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A child sits at a laptop. They have bright green earbuds in. More children seated at laptops are visible in the background

Funding available for digital devices to support learning programmes across Scotland

Posted 21.08.23 by Alice Hinds

Community-based organisations can apply for a grant of up to £15,000 to purchase digital devices

Provided by the Scottish Government and managed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), applications are now open for funding to purchase essential digital devices.

Open to all community-based voluntary organisations in Scotland, the Community Learning and Development Device Fund provides capital funding to purchase items such as laptops, cameras, tablets and monitors for use in learning programmes, including staff-delivered group sessions and lending libraries.

Social enterprises, voluntary organisations and registered charities, which have been delivering community learning and development services for at least one year, can apply for up to £15,000 to support every demographic; children and young people, women and girls, and those within economically or socially disadvantaged communities.

Open from 21 August 2023, applications close on 29 September and decisions on funding will be made by 16 October. Successful applicants will then receive grants by 3 November, and any funding must be spent by the end of March 2024.

For more information and to apply, click here to visit the Grantmaking website:

In the run-up to 5 May’s vote, be part of our campaign to ensure there’s investment in children at local level

6 April 2022

We’ve adapted our 2021-26 Manifesto for next month’s council elections and will be campaigning on 13 key calls ahead of polling day, writes Amy Woodhouse

We published Children in Scotland’s Manifesto for 2021-2026 ahead of the Holyrood elections in 2021.

It was produced on the back of considerable engagement – with our staff, board, our children and young people's advisory group, Changing our World, and members. It built on learning and recommendations from across our projects and services and the wider evidence base.

The Manifesto contains actions we believe the Scottish Government should take to improve the lives of children, young people and families across Scotland.

It’s impossible to entirely separate national from local action however, and in thinking forward to the Local Council Elections in May, we were heartened to see how many of the calls could equally relate to actions necessary at local government level.

So instead of producing a brand new local council elections Manifesto this year, we releasing a Children in Scotland Manifesto 2021-2026 – the local council edit!

It contains 13 calls from the original Manifesto, adapted slightly for a local government audience.

The calls range across all 10 themes of our original manifesto, focusing on rights, poverty, early years, learning, health and wellbeing, places and spaces, child protection, the environment, equalities and planning and resources.

They are released at a time of significant uncertainty across Scotland and internationally, with deep concerns about the impact of cost of living increases on families, the ongoing effects of the pandemic on our lives and global concerns about the climate emergency and war.

It is the role of local government to provide stability within local communities at this time, ensuring that the places we live, study, work and play are safe and well run and that services provide for our needs in respectful and inclusive ways, particularly when we require additional help. The size of this task in the current climate is considerable.

Working with communities, including their youngest residents, to make decisions will be essential to ensure that precious budgets are spent well and effectively. Our Manifesto calls highlight those areas Children in Scotland strongly believes would be worthy of that investment of time, focus and money.

Our 13 calls for change at local level

We've adapted calls from our 2021-26 Manifesto for the upcoming council elections

Click here for more

2021-26 Manifesto

Our Manifesto was shaped by engagement with young people, our members and partners across the sector

Click here for more

About the author

Amy Woodhouse is Head of Policy, Projects and Participation

Click here for more
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News: Pioneering community project takes next steps

Posted 8 March 2022, by Jennifer Drummond. Image from Love Letham.

A brand new initiative, which places the voice of young people at its heart, is looking to appoint Commissioners to take forward its work.

The pioneering Love Letham project will support children, young people, families, the wider community and local decision-makers to work together towards a shared vision of what children and young people need to flourish, as well as a plan to deliver it. Now, the project is looking to recruit community members to be part of a new Love Letham Commission.

The project, from Perth and Kinross Council and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, is part of a growing movement of people, businesses and organisations across Scotland trying to do things differently.

Community engagement

The Love Letham team has gathered opinions from hundreds of children, young people and families in the community about what wellbeing means to them and what they need to grow up well in Letham. The Commission will use this information to develop a shared vision, identify priorities and make recommendations to bring Letham’s vision to life.

