Barnardo's East Ayrshire Families worked with Action for Children Scotl and to host the joint open day, showing partner agencies and service users around their new premises, as well as introducing people to the work that both charities deliver.
It was a great opportunity for service users to showcase some of the work that they have been involved in: the young people sold 'disco bracelets', which they have recently been making at a social enterprise group; and screened a DVD showing three short stories acted and directed by young people, which dealt with domestic abuse, bullying and eating disorders. Display boards were used to inform partner agencies about each project; and a rolling DVD captured the work and events of the past year.
There are many str and s to the East Ayrshire Families service, including the Youth Service, an innovative project named 'Wee6' supporting young people from the ages of 11 to 18 in Kilmarnock . Funded and delivered in partnership with East Ayrshire Council, the youth service offers a variety of exciting activities to engage and support young people. The service also provides mental and emotional support, promoting confidence, skills, communication, and self-esteem. This project has recently received additional funding by Big Fund Young Start programme to further allow programme delivery.
The second project to be showcased is called AXIS, which offers structured supports to 11-17 year olds living within the local authority area who are affected by alcohol misuse. Early intervention through fun and creative groups are also delivered to all secondary schools within East Ayrshire as part of the AXIS project. This project is funded by East Ayrshire Alcohol Drug Partnership.
The third and final project is East Ayrshire's domestic abuse service, which is jointly funded by the Alcohol Drug Partnership and Scottish Government Violence Against Woman fund. The service supports and engages the victim, the perpetrator, and the children and young people that have been affected by the domestic abuse. The service uses holistic and creative ways of engaging with families to tackle the issue of domestic abuse and contributing factors.
The visit was attended by Provost Jim Todd and Tom Cook, Deputy Leader of East Ayrshire Council.
Sarah Elliot, the Children's Service Manager for East Ayrshire Families, said: "This was a great opportunity for Barnardo's and Action for Children to showcase the outst and ing work being achieved with families and young people who reside within East Ayrshire. I am privileged and honoured to not only work with a dedicated and highly-motivated team, but to also have the opportunity to engage with the council and other external agencies who truly embrace the concept of partnership-working. I would like to thank the families and young people of East Ayrshire who we engage with; your openness and willingness to engage combined with feedback on how we can better the services has helped forge a more open, transparent and flexible service. You are at the heart of everything we do."
Action for Children Scotl and runs four services out of the new hub. Moving On and Crossover both support young people involved in offending, with Moving On specifically targeting young men leaving prison. It has proven itself to be an effective and successful initiative: statistics show that 74% of participants did not return to prison within two years, compared with a national average of 50-55%.
Turning the Corner offers a wide range of support to young people who have substance misuse issues, display high-risk behaviour, are homeless, or are otherwise vulnerable. The popular Youthbuild programme will also run out of the new hub, helping young people who have left school with no formal or low qualifications to access employment in construction and related trades.
Johnny Bradford, children's services manager at Action for Children Scotl and , said: "Action for Children Scotl and will provide a range of services from this new base, all of which are designed to help vulnerable young people to transform their lives and fulfil their potential.
"We are very pleased to be working with Barnardo's Scotl and to deliver valuable and effective services within East Ayrshire. The aim of our open day was to allow local people to find out more about what both charities do and what support we offer for young people in East Ayrshire."