A short update about what our projects got up to during the summer holidays!
The summer holidays can be a tough time for families, both emotionally and financially, making Circle’s services vital at this time of year.
Alongside our support services, we’ve been busy going on day trips with families to create happy memories for them, creating and distributing activity packs to keep the kids entertained, leading group support sessions to ensure families stay connected, and much much more.
A huge thanks to all of the organisations who helped fund our summer activities, and donated items to activity or wellbeing packs. We couldn’t have done it without your support!
The Harbour team created a fun-filled summer programme, which ran for 6 weeks.
All families receiving support were welcome to join in the summer programme and attend as few or as many activities as they liked. One family attended every week, whilst some only 1 week, but the majority attended 3 or 4. Families were also offered activity packs, which contained items kindly donated by Morrisons and Asda, to help keep the kids occupied during the summer.
The Harbour Summer Programme was funded mainly by Cash for Kids, and involved activities such as swimming, playing at the soft play, roller skating, trampolining and a trip to the cinema!
We have a family WhatsApp group which we shared info regularly on about what activity was next up, meeting places etc. Families also used it share ideas of things to do in the holidays and this has continued on.
The Harbour team were also fortunate to have been awarded funding for one of our day trips, from the Family Holiday Charity. With this funding, 24 children and their parents had a brilliant day out at Fort Douglas adventure playground. We got some great feedback from the group and some lovely family pictures, which we will get printed for families, to create happy memories.
As well as this, the Family Holiday Charity funded many of our families to allow them to go on a summer caravan holiday! In addition to the caravan break, families also benefited from vouchers towards the cost of travel and food. We received some amazing feedback from the trips, with one parent commenting:
“It was the best experience of my life! We loved the trails, beach & animals”.
She said the holiday built up her & child’s confidence, and felt “so happy seeing C on the stage and dancefloor having fun & really coming out of his shell.” The parent scored the holiday an overall an 11 out of 10 with a perfect time experienced by all!
A huge thank you to the Family Holiday Charity and Cash For Kids for helping make our Harbour Summer Programme possible!
Any questions about our Harbour Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Julie.King@Circle.Scot
The school holidays can be a particularly hard time for families as their routine is disrupted and more time, effort and money is required whilst schools are closed.
The Haven project offered families the opportunity to take day trips, to keep the kids entertained and create happy memories during the summer holidays. Julie took 7 families on a day trip to Connie Fox Soft Play Centre in Kirkliston, and 5 families took a trip to Edinburgh Zoo!
Julie also ran a baby weaning support group, to ensure parents felt supported throughout the holidays, which can be a particularly hard time for families as their routine is disrupted and more time, effort and money is required whilst schools are closed.
Therefore, day trips, and group sessions, such as baby weaning offer families vital support by organising activities and an opportunity for them to connect with others, and gain peer support.
It’s been a fantastic Summer full of fun activities for the dads & children. The holidays included trips to the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo, Ninja Warrior Adventure Park, and Best of the Fest Fringe Show for Children.
The dads even had time to spend two days and fill 2 full skips clearing out the garden at Circle Haven!!
The dads being given the opportunity of spending quality time with their children, and other dads and their children, has a positive effect on their wellbeing & mental health and the memories made will last a lifetime.
Any questions about our Haven Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Emma.Hinton@Circle.Scot
The West Lothian team implemented a successful and fun-filled summer programme. Staff were out and about with families, making full use of the annual pass that we have recently renewed for Five Sisters Zoo and Almond Valley Heritage Park.
The children loved meeting all the animals and exploring all the experiences on offer at both the Zoo and Park.
West Lothian Wellbeing Packs:
The West Lothian team were given funding by Cash For Kids to purchase hampers/packs for families during the summer period, to enhance well-being through indoor and outdoor activities. The packs were designed to offer a range of activities that could be used regardless of the weather, encouraging families to spend time together being creative or playing games. The families we support would not be financially able to provide these activities or experiences for their children, nor would it be a priority in the current financial climate.
The families that received the packs were extremely grateful and keen to make use of them over the Summer. The packs contained all sorts of items, from bat and ball and beanbags, to arts and crafts and picnic blankets!
“The kids looked like they had been given bags of treasure when I handed them over”- Family Outreach Worker
Cash For Kids Grant:
The grant has allowed the team to provide a range of fun family activities throughout the summer holidays.
The families have benefited from days out accessing activities within their local area through vouchers that had been purchased from the Cash for Kids fund.
Children, young people and their parent/carers have access to innoflate, cinema, crazy golf and the soft play, giving them the opportunity to enjoy spending time together, strengthening relationships and having fun.
Any questions about our West Lothian Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Hazel.Tyson@Circle.Scot
Children’s Resilience Group:
Our Children’s Resilience Project has been supporting children and young people on a 1:1 basis across East Lothian since May 2021.
