CALA’s #Openingdoors graduate wins award

Congratulations to #Openingdooors graduate Shona Beveridge for winning the HTSI 2019 Youth Volunteer of the Year award!

Shona continues to volunteer at our out of school clubs alongside volunteering at her local Rainbows and as speaker and influencer for the Niemann-Pick UK Charity.

Shona is passionate about volunteering, especially for the Niemann-Pick UK charity. Last year Shona spoke at the 2018 conference where she shared her story of her own diagnosis of Niemann-Pick Type C.

At the age of 15 Shona was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C. This is a rare genetic condition that effects 1 in 110,000 people and which there is no current treatment or cure. Shona has courageously taken part in a medical trial for treatment which saw her travelling to Birmingham every fortnight for a spinal injection. However, this didn’t stop Shona completing her education at Millburn Academy, volunteering or achieving her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award last summer!

Shona doesn’t see her condition as a disadvantage, she sees it as an opportunity. “If I didn’t have Niemann-Pick Type C I wouldn’t have been able to take part in the Rickshaw Challenge”. The 2017 Rickshaw Challenge saw Shona and the team cycle 500 miles and raise over £5,000,000 for Children In Need! 

Despite all of these incredible achievements Shona faces daily challenges as her mobility changes but she doesn’t let this stop her. When asked recently what she felt she was gaining by volunteering Shona said, “Volunteering has helped me grow in confidence, I’ve learned new things, met lots of new people, it’s made me feel useful and part of the community. I really love helping the children with their arts and crafts activities and organising games for them”. “Taking part in #Openingdoors helped me grow in confidence and I have built great relationships with all the children when I volunteer at the Out of School Club. Meeting regularly with Kirsty (Mentoring Support Officer) helped me to gain more skills and keep me on track! I have also completed online courses through CALA in Child Protection and Risk Assessment”.

We are all incredibly proud of Shona here at CALA and we are sure you will agree that she is truly an inspiration.

Click on the slides below to see a small glimpse of the celebrations at the event.

Young carers: seen, heard and supported e- learning modules

Connecting Young Carers work with 5 – 24-year olds who are in a caring role for a family member. They provide support, days out, fun opportunities and the chance to meet other young people in similar situations.

A survey carried out in Highland in 2017, estimated that 11.5% of young people were carrying out some sort of caring role. The actual number of young carers is suspected to be much higher as many young people are not being or wishing to be identified as having a caring role.

Connecting Young Carers (in collaboration with CALA) have developed an e-learning module to help raise awareness amongst professionals about the role of young carers, the challenges this can present for the young carers and ‘The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016’.

A young person’s version of the module is also available to be used by secondary aged pupils. This module can be accessed individually by young people or as part of a group to increase their awareness of young carers.

Both modules are a blend of media presentation (including short video clips, animations, useful handouts to download and interactive tasks – all designed to suit individual learning styles.

Connecting Young Carers are launching both modules on Friday, 6th September 2 – 3.30pm at Eden Court Theatre. Spaces are still available at the launch and can be booked at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/connecting-young-carers-e-learning-launch-tickets-70004279685

Alternatively, if you would like further information or to register and complete the free module, visit:

www.calaelearning.co.uk

For further information about Connecting Young Carers, visit their website at:

https://connectingcarers.org.uk/carers-services/connecting-young-carers.aspx

Out of School Care Consultation

CALA has welcomed the opportunity to be part of the reference group working with Scottish Government on the ‘Out of School Care in Scotland: draft framework 2019’.

The Scottish Government is now seeking the thoughts and views of children, parents, carers and professionals in the sector on what they think about out of school care and what else Scottish Government could do.

Your views and opinions are a vital part of this process and we would encourage everyone with an interest to take part.

Click here to access the consultation and submit your comments.

Care Inspectorate Hub – Outdoor Learning Guidance Tools

Outdoor Learning 

Guidance Tools available on the Care Inspectorate Hub

Children in our CALA centres have come back after their summer holidays and got straight back into exploring their outdoor play environments and favourite spaces in their communities. Lots of exploring, investigating and discoveries have already been made by the children and observations, interests and ideas captured to inform future planning.

With the national focus on Outdoor Learning and as we plan our outdoor environments and experiences, we thought it might be a timely reminder to highlight some of the valuable tools to help support good practice in your ELC setting on the ‘Care Inspectorate Hub’ Click on each of the documents to access.

DYW – #No Wrong Path Campaign – 6th August 2019

#No Wrong Path Campaign

Here at CALA we are supporting #NoWrongPath to provide inspiration and reassurance to young people (and concerned parents) receiving exam results today. Just remember there are lots of interesting job roles across Scotland and we can all get there through many different paths.

