Scrapbook project

The logic model that guides the work of the test site  in East Lothian has four short term learning outcomes. One of these is about the physical or built environment in the target communities and how well it supports children and families to lead healthy lives.

To develop a better understanding of this we have started a small project based on work we learnt about from the Equally Well test site in Glasgow city. The idea is to bring communities together with services responsible for the built environment in a dialogue that uses a common language. The planners in Glasgow City understood that the professional language they use about the built environment is not one shared by all, and tried to get round this by getting people to keep scrapbooks of images and thoughts about their communities – what was valued, what could be improved? In this way it was possible for the planners and the community members to have a more equal conversation.

We are asking parent and community groups in the Support from the Start target area to keep a scrapbook of their thoughts and views about their environment from an early years perspective. When the scrapbooks are complete we will hold a dialogue session and ask services and professional to come and view the scrapbooks and hear what the thinking is behind them. So far a preschool nursery, a parents group, a dads group and a community group are keeping scrapbooks if you would like your early years group to take part in this project let me know and I will arrange for you to get the scrapbooks and disposable cameras.

Steven Wray

Cosy Kids

I am always astounded by the fact that so many homes are still energy inefficient in the 21st century, when often simple measures can make a big difference. Linking families in need with Changeworks might be the best way for professionals to make a difference for their clients.

Below is a new release from Changeworks – a charity that supports people to be more energy efficient and to improve their environment through reducing energy cost whilst being able to afford a warm home.

£100,000 ScottishPower Energy People Trust Grant To Help East Coast Infants Stay Cosy

A new project that will help hundreds of East Coast families with young children to stay warm was launched today, thanks to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust.

The Cosy Kids project will help over 200 vulnerable households and 400 additional individuals – including many new babies and pre-school children – in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian – to live in affordably warm, damp-free homes.

The project is being funded entirely by a £117,000 grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust. The Trust was established in January to fund not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable families and young people who need to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills and suffer from fuel poverty.

Managed by the Edinburgh-based charity Changeworks (formerly LEEP), the grant will involve setting up a specialised unit that will primarily work with health visitors to ensure that young children are not living in cold, damp and draughty homes which will affect their health.

The Cosy Kids project will also: promote energy efficiency grants, refer people to money advice and advocacy services, provide talks to groups of new parents about keeping their homes affordably warm and dry, educate health visitors in the area about the benefits of warm housing and visit families in their own homes to assess the type of help they need.

The grant marks a watershed in the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, which has now committed almost £1 million to projects that are tackling fuel poverty in communities throughout Great Britain.

Willie McDiarmid, Managing Director of ScottishPower, said: “The Cosy Kids project is a worthy recipient of funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, which is unique in channelling funds to those organisations that are working at grassroots levels to assist the most needy members of society who are living in fuel poverty.

“The Cosy Kids project will reach hundreds of the youngest and newest members of our society who often suffer most from fuel poverty. By using existing networks of health visitors, community groups and crèches to provide advice and grants, help will be given to vulnerable people when they need it most.”

He added: “The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is one of its kind in the UK and since we launched in January this year, almost £1 million in grants have been awarded to projects which tackle fuel poverty all over Britain, many of which focus on families, children and young people. We are now looking forward to supporting many other projects that are working to eradicate fuel poverty around the country.”

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust grant will fund Cosy Kids for two years and will use a network of health visitors, community groups for mothers and toddlers, crèches and the Community Education Service to reach vulnerable families.

Simon Lee, Chief Executive of Changeworks, said: “Changeworks is already working to alleviate fuel poverty through successful initiatives such as Warm and Well, so I am delighted that ScottishPower is supporting the ground breaking Cosy Kids project. This grant will help us to focus on the families by making sure that parents get the advice, information and support they need to enable them to keep their homes warm and dry and that children get a better start in life”.

For more information please contact:

Josie Saunders
the BIG partnership
0141 333 9585/07881 816 283

Ellen Arnison
the BIG partnership
0141 333 9585/07879 427 410

Civic Conversation & Homestart

Linden Ross a community champion from the Homestart organisation has been hosting a series of civic conversation events focused on bringing together services to look at early years issues effecting local communities.

Here is the summary document from the Civic Conversation event held in the Early Years Centre a little while ago.  I attended this discussion and found it fascinating – particularly the gap in awareness about what was being being offered by local housing services and the needs that community based staff were identifying in relation to housing.  My impression was that community staff often frustrated over a particular need of a client, weren’t aware of services that could help with that need. It underlined for me the value of services investing a little bit of time in talking to each other face to face about what they are providing, where the overlaps are and where the gaps are.

Housing Summary