ISSUE 3 2017
IN THIS EDITION
• Children and Family Services focus • CEO Viv Dickenson’s new chapter • CrossReach Week 2017 dates • Focus on...Year of Young People • Me and My Job: Leeann Mitchell • Caring Across Scotland
A Royal Visitor HRH Princess Anne at Simpson House Story on page 6
OUR SERVICE AREAS
• • • •
Children and Family Counselling and Support Criminal Justice Homeless People
• • • •
Learning Disabilities Mental Health Older People Substance Misuse
DID YOU KNOW? The Scottish Government has decided to designate 2018 as the ‘Year of Young People’ to create new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.
FEATURES National Exhibition
Heart for Art clients held an exhibition of their paintings in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Page 10 Coming of Age!
CrossReach Counselling: Lothians in Dunbar is 21 and has 21 events planned to celebrate.
News GLASGOW Congratulations to Threshold Glasgow, winner of the 2017 Scottish Social Services Awards category 3 ‘An Enlightened Approach’, which recognised their active promotion learning and development for everyone in the service.
The Oasis Day Care centre in Garelochhead celebrated its 10th anniversary in August. The centre offers entertainment, activities and a chance to socialise for older people, including those with dementia.
Me and My Job
Leeann Mitchell is lead practitioner at Finniescroft Farm near Lennoxtown and is good at arm wrestling! Page 11
SCOTLAND Well done to all the staff and service users who were recognised for their achievements at the CrossReach Staff Awards held in the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh in June. Pictured is Adult Learner of the Year Janis Sinclair.
Editorial We all have a family and many of us are lucky enough to have children. Parents hope that their sons and daughters will have a happy childhood, but sometimes that is derailed by a change in family circumstances. According to Scottish Government figures, in July 2016 there were 15,317 ‘looked after’ children in Scotland – a decrease of 1% from 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year the numbers have decreased following a peak of 16,248 in 2012; the numbers leaving care each year have been consistently more than number starting. Increasing numbers of children are being looked after away from home in community settings; the largest increase this year being with friends or relatives in kinship care (28 per cent of the total). There were 2,723 children on the child protection register in 2016. Causes for concern relating to parental substance misuse and domestic abuse are the most prevalent. As you will read in this edition, CrossReach, through our Children and Family Services, operates a range of day and residential facilities helping hundreds of children and young adults get their lives back on track. You will see the stories of Bobby and Mary whose future prospects have been improved as they head towards adult life. To quote the words of the strapline under our logo, CrossReach is ‘providing a caring future’ – and has been doing so since 1869. If you would like to comment on anything in this edition, please e-mail me at: hugh. email@example.com.
Hugh Brown, Editor
Published three times a year by CrossReach. Please feel free to use any material or articles contained in this magazine, with an appropriate credit. CrossReach, Charis House, 47 Milton Road East, Edinburgh. EH15 2SR. Telephone: 0131 657 2000, Fax: 0131 657 5000, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Care Council
Operating as CrossReach Scottish Charity number: SC011353
A New Chapter
In her first article as Chief Executive of CrossReach, Viv Dickenson unwraps the contents of CrossReach News and says she is honoured to have been appointed to the top job…
It’s also a new chapter for Sheila Gordon who became Director of Children and Family Services in June, coming from a background of working with children and families in local authorities. “It is an exciting time for the Care and Education provision which is transforming to smaller houses with a new shared education campus. The small houses recreate a nurturing, family-like environment with staff who are specially trained in how to help children and young people recover from the trauma they may have experienced. CrossReach also provides residential care and other types of community based support to children with disabilities and their families at the Mallard and the Garratt in Glasgow.
