£5.9 million for families in crisis

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The Big Lottery Fund has announced major funding for projects set to revolutionise services for children and families at risk of breakdown 

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5th April 2018 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Charities working with families and young people are to help shape new ways to prevent family breakdown thanks to £5.9 million of lottery funding.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Early Action System Change cash is being shared between eight initiatives that will bring together voluntary and public sector organisations to redesign and re-organise their services.

Children and young people in Midlothian will be able to help shape the future of local mental health services thanks to a grant of £836,000 to a multi-agency partnership project led by Midlothian Council.

Over the next five years, the project aims to overhaul child and youth mental health services so children and young people get help much earlier. This will include involving young people in the research and mapping of mental health and wellbeing support in the local area, and identifying trigger points for mental health problems.

It will also test out and learn from preventative interventions, which if they become mainstreamed would alleviate pressure on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Mary Smith, director of education, communities and economy at Midlothian Council, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing funding for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing from the Big Lottery Fund. Midlothian’s young people have been campaigning for this so it's great that local partners and the Big Lottery Fund have listened.

“The funding will allow us and our partners, NHS Lothian, Midlothian Youth Platform and third sector colleagues to map, review and test new and existing systems available to children, young people and their families, ensuring we are well placed to strengthen children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing now and in the future.”

Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership is also receiving £682,250 to develop new preventative services that are based on first-hand experience of women involved in the criminal justice system.

The project will apply and share learning from other local authority areas, and will work with local communities and third sector organisations, in order to develop new and innovative approaches that transform women’s experience of the criminal justice system.

Inverclyde council’s convener of health and social care councillor Robert Moran, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for both the Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership and our community justice partnership to achieve a step change in our response to women in the criminal justice system.

“We are looking to build our response around the women themselves and the community, ensuring their voices shape how we move forward. Our ambition is to provide women with the support they need at a time and in a way that is right for them.”

The Early Action System Change Fund was developed to award a small number of grants of up to £1 million that are intended to fund the first steps towards changing the way whole systems work.

Maureen McGinn, chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “This early action approach aims to support people to overcome problems before they become harder to tackle. Each of the initiatives receiving funding today brings together voluntary and public sector organisations to redesign and re-organise their services, placing the focus on more preventative work. I am delighted that, thanks to National Lottery funding, these initiatives will give a voice to children, young people and families, and also women in the criminal justice system, and will involve them fully in shaping service delivery, now and in the future.”

The fund also awarded £824,567 to Aberdeen Foyer, £730,207 to Action for Children in West Dunbartonshire, £797,968 to Barnardo’s Scotland, £1m to Dartington Service Design Lab in Renfrewshire, £321,500 to Shetland Council and Police Scotland, and £742,146 to South Lanarkshire Council.