As a relatively new follower of football, namely with Dundee United Football Club, my personal experience of the game has changed dramatically over the months of last season 2010-2011. Having attended an increasing number of both home and away games in the latter half of the previous season with friends, I found it to be a fun and new experience.
However, just before the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, I began to work with TCA on a voluntary basis. Quickly, I was paired up with a quiet young 14 year old lad with a MASSIVE passion for Dundee United Football Club. Our first meeting was a shy and reserved experience and I saw it was possibly going to be very difficult to get him to open up to me at all.
The first game of the season came around quickly and his passion for DUFC was evident from the offset. Every match day, clad in his United shirt, bringing along his £3 for a match programme, he would come armed with new facts and information about the club and the players. As the months went on, we used United as a focal similarity between the two of us and he would open up more and more. He began to actually instigate conversations about his life, his hobbies and United, rather than just answering and responding to my questions and conversation. I'd find myself answering phone calls after 9pm at night to revelations of away wins and losses for United, news heard that day and of course the devastating call when Motherwell knocked us out of the Scottish Cup. Throughout everything: the cold weather; the miserable snow; when we lost matches; this young lad was so optimistic and highly enthusiastic and nothing would keep him away from Tannadice. Nothing would and still doesn't stop him from talking/eating/sleeping United and supporting his team. His confidence appears to be coming on in leaps and bounds, I am learning more and more about him everytime I see him, as he is obviously feeling more comfortable and open in talking to me. He is already buzzing and full of the highest hopes for United's next season, their league and cup chances, and he wholeheartedly wants to be a part of this!
I believe that the season tickets he so kindly received from TCA and DUFC last year really made a huge difference to his life. They gave him something to focus on, allowed him out of the house and away from the difficulties he faces in his dailly life - and it really gave him a release to allow his character and huge passion for DUFC shine through.
His optimism and passion inspires me and I now view my own support of the club in a totally different light. It's amazing how something as simple as following a sport, such as football and DUFC can cause so many different emotions - be it elation, disappointment, pride or even a sense of belonging.
Without TCA and the season tickets he generously received through the organisation, this young lad would not have been able to attend and I fully believe that this past season has made a huge difference to his life; and I am very proud to have been part of that; and very grateful to TCA and Dundee United Football Club for giving him (and me) the opportunity to achieve this.
Two Right Track clients, nearing a successful conclusion to their time on the Right Track Mentoring programme, and their mentors attend Auchterhouse Country Sports to learn the basics of clay shooting.
After an introduction regarding safe use and the correct way to hold and fire the gun it was onto the first targets. With some coaching from the instructor everyone managed to hit some of the targets and also achieve some of the finest glaring misses ever seen. Undeterred by the misses, and attempting the advice to ‘empty our minds’ and ‘just shoot it’, we continued. Concentration and keen eyes were required as the targets became increasingly fast and difficult.
The need to pay attention throughout was paramount. The young people involved respected this and listening intently to instruction throughout proving to be an absolute credit to themselves.
After all the planning the day had finally come. We started the pick-ups bright and early and everyone turned up, we just needed to make a few reminder calls on the morning. Once we were all packed in the minibus we made our way to Glenshee. It was a very windy road which made some stomachs feel queasy but we survived. We unpacked as soon as we arrived and then got equipped for our first event – the hillwalk! Read more and photo gallery >>
A leading expert on alcohol abuse in Tayside has urged the new Scottish Government to introduce minimum pricing on drink just months after a previous attempt to do so was rejected.
Eric Knox, director of the Tayside Council on Alcohol, believes the newly-elected SNP Government should resurrect plans to place a minimum price on a unit of alcohol and make full use of the mandate granted to it by the Scottish electorate last week.
Alex Salmond's administration would have more than sufficient muscle at Holyrood to vote the proposals through this time after opposition objections denied the nationalists the chance of implementing one of their key policies during the last parliament.
Eight months on, and with a vastly different political landscape in Scotland, Mr Knox believes the new SNP government must resume attempts to end the nation's obsession with alcohol.
Asked if he would back a renewed effort for minimum pricing, he told The Courier, "I would support it 100%. It was something that we backed last time and if we look at what has happened down south then I think this would make a difference.
"It would have to be part of a national plan though. We cannot wait for people to have issues with alcohol and then have to give them support and counselling."
The coalition government at Westminster recently unveiled proposals to ban shops and bars from selling alcohol priced lower than the tax paid on it. Effectively placing a base rate on alcoholic drinks, it means that a litre of vodka could retail for no less than £10.71, while weak lager could be no cheaper than 38p per can.