Several thoughts went through my mind as I watched Peter Bailey bid farewell to CrossReach as he abseiled off the Forth Bridge with two other ‘formers’ on a glorious May afternoon. Some were reflective as I thought about Peter’s invaluable contribution to CrossReach over 25 years and the respect and gratitude which had marked his leaving celebrations. Others brought the future into sharp focus, as I contemplated the tasks which would now fall to me; writing the introductory article for CrossReach News being one of the promised highlights! In this edition you will see that promoting positive mental wellbeing and combating stigma remains a key focus of the Children and Family services, as it does across all of our service areas. During General Assembly week we were therefore pleased to introduce a new initiative, launched by HRH Princess Anne, to raise awareness of the isolation facing those affected by a challenge to their mental wellbeing and inviting people to show support in a simple act of hospitality; baking and sharing a Grey Cake. We would love
you to get involved. Please contact our Supporter Relations department for your free information pack, or find details at: http://www.crossreach.org.uk/ crossreach-grey-cakes-resources Your support is vital to us. Social Care remains hugely complex with resources being stretched to the limit, and regretfully we have had to make difficult decisions about a few of our own services. However as this edition of CrossReach News highlights, the passion, commitment and creativity of our staff and those who turn to us for support is as strong as ever, transforming lives and changing communities. I am deeply honoured not just to be able to introduce these stories to you, but to have been appointed Chief Executive Officer of this amazing organisation. I believe that the future holds exciting opportunities to work with individuals, congregations and communities in new and inventive ways to ensure that CrossReach continues to be at the heart of a caring church locally and nationally, supporting people throughout Scotland, and I look forward to exploring these in the months to come.
CrossReach runs a range of counselling services across Scotland for adults and children, most of whom have experienced trauma, loss or other significant life events. We also operate two prison family visiting centres, one
at Polmont and the other at Perth. Research shows that prison family visiting centres make society safer; by supporting good family links, those leaving prison are more likely to reintegrate successfully into their community and are less likely to reoffend. The Daisy Chain Early Years project in Govanhill provides play sessions, after school care, baby massage and other activities for families with young children. I have been impressed at the range of work that CrossReach does and by the commitment and enthusiasm of both staff and volunteers and I am sure that readers will enjoy hearing a bit more about some of them in this edition of CrossReach News.”
Children and Family Services
MSPs visit Polmont Family Hub
In June MSPs Michael Matheson and Angus MacDonald visited Polmont Prison Visitors Centre known as The Family Hub & Bus. The two parliamentarians were taken on a tour of the areas where the Family Hub
of how by having a chat with families and visitors to Polmont they can make a difference. “Visiting a friend or relative in prison can be stressful and traumatic for children. The bus provides a relaxing, welcoming space with a play area which allows families to prepare for their visit. Staff are on hand to offer a listening ear and can also provide a range of advice and support.” The MSPs thanked the Governor Brenda Stewart and staff, and commented they had enjoyed hearing of the journey of Polmont Family Hub so far and wished everyone well for the future. Marie Cairns told CrossReach News: “Both the Justice Secretary Mr. Matheson and Mr. MacDonald appeared to have a good understanding and empathy towards the families of those affected by imprisonment. Mr. Matheson expressed how grateful they were to staff of Prison Visitor Centres and encouraged us to speak with the Scottish Prison Service regarding long term plans for the future and also about the role Prison Visitor Centres works within the prison by Visitors’ Centre manager Marie Cairns. They met could play within each establishment. It was a very fruitful visit which will with the Family Contact Officer, saw hopefully lead to more debate in the Hub office and then boarded the the Scottish Parliament about Prison bus. Staff members and volunteer Jim explained their jobs and gave examples Visitors Centres.”
