepherd Centre could never have been replicated in the Borders. The young man that came to the hearing yesterday was so focussed on his future and has achievable aspirations for his life that I really believe he has never had before, nor would he have discovered if it wasn’t for the Good Shepherd Centre.

I want to say such a huge thanks to every staff member I have spoken with, met, or emailed. Everyone has always been so helpful and kind and I have always felt completely in the loop with everything!

Declan said in the hearing yesterday that he has been given all the tools he needs from the Good Shepherd Centre to stay sober and move forward with his life, and that it was up to him to do that. Thank you so much for giving this young man a second chance.

I couldn’t have asked for more to prepare Declan for his future- now to put it all into practice!!

Thank you.

Aimee Crausaz

Social Worker

Laura's Story

“I have been nothing short of hugely impressed by the professionalism, empathy and understanding that has been consistently demonstrated.”

- Children's Services

Testimonial from Children's Services

Just wanted to send a few lines by way of closure on what has been a pretty intense period of working together in support of the young person, who as we all know recently turned 18 and left your care.

The young person has proved, and continues to prove to be an extremely challenging young lady and to be able to have secured a placement that kept her safe, for so long, such as yours did, was of no small comfort to professionals and family members who had huge anxieties about her welfare and safety. Throughout my involvement with the young person's case and therefore with you and your colleagues, I have been nothing short of hugely impressed by the professionalism, empathy and understanding that has been consistently demonstrated. The young person has always been at the centre of your approach and occasional departures between what our views were and what the views of your staff were, were never allowed to affect relationships and a continued focus on their needs remained the priority for everyone. I was impressed by your willingness latterly to assist us in what were particularly difficult circumstances, and by your willingness to show extreme flexibility in order to provide what in my view was the best possible option for their continued care ahead of turning 18.

More simply I want to thank you all for your support of us, your professionalism, and your care for them. I hold you all and your organisation in the highest regard as a result of my experience of working with you and wanted you to know what a fantastic job you all do.

My sincerest thanks to you all. I’d hope that you would pass on my regards and thanks to your staff in due course too.

Service Manager – Children’s Services

Katherine Baxter - Why the Good Shepherd Centre is Remarkable

“I am filled with hope and gratitude that such a place exists in the world.”

- Katherine Baxter

Why the Good Shepherd Centre is Remarkable

By Katherine Baxter, PhD

Perhaps my relationship and affection for the Good Shepherd Centre (or the GSC), and everyone who makes it what it is, is best summarised by the fact that whenever I think of it, thousands of miles away from my current location in Denver, Colorado, I am filled with hope and gratitude that such a place exists in the world. Through working closely with the Good Shepherd Centre staff and young people over a one and a half year period as a Research Associate on the Scottish Government funded Talking Hope Project, I was endlessly impressed and inspired by the depths of the staff’s kindness, their humility, their selflessness and their commitment to seeing beyond the mistakes and harm the young people in their care might have caused, to instead offer them a place of unconditional love and support. This conviction was held up by the premise that no life is beyond redemption, and that we should seek to understand before we judge, because there is always more to the story of other people’s lives than what meets the eye. I developed forever friendships with members of the GSC staff that I know will endure, and I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend learning alongside you all, and witnessing all the good being set in motion by the Good Shepherd Centre. I miss you all!

Dan - Princes Trust

Dean Cody - Urban Pure Solutions

My name is Dean Coady and you recently commissioned me to deliver County Lines/Child Criminal Exploitation training via Joan Hodgkiss, Wellbeing Team Manager, The Good Shepherd Centre, Greenock Road, Bishopton. PA7 5PW. May I report the following;

From my arrival at Glasgow airport, I was met by your staff and taken to your centre. On route I received a 'snap' comprehensive briefing in relation to staff and cohort, which focused me in to the requirements of your organisation

At your centre, I was security checked, booked in and every member of staff I met throughout the day was courteous, accommodating and welcoming.

I was assisted in setting up the technical support, given breakfast then again updated by Joan in relation to the current overview of County Lines/CCE as it affects your staff and cohort.

My training is both realistic and robust and at times very challenging to the learners. Or should I say usually challenging! Your staff engaged from the get-go and their interaction was fantastic. I hope they found this training both useful and dare I say, enjoyable.

Whilst I was there, I also delivered a youth session which again was equally well supported by staff. Your children were an absolute pleasure to work with. Polite, respectful and engaged. A credit to your unit.

In closing, albeit was a 17hr day for me, I really enjoyed working with you all and I hope that you will bear me in mind for the future should you require further training.