Polmont mark the Centenary of the Great War

On Monday 4th August invited guests, staff and young offenders held a commemorative service to mark the centenary of the Great War.

The staff and young offenders of HMYOI Polmont had designed and built a war memorial at the entrance to the establishment, to mark this poignant moment in history.  The memorial is made up of a bridge to represent connecting the past with the future, holding them together in remembrance and hope.  

In the centre is the bell from Blair Lodge School; later converted into Polmont Borstal in 1911.  Many of the borstal boys from Polmont were released under license conditions to the army and subsequently on to war.  Surrounding the memorial is Flanders poppies, flower beds and white pebbles, designed to replicate supporting hands.

Mr Gerrie Michie, Head of Offender Outcomes said, “HM YOI Polmont is committed to supporting veterans in custody. 

A collaboration of staff and young people designed and built this impressive memorial that is the vocal point for future remembrance services. The dedication and enthusiasm has been incredible and a number of staff has given up their own time to assist with the building and planning of this event.  

An exhibition was run after the service, to educate our young people on the sacrifices that were made will during this time.  We believe that this is a fitting tribute to those that have given so much, so that we can enjoy our way of life.”

Bernardo’s youth work have been supporting and encouraging a group of young offenders to take on the Poppy Challenge, covering a distance of 191.4 km in the gymnasium using rowing machines, treadmills and cross trainers. All the money raised is being donated to the Poppy Fund.  The group collectively said, “As a fundraising group we are proud to be representing Poppy Scotland and hope to raise as much as possible for this good cause.”