As well as young people and residents from the community, the Commission will include representatives from Perth and Kinross Council and public bodies.

A Commission of younger children is already active in the area’s primary schools. The Children’s Love Letham Commission will present its work to the rest of the Commission and ensure children’s voices are central to the process.

Long-term approach

The project, supported by local schools, NHS Tayside, national children’s charities and Police Scotland is based on an understanding that if policies are to ensure children and young people can flourish now and in the future, they must be co-designed with children and young people. Love Letham goes beyond short term challenges to think long-term about what is needed for all of Letham’s young people to thrive.

Jo White, Depute Headteacher at Letham Primary School said:

“We are delighted to play such a fundamental role in the Love Letham initiative!

Our children have been able to clearly articulate their thoughts and feelings about what would make Letham the best place to live and grow up and what is needed to promote positive wellbeing for all. Empathy, creativity and curiosity have shone through as our children have engaged in our visioning for a ‘Future Letham’.

Our hopes for the project is that these views will be listened to and acted upon to ensure our children realise their value in shaping the future.”

The Love Letham approach is informed by the Being Bold: Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing report (click here to read) by Dr Katherine Trebeck of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, commissioned by Carnegie UK Trust, Children in Scotland and Cattanach.

It is one of four pilot projects implementing the Wellbeing Economy Alliance’s Policy Design Guide, which helps people devise transformative policies with the full participation of citizens. The other pilots are in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

Click here to visit the Love Letham website to find out more and register interest in joining the Commission

Click here to find out more about the Being Bold report, commissioned by Children in Scotland.


Design is for everyone

16 December 2021

Head of Learning at V&A Dundee, Jo Mawdsley, on how good design can bring us together, foster wellbeing and strengthen partnerships

Design shapes our world. It's part of everyday life and it's everywhere. V&A Dundee is a museum with a vision of the future where everyone is inspired through design and recognises its far-reaching impact in our lives.

As a result of the pandemic, the museum was acutely aware of how crucial good design is to all of us. Good design is about equity, value, access, and joy. Reflecting on our role as a 21st century design museum and a centre for design excellence in Scotland, we have been refreshing our mission and vision.

Following the appointment of our wonderful new director, Leonie Bell, we have been on a journey in recent months to examine what we are, what we do and how we can make changes and a lasting impact for the future.

Things have changed this past year or so, and this is true for V&A Dundee. We are a pivotal part of Dundee, a city which is transforming. Throughout lockdown we engaged hundreds of families through our fun Design Busters hotline – every week a new challenge would be shared with budding designers via the special phone line. These design challenges encouraged intergenerational learning in fun and creative ways, using things most people have around their home.

Deepening our reach and impact across the community

Through our Learning Programmes, we are building on and developing a programme for all, that has at its core care, health and wellbeing.

Our successful and ongoing partnership with social empowerment, Dundee-based organisation Front Lounge has welcomed a new cohort of seven young people from their Kindred Clothing project. The eight-week course, Totes Sewing, is an introduction to machine sewing skills in which participants design and create bags inspired by the museum. What is so lovely about this project is that the participants, many of them young mums, feel so much part of the museum, using our studio space to socialise with each other and their young children.

We are developing a strong relationship with our fellow members of Children in Scotland and Families Outside – a national charity that works solely on behalf of families in Scotland affected by imprisonment. A series of outreach workshops is being developed with one of the outputs being some wonderful Christmas tree decorations designed by a group in Castle Huntly that will be displayed on the tree in the museum.

Promoting community health and wellbeing

Following on from the success of our first health and wellbeing trail, Labyrinth, we continue to work closely with medical students from the University of Dundee and design students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design to develop the second trail, Orikalmi – aimed at people who are feeling stressed, under pressure and experiencing anxiety. Using design, architecture, and museum spaces as a starting point for exploration and reflection, the trails will be available to anyone and will be distributed in partnership with NHS Tayside.

Sensory-Friendly Days for families and communities are core to our programme and offer a more relaxed way to enjoy the museum for those with autism spectrum conditions, sensory processing differences or profound and multiple learning difficulties. We work with key partners across the city, such as Dundee Carers Centre and Capability Scotland, to build on this programme.

