Awards shortlist for planning partnership

East Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership has been shortlisted for the Evelyn Gillan Research Impact Prize for work with families in the Hillhead area of Kirkintilloch.

The prize, supported by the Scottish Government, is awarded by the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) for research work that influences the lives of children, families or households.

The Council’s Early Years Supporting Families Team has led the LEND project, which has been successful in meeting set aims of increasing the number of services on offer at Hillhead centre; and increasing the number of families attending LEND.

A range of partners deliver services, including Health, Education and Early Years, EDLC Leisure and Sports, and local community and voluntary sector organisations. Skilled practitioners are on hand to offer tips and support on a wide range of subjects, including positive parenting, breastfeeding, healthy eating and maximising income. An average of 10 projects take place each week and have recently included: ‘Men behaving Daddly’ – family football; EDLCStory Stars; EnableToy Lending Library; BabyDrop In; Free Healthy Breakfast; Toddler and buggy walks; Messy Play; Zumba and Waist Winners; Imagination Library; and Cook up a Storm family cooking project. An average of 40 families attend LEND each week, with a high point of 83 families in one week.

Councillor Maureen Henry, Convener of the Council’s Education Committee said: “This team has done excellent work with the families in this area and have contributed to the early success of our brand new Community Centre which was always intended as a focal point for the local community. I am delighted that their efforts have been recognised and that they have been shortlisted for this prize.”

Sandra Cairney, Health & Social Care Partnership said: “This demonstrates the value that effective partnership brings to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for children, young people and their families.”

Research by the team showed that, with support, local families:

· feel more confident in the new centre

· are using services like borrowing toys from the toy library whilst getting information and support with breastfeeding and taking part in storytelling sessions with their children

· are moving between services and making new friends in their community

· are starting to feel confident enough to begin to take ownership of some of the projects/sessions.

There will be one winner and 2 runners-up when the Prize results are announced on Wednesday 15 June at the University of Edinburgh.