Art Therapy in Haddington
CrossReach has been working in Meadowpark Communication Provision in Haddington, a new facility for pupils of secondary school age who have needs primarily associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The school is based in the former Haddington Infant School and is part of the Knox Academy campus. As well as classrooms, the revamped building offers a soft play area, sensory and escalation rooms, medical office and assembly hall which is also used
as a gym. A food court can be accessed by students and their families as well as staff. Linda Shardlow, Art Therapist, explains about the work she does in the school which opened in June last year: “I was very excited to be given the opportunity by CrossReach to go into the school in October 2016 to facilitate 1:1 art therapy sessions. I gained my Masters in Art Therapy at QMU in 2010 and am HCPC and BAAT registered - which is a requirement for all art therapy practitioners. The sessions are run for children who have been referred mainly for sensory and communication support. This support helps these children gain emotional equilibrium, enabling better engagement with learning. Headteacher Charli Prime and all of the teaching staff have been hugely supportive in enabling the children to take up the Art Therapy sessions. The work can help children to focus for a
period of time appropriate to them, and also enable them to make choices and provides an opportunity to derive pleasure and enhance relaxation. It can also promote communication, emotional growth and sensory integration and help to foster social interaction. Although the work can be challenging at times, it’s so rewarding to see the children engage and benefit from this involvement with them. I am very passionate about the work I do - this school and the pupils are at the heart of it all and I hope to continue to run the clinics here.”
CrossReach Counselling in Dunbar comes of age!
CrossReach Counselling: Lothians in Dunbar started working with clients 21 years ago using one room, a part-time administrator and a part-time counsellor. Today, it helps hundreds of individuals, children and young people, couples and families in Dunbar, Haddington, North Berwick, Musselburgh and Tranent in clinics and schools with 5 part-time staff and 20 volunteer counsellors based in St. Andrews Centre, Dunbar. To mark this special anniversary, 21 events are being planned over the next year •
with the dual purpose of celebration and fundraising. Service Manager Anne-Marie McNeil outlined the aims to CrossReach News: “Firstly, to acknowledge the work of the many staff, volunteers and clients who have enabled the service to grow since it began in 1996. Secondly, we want to fundraise for 21 hours of family work per week as there is such a profound need for this service to be available locally. Events fundraising is through ‘Friends of CrossReach’. And thirdly, to continue serving and creating community. Friends of CC:L in East Lothian, with staff and volunteers, are involved in organising them. The official launch takes place on 1st September at 12 noon with a ‘Celebration and Thanksgiving’ at Belhaven Church led by Canon John Lindsay. This will include music from local harpist Rita Bradd, and people involved in the counselling service over the past 21 years will be taking part. Afterwards, we will cut an anniversary cake made by Bill Shardlow. Events
continue through the year with a ‘Just Giving’ page online, a ‘Silent Auction’ in Allanton Village Hall, a Christmas Shop for a week beginning 13th November at ‘Be Green’ on the High Street in Dunbar, ‘Friend of CrossReach’ Fred Wright will be offering a Thai curry night at St. Andrew’s Centre, there’s a concert with the fabulous ‘Dunbar Sings’, a Spring Ceilidh which will keep us on our toes, as will, in a different way, a Communion Walk up Traprain Law on Palm Sunday, not forgetting a Family Summer Barbecue at John Muir Country Park - and these are just for starters. Everyone is more than welcome to participate in any of our forthcoming celebration events. One of our counsellors Linda Shardlow has designed a tree logo which will appear on all of our publicity materials and we’ve planted some tubs which will grow during the year. So, our 21st anniversary is an exciting milestone for CrossReach Counselling: Lothians and we are ready to begin writing the next chapter of our story.”
A calendar of events for the year can be obtained from CC:L in Dunbar on: 01368 865218.
Graduates hard work pays off!