This is just a taste of some of the wonderful programmes and activities we offer, so if you are interested in learning more about how you can engage with V&A Dundee, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Click here for more information about V&A Dundee


About the author

Jo is Head of Learning at V&A Dundee

Click here for more

Increasing access to arts and heritage

Our Living Museums projects explores how the sector can engage 14-21-year-olds

Click here for more

25 and Up: improving access to the arts

As part of our 25 Calls campaign update, artists told us why creativity must be a the core of child support

Click here to read

Our projects

We work on a huge range of projects with young people and partner organisations

Click here for more
A photo of a young child standing on some grass, she is wearing a pink coat with the hood up and is looking off towards the right.

News: New fund to upgrade Scotland's play parks

Posted 25 Aug 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

Play parks across Scotland are due to be modernised with money from a £5 million fund which has been agreed between the Scottish Government and COSLA.

Each of the 32 local authority areas will receive a share of the funding to improve existing playparks and enhance play opportunities for local children and young people.

The funding is the first round of a total planned £60 million investment for play park renovations over this parliamentary term.

Scottish Government Minister for Children, Claire Haughey, said:

“We know that play is an absolutely crucial part of children’s health and wellbeing and as we continue to recover from the pandemic, playing outside will allow children to reconnect with each other and allow them to return to enjoying their childhood.

“Our overall investment of £60 million will ensure that all children across Scotland have access to quality play in their own community and helps deliver on children’s right to play, enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“We will continue to listen to children and young people throughout this process to ensure our funding is spent on play spaces that work for all.”

The plans however have already been met with some criticism.

Just days before the announcement of the fund, the Scottish Daily Express reported on a leaked document from COSLA which expressed scepticism about the play park upgrade plan.

The document reportedly reveals concerns from the local government umbrella body about the “impracticability” of refurbishing all play areas in the country, whilst also acknowledging there may be occasions where “critical maintenance” takes priority ahead of refurbishing or upgrading.

“Children don’t need shorter holidays or longer school days. They need more play”

1 April 2021

Margaret McLelland, manager of St Mirin’s Out of School Club –  a recipient of funding from Children in Scotland’s Access to Childcare Fund – explains why play is so fundamental to childhood and learning. This article was originally published by Inspiring Scotland as one of their practitioner guides resources

There has never been a more crucial time for play not only in Scotland but across the world. A global pandemic has deprived children of so many play experiences. Media are covering the “gap” and “loss” of learning and how Scotland might address the impact of “lost learning”.

Our children don’t need more school, reduced holidays, extended educational days. They need more play! Mental health and wellbeing are a priority for our children. This needs to be intact before children even begin the process of learning and what better way to do this than through play?

As manager of an out of school club based in a primary school we have been engaging with the school long before the pandemic. We now recognise there is even more additionality we could offer and bring to the school. As play practitioners and professionals we are highly trained, and our skills and expertise have the potential to enhance the whole school community.

It starts with relationships, from there we build mutual respect between the teaching staff and the play professionals. This has certainly raised the profile and understanding of play by highlighting what can be achieved through play. By this I mean play indoors and especially outdoors, play guided by the playwork principles, play in both its forms of structured and unstructured, play that is spontaneous, self-directed and assists children to meet their own needs, play that involves risk, compromise, negotiation , trust, choice, collaboration and empowerment for children. The teaching staff have an understanding of play to an extent but their educational understanding of play at times does not lend itself to play in the biological sense.

Our play journey

So, we are embarking on a journey to incorporate more play in the school day not only for lower primary years but the whole school. Our initial aim was to enthuse school management that play is a perfect vehicle in which learning unfolds and unravels. Play is the universal language of childhood and enabling playful environments for children provides them with a plethora of opportunities to develop their imagination and curiosity. The physical benefits of play are well known. Play (particularly outdoor play) increases wellbeing, increasing oxygen levels, heart rates, activity levels and obesity but the mental health benefits and development of soft skills enhanced by play are much less well known and understood. As an out of school service, we hoped we might highlight this in the school we operate within.

