The past year has been a year like none other, full of up’s and down’s, changes and often challenging. For me, like many others it has shown the importance of families and communities coming together and supporting each other. However, one of the changes that I have been very grateful for is the opportunity to join #TeamIndigo in January as the new Family Support Co-ordinator. Starting a new job in the New Year, in a new lockdown, was a new experience for me! Instead of meeting colleagues and families face to face with a cup of tea, we were meeting over Zoom or over the phone on my makeshift desk/kitchen counter.
One of the first things I learnt in my new role is that at #TeamIndigo family has always been important. That’s because we know that to give our children and young people the best start so that they can flourish and reach their full potential, the whole family matters. Juggling family life can be tough at times, and we may all need a bit of support now and again. Whether it’s getting help to access the right information and resources for us, to just having a chat (or a moan!).
Along my journey I have been learning how #TeamIndigo have always found ways to offer extra support for families such as ‘Indigo eats’ and our ‘Inclusion library’. We have seen how families benefit from these supports, and it has shown us just how important it is for families that support is quick and easy to access. We believe that family support should be embedded in our services, so earlier this year, with the help of funding from ‘Children in Scotland’ and the ‘Scottish Government’, we launched our Family Matters programme that combines family support with accessible, affordable and flexible childcare.
As part of Family Matters my role as Family Support Co-ordinator was created, my role is to offer tailored support to families who live and/or work in the Castlemilk area. One of the most important things for me, while establishing Family Matters is that it brings together #TeamIndigo’s core values and approach that places ‘children, young people and their families are at the heart of every decision’. This means that families are in control of making choices and decisions about what is best for them, my role is to provide the information and space for families to make those decisions. Families can choose how much support they want, and if they aren’t sure where to start our Family Support Plan helps them identify where they want to be and what steps and support will help to get them there.
One of the crucial parts of family support is the families have accessible, affordable and flexible childcare. Thanks to our funders, Family Matters includes the Access to Childcare Fund, that aims to help families access childcare to improve their financial well-being and access to employment/education opportunities. To help families in the Castlemilk area access this, we have linked up with local organisations and agencies who can refer to Family Matterssuch as The Jeely Piece, Castlemilk Youth Complex, all local schools, Health and Social Care Partnership and the Department of Work and Pensions.
As well as getting stuck into #TeamIndigo and developing the Family Matters programme, I have been keeping busy by getting to know Castlemilk as a community. I have been chatting to our referral partners as well as other organisations and agencies based in the area, both to let them know about Family Matters but also importantly to find out what activities and supports are offered in Castlemilk that Indigo families might be interested in. It’s been amazing to hear about the different things that are going on in Castlemilk and how much people in Castlemilk care about the community.
I can’t wait to keep on finding out more, meeting new faces (in Zoom and in real life) and hearing about what matters to families in Castlemilk. I hope to see you soon!
Are you interested in finding out more about Family Matters?
Call Roisin on 07909 077978 or contact us online.