East Lothian’s Summer 2022 group, held at the beginning of August, included painting and decorating photo frames to hold a memory from the summer, as well as a mindfulness and sensory activity which we called our ‘Food Challenge’. The children were given an opportunity to be very creative with colour and design, making tie-dye t-shirts and finishing the day with a water balloon game to cool down! Everyone got involved in making delicious homemade pizzas for lunch and creating some very impressive fruit skewers afterwards.
Thank you to all of the children and young people who made the day really memorable, as well as the fabulous Circle workers and Pennypit Community Centre staff who made it possible.
The summer packs contained items that we thought families would like to help them get out and about to places, such as the park and the beach with their kids this summer, to keep them all entertained and to have fun.
The packs contained:
- Picnic blanket
- Picnic set (Tupperware boxes, plates, cups, cutlery etc)
- DIY Bug hotel for kids to make with their parents
- Blow up ball
- Paddling pool
- Voucher for the Fraser Centre, Tranent (can be used for their family friendly cinema, in the café or towards one of their workshops/classes)
- Paint set
- Skipping rope
- Big bag for life
Huge thanks to East Lothian Mediation and Support team for donating some of the items to help make up our summer activity packs!!
Any questions about our East Lothian project can be sent to the Project Manager – Angela.Gentile@Circle.Scot
Families Affected by Imprisonment (FABI)
The FABI team want to say special thanks to various funders, who are supporting a range of activities and packs for children, young people and families over the summer.
A huge thank you to South Lanarkshire’s Lived Experience Fund for awarding us £500. This funding has allowed us to create 18 calming and self soothing kits for children and young people.
Family Feast Group:
As part of their summer programme, the FABI Team led a Family Food Feast Group, meeting once a week to give families an opportunity to discuss the impact of the rising food costs and share tips on how they are managing to save money where they can when cooking.
Each week, families were invited to cook a different recipe over zoom, led by Aileen and Agnes. Ahead of each session, families received a starter pack of Essential Kitchen Items along with 3 x £5 vouchers for weeks 1, 2 and 3. The favourite was definitely the homemade pizzas!
Throughout the Family Feast Group, the FABI Team put together their very own Recipe Book, to document all the yummy dishes that families were making. This gave families the opportunity to learn from each other about how to make meals on a budget and where to find a bargain, whilst encouraging each other to make healthier food choices and most importantly having fun along the way!
“Cooking with others and making suggestions for meals made me feel part of something bigger, supporting others while developing my own skills” – Parent
You can read the read the recipe book here: Recipe Book
The FABI Team went on a number of day trips over the summer, including Electric Thrill, Calderglen Country Park, and David Livingstone Centre. The day trips during the holidays are really important to ensure families stay connected, and it gives them a great opportunity to create happy memories together.
We also provided families with vouchers we have for Flip out which were used.
Any questions about our FABI project can be sent to the Project Manager – Georgina.Lyttle@Circle.Scot
One of the highlights over the last few months has been the planning and preparation of the teams in supporting children and young people getting ready to go to Scripture Union Camps. Our partnership with Scripture Union Scotland and Prison Fellowship Scotland has been longstanding and without the commitment and motivation of all partner agencies this would not work.
Covid-19 and its associated restrictions and lockdowns had such an impact on all of our lives especially the children and young people we support. They missed out on the exciting opportunities to go to camp, participate in lots of different activities and meet and make new friends. So after all of this time this summer was really exciting to see children and young people head off to camp this year. 34 children and young people attended the camps and the feedback has been amazing.
We want to say a massive thanks to @Scripture Union Scotland and Prison Fellowship Scotland who continue to support and fund all our places at camp. Without them, we would not be able to provide this opportunity to the children and young people we support.
Here’s some of the positive feedback from the children who attended the Scripture Union Camps:
“I really enjoyed Lendrickmuir, the people were really nice, the food was amazing and there was so much to do”
“Lendrickmuir was the most amazing week, best week of holidays by far. I met new friends and went back to the festival day at lendrickmuir with them”
“Thank you so much for giving my son this experience, he came home buzzing with excitement and like a different child. He met some really nice kids, had a different experience in life and is already researching going next year”.
A huge thank you to Scripture Union for giving our families the opportunity to attend the camps this year!
Support Circle’s Work
Without your support our projects could not deliver the innovative, and vital, work that you have just read about. Making a lasting difference to the lives of children, and families, affected by poverty and struggling with social inequality takes time, patience and high quality staff.
Please consider making a donation that will change a life here.
Or you could take on a challenge to support our work, why not take a look at our fundraising events here-https://circle.scot/support-us/fundraising-events/
Want to know more?
Project Annual Reports: Circle have always been keen to share our experience and knowledge and so these reports are also used in reporting to partners, funders and local authorities. Here is a link to all of our 2021 reports :