How to bring more play to your school

We approached our head teacher about the possibility of bringing more play to the school day. Our initial discussions enabled us to recognise the educational drivers, but we were able to introduce how play could provide an excellent platform for learning in a more autonomous way. Together we discussed how we might introduce play and it may have the potential to enhance learning experiences and outcomes for children. Finally, we agreed what was to become a plan! There has been challenges, but we are taking tentative steps towards a more playful school. One such challenge is addressing the view that play is frivolous, it’s what children get to do as a reward or its “messing around”. The complexity of play can mean it can be some of that but professional observations of play can unravel exactly what is being achieved and learned by children even in the “messing around” stages of play.

Our initial attempts at bringing play to the school day were very positive. We started by introducing play professionals to the playground. Children were naturally drawn to these playful adults and engaged almost immediately in active play. To us this was a great introductory starting point not only for the children but for the teaching staff on duty in the playground. We recognised immediately this was play however we realised our intervention style was leading and our preferred state is to be observing and leaving the content and intent of play to the children. But it was a starting point. Even though our team were involved in play our skilled observations told us which children were demonstrating leadership whist others were content to follow. It was also noticed which children were at ease in play whilst others required adult play cues to get involved. The challenge for play professionals was being very aware we were not staying true to our play principles.

However, we promptly agreed this was an excellent stating point on which to build trust with children. So, we viewed this stage as an introduction to play in its simplest form. Our other school involvement was to explore health and wellbeing in playful experiences. This was a one-hour sessions, 5 days per week for small groups of children (max 8) We used play to help children recognise feelings and emotions. Again, this is a more structured type of play but a very worthwhile pilot in which we learned there is most certainly a need for playing more therapeutically with children. Throughout the weeks we introduced the concept of play to the school we were receiving excellent feedback from the school staff team. We engaged in numerous meetings with the head teacher and we laid out our initial plans to bring more play to the school day. We advised the head teacher that this, to us, was a starting point as true play not peppered by outcomes would still achieve and benefit children.

Even in this early stage of our pilot we were able to highlight some children who may need some support to further engage and this finding was echoed by the school as some children were receiving educational support. This highlighted that play can be used to assist children with social and communicative skills which in our play world are as important as academic success.

The challenges and successes

Then COVID and lockdown stopped all of us in our tracks. Since March 2020 we have been unable to further our journey with this. Even being back briefly the restrictions made it impossible to mix certain groups and social distancing meant the whole school physical space and environment prevented us moving forward. The second lockdown came rapidly after the first and today (February 2021) we are hopeful we will be returning to school 15th March. The fantastic news is that St Mirin’s Out of School club has been successful in a major funding bid to the Access to Childcare Fund.

Our application included funding even more play into the school day. We commenced a breakfast and play club which is receiving excellent feedback from families. This funding will also enable us to increase our time working within the school day enabling more play and playing therapeutically to gain best outcomes for our school community. We will also be operating two nights per week 6pm-8pm with our “Simply Play” model. This will very much be guided by our playwork principles of self-directed play.

Our journey has only just begun, and it is new territory for school and out of school to collaborate and work in partnership in such a way. It has had its challenges but for the most part early indications are that this joined-up approach of play and learning can be one of the same thing. Learning through play in all its forms is in my opinion the best method for some children to learn.

Strengthening access and affordability

The Fund provides grants focusing on priority groups most at risk from poverty

Find out more

The value of outdoors play-based learning

Inspiring Scotland originally published Margaret's blog in their practitioner guide series

Find out more

Manifesto for School Age Childcare

The Scottish Out of School Care Network has published a series of calls

Read more

Families need services that are 'here to stay'

The final report of our CHANGE project sets out how to improve local childcare

Find out more

Shetland childcare setting scoops prize

Hame Fae Hame Shetland, funded by the Access to Childcare Fund, has won a major award

Find out more

Hope in hard times

Our Manifesto for 2021-26 includes key calls on childcare and the value of play

Find out more

Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan

The Access to Childcare fund addresses one of the actions highlighted in Every Child, Every Chance

Find out more

Shetland childcare provider wins small business of the year accolade

23 February 2021

A childcare provider supported by the Access to Childcare Fund has won a major business award in recognition of how it responded to the challenges of coronavirus.