The hard work, sweat and tears since they started the course in October 2014 have all been worth it! The final cohort from CrossReach’s Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling Children and Young People graduated on 11th July from Queen Margaret University. This course - the only specialist Children and Young People Diploma Level Counselling course in Scotland - included 2,400 learning hours. The students have written over 140,000 words, created and delivered presentations, read numerous books and carried out many hours of counselling practice. Working with children and young people from ages 5 to 26, the students have delivered over 1,500 voluntary counselling hours to their communities - a £67,500 saving to
society. Some students have already secured counselling posts and all the graduates are now ready to become part of the wider professional counselling community. Deputy Manager of the Bluebell PND Project in Glasgow Christina Smiley explains more: “Recent research has highlighted that the economic cost to Scotland of mental health difficulties is around £10.7 billion every year. It’s been suggested that 1 in 10 children and young people may have significant struggles with their mental health and further studies indicate the number of young people with symptoms of mental ill health may be even higher. The life expectancy of people with serious mental health problems is 15 to 20 years lower than the general population. It’s very clear that the personal, social, and economic costs of poor mental health are extremely high. The graduates from this course are competent, skilful practitioners who are confident working with children, young people and young adults in many settings. They
have developed their capacity to work with a wide variety of media, play, metaphor and age-appropriate language to aid the emotional, psychological and physical development of their clients. They have integrated academic practice with professional counselling skills, combined knowledge of the core psychodynamic model and critically reflected on this knowledge to illuminate the work with their clients. They’ve worked professionally and ethically to develop effective therapeutic relationships with children, young people and young adults who are facing significant mental health struggles. The graduates’ skills and expertise developed on the Diploma enable their clients to move forward in the healthiest ways possible, helping them to develop confidence, resilience and improving their life chances. We are hugely grateful to all those involved in making this CrossReach course such a success over many years, and it’s with sadness we acknowledge its ending.”
A Royal Visitor
Staff and clients at Simpson House and the Sunflower Garden in Edinburgh were honoured by a visit from the Lord High Commissioner Princess Anne during the General Assembly in May. The Princess Royal was the Queen’s representative at the Church of Scotland’s annual gathering. Simpson House provides counselling for people affected by their own or another person’s drug use. Sunflower Garden works with children who are affected by drug or alcohol misuse in their families. Manager at Simpson House Jill Brookes explained more: “We have observed that our adult clients, without exception, have had traumatic childhoods and use substances to self-medicate. Through the therapeutic process the course of their future can be changed and that is what
drives us all. Equally, supporting children at Sunflower Garden means emotional healing can be encouraged early on. This early intervention can be a form of prevention: so the cycle of addiction can be interrupted within families, and in this way the child’s future mental health, relationships and school attainment can be influenced positively. Our vision for the future is to develop our family work. Both the time given and evident interest demonstrated by Her Royal Highness were greatly appreciated, particularly by the adults and children who, supported by their counsellors, took the opportunity to share their stories with her. As she left, the children presented her with a special picture representing the hope Sunflower Garden offers to everyone who comes to the service.”
“Both the time given and evident interest demonstrated by Her Royal Highness was greatly appreciated…”
Mary is 8 years old and has been coming to Sunflower Garden for over 2 years. Her parents have a long history of drug use and Marie suffered both neglect and abuse. Mary was removed from their care and placed in a kinship care placement with her aunt and uncle. Mary struggled to talk about her emotions during this time and rarely discusses the things that happened to her. In the last 6 months, her aunt and uncle were granted permanent care of Mary. She has been seeing a volunteer counsellor once a week. Marie loves coming to Sunflower Garden and has built up a good relationship with her counsellor, waving fondly to her from the taxi as she leaves. They use play and sand tray therapy to help her process her difficulties. The continuity of Sunflower Garden and the permanency of her living arrangement have allowed Mary to begin to process some of her early life trauma. It has taken a long time of therapeutic intervention but she now speaks more openly about the things that happened to her and what she remembers. Sunflower Garden provides her with a safe space to come to terms with her trauma at her own pace and in her own way. Her carers and school are beginning to notice an increase in her ability to express emotions, and her experiences in the therapy room are positively affecting other aspects of her life. The therapeutic work is allowing Mary to heal early on in her life and give her the best chance at a healthy adult life.
