Dounreay recognised for work with young people

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd has earned national recognition for helping young people in the north Highlands realise their full potential.

The company has been short-listed in the annual Excellence Awards run by Careers Scotland for its work with local secondary schools.

It is among the finalists invited to attend a prestigious awards ceremony at Glasgow’s science centre on December 3.

The nomination recognises the role of Lou McLean and Mandy Swan, who work for the company’s specialist training and development arm Training at Naver.

Lou and Mandy are trained to deliver a personal development programme known as Windmills.

The programme helps individuals shape a vision of their future and the actions they need to take during times of change. It was developed and licensed by Liverpool University

Lou and Mandy are delivering the programme to workers at Dounreay with financial support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

A similar programme for young people called I-Hero is being piloted in schools in the Highlands and Islands by Careers Scotland.

DSRL offered the services of Mandy and Lou to Careers Scotland to help with the delivery of the pilot.

They spent several days with 15-year-old pupils from across Caithness and Sutherland as course “animators”.

Lou also delivered two, 30-minute sessions dubbed the “Luck Factor” to a group of students as part of the recent Caithness regeneration conference.

DSRL, which is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, picked up the cost of Lou and Mandy’s involvement.

Their manager, Jillian Bundy of Training at Naver, said: “Dounreay’s sense of social responsibility towards the area has always been a feature of the site but it probably is more focussed now than its ever been as we move towards closure. This nomination reflects that and the skills and dedication of Mandy and Lou.”

Mandy said: “It made me really proud when I learned that, of all the people who could have been nominated, Careers Scotland opted for us.”

Lou added: “We get great satisfaction when we see and feel people realising they have the potential to achieve so much more as a result of these programmes. The nomination is the icing on the cake.”

Anthony Standing, manager of the Caithness and Sutherland Careers Scotland team, said: “I was delighted that Mandy and Lou joined our community delivery team for this ground breaking pilot programme. It was a credit to them and DSRL that their involvement and experience helped young people to become more involved in making decisions about their own futures and in the process, gain confidence and motivation. They fully deserve their nominations for a National Excellence award.”