Hame Fae Hame, based in Scalloway on the Shetland Islands, won the Times / Lloyds Banking Group Small Business of 2020 Award, beating UK-wide competition.

The centre was rewarded for the creative and robust way it responded to the pandemic, strengthening childcare support for frontline workers and deepening outreach work with the local community.

Manager and owner Kaye Sandison says she and her colleagues “feel privileged and valued” that their work during lockdown has been recognised.

Hame Fae Hame is one of 15 providers awarded grants last year by the Access to Childcare Fund, which is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Children in Scotland.

“Our Access to Childcare grant has definitely helped to strengthen our out of school staff team, with the appointment of an assistant manager and senior practitioner,” says Kaye.

“It’s also allowed us to make adjustments to our facilities so that we can offer a better, more easily accessed breakfast club and canteen when things are able to open up fully again.”

Kaye feels the pandemic has significantly raised the profile of high quality childcare across Scotland and the UK, with more people realising its fundamental contribution to communities, family life and equality.

Alongside welcoming this shift in societal attitudes, she has high hopes for what the centre can achieve in 2021.

“It will be important to get back to full opening and to refocus on our plans for developing our outdoor spaces, and continuing to work with our ELC and community partners on enhancing our provision,” she says.

“We will also continue to build resilience into our services and develop our staff team and our management capacity. And we look forward to working with Access to Childcare partners to learn from each other on how our various projects are contributing to policy development for the childcare sector!”

Click here to find out more about Hame Fae Hame

Click here to find out more about the Access to Childcare Fund

Hame Fae Hame

Find out more about the award-winning Shetland childcare centre

Click to visit the website

Strengthening access and affordability

The Fund provides grants focusing on priority groups most at risk from poverty

Click to find out more

Families need services that are 'here to stay'

The final report of our CHANGE project sets out how to improve local childcare

Click to find out more

2021-26 Manifesto

Improving childcare for families is a key part of our Manifesto for the next parliament

Click to find out more

All local services providing childcare or play for children and young people need to be ‘here to stay’: funded on a long-term, secure basis, major four-year project finds

4 February 2021


The final report of a major Scottish childcare project makes a series of calls about how to improve childcare in local communities and through changes to national policy.

CHANGE (Childcare and Nurture, Glasgow East) was set up in 2016 to create a sustainable childcare model with family and community involvement at its core.

Work on the project involved gathering the views of children, parents and local services; setting up a Hub to strengthen local collaboration and challenge childcare barriers identified by families; championing community initiatives and the need for more universal family support; and supporting ‘crisis’ childcare and food provision.

Following four years of work, the project’s final report, ‘It’s our future’: Childcare in Glasgow East, makes a series of recommendations about how to improve childcare, including:

  • All local services that provide childcare or play for children and young people need to be ‘here to stay’: funded on a long-term, secure basis
  • The number of available childminders should be increased so that families have more choice about how and when their child is looked after
  • Out of School Care services must be treated as a core service for it to be sustainable. This should include considering school and community buildings as everyone’s spaces
  • More opportunities for families to play and learn together must be made available, with all food-related work funded to be part of the mainstream offer
  • Parents and carers need childcare to enable them to attend emergency appointments and access public services
  • Families need to be able to access information about childcare that is easy to find and understand. The childcare and family support available must be made easier to navigate for both families and practitioners.

CHANGE found in its project work that local people frequently expressed fatigue about previous interventions that have not improved their lives, and that local staff dealing with stretched resources were often exhausted.

CHANGE staff were also conscious of how issues of class and poverty associated with the project area have been consistently framed in negative terms.

The report calls for the many positive aspects of life in the East End of Glasgow to be celebrated and better understood.

Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland’s Head of Inclusion and CHANGE project lead, said:

“The CHANGE project has sought to address fundamental problems about childcare including fragmented provision, cost, and the need for real community ownership and empowerment. We hope that this report captures the complexity and challenge these issues have presented – but also how much commitment, positivity and expertise communities in Glasgow’s East End possess in answering these problems.