Inspiring Children’s Futures
Professor Jennifer Davidson is Executive Director of the new Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures which aims to support children and young people globally in achieving their potential in life. Stigma and discrimination affects children and young people in many ways, and can be detrimental to their health, well-being and ultimately, life outcomes. CrossReach identified stigma as an issue to be addressed through different projects, working, for example, with disabled children, the Romanian Roma community, and children of prisoners. The importance of this led CrossReach to partner with the newly launched Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures at the University of Strathclyde and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, the University of the West of Scotland and Who Cares? Scotland, to gain funding from the Scottish Universities Insight Institute for an innovative seminar series: Stigma in Childhood: Learning from Other Places. From around the globe, researchers, policy makers, practitioners and individuals who have experienced stigma in childhood have come together to learn from each other during three seminars. They have looked at the
unique issues that affect children and young people, including cultural and social perspectives of stigma, how children experience stigma, and how to address and alleviate stigma in childhood. This has been an exciting project to be a part of, and we plan to build on and take forward this work to improve the lives of children and young people. Such partnership work is a good example of how the new Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures intends to take forward its bold and ambitious vision to create a world where children and young people have what they need to reach their full potential, particularly those experiencing adversity. Inspiring Children’s Futures is a joint venture within the University of Strathclyde, combining the expertise of the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children (CELCIS) and the wider research community. Each Centre is a leader in its specialist
field with expertise in understanding the challenges, barriers and evidence of what works, as well as leading in evidence-based methodologies of making sustainable change happen in complex systems. The Institute bases its work on a clear understanding of the global nature of the challenges of securing child welfare and wellbeing, and places partnerships at its heart. Listening to, involving and understanding children, young people, and their families is crucial to our approach. Inspiring Children’s Futures held its formal launch on 28th June at the University of Strathclyde, in the presence of Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, and an audience with a commitment to getting it right for children and young people. During our first year, we’re focusing on the key challenges, and the most critical drivers, that can secure our vision for children and young people. As well as our work on Stigma and childhood, we will focus on two other themes: Economic and financial challenges for children in adversity, and Technology and children. A family’s economic context is critically relevant to their fundamental wellbeing and especially their levels of stress, which in turn can impact directly on children’s development. Drawing from economic policies around the world, we will explore, for example, how Scotland’s new welfare powers might best promote more stable positive family environments for children. The Institute will explore our understanding the impact of technology on children’s lives. This will include identifying its potential benefits, promoting children’s digital rights, and addressing significant potential concerns about technology such as online sexual exploitation. As a new Institute we are very keen to develop collaborative working and learning opportunities like our work with CrossReach on stigma. Please contact us via: email@example.com Find out more at: www.inspiringchildrensfutures.org
Children and Family Services
Care and Education Celebrating another successful year of learning
“I’m Peter, I passed Nat 2 in Maths, English, and Science!"
