COZ celebrates 5th birthday
Thursday 12 June 2008
The Bathgate-based Chill Out Zone celebrated its 5th birthday with an open day for parents and visitors earlier this month to raise awareness of its innovative and wide ranging work.
The purpose-built centre, which is managed by CHILDREN 1ST and run in partnership with NHS Lothian and West Lothian Council, works with young people aged 12- 20.
Staff help local young people improve their health and wellbeing through group sessions, health clinics and a healthy eating café, as well as giving advice on important issues, including smoking, drugs, alcohol, and sexual health.
As a resource for young people, COZ also believes in working with parents and used the occasion to invite them to meet staff and learn more about what they do.
Armadale and Blackridge councillor and COSLA spokeswoman for education, children and young people, Isabel Hutton, who introduced the event, described COZ as "one of its kind in West Lothian, both in the services it provides and in the way it provides them", adding that "the empowerment and involvement of young people" was key to its success.
Councillor Hutton was followed by a member of the COZ youth forum who talked about how the centre has helped him, and about his hope that the centre would be "here for years to come and help many other young people."
A fabulous performance by a couple of teenage singer-songwriters who attend COZ, refreshments and the cutting of a cake turned the event into a fitting 5th birthday celebration.
The day aimed to raise awareness of the work of COZ to organisations who can signpost it as a resource to young people. Some recent developments include the recruitment of two new members of staff who work with targeted vulnerable young people and allow some services to run over the weekend.
Service manager Cath Kidd, said: "It was fantastic to celebrate COZ's 5th birthday with all those who have supported us over the years and with those who will be involved in the future. It was also a great opportunity to meet local families and people interested in our work with young people."
Last updated: Thursday 24 September 2009