“In terms of improving childcare for families, we need to be focused on the qualities of kindness and dedication we found in the community, and recognise that locally and nationally, we are making progress in improving access to affordable quality childcare.

“However, culture change and real transformation is still required for local services, and huge societal pressures exist for families and services, even more so following a pandemic that represented one of the biggest challenges for generations.”

“As we state in the report, it is our hope that the essence of Glasgow’s East End, combined with effective local and national policy drivers and the possibility of post-pandemic transformation, will result in local community childcare and support services that can thrive.”

The CHANGE project follows work and key recommendations by the Commission for Childcare Reform, which published its findings in 2015.

Click here to download the report

Click here to watch the short animated film and hear community voices on what needs to change

Media contact:

Chris Small,

Further information:

Click here to read more about the CHANGE project
Click here to find out more about Children in Scotland

We Know What We Need

Watch a short animation and hear community voices on what needs to change

Click to watch the film

CHANGE project: final report

Read ‘It’s our future’: Childcare in Glasgow East

Click to download the report

CHANGE project: aims and background

Find out more about the project's ambitions, remit and achievements

Click to read more

CHANGE project: views and expertise

Read blogs about CHANGE, including comment from Senior Project Officer Robert Doyle

Click to read more

CHANGE project: partners

Partnership working has been key to CHANGE's approach

Click to find out more

Hope in hard times

Proposals for early years policy development drawing on the work of CHANGE feature in our 2021-26 Manifesto

Click to find out more

Commission for Childcare Reform

The CHANGE project was informed by some of the Commission's key findings

Click to find out more

Manifesto launches with calls for wellbeing to be at heart of Scottish budget and children protected from air pollution

13 November 2020

Children in Scotland today launches its Manifesto for the 2021-26 Scottish Parliament, backed by national and local organisations from across the children’s sector.

The Manifesto outlines key changes in policy and legislation the charity believes the next Scottish Government must make to improve outcomes for children and young people living in Scotland, and their families.

Click here to download a copy of the Manifesto

It contains 10 themes and 33 calls, with demands of political parties including:

Drawing on the experience in Finland to introduce a ‘hobby premium’ to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have free access to a hobby or activity of their choice within or around the school day.

Rights and democracy
Supporting Citizens Assemblies to extend their scope to include the voice and perspectives of under-16s.

Economic planning
Producing a comprehensive Wellbeing Budget by 2022 to ensure that the annual Scottish budget is designed and implemented with the goal of improving the wellbeing of all citizens in Scotland, including children, young people and families.

Improving air quality in locations where children live, learn and play: a school air quality monitoring and education scheme should be introduced to measure air quality, educate children and families about this issue, and reduce children’s exposure to harmful pollutants.

Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:

“Our Manifesto is being launched at the end of a punishing year for so many children and families, but we feel there’s a shared recognition that this is also a time for a radical change in direction for policymaking and legislation.

“We now need a deeper and more wholehearted restructuring of society, based on redistributing power to children, young people and families who’ve never had it before. Taken together the calls in this Manifesto make that case.”

Amy Woodhouse, the charity’s Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, said:

“This Manifesto builds on three examples of hugely significant policy change in Scotland over the past year – the recommendations of the Independent Care Review, the introduction of the Equal Protection Act, and the promise of full incorporation of the UNCRC.

“These are all powerful signs of the effectiveness of collective campaigning to make change for children, and we’ll be taking forward our 2021-26 Manifesto in that spirit.

“In the run-up to the election as we use this Manifesto to influence parties’ policy platforms, we will welcome the support and solidarity of other organisations who may wish to endorse our calls.”

Organisations who have already endorsed the Manifesto in full include Save the Children, Children 1st, YouthLink Scotland, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), PEEK (Possibilities for Each and Every Kid), Includem, Play Scotland, Starcatchers, the Health and Social Care Alliance and the Yard.