In June, Ballikinrain School celebrated another successful year of learning and achievement for our children and young people and our colleagues who support them. Head of Service (Children & Early Years Intervention) Paul Gilroy spoke to CrossReach News: “Our relational approach ensures that children and young people’s interests, voices and rights are at the heart of everything we do. Every year we celebrate the talents and skills of our children and young
people and their fantastic achievements. As a team we are immensely proud of our children and young people and privileged in playing a small part in supporting them grow and learn new skills. Recently we have heard a great deal of media reports on the ‘attainment gap’ and Scottish Government focus on reducing this, particularly for children and young people who have disrupted education and faced challenges in their lives. At our Care and Education service,
we focus on providing a wide range of learning experiences. Many of the children who attend our school have significant gaps in their learning or have been unable to learn due to trauma or chaos in their environment. Here’s a selection of their many achievements: • N ational 2 in Maths, English, science • National 3 Maths, English, Science, Art, PE, Hospitality • National 4 Maths, English, Science, Creative Arts, PE, HE, Hospitality • SQA Personal Achievement Award (Bronze) • John Muir Award Discovery; Explorer; Conserver • John Muir Award levels 1 and 2 Our staff team have also achieved a great deal this year, including HNC/ SVQ Social Care, COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills, Dyadic Developmental Practice, Attachment Training and Forrest Schools Level 3 Leader Award.” “At our end of term awards, Tommy, 16, received the Cayzer Cup, awarded to the young person who has made positive use of support offered voted by the staff team, said: “I can’t believe I have won this. I like the banter, boys and staff. I am going to miss the staff, boys and my classmates and the fun times I’ve had, especially playing football. Mark has really helped me learn how to play football without fighting and to enjoy it and improve my skills.” Ian, also 16, has finished school and is looking forward to his first job, said: “I remember arriving at first and feeling very shy. I spoke with Andy who was my key-worker at the time. I remember thinking to myself ‘who would want to live here’ as there was nothing but fields. I didn’t know anything about CrossReach, in fact my social worker didn’t tell me where I was going. I didn’t feel scared, just shy, and I can’t remember there being anything that stood out that I liked or disliked. I feel that staff at the house listen to what I say and go out of their way to help me. I feel really happy just now, but this is due to me now being allowed to see mum again. I feel that staff at the house have helped with lots of things. I enjoy living at House of Newburn and would not change anything about it.”
Year of Young People 2018 Top Tips to be part of Year of Young People
Bobby’s story Outdoor learning is a key part of the curriculum offered by CrossReach. Someone who has made a significant development in his learning is Bobby. He came to us very negative, frightened and unable to discuss what was holding him back. We started the year with sailing where he was apprehensive and required constant supervision with a staff member to help him manage the basics. Bobby’s social skills were low and he would argue with his peers and call them names he was also known to spit on staff when he became angry. Through the next few activities, we realised that Bobby needed extra nurture and time to develop and a tailor-made plan was created, designed to help him increase his confidence and self-esteem and help him become happy as part of the class. Bobby began to develop well on his own. He enjoyed the trips to museums and natural history sites and an introduction to archaeology. He was able to talk with staff about how he felt this school was better than his last, because he is not on his own all the time. He chatted to his peers about football and music and didn’t become angry if they had a different opinion. Bobby impressed the team with his confidence in woodworking. He made a mallet, a wand and a spatula; suddenly he was confident in his fine motor skills using tools. Now fully part of the class, he has built up friendship and enjoys lunch with his peers; gone is the reluctant young person from the start of the year. Recently Bobby faced water sports again with kayaking, but where there was once fear, now there is determination. He wanted to paddle on his own and to learn. This self-determination and motivation has come from Bobby himself wanting to achieve. The kayak capsized, Bobby stood up and chose to try again immediately. He even said ‘it was quite funny’. Wow! We are so proud of what Bobby has achieved this year. We know he has others journeys to face and may have some new challenges in the next academic year; however we feel that the relationship model that the school uses will help him carry on and we look forward to 2017-18 school year.