The proposals have been criticised for failing to significantly raise the price of cheap alcohol with retailers acknowledging that they already sell beer, wine and spirits above the levels suggested by the government.
Mr Knox said he would be keen to see Scotland go significantly further in its efforts to tackle attitudes towards drinking and believes the prospective model south of the border is not one that would work in this country.
Demanding that any effort be national government-led, he said, "I think that down south they went far too low with their pricing. We would fully support minimum pricing as long as it is consulted and implemented properly.
"But it has to be done correctly and at a national level, not through licensing boards. There needs to a common standard throughout the country."
As the dust settles on the Scottish election result it remains too early to tell whether the SNP administration will attempt to introduce minimum pricing legislation, although strong support from police and medical circles in the past would make it highly probable given the strength of their majority at Holyrood.
Mr Knox believes placing a minimum price on a unit of alcohol is necessary to defeat what he describes as a "culture of alcohol" in Scotland.
"Irresponsible promotions in whatever area have to be tackled," he added. "It's so cheap to buy alcohol that people are buying it when maybe they normally wouldn't.
"I think it's been quoted before but it was said that it was cheaper to buy beer than a bottle of water. We have to tackle this thing where people are driven to a culture of alcohol."The Courier
15 young people and 7 volunteer mentors took part in Rise to the challenge. Rise to the challenge is an activity-based approach to learning new skills. The challenges and activities are designed to help develop more effective participative practice by encouraging young people to progressively take more responsibility in selecting, planning and leading activities that are based on their interests.
The Rise to the challenge activities were initially established as a means of recognising young people's achievements through young people working with young people (a peer group approach).
An award ceremony was held at TCA’s new premises to celebrate the success and achievements of all the mentees and mentors who took part.
Officers in Dundee have said they will be targeting known "drinking dens" over the school Easter holidays in a bid to curb antisocial behaviour.
Youths found drunk in Lochee can expect to be searched and have their alcohol confiscated, Tayside Police said.
Parents and guardians will also be contacted and asked to come and collect any drunk young people.
Plain clothed officers will be involved in the underage drinking crackdown, as well as special constables.
Pc Scott Gallacher, who is organising the operation said there was no hiding from the fact there was an on going issue with under-age drinking in the Lochee area.
"This operation is primarily about the safeguarding of youths, who through the misuse of alcohol make themselves vulnerable," he said.
"Left to their own devices, many of these young people frequently go on to commit petty crime, vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
"On some occasions the results can be even more serious resulting in police resources, NHS resources and the community as a whole being affected."
Tayside Council on Alcohol representatives will also offer guidance and advice about drinking.BBC News Tayside and Central Scotland
Due to the holidays at Easter we have decided on the following dates for the training. If interested you still have a couple of days to get in touch and get your application in.MENTOR TRAINING – 5.30pm-7.30pm at TCA The Wishart Dundee
TCA is a progressive independent agency working across Tayside to support people experiencing alcohol-related problems.
We are looking for people who can listen and understand to train as Volunteer Alcohol Counsellors. No prior knowledge or qualifications are required as you will be provided with full training which can lead to accreditation. We require a commitment of 3-4 hours per week after training.
We particularly hope to recruit people for our Perthshire and Angus services as well as our Dundee City Services.
Applications can be made using the application packs below or by phoning 01382 456012.
Closing date for applications is 28.02.11
Angus Connect led a DJ project where a group of young people were trained by John Milne from Tay FM to be DJ’s. The prize at the end of the training was to deliver a disco at the Waterfront in Arbroath. Over 250 young people attended and the night was a huge success. Throughout the training the group also covered alcohol and drug issues with several workshops and support from Tayside Police. We also worked closely with CLD to enable the group to work through a Youth Achievement Award programme. This is now almost complete and hopefully the group will gain Bronze Youth Achievement Award.
Members of the Restorative Justice group based at Arbroath Academy visited Seaton Grove Residential Home on Thursday morning. The group which is run in partnership with Angus Restorative Justice Service, Tayside Council on Alcohol and Angus Connect, aims to show young people about the possible consequences of their actions. The six boys taking part have been learning, through a wide range of engaging activities, about society’s expectations of them and about taking responsibility. As part of the project, the group had to develop and deliver a quiz to the residents at Seaton Grove. Julie Anne Alexander from Tayside Council on Alcohol explained it proved a worthwhile task for the youngsters. She said: “The activity proved extremely successful with both the residents and the boys as it broke down many stereotypes and allowed the boys to develop good relationships with the residents.” Not only has the project encouraged the boy’s to think about how their actions affect others, but Arbroath Academy has also reported an improvement in their behaviour at school.
Published by Arbroath Herald on Sun Jan 30 06:00:18 GMT 2011.