Balgray Cottage

Balgray Cottage

The picturesque Balgray Cottage, located on the outskirts of the village of Kilbirnie, is home to our assessment process where our commitment to identify, address and track the progress of children and young people in residence is underpinned by clearly agreed outcomes. This modern and quite stunning accommodation is available for 5 residents aged 7 – 18 years.

Needs of Young People

Aspire Scotland’s psychological and assessment coordination services have a special prominence at Balgray Cottage as typically the needs to be addressed there reflect social, emotional and behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, substance misuse and related dependency, recorded additional support needs, criminal justice intervention work and identified special needs supports.

Staff ratios reflect the needs of the young people, and can offer 1:1 and 2:1 support, and include a 24 hour waking service. The service has the capacity to facilitate specialised multi agency work including family work and therapeutic input in keeping with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Assessment and Planning

In line with Aspire Scotland’s vision, Balgray Cottage has committed to a robust assessment process in its determination to identify, address and track the progress of children and young people in residence in keeping with agreed outcomes. As standard across all of Aspire Scotland’s services a 21 day initial assessment period is undertaken.

At Balgray Cottage this assessment period can be extended and where appropriate involve the work of clinical and forensic specialist personnel across care, education and health. Balgray Cottage facilitates this robust internal assessment, taking full account of the SHANARRI model, and also ensures young people access relevant external agency assessment, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) as required.

On the basis of this careful assessment, including risk assessment, and existing plans Balgray staff, along with representatives from the placing authority and parents/carers and the young person, agree suitably challenging outcomes. Care Staff and education staff work closely together to agree shared needs, consistent strategies and approaches.


Balgray Cottage offers residents opportunity to participate in a wide range of creative workshops while they are in residence. These are conducted by a team of therapeutic counsellors and are an extension to the work which Aspire Scotland has done to date in respect to building self-confidence and resilience in all. In addition the team at Balgray Cottage offer relationship counselling through a person centred model.

All of our team operate according to our mission statement and values and are skilled in delivering healing and therapeutic techniques including restorative approaches, crisis counselling, addressing issues of attachment and building resilience.


The extensive grounds and outbuildings allow for a host of flexible approaches to be undertaken in supporting children and young people to a better understanding of their true potential

Our community campus at Radio City is only a short walk away and provides young people with exceptional fitness and dining facilities where they can interact with the local community. Other activities in the local area include:

  • Water sports at Castle Semple.
  • Beach Walks and Ferry trips to Millport and Arran.
  • Camping and Barbeques.
  • Bike rides around the local cycle paths.
  • Extensive grounds surrounding Balgray where otters, deer and other wildlife can be found.
  • Horse riding activities.
  • Historical visits to Burns Cottage, Culzean Castle.
  • Swimming, trampoline and dri slope skiing.
  • Scouts Clubs.
  • Boxing Club in Glengarnock.
  • Biking in Millport.
  • Football Clubs in Largs.
  • Music and singing groups or individual tuition in Stevenston Youth Hub.

Positive Outcomes

One of our residents at Balgray Cottage enjoys part time work at Galaxy Café and works with our Cafe Manager in providing event planning for our Galaxy franchises. Four other residents are enjoying the stability and family environment provided at the cottage after a turbulent placement history.

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Please use the links below to contact us via an emailed form with any enquiries or complete our online referral form.