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Square Start is the first Brag project to offer full family support. Launched in May 2021 and funded by Opportunities Fife NOLB Strategy, this project is innovative as sessions are held mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends, to suit the demands of family life. We run weekly Bookbug sessions, Messy Play, Arts and Crafts as well as Play therapy. We have family nights with our Friends Youth 1st delivering their B: active sessions for children 5 to 25 years of age and family fitness sessions for registered families. We run our fortnightly Saturday Morning club with loads of fun activities Parents will also be supported by our Partners FEAT with Mental Health Resilience courses. Parents will also have the choice to complete formal training including conflict resolution, first aid awareness, emotional health and well-being and young people, to name a few.
The project’s aims are to reduce social isolation by supporting parents with budgeting workshops, cooking and nutritional skills and health and wellbeing. This service is targeted within the local community via Community Learning and Development teams, Welfare Reform Action Groups, schools, nurseries, local charities including food and clothing banks with the activities offered as part of the project having been designed with input from all these groups.
As part of this process BRAG will look to provide direction, guidance and support to the families involved through assessing the level of need, creating a bespoke action plan, working through the key components to achieve the end goals with a fluid and flexible approach to allow for change in the family’s circumstances. This consistent review and refresh approach ensures that the service fits the client rather than the client fits the service. The aim is to progress the family members into a variety of group activities to end social isolation and create new relationships and peer support.
Our experience with our Square Start Levenmouth Families, who we supported between August 2019 to October 2020, has taught us that families living in poverty tend to also live in a life of chaos and deprivation with many of these households struggling to just keep their heads above water. The poverty that they live in may have been influenced by poor life choices, but they are more likely to have been held back by a poverty of opportunity.
From the Levenmouth Families Cohort we have 12 Peer Mentors, who were previously taking part in our delivery and have been fully involved in moulding and evolving our programme. We have secured a further small amount of funding to work with these mentors, helping to upskill, train, and support them to deliver milestones and recruit local families within their own community, who will benefit from the Square Start values.
Find out more about No One Left Behind here.