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CHANGE Year in review 2019

CHANGE news

A summary of our work in 2019

CHANGE has had an exciting 2019, with significant progress made across all the project’s objectives. These achievements reflect the support we have had from within the project area in the East End of Glasgow. Children, families and professionals have all made contributions to the work of CHANGE this year and we are very grateful to them for this.

Expanding the level of Childminding provision has been a key focus for the project this year and the start of 2019 saw the steering group for the Clyde Gateway Childminding Project (CGCP) meet for the first time. The CGCP is funded by the Hunter Foundation and is a partnership approach led by Clyde Gateway with input from Jobs and Business Glasgow and the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) as well as Children in Scotland (CiS) via the CHANGE team. The project aims to recruit and train 20 new Childminders for the Clyde Gateway area and CHANGE has contributed to the CGCP objectives throughout the year. This involved the design and delivery of an initial awareness-raising strategy and survey as well as working with children and young people to gather their views on what makes a good Childminder. As 2019 comes to a close, we are pleased to report that significant progress has been made and that SCMA is now in a position to begin induction training for a number of people who expressed an interest in becoming a Childminder. It is hoped this number will reach 20 before the current end date of the project in March 2020.

The work of the CHANGE Hub was a highlight of this year with progress made against several work strands including information needs, family support and community food work. We worked closely with the team at A Local Information System for Scotland (ALISS) and health visiting staff from North East Glasgow to develop a directory of services that provide support for families in the area. We are delighted that this has now been incorporated into the NHS Inform database, which you can access here.  This allows families to access a range of information in the same place and removes the need to visit several websites for details of different services.

The Hub’s work on increasing families’ access to low-cost food has made great strides in 2019. Along with our key partners, TICTACS OSC, St. Paul’s Primary, Greenheart Growers and Nigel Denby, Dietitian, we supported a community banquet for families in the Shettleston and Tollcross communities in October. This built on previous work with children and families that looked at cooking and growing nutritious food. An immense amount of learning has been generated from this strand of work and the focus in 2020 will be on how this can be scaled up and rolled out to other areas in Glasgow East and beyond.

Hub members also continue to work on scoping the need for emergency childcare and family support services in our project area and we are currently working on shaping a more detailed proposal on what might be needed. We hope to have this completed early next year. We were delighted when the efforts of the Hub were recognised with a nomination for ‘Most Inspiring or Innovative Project’ at the Quality Improvement Awards 2019. You can watch the group’s nomination video here. We are grateful for the continued support of Lee Urquhart, Improvement Advisor with the Children and Young People’s Improvement Collaborative. 

Since October 2016, we have devoted a lot of time and resource to the expansion of out of school care (OSC) in our project area. The most successful element of this work took place over the past 12 months. Early in the year, we worked with the Parent Council of Riverbank Primary, which was keen to establish OSC provision in time for the school opening in August. CHANGE acted as a facilitator throughout this process and we are delighted to report that the preferred provider, Connect 2 OSC, was operational in time for the school opening. The service has been warmly received by school staff, children and families.

There is still a gap in OSC provision within the Parkhead community, which is in the centre of the CHANGE project boundary. Providers, schools, community groups and families have told us that an additional service is required for this area, but we have experienced a series of challenges as we work to increase the number of OSC places available. Although we were able to address most of these via workshops and engagement activities, there remains a lack of suitable community space in the area that could be used for OSC. However, as 2019 draws to a close we have received some encouragement from partners that this issue may soon be resolved. We hope that we can confirm this early next year to allow the project to achieve our objective of establishing a new 24 place service within the Parkhead community.

As well as our direct work with the community outlined in this summary the CHANGE team has contributed to several local and national forums and steering groups in 2019. This has included work on the Scottish Government’s draft OSC framework and the Early Learning and Childcare expansion as well as the development of existing services in the CHANGE area. We are very satisfied with our overall contribution to improving the lives of children and families in Glasgow East this year and we can’t wait to return after the festive break to keep our momentum going. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to the project this year and especially to our host organisation Children in Scotland and to Parkhead Housing Association for hosting our staff at their excellent Parkhead Schoolhouse facility.

CHANGE in 2020

CHANGE is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund until the end of September 2020. In the period until then, we will continue to work on delivering lasting change in relation to OSC provision, Childminding, childcare and family support for children aged 0-2 and community food work. A key part of our strategy next year will be ensuring that we are able to put in place a framework that can deliver real and lasting change in these areas beyond the life of the CHANGE project. Much of our focus will be on working directly with services to achieve this and as a result we will be reducing the frequency of our bulletin. However, we will provide more regular updates on our Twitter feed, which you can find here

The CHANGE project team will return in January minus one member. Our Senior Project Officer, Anthony O’Malley, is leaving the project to take up a new post. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Anthony well and thank him for his efforts on the project to date.

Contribute to CHANGE

We welcome and encourage input from anyone who has an interest in childcare or community wellbeing in Glasgow East. If you’d like to discuss this with a member of the CHANGE team please contact our Senior Policy and Participation Officer, Alison Hay, ahay@childreninscotland.org.uk. Alison is based in Parkhead Schoolhouse at least four days per week and is happy to chat to anyone who feels they have something to contribute to the project.