LANGHOLM’s charitable childcare organisation has received a massive financial boost which enable it to resume vital parent and child groups.
Playcare earned enough votes in Dumfries and Galloway Council’s participatory budgeting scheme which allows residents to vote for a number of causes in their areas.
A grant of £12,131 means the organisation, based in the community centre, can once again train a development worker to run its Working our Way out of Isolation Poverty.
Playcare offers full-day care to meet the childcare needs of families in the community and surrounding rural area.
The development worker will restart and develop the parent and child groups (within restrictions) to help parents recover from the impact of isolation because of the coronavirus.
These groups, Read, Play Sing (rhyme); Baby Massage and Baby Yoga and Sensory will be delivered on a different basis than previously because of the impact of COVID-19.
By holding these groups more often each week, with fewer parents and children attending at one time, the staff member can interact more fully with both parents and children and give support.
Morag Johnstone said: “We also intend offering four hours a week to allow the staff member a 1-1 basis availability for parents to talk by phone, face to face, online or parental choice so they can ask questions, ease worries and concerns and allow trust to build up, raising parental self-confidence and self-worth.
“Families will enjoy the support, friendship, social interaction and seeing their children develop.
Parents will grow in confidence and gain more parental skills. They will enjoy playing with their children and understand the importance of play.”
Morag added: “We are so pleased. It will make a big difference in supporting families and the community. The groups are so good and there is obviously a need.
“Staff need to be trained to do baby massage and other activities to deliver these groups and being able to do that will help with everything we do.
“At the moment we have only one person who can do this so the money will help us to train others.
“The baby massage can start with reduced numbers but we have to wait for more guidelines on lifting restrictions to be able to hold other groups indoors.
“Thank you from us to everyone who took the time to vote. It’s because of the public that we got the grant.”
From a total of 29 organisations, which progressed to the voting stage, 18 projects in the region received offers of funding which will result in either new jobs being created or existing posts being saved.
At this incredibly challenging time, this funding will enable all the organisations to complete specifically-designed projects to tackle poverty and inequalities in communities.
Councillor Andy Ferguson, communities committee chairman, said: “We are continuing to deliver participatory budgeting to let communities directly influence spending decisions in their areas.
“We have worked with people to identify their priorities, generating solutions to meet needs and choosing the most popular projects for funding.
“I’m delighted so many of the applicants received funding and look forward to working with them to develop and deliver each and every project.”
Jeanette Byers, who chairs the tackling poverty reference group, added: “£200,000 worth of funding was made available, of which Annandale and Eskdale received £38,140 to distribute.”