Tranent ‘Passport’

This is used as  a reward system for the families work, drop-in’s and courses that

are run in Tranent for the Fa’side Families for Life Group of young parents.

Parents are encouraged to attend and will receive a stamp on their

passport.  Once they have received the allocated amount of stamps

they are then able to take part in our Families Summer Programme, which

runs for 5 weeks, twice a week during the school holidays.


See attached poster Passport

Civic Conversation in Prestonpans

A recent meeting of Prestonpans based service providers, hosted at prestonpans library and chaired by Lorraine Congalton decided to focus their ‘civic conversation’ on developing realtionships with ‘vulnerable parents’.

The following notes notes are from the planning meeting for this. If you think you can help in this process contact Lorraine at the Pennypit, Rope walk Prestonpans

Prestonpans Library

The Pennypit Centre


Breakfast – most important meal of the day!


Breakfast Break


Following a successful application to the Fairer Scotland Fund the Early Years and Childcare team have been allocated money to support “Breakfast Break”, to provide breakfast to children of primary school age who arrive at school without having even had a drink. We have all seen/know these children and the effects that lack of food/drink has on their behaviour and ability to learn.

By providing breakfast we will be supporting not only the children but also the families, and teachers in schools. Children will receive an actual breakfast and be in an environment where they can relax and prepare themselves for the school day, by socialising with peers, catching up on last nights homework or having the opportunity to sit quietly and read.

Breakfast will be “purchased” from existing breakfast provision attached to some primary schools, we will also be supporting places at Tranent and Dunbar Wraparound to provide the same service for children of nursery age.

A criterion for places is being drafted and will be in place for the new academic year. A commitment to provide 61 places a day has been made, and the general feedback to date is that this may not be enough to meet demand for places.

It is anticipated that the referrals will come through schools.


Pauline Homer

Early Years Development Officer


How do we reach the hard to reach?

Posted on behalf of Pauline Home – Early Years Development Officer


I am looking at ways in which rewards can be or are used to encourage vulnerable families to attend support groups, workshops etc. Whilst I have carried out some research on this topic there are few examples other than payment for attendance, which would not be my choice. Does anyone know or have experience of using reward systems in their work with vulnerable families. In reward I am thinking of vouchers to hairdressers, nail salon, vouchers for Mothercare etc or in the case of longer term projects tickets for family days out. I would like to hear from anyone who has employed this method to support and encourage engagement.

Pauline Homer


Civic Conversation

Tranent Health Visitors have identified a gap in the provision of support to mothers who are older than most when they have their first child. They are organising an event to engage these mums and find out what they think of services.

Here are the details of an event to be held in the Tranent area in June – and an outline of the proposal to engage this group.

Mums in the Middle poster 

Mums in the Middle

Action Learning Sets

The role of action learning

 We have developed action learning as part of the support for service champions, and as a means for developing leadership for service change and development on health inequality. The learning process is facilitated by Ann Campell and Moira McKinnon of Garth Associates.

In addtion to this the members of East Lothian’s Joint Health Improvment Planning Board have planned a series of reflective sessions during which they will be joined by Dr Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer, and Karen Grieve national programme manager for Equally Well

 Action learning sets provide the following:

  • support for individual champions developing their own learning / perspective on this issue
  • support for individual champions developing their own leadership skills in relation to this issue
  • challenge the champions to think about their role and the role of the service they represent on this issue
  • challenge the champions to think beyond their own service area on this issue
  • support the champions to maintain a focus on the rationale of Support from the Start

More information on how action learning work is available at this link how-does-action-learning-operate-in-practice 

With the agreement of the sevice champions the output from the learning sets will be posted on this blog.

Here is the output from the first Action Learning meetings held on 7th May 2009

Outputs  Set 1, Set 2, Set 4

Set 3 will be meeting on 3rd June and output will be posted after that date.

Service champions



Supporting The Best Possible Start For Children In Scotland

NSS Seminar Tuesday 3rd March 2009

In this my first trial post…

Can I draw your attention to a forthcoming National Services Scotland (NSS) seminar entitled ‘NSS – Supporting The Best Possible Start For Children In Scotland’, to be held on Tuesday 3rd March 2009 at the Teacher Building, St Enoch’s Square Glasgow. The seminar runs from 10am to 3.45pm.

The seminar will feature:



Recent developments in pregnancy / new born screening policy

Dr Ros Skinner

Child health inequalities

Dr Jim Chalmers

Child vaccination / immunisation schedule update

Dr Claire Cameron





The Care of Critically ill Children in Remote and Rural Areas

Dr Andrew McIntyre

Audit of High Dependency Care for Children & Young People in Scotland:  Supporting Scotland‘s Healthcare Planning

Ms Julie Adams

Implications of recently published SGHD report on Early years, early intervention


Clinical quality and outcome indicators for children’s specialist services

Clare Clark & Alastair Philp

To register for a place, simply complete the registration form on the following link and click the send button.

Completed forms should be returned no later than Tuesday 24th February.

Please feel free to pass these details on to any colleagues who may be interested in attending. Further seminars will be organised during 2009/2010, details of which will be circulated later in the year.

If you have any queries or require any further information, please contact Bill Dunn in the ISD Customer Relations Group on 0131 275 6234 or by e-mail at








Service Champions

A key feature of ‘Support from the Start’ – East Lothian’s Equally Well test site are Service Champions.

A service champion is an individual who has been identified as someone who can lead on the learning needed to address health inequalities within their service area.  This doesn’t mean that they are the only person within that service who carries the responsibility for health inequality – tackling health inequality is all of our responsibility. The role of the service champion is to bring the experience and knowledge of their service area to the work of Support from the Start, and to bring what they learn from Support from the Start to their service areas.

Service Champions will have a key role in linking across service boundaries and in making sure that health inequality is high on the agenda for services within East Lothian.

The expectations of a Service champion are :-

  • Communicating the vision and values of ‘Support from the Start’ within their service area
  • Bringing the experience and knowledge of their service area to a multi agency ‘action learning set’. 
  • Supporting services to identify training & information needs related to ‘Support from the Start’
  • Contributing as appropriate to this online learning log.
  • Be willing to participate, as appropriate, in the dissemination of the East Lothian Test Site experience to other authorities and agencies within Scotland.

Service Champions will be drawn from a range of services from both the statutory and voluntary sector. Senior managers have been asked to identify the right people for this role, and this process is currently underway . The names and contact details of Service Champions will be posted shortly.