A CLACKS school last week sought to highlight the reality of poverty and challenge stereotypes during a Challenge Poverty Week visit.

Alloa Academy welcomed leaders from across Clackmannanshire Council, the Rt Hon Lord Jim Wallace – moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – as well as others.

Visitors, who also included Lady Rosie Wallace and Val Rose, business convener of Stirling Presbytery, were welcomed by council leader Ellen Forson and strategic director Lorraine Sanda on Thursday, October 7.

The visit was to highlight the reality of poverty and challenge the stereotypes which can be associated with poverty.

A solution focussed approach was showcased with some of the solutions to challenge poverty shared by families and young people in the community, explained school staff.

During the visit, council representatives introduced the many strategies and partnerships that support families who are most in need.

Families who have already participated in Columba 1400 Leadership Academy and the Community Learning & Development Team, reported on their experiences and how they have been inspired and empowered to be more active in the community.

They have supported school transition work, opened up a community café called Clax 1400 and the families reported on how the funded summer of wellbeing activities helped engage their children.

Kay Strang, headteacher at Park Primary School and Alloa Academy's headteacher Colin Bruce shared their experience of supporting families in relation to the cost of the school day, supporting school trips and in developing family drop-in sessions.

The sessions have been supporting parents and carers who have experienced challenges with poverty or difficulties due to the removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift.

This work has involved partnership working with Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau and the housing department at the council.

Mr Bruce said: "The stars of the day were the young people from Alva Academy who have recently returned from a Values Based Leadership programme at Columba 1400 in Skye.

"They reported how this experience has given them confidence to go above and beyond with their own ambitions and also to serve the community.

"It's great to see Columba 1400 engage in all of the secondaries across Clackmannanshire and ensure values and community service are part of our young people's education."