If results are not as you have anticipated, it may be useful to visit the #NoWrongPath website for some reassurance and inspiration that there are many other options. The social media campaign by Developing Young Workforce aims to:

“show young people the options that are available to them and that exams results are not necessarily the key to unlocking future success” (www.nowrongpath.scot)

Here are some of the CALA staff who have shared their stories.

Children’s Rights

Improving children’s rights

Consultation on incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Scottish Government is seeking views on how best to incorporate the UN’s ‘gold standard’ for children’s rights into Scots Law and improve the lives of children and young people. The Scottish Government state that:

“Incorporating the UNCRC will strengthen existing work to protect and respect children, and the consultation seeks views on the best way to do this within the context of Scots law, and the powers of the Scottish Parliament”

The consultation runs until the 14th August 2019,  click here to access.

If you would like further information on incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law, ‘Together’ has produced a briefing document which unpicks and explains some of the questions in the consultation paper.

View the document on the ‘Together’ website by clicking here.

Scotland’s first statement on transitions published

The following update comes courtesy of Early Years Scotland


Scotland’s first National Position Statement on Transitions has been published. 

Early Years Scotland was one of several key organisations involved in developing and preparing the statement, and Chief Executive, Jean Carwood-Edwards, a contributing author.

The statement highlights the importance of planning for and managing transitions, mainly into school from Early Learning and Childcare, effectively and positively. 

It emphasises that transitions should be regarded as a tremendous opportunity as opposed to being something difficult that children have to get through, and that the whole family be involved in transition activity as parents and families go through the transition as well as the child. 

The statement, which lists six key principles and makes eight recommendations, can be downloaded here.

Upcoming outdoor nursery open days, taking place at Highland Wildlife Park

Care and Learning Alliance, working in partnership with RZSS Highland Wildlife Park and Inspiring Scotland, are pleased to announce two upcoming outdoor nursery open days.

When

  • Saturday 29th June at 11 am – 3 pm, and
  • Sunday 18th August at 11 am – 3 pm

Where

Wildlife Garden, RZS Highland Wildlife Park. [Link to Map]

There will be a range of fun outdoor activities. These may include pond dipping, den building, minibeast hunting, and more.

We hope to see you there!

Children’s hydration campaign – Think2DrinkH2O

The following information comes from the ‘Think2Drink H2O Campaign’, promoted by NHS Scotland: 

“Think2DrinkH20 promotes the importance of hydration related to children and young people. Getting the right amount of water can make a difference to the way we all feel, think and function and it is vital that children drink enough fluid to maintain good health.”

“Children can become dehydrated by not drinking enough fluids or by losing fluids and not replacing them. Poor hydration may result in lack of concentration, headaches, dizziness, constipation and urinary tract infection.”

“Adults play a key role in ensuring that children and young people drink enough of the right type of fluids. By setting an example, they can encourage children and young people to make the right hydration choices.”

Downloadable Resources

Introducing CALA’s Interactive Committee Induction Pack

Care and Learning Alliance are pleased to offer an interactive induction pack to our committee-run group members. The induction pack is intended to help new members of the committee to understand their role as charity trustees and to be informed as effective committee members. 

The presentation features short videos and interactive features, making it a fun and easy way to learn about committees. 

The presentation is hosted on the CALA Members’ Zone. To find out more about becoming a CALA member, either visit https://www.careandlearningalliance.co.uk/membership/ or telephone our Inverness office on 01463 222569.

Looking back at Volunteers’ Week Scotland

Scottish Volunteers’ Week took place last week, from the 1st to the 7th of June. It was a chance for organisations across Scotland to celebrate the fantastic contribution that volunteers make to society. 

At CALA, we have been lucky to have had some wonderful volunteers over the years – people who give up their free time because they want to make a difference.

Pictured above are Aga (left), Shona (right), two of our Family Support volunteers, along with Sadie (middle), CALA’s Family Support Manager.

We also took time last week to say thank you to our fantastic Board of Directors who give up their time to support and guide CALA and we are so grateful for their energy, expertise and enthusiasm.


It wasn’t just CALA that took time last week to celebrate volunteers – organisations across Scotland were getting involved and helping to spread the message that volunteering is a worthwhile, rewarding, and fun thing to do. 

Here are some highlights from Twitter: 

If you’re interested in volunteering at Care and Learning Alliance, please contact our Inverness office on 01463 222569. 

Best Start Grant

 

Best Start Grant is three cash payments that you can apply for if you’re a parent or a carer.

You can get these payments:

  • if you have a child who’s the right age for a payment
  • whether you’re in work or not, as long as you’re on certain payments or tax credits

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the Best Start Grant page of the Scot Gov website. 

Or download a fact sheet by clicking here [PDF].