For nearly thirty years, Stepping Stones for Families has worked alongside children, young people and families to give them support, opportunities and a voice in tackling the effects of poverty and disadvantage in their lives.
Isobel Lawson, CEO of Stepping Stones for Families describes how.....a Super Summer turns to an Awesome Autumn....
We’ve enjoyed a busy and exciting summer this year creating opportunities for families and as the season moves into Autumn it’s a good time to reflect upon all our summertime activities….
Alongside families we created school holiday programmes offering indoor and outdoor play, Celebrated National Play Day with a Play-along Magic show. Organised a family sports day, trips to the seaside and brought families from the local authority nurseries together for a summer of fun, food and adventure.
We’ve also been inspired and have been working alongside the extraordinary Concrete Garden project. Staff and families at our Child and Family Centre in Keppoch Campus, found that their activities in our garden rewarded, as it produced an abundance of good things to eat. Next on the ‘to do’ list is to explore recipes and make the best use of all the produce!
We are grateful to Inspiring Scotland for funding to support our school holiday Family Play and Food programmes. We are already planning the October and February school holidays.
It is estimated that in Glasgow, 1 in every 3 children is living in poverty; the national average being 1 in every 5 children (Understanding Glasgow, 2017). Despite our success, the level of need is greater than we can accommodate, particularly for families with very young children where age can be a barrier to accessing more generic school holiday play and support programmes.
We are looking to build upon this area of work, and hope to seek more partnerships and resources that will help us to provide children and families with fun, engaging, active play opportunities that support child health and wellbeing throughout the school holidays.
Looking ahead to autumn, each of our services are already busy planning and preparing their programmes with, and for families, children and young people.
New this autumn is our work with primary school children and their parents/carers, providing a supportive and safe environment to help reduce feelings of isolation; build confidence whilst promoting/increasing family engagement across the school.
We recognise the sustainable and positive impact of increased self-confidence, resilience and good self–esteem. Our early intervention approach in nurseries and primary schools provides support and a much needed capacity to a family, so that they can build and sustain empowering environments for their children, which in turn; allows their children increased opportunities to become more confident and enthusiastic learners.
Our Family Wellbeing Service, Possilpark Child and Family Centre and Keppoch Nursery are on course to begin our latest Improvement Science project which will track a small group of parents and their child’s experiences through their early- years journey. The tracking project will also involve children’s transitions in early years education from 0-3 years provision; then into nursery 3-5 years provision; and then continue as the children progress into primary school. This is an interesting and exciting piece of work, which will significantly contribute to our current knowledge so that we can continually improve our services and promote our best practice.
Go2Play-Baby Play is the latest innovation in our Go2Play portfolio. Recognising that babies often miss out when parents attention is focused on a demanding toddler we have piloted Baby Play sessions using sensory materials to build up and sustain early bonding and attachment. This will be developed further through the Autumn and Winter as part of our Go2Play portfolio.
Isobel Lawson, CEO of Stepping Stones for Families
*Understanding Glasgow, The Glasgow Indicators Project (August 2017) http://www.understandingglasgow.com/indicators/children/poverty/overview
Employee Work Journey - Lynne McMillan
My journey with Stepping Stones for Families
Carrick Money Advice Service Annual Report 2016-2017
A review Carrick Money Advice Services' work in 2016-2017.
Possilpark - The New Cosmopolitan
Families, diversity and fun - how it all comes together in Possilpark!