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West College Scotland students support Sight Scotland Veterans

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West College Scotland proudly announces the successful completion of its personal training programme in collaboration with a group of veterans supported by Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre.

Over the past 12 weeks, HND Health and Fitness students from the College’s Paisley campus have dedicated their Wednesdays to deliver personalised training sessions to veterans, culminating in a ceremony celebrating their achievements.

The programme, which commenced in January, saw twelve dedicated students paired with veterans to tailor fitness plans and work towards individual goals. Despite facing challenges, including the withdrawal of three participants, the commitment of volunteers Ellven Forbes and Michael McAllister ensured the programme’s continuity, with eleven pairs successfully completing the initiative.

The veterans, spanning ages from 32 to 89 who all have vision impairment, showcased diverse abilities and fitness levels, presenting a unique learning opportunity for both students and participants. Through hands-on experience, students had the opportunity to grow their skills in adapting training programmes to accommodate various levels of sight loss and health conditions, ensuring safety and progression while fostering a supportive environment.

Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with remarks highlighting the programme’s transformative impact on confidence, mobility, and overall well-being. One veteran expressed, “I am really enjoying the sessions; it’s given me back the push I needed to exercise again,” while another noted, “I can’t believe the difference in my balance; it’s really helped with my confidence and anxiety.”

Curriculum Quality Leader Claire Whitelaw said, “The collaborative spirit extended beyond the training sessions, with students acknowledging the warmth and inclusivity extended by both staff and veterans at the Hawkhead centre. We look forward to continuing the partnership to enrich the lives of veterans while providing invaluable learning experiences for our students.”

The programme’s culmination saw a celebratory ceremony where students were recognised for their dedication with certificates of achievement, accompanied by heartfelt thanks from Sight Scotland Veterans. The veterans, in turn, received certificates of participation in recognition of their commitment to the programme.

Lorraine Bruce, Hub Coordinator for Sight Scotland Veternas’ Hawkhead Centre, comments: “We were thrilled to partner with West College Scotland for their HND course in Health and Fitness. The experience was enriching for both students and veterans alike. It was a fantastic opportunity for mutual learning; students adapted training programs for participants with sight loss and varied abilities, while veterans gained confidence in the gym with new exercises and equipment. We look forward to continuing and expanding this partnership next year.”

For more information please visit sightscotlandveterans.org.uk or call 0800 035 6409.


Photo: John Hislop on the left and Tom Crowe at the gym at Hawkhead
Photo Credit: Sight Scotland




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