Expecting Something awarded Big Lottery funding

9 December 2016

Starcatchers awarded 2 year funding from Big Lottery to help strengthen Scottish Communities with young parent and baby project in Wester Hailes and Fife

Starcatchers have been awarded funding from Big Lottery to continue their creative engagement project Expecting Something, which uses the power of the arts to support improved outcomes for new parents under 25 and their babies under 2, in two communities in Scotland.

The Expecting Something project works with new, young and expectant parents under 25 and their babies in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh and Lochgelly, Fife, providing a weekly safe space to spend time with their babies and peers whilst engaging in artist-lead creative activities.

Starcatchers Chief Executive Rhona Matheson said:

We’re very pleased that Expecting Something has been awarded funding from Big Lottery. These young parents are often the hardest to reach in terms of age and lifestyle and are in the greatest need of support. We had always hoped that we would be able to extend the life of this project in order to make a lasting impact on communities over a sustained period of time. Engaging in this programme affords these young people the chance to connect with their peers, express themselves, be creative and build their confidence and wellbeing, which all improve outcomes for themselves and their children.

The project was originally piloted in 2013/2014 with young parents under 21 in Wester Hailes working in partnership with the FNP (Family Nurse Partnership) and saw participants at the end of the pilot citing increased confidence, better relationships with their babies and increased peer to peer contact.

Following successfully securing funding from The Scottish Government and Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland in 2015, the programme was extended to parents in Lochgelly and continued in Wester Hailes with the age range moving up the 25 to increase access to other young parents.

Expecting Something participant: Expecting something isn’t just a group, it is a opportunity and being a young mother who struggles from time to time it’s my ROCK. It’s a place where I feel safe and happy and I know my son is safe, I have gained so much more confidence, skills and most importantly friends. I don’t get worried or scared at the group because he isn’t there’s always only POSITIVE VIBES.

The artist-led sessions take place on a weekly basis at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes and the Lochgelly, Fife. They are led by experienced Early Years artists who facilitate the sessions according to the interests of the group, crossing art-forms and genres.

As well as the weekly sessions the participants are given the opportunity to visit and engage with cultural activities in their area, with the intention of creating a bridge for participants to connect and understand that they can contribute positively to their local community.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said:

I am delighted that Starcatchers has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant. The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Starcatchers every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.

Find out more about the project by visiting the project page and reading the Expecting Something blog!