Where can we find appropriate ideas and resources and how can we become directly involved? • Year of the Young People 2018 (#YOYP) aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally. You can be part of this! See: http://yoyp2018.scot • Young Scot are providing information about volunteering, being a YoYP 2018 Ambassador, and applying for funding to hold an event in your local area during 2018: http://young. scot/yoyp2018 • Scottish Youth Parliament is a rights-based organisation whose vision and values are grounded in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to ensure Scotland is a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its children and young people. http://www.syp.org.uk/get_involved • Children in Scotland is a collective voice for children, young people and families in Scotland, whose vision is that Scotland will become a world leader in securing the wellbeing of every child and improving the quality of every childhood. http://www.childreninscotland.org.uk/publications-andresources • The views and ideas of children and young people are of utmost importance. The World Council of Churches, UNICEF, and World Vision have worked on a guide to support church members and partners interested in conducting consultations with children, to question how churches can use their influence to improve children’s lives: https:// www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/wcc-child-rightsengagement • The Scottish Government’s ‘Getting It Right’ policy is helping, advising and encouraging everyone in their communities to get involved in activities and projects that support young people’s and children’s wellbeing and provides a host of updated information: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/ Young-People/gettingitright • Local Authorities have produced a Children’s Services Plan from April 2017 to March 2020. The plan can be accessed via each LA website and is dedicated to safeguarding, supporting and promoting child wellbeing. • New measures from the UNCRC came in to force in April to ensure that public authorities take account of children’s rights and wellbeing, and report every 3 years: https://beta.gov. scot/policies/human-rights/childrens-rights • We all have a significant role in supporting the government to fulfil children’s rights, supporting children and young people to realise their rights, and holding government to account. Guidelines can be found in ‘The State of Children’s Rights in Scotland’ at: http://www.togetherscotland.org.uk
News in brief
CARING ACROSS SCOTLAND
For those who wish to pray, please consider • The Moderator Rt. Rev. Dr. Derek Browning as he travels around Scotland during CrossReach Week learning about the work we do, meeting staff and those who use our services • Children and families who attend the Sunflower Garden Project and staff and volunteers who help them move forward with their lives • Children who cannot live with their families that they would find love and nurture from others, including CrossReach Care and Education services • Older people who attend Heart for Art sessions in numerous locations across the country and for the volunteers who give of their time to share their skills • CrossReach Counselling: Lothians in Dunbar as it celebrates its 21st anniversary and all those who have been helped by the service since it began in 1996 • Balmedie House near Aberdeen which in October will celebrate 80 years of caring for older people • The Year of Young People 2018 as it aims to inspire Scotland through our young people and value their contribution to communities If you would like to receive our free Prayer Diary three times a year, please call: 0131 657 2000, or download a PDF version from:
Our Mission Statement In Christ’s name we seek to retain and regain the highest quality of life which each individual is capable of experiencing at any given time
Chalmers said: “All we had to do was take our courage in both hands for a few minutes; the people we were raising money to help face greater challenges every single day. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has given so generously. We enjoyed our day and for CrossReach we would do it again!”
CrossReach Week 2017 takes place from Sunday 24th – Friday 29th September. This year’s Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Derek Browning, wants to make mental health the main theme of his time with CrossReach and will visit services which offer perinatal mental health support, plus places which offer touching points with people such as drop-in centres. Dr. Browning helped to launch our Grey Cake Bake at the General Assembly when he took part in a competition with the Youth Moderator Andrew MacPherson. Grey Cakes are grey on the outside but colourful inside, symbolising the ability and potential of everyone, even when covered by the grey fog of anxiety or depression. It’s also hoped to create an opportunity for discussion around public policy with those politicians and agencies which shape social care in Scotland. CrossReach Week will be launched on Social Care Sunday at a service in Coldside Church in Isla Street, Dundee on 24th September at 4pm to which everyone is invited.
In May, a brave group of 18 apprehensive abseilers defied gravity by slowly swinging down the 165 foot drop from the top of the Forth Bridge to raise money for CrossReach’s Children and Family services. Amongst them were ‘The 3 Formers’ - Peter Bailey, former CEO of CrossReach, and former Moderators Very Rev. Dr. John Chalmers and Very Rev. Dr. Russell Barr. The fantastic news is that their ‘leap of faith’ raised £26,000 to support children and families around Scotland – that’s more than double the original target. THANK YOU to everyone who donated! Your contributions go towards ensuring healthier communities and happier families across Scotland. After returning to solid ground, Dr.
