“We are not closing”, says Dr Bell’s Family Centre

Community base in Leith will continue to provide services for families with young children despite the funding crisis

Community base in Leith will continue providing services for families with young children despite the funding crisis

Dr Bell’s Family Centre has put to rest claims that the on-going funding crisis could result in closure by April next year.

Fiona Clark, Centre Manager for Fundraising & Strategy, has said that they have been at risk of redundancy since March.

 “Some staff will be made redundant, redundancy is optional for everyone. Other staff will continue in reduced service from January”

However Clark has reassured the community that the centre is not closing, and will continue delivering services.

Dr Bell’s currently employs ten members of staff, with only one full-time employee.

The centre also relies on volunteer support, coming majoritively from people who have used the services in the past and now want to give back.

img_0174

Clare Armstrong, Volunteer Receptionist

 

The centre manager sums up the importance of the organisation:

“We provide all-round family support, we have crèche for children up the age of 8, one-to-one family support, group work, counselling, trauma therapy, healthy-eating cooking classes, Mum’s group, Dad’s Worker, employability advice and tackling money worries”

The services are focused around a community café, which Clark describes as:

“Non-stigmatizing, non-judgmental gateway that encourages people to come in for some healthy-eating food and chat”

Shaani Singh, Kitchen Assistant

Shaani Singh, Kitchen Assistant

A month ago, the centre calculated that they would need £40,000 to stay open till the end of March 2016.

Concerns have been raised that the funding gap could lead to the centre’s closure by April next year.

However, the decision to reduce the services offered, alongside receiving other funding since the £40,000 gap prognosis, make it increasingly possible for the centre to continue delivering its services.

The centre provides welcoming and supportive environment for many families in the local community

The centre provides welcoming and supportive environment for many families in the local community

Dr Bell’s Family Centre is currently the only place in Edinburgh that has a free crèche in the same location as parenting support groups and other services.

 

The impact of the centre’s work on the Leith community is of great significance: they work with over 350 families a year, according to Clark.

“Last year 256 children came to the crèche, we supported 42 families through family support and 70 single mums through employability programme”

The centre is launching a fundraising appeal in an attempt to continue supporting the Leith community.

 

By Iben Revsbech and Alena Yakushova

Public opinion in Edinburgh divided on Trump Petition

trump-gop-759[1]

By Laurenci Dow

Edinburgh locals show a clear divide in opinion on the petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, while the petition continues to gain over half a million signatures.

Petitions with more than 100,000 signatures will be considered for debate in parliament and the Petitions Committee is expected to discuss this one on the 5th of January 2016.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour home affairs spokesman Jack Dromey have both backed the petition to ban Trump from entering the country under the ‘unacceptable behaviours or extremism policy.’

However, the petition, which is the most signed currently hosted  on the Parliament website, does not express the opinions of some of the locals from the Scottish capital.

Elijah Jones, an Edinburgh local businessman said he felt that Trump’s comments were ‘bold’ although he did not agree with them.

Mr Jones felt that it was contradictory for the UK to call for a ban on a person who themselves wants to ban people from their own country.

Mr Jones said: ‘I don’t think the petition is the best course of action, in my opinion it’s quite contradictory.’

A local Costa Coffee manager, Casper Van Eeden agreed with opinions expressed by Mr Jones saying he felt that the petition was an infringement on Trump’s freedom of speech.

Mr Van Eeden said: ‘I feel that people should be able to say what they want, I don’t agree with banning people for expressing an opinion.’

Jane Thompson, a student from Edinburgh Napier University said she agreed with Robert Gordon University stripping Trump of his honorary degree as she felt this showed the UK’s stance towards his ‘racist’ comments.

However, she said she would not sign the petition as she felt that it was another way for Trump to gain more attention.

Renay Clerk, a student from Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University said she agreed with the petition as she would not want someone who expresses ‘radical opinions’ in the UK.

She said Trump would have a ‘negative effect on the UK’  if he was to visit the country.

Suzanne Kelly, the Aberdeen woman who started the petition says: ‘The signatories will not show any support for Trump’s unacceptable behaviour.’

Midlothian council appeal for families during National Adoption Week

By Karen Rafferty

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=katherine+heigl&iid=10099686″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/10099686/katherine-heigl-her/katherine-heigl-her.jpg?size=500&imageId=10099686″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Sandra Bullock has done it. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman did it. Katherine Heigl has done it, and now Midlothian Council has launched an appeal for it. What is it? Adoption. Midlothian Council have release an appeal in the hope finding new families for children in the local area.

At present there are 90 children living in foster care in Midlothian, however homes are specifically needed for siblings or for children over the age of 5. The council aim to assist those who wish to apply to adopt by offering support at every stage of the adoption process.

Councillor Jackie Aitchison said: “Adoption can be rewarding and challenging and we are committed to provide help, guidance and support at each step of the way. We will often pay an adoption allowance to assist in providing an adoptive home for a child, if additional support is required”.

They are welcoming applications from single people and couples from a variety of backgrounds, and offer to provide support and guidance to prospective families. They believe that although there is no such thing as the perfect family for adoption, the main concern is that the needs of the children can be accommodated. According to their website they “require adopters from various backgrounds and with different life experiences who can provide a family for life for children who are unable to live within their birth families.”

This appeal comes as part of a national campaign to highlight the plights of children without families. National adoption week is running until 7 November 2010, and has been backed by national charity BAAF (British Adoption and Fostering). This week, BAAF released the results of research into the many misconceptions regarding adoption. Chief executive, David Holmes said: “It is very worrying how many myths have come to dominate in adoption. It concerns us that people may disqualify themselves needlessly, which could mean a child misses out on a family … every case is treated individually.” [Read more…]

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 449 other followers