Personal Matters and Advice

Lorna Jenkins- Access & Support Service Leader

We are here to help you with all aspects of college life and give you boh practical and emotional support. We are fully committed to providing high quality provisions and services for learners who have any difficulties during their studies. We believe that inclusiveness is a fundamental principle and we are committed to widening access and participation for learners. 

We support students who may be at risk of withdrawing from their course through a range of difficulties. This could be due to problems in class, with other learners, with lecturers or because of difficulties at home. This support can begin before you start your course to help you settle in, and can continue if you require it on a one to one basis or within class throughout the year. It is recognised that some students may experience personal difficulties during their time at college, such as homelessness, berevement, changes to your mental or physical health, and issues with your confidence and self esteem. A confidential service is available, where trained and experienced staff can offer you advice and support. Where appropriate and with your consent, you could be referred to an external agency for specialist support. We work with a range of support services who can provide specialist help and information. We are also happy to work alongside your lecturers or any other professional you are involved with, to ensure the best support possible is in place for you.

If you are struggling with any issues whilst you are at college or would just like to talk things through, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  

Support for Attendance 

Our student support officer, Helen Wilson will work with you to resolve any issues which are affecting your attendance. Please contact Helen if you need to take time off for any reason. 


 Helen Wilson

External Support Services: 

We work closely with a range of groups and external organisations to provide you with the right kind of help whilst you are here. The organisations we work with to give you support include the following: 


Penumbra is a leading Scottish voluntary organisation working in the field of mental health. They provide an extensive range of person-centred support services for adults and young people in West Lothian.

Penumbra provide a service which aims to support young people with homelessness, self harm, and social and mental health issues.

The support provided includes 1-1 support which allows young people to discuss issues that include mental health and self-harm, the mental health service includes tackling difficulties surrounding self esteem and confidence building, inluded in this service is an opportunity to access specific group work and training and information service tackling subjects such as bullying, mental health & well being and self-harm & suicide.

At present Penumbra are providing a 1:1 service throughout West Lothian including West Lothian College and referrals can be made through the Support for Learning Team or directly to Andrea Birrell or Joan Simkins on 01506 415524.

West Lothian Drug and Alcohol team 

In West Lothian the West Lothian Drug Action Team (WLDAT) is the multi-agency organisation which co-ordinates and implements local strategy on substance misuse. The group has a remit that includes illicit and illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco and volatile substances. 

C:Card Service 

The College is a registered C:Card point. This is a free and non-judgemental service which can give you advice on sexual health issues and also supplies free condoms. This is a confidential service, come to the Student Advice Centre and ask to see a member of the team. 

Counselling Service 

The College works in partnership with qualified counsellors and we can arrange for you to see her/or him if appropriate. To discuss this, ask for Lorna Jenkins or Helen Wilson in Spectrum. If you are looking for additional external support, visit

Victim Support 

Victim Support Scotland is the lead voluntary organisation in Scotland helping people affected by crime. It provides emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime. The service is free, confidential and is provided by volunteers through a network of community based victim and court based witness services. 

Citizens Advice 

The aims of Citizens Advice Scotland are (1) to ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available to them, or through an inability to express their need effectively, and (2) to exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services. 


West Lothian Council has a strategic duty to house homeless applicants. The council also has a duty to provide advice and assistance to those threatened with homelessness. 

LGBT Youth Scotland 

LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) Youth Scotland is working towards the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in the life of Scotland. They provide a range of services and opportunities for young people, families and professionals which aim to increase awareness and confidence; as well as reducing isolation and intolerance. 

Adult Basic Education 

This service provides help for adults who want to gain confidence in writing, spelling, reading and communication. For information about Adult Education Opportunities access West Lothian Council's website and look under A within the A - Z services section. 

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