On the 9th February 2018, Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland (CNS) was officially launched in Bridgeton and Dalmarnock. Over 50 delegates attended, from many different sectors and organisations, locally and nationally. The day gave an opportunity to see and hear about some of the preparatory work the CNS team have done so far, as well as hearing from a number of key speakers about why this initiative has their and their organisations support.
The morning began with Chris Chapman (Policy Scotland) outlining the programme for the day. Chris also provided an overview of the concept of Children’s Neighbourhoods as well as noting the local and citywide partners involved and the members of the CNS team.
Following on, Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council formally opened the event, and provided her support for the CNS initiative. Cllr Aitken went on to describe why this type of approach was needed in Glasgow at the moment; the need for long term transformational change, social inclusion and the important of getting it right for children and young people. The Olympia Social Research Hub was noted as being a pinnacle part of these developments for Glasgow’s East End.
Douglas Hamilton, Chair of the national Inequality and Poverty Commission gave a thought provoking speech on the state of child poverty in Scotland at the moment and the need to do something different in order to change very stubborn statistics and improve the life chances and circumstances for children, young people and families. He discussed the national situation at present as well as the past, noting that lifting children out of poverty was a challenging task, and one that needed a collective approach.
Jackie Redpath was up next, with advice and inspiration from Belfast: a city with many similarities to Glasgow. Jackie provided us some insights from the Shankill Partnership, where he is CEO. Jackie’s enthusiasm for approaches such as this was felt throughout the room, encouraging us all to make this a success here in Glasgow and Scotland. Jackie stressed the importance of developing a bespoke and localised approach, partnership working, long term commitment, collective action and the need to develop a framework to hold it all together.
It was then time for a tea break where attendees were encouraged to meet each other and to browse and comment on the wall displays, each representing a section of the work done so far:
- Role of the backbone organisation
- Our network and the context in which we are working
- Developments around play.
After the break we began carousel discussions. Each of the five tables, represented a particular age range: 0-5, 6-11, 12-14, 15-16 and 16+ years. Attendees were given ten minutes at each table to answer the following questions:
- What are the key social/developmental milestones for this age range?
- Individually, choose 3 priorities for impact and action during this age range
- a. Then prioritise as a team
- What promising practice is working towards your 3 priorities?
- Think locally and also nationally/internationally
Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland and Chair of the CNS advisory group, closed the day, remarking on the positive energy in the room. Jackie highlighted that Children’s Neighbourhoods is hoping to build upon the great work that’s already going on in the area, and to support an even bigger impact for children and young people.
Attendees were invited to continue their conversations over a networking lunch.
Thank you to those of you who came along, your insights and enthusiasm are much appreciated. The carousel discussions are currently being written up and will be shared widely via our website and email networks in due course.