Children Inclusion Partnership
This is a community development project. CHIP is a partnership between Barnardo’s and Stepping Stones for Families. It is a community development project linking families, children and communities in north Glasgow. In north Glasgow a high proportion of families live on low incomes. Over the past 20 years large parts of the area have been subject to demolition and partial reconstruction, with associated disruption to family and community life.
CHIP has a long-standing partnership with Hawthorn Housing Co-operative, with the shared overall aim of creating a more child-friendly community; and specifically to promote children’s participation in improving the local play environment. The focus of the latter work is ‘Byshot Path’, a formerly derelict site, now in the process of becoming a ‘pocket park’. This is a mixture of short, ‘amenity’ grass and more informal, natural meadow areas and trees that both encourages free play for children and provides an inviting environment for wildlife.
A core group of about 8 children, supported by parents and grandparents are currently closely involved in developing the site. They planted cherry trees in December 2011; and are currently raising awareness within the Co-operative of the problem of dog fouling on the site. This has involved a ‘Poo Stunt’, in which the children put on safety suits, masks and gloves and marked the position of instances of dog fouling with coloured labels. The information and images gathered were incorporated into an article in the Co-op’s newsletter. Recently the children have been involved in wildflower seeding and a photography exercise.
Work continues as there are still some access problems for people with mobility difficulties, families with prams etc. A short-term task group has been developed to improve the road surface, and build an accessible path to encourage the whole community, including those with mobility issues.
Benefits for the Community
This project has created an open space that can be appreciated by the whole community and promotes a sense of wellbeing. The activities that have evolved from the project have brought the community together, resulting in individuals feeling ‘part of the community’. It has provided a platform for the community to be well informed and capable of taking action to improve community and family life.
Benefits for the Younger People
An inhospitable area filled with dangers both actual and perceived, e.g. rubble, broken glass, used hypodermic needles and, potentially, a live power cable, has been transformed into a safe environment for children and young people to play, learn and develop.
Benefits for the Older People
Older people feel less isolated and more able to appreciate their environment in the company of all age groups, as two participants recount below:
“When I arrived here a few years ago, I didn’t know anybody. What CHIP has done has helped the community pull together. Now I feel much more at home here. My nephew’s wee son visits regularly and he is able to make friends now and play out safely.”
“My wee grand-daughter has been going to CHIP things ever since she was a toddler. I’ve got a photo at home that shows her on Byshot at the very beginning. She loves it. She still gets a lot out of it…. I love seeing all the wild flowers coming up and I like meeting all the people.”
This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NPF):
Scottish NPF Objectives
The main NPF objective that this project contributes to is:
- Greener supports the sustainable use and enjoyment of Scotland’s natural and built environment. It also underpins much of Scotland’s wealth creation. Focus on the responsibility to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment for future generations.
These NPF objectives could also apply:
- Wealthier and Fairer will support activities that address inequalities and enhance skills, employability and job opportunities. It builds on the characteristics of solidarity, cohesion and sustainability to ensure that all of Scotland has an opportunity to flourish.
- Safer and Stronger aims to help local communities to flourish and become stronger, safer places to live.
- Social Cohesion brings together people from different backgrounds and promotes development of communities that value diversity. Individuals share a sense of belonging and work together to make their area a better place.
- Healthier will enable people to live longer and healthier lives.
Scottish NPF Outcomes
We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations: Scotland’s built and natural environment is a major asset for us to enjoy in life and business. That is why we need to protect and enhance it.
Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.
We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others: Being part of a strong community gives us the support we need locally. It minimises crime, antisocial behaviour and their social and economic costs.
We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk: Tackling risks early and building the resilience of children, young people and families will improve the educational, health and employment outcomes of our people.
We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society: We will continue to advance awareness-raising and anti-discrimination activity, to challenge attitudes, reduce stigma and build a tolerant Scotland.
We live longer, healthier lives: Securing longer healthier lives for the people of Scotland will always be a top priority for governments and individuals alike. There are significant challenges which can only be addressed by everyone in Scotland working together, pursuing this goal through improving lifestyles and life circumstances, and a shared ownership of an effective NHS.