Heart for Art recently displayed some of their work in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The national exhibition called ‘A Creative Approach to Dementia’ attracted thousands of visitors over its 8-day run in July. Co-ordinator Laura Macleod said afterwards: “I felt the exhibition surpassed all of my hopes. It gave our participants a much needed audience, building their self-esteem and celebrating their achievements; it gave their dementia a purpose. It was not the reason for them to stay quiet and fade into the background, it was the reason for them to step forward and say: ‘I did that’ and was also the catalyst for so many conversations. I found that people had their own stories they wanted to share and the exhibition opened the door for that to happen. It was a hugely powerful tool in generating discussion about dementia and creativity.” Eurodiaconia is a European network of churches and Christian nongovernment organisations working together to provide social care and promote social justice. The AGM was held in June in Oslo, Norway and hosted by Diakonhjemmet and Oslo City Mission. CrossReach delivered a workshop on ‘Loneliness and Isolation’ and how we reach out to people in our work to tackle this issue. This was an opportunity to discuss the work that is going on in Christ’s name across Europe. Personalisation Officer Susan McGregor said: “We shared our experiences and gained valuable insight into different ways of working and how we can come together as one body to serve God and the community.”
Me and My Job Finniescroft Farm near Lennoxtown opened in September 2016 and can accommodate 4 children and young people who for various reasons cannot live with their own families. Leeann Mitchell has worked as a lead practitioner for over 3 years… Why did you want to work for CrossReach? My sister works at CrossReach and told me about it. I was approaching the end of my criminal justice degree at university and heard about job openings. Although it wasn’t directly related to my degree I always wanted to work with young people. I started off as sessional then realised how much I loved the job and applied for a full time role. What does your job involve? Looking after four children here, so essentially I’m acting as a parent to them – giving them the best care and making sure they’re getting through their daily life and routine. We’ve also got to do a set of care plans, assessing any risk to them so that we know how to avoid that. So it’s caring for them and making sure they are well looked after. Every shift is different and we try to have fun with the boys and give them new experiences. Last autumn you moved from Ballikinrain campus to this smaller house with just
four young people. What difference has that made? I think the children now feel this is their home. They helped buy things to decorate, put photos up and been part of this every step of the way. They seem much more relaxed and it’s like a ‘family setting’ rather than them feeling they are in care. We don’t feel like we’re coming to work – we all get our slippers on – you’re just coming to your second home to be with your second family and it’s brilliant! Do you think the move has been positive? Definitely. I think it’s given the children a sense of normality. Putting them in a big school was making them feel ‘institutionalised’, whereas being in a house is a more natural setting for them. We’re teaching them life skills here – doing washing, cook lunches and dinners – so we’re showing them how to take care of themselves and we have more chances and time to do that here than in a big school like Ballikinrain. Does it make a difference that CrossReach is a Christian organisation? Yes, in the sense that the values and ethos that we need all our staff to have is very important. You need people to show
empathy and to be open-minded because all these kids are coming from different backgrounds and circumstances. The only way that you’re going to get anywhere in this line of work is to have those morals and values as your grounding. The children come from difficult backgrounds, being referred through Children’s Hearing system. Do you feel you’re helping to change their lives for the better? We’re supporting them to cope with the challenges we all face in life and how to understand and deal with emotions which is a big thing for them and you can’t do that unless you have a good relationship with them. That’s the reason I’m in this job - to try and make a difference to these kids’ lives. I think we’re on the right track and we’re teaching them how to function in life and eventually to function without us. At the moment they’ve got us to support them, but that will change. Are you settled and happy? Definitely. A lot more so since moving to Finniescroft Farm. One day these children will move on and we’ll get new kids and that will be a new challenge. Yes, I see myself as fairly settled and CrossReach is stuck with me now!
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Sunday 24th - Friday 29th September 2017 Please join us on Social Care Sunday for a service to launch CrossReach Week at Coldside Parish Church, Isla Street, Dundee. DD3 7HT on 24th September at 4pm. Here are some photo highlights from last year...
CrossReach Week 2017 - be part of it!
www.crossreach.org.uk CR News 2017 Issue 3 page 12.indd 1
CrossReach News September 2017, Issue 3 Catch up on news from CrossReach