Brownlow Integrated College

The John Wilson Memorial Trust supports Brownlow Integrated College pupils on their path to achievement.

Young people at Brownlow Integrated College in Craigavon are to benefit from a targeted Pupil and Parenting Programme along with counselling support, thanks to help from the John Wilson Memorial Trust.

Representatives of the John Wilson Memorial Trust joined Baroness May Blood MBE of the Integrated Education Fund on Thursday 22 March 2018 to present £20,000 to fund the College's pastoral care service, as well as to help with a project to strengthen home/school links.

Brownlow Integrated College offers a programme for students experiencing problems such as mental health issues, family upheaval or health concerns. There has been a significant reduction in government funding to schools to provide counselling and support, although there are increasing concerns in schools around Northern Ireland about pupil wellbeing.

The College also provides a whole-school programme designed to support pupils both in school and at home.

Stephen Creber, Principal of Brownlow Integrated College, says: "We run a whole-school programme which enables all students to identify strengths and weaknesses and to plan to achieve. We also aim to help individual pupils who need more support. This funding through the John Wilson Memorial Trust is a massive help; we have a waiting list of pupils needing advice, counselling and mentoring. Very often personal, social and emotional issues are huge barriers to learning. By tackling these barriers, we can encourage children to better themselves both personally and academically."

Mr Creber also plans to use the John Wilson Memorial Trust funding to strengthen links between the school and home, reflecting a current Department of Education campaign. Parents of younger pupils will be invited to father/son and mother/daughter days to develop relationships and explore how families can support students' education.

The school was put in touch will the John Wilson Memorial Trust by the Integrated Education Fund. Handing over a cheque for £20,000, Trustee Caroline Somerville said: "As a Trustee of the John Wilson Memorial Trust, I am proud to be able to help the great work being done at Brownlow Integrated College. When the IEF first approached us to ask for a contribution, we visited the school and were hugely impressed by the ethos and vision of the school and its staff. The Trust is committed to helping our local community and to supporting young people; Brownlow's mentoring and home/school programme represent excellent channels for that work."

Baroness Blood, who is the IEF Campaign Chair, added: "The commitment by Brownlow Integrated College to the education and welfare of young people of all backgrounds and abilities is exemplary and their mentoring programme deserves support. We were glad to help forge a link between the school and a prominent local business, developing a valuable relationship and underlining the school's place in the wider community."