Family activity programme

Monday July 30th 2018

Newbattle Summer Programme image

Jenna McGhie (pink hoody) is pictured with her children, Adam Beaumont (centre right) and Emily Cameron (centre left). They are joined by Lee Grieve, School Practitioner at Midlothian Council (far left) and Heather Ritchie, Partnership Manager at Midlothian Council (far right).

84 families enjoyed a week of sport, food and fun at a week long summer programme at the Newbattle Community Campus earlier this month.

Partly funded by the Scottish Government Pupil Equity Funding, the programme, which ran on the weeks beginning Monday 9 July and Monday 16 July, started each day with a healthy breakfast before a morning of fun sporting activities.

After a filling family lunch the fun continued with afternoon swimming and family boot camp sessions which featured no-cook baking and den building.

A health and wellbeing information area was also on hand, offering parents and carers a space to meet with health school practitioners to discuss what matters most to them.

Information on education, training and youth club opportunities was available too while applications for library registrations, early years nursery and Good Time to be Two places, free school meals and clothing grants could also be processed.

Families said they were ‘blown away’ by the whole activity programme which ended with a celebration event to mark the end of each week.

Certificates were presented to each child linking to Saltire and Hi 5 Awards at the celebration events with each child who attended the full weekly programme also receiving a school bag, pencil case, stationery set and water bottle to help their preparations for going to, or going back to, school in August.

Midlothian’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead, said:

“This has been a monumental effort by various services within and outwith the council. Well done to our home school practitioner staff team, funded through the Pupil Equity Fund, sport & leisure, and our lifelong learning team who jointly led on this programme.

“Congratulations to all the families who came along too. There has been plenty of healthy food and sports to help us all get a bit fitter too. From what I’ve heard new friendships have been made, new sports tackled and lots of firsts achieved. I think all the young people involved should be very proud of their efforts. Well done.”

Jenna McGhie’s kids, Adam, Lilley and Emily, were among those who attended the programme across the two weeks. Jenna, who lives in Newtongrange, said:

“The programme has been a great chance for the kids to meet new friends and try new things. It also allowed me to get a wee break and I got the chance to meet other parents and carers too.

“The staff have been absolutely phenomenal and I’ve found out about support networks and youth groups which could be a great help.”

Sportscotland helped fund the venture through the GO LIVE!, Get Active programme with £4,200 for training to help community sports hub coaches and volunteers tackle barriers some families face to participating in community sport and physical activity. Hopefully this will help clubs make programmes and places more acessible in the future to enable everyone to participate.

Sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris, said:

“We are delighted to have supported the two summer camps at the Newbattle Community Campus. We want to deliver a system for sport in Scotland that is world class and that provides opportunities for everyone to achieve their goals, whatever level that represents. That is why community sport hubs are at the very heart of our work and we’re pleased to have established 192 across the country as part of our legacy pledge from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“The GO LIVE! Get Active fund is the perfect chance to enhance that work and increase the sporting opportunities in communities across Scotland. I’m pleased to see the camps were so well received and hopefully we will see all the participants back at Newbattle Community Sport Hub very soon.”

Further funding for the programme came from Midlothian Council, the third sector, local businesses, Matalan, Tesco and Scotmid supermarkets.

The programme would not have been possible without the support of the Home School Practitioner’s staff team, Lifelong Learning and Employability, Sport and Leisure and the Newbattle High School volunteers, the council’s property and facilities team, the council’s catering services, early learning team, libraries, the charity Button Box and Sportscotland.

Support also came from Play Midlothian, Newbattle Community Sports Hub coaches and volunteers, Homelink Family Support, Mayfield Family Learning Centre, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the local hairdresser and holistic therapist.

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