Organisations that have signed up to specific themes include the Children’s Parliament (Theme 1), Friends of the Earth Scotland (Theme 9), Place2Be (Themes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10) and the Royal Caledonian Education Trust (Themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10).

The Manifesto was shared yesterday with Children in Scotland’s members, and attendees at the charity’s online annual conference.

It has been developed over the past 18 months with input from Children in Scotland’s members, its children and young people’s advisory group, and its staff and Board.

Media contacts

Chris Small:

Catherine Bromley:

Photography from the Manifesto is available to publish on request. Please contact Chris Small or Catherine Bromley.

2021-26 Manifesto: PDF version

Download a PDF booklet of the Manifesto to read our themes and calls

Click to download the PDF

2021-26 Manifesto: Page Suite version

Read our themes and calls on the Page Suite digital platform with 'flickable' pages

Click to read on Page Suite

2021-26 Manifesto: Young People's Version

A short, child-friendly version and summary of all our themes and calls

Click to download it

Building Budgets for Children’s Wellbeing

Dr Katherine Trebeck's report informs many of our Manifesto themes

Click to download the report

Manifesto Magazine

Contributors from across the sector tell us why they're endorsing our Manifesto in this special edition

Click to read the magazine

A plan for renewal not simply recovery

Amy Woodhouse explains the approach we took to compiling the Manifesto

Click to read Amy's blog

Changing our World

Our young people's advisory group have been key to shaping the Manifesto

Click to find out more

UK Government Manifesto

In December 2019 we launched a children's manifesto for the new UK Government

Click to find out more

‘Lessons for a new social settlement’ – publication of reports mark end of innovative five-year food project

9 June 2020

Children in Scotland has marked the completion of its long-running Food, Families, Futures (FFF) project with the publication of two reports evidencing the success and impact of the partnership.

FFF was developed by the charity in 2015 to address a major  social issue: food insecurity and its links with wellbeing and education.

Working with families, communities and businesses, FFF supported after-school and holiday provision projects across Scotland, including in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, Perth and Kinross, East Lothian, Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire.

Holiday clubs focused on the value of fun activities, eating together and community strength and since 2016, FFF has helped to drive the issues of food insecurity – and how local and national governments should respond ­– up the political agenda.

The reports are intended to provide legacy learning and evidence about FFF, giving an honest view of its successes and challenges, and practical insights for any community or organisation wanting to take forward similar work in future.

Relationships and renewal

Freelance writer and consultant Shelagh Young has produced Nourish to flourish - food, fun and family learning, an independent review and analysis of the project.

Click here to read the report

In the report, Shelagh praises FFF partners for harnessing “local energy and support… to kickstart kindness” and argues that their work “shows how to build stronger relationships and achieve valuable learning through making and sharing tasty, nutritious meals together”.

FFF is also highly relevant in the context of our ambitions for renewal following the pandemic. “Sustaining an exciting and effective family and community-led way of working so that it becomes the new social settlement will become one of Scotland’s greatest challenges,” Shelagh says.

The second report, aimed at strategic leadership, is Food, Families, Futures: Making positive change happen alongside families is by Children in Scotland’s Policy Manager (Participation & Engagement), Elaine Kerridge.

Click here to read the report

As well as highlighting the practice-based knowledge built up over four years working on the project, Elaine emphasizes core principles that have been vital to FFF, particularly participation. inclusion and a non-stigmatising, relationship-based approach to poverty.

“Within communities, establishing a trusting relationship is the essential starting point,” Elaine says. “As one Strategic Lead told us: ‘It needs to come from the families.’”

Carrying forward core principles

Children in Scotland CEO Jackie Brock said:

“These two completion reports held contribute to a powerful legacy of learning from the FFF project which we hope others will be able to take forward. We believe that the process of post-virus renewal for schools, communities and families can be informed by some the core principles of FFF which Shelagh and Elaine capture so well in their reports.

“Children in Scotland’s own learning, from policy development to communications, has been hugely strengthened by our experience of leading FFF, and we will be using that knowledge in our ongoing influencing work.

“The early response to the pandemic sees a growing consensus on why direct payments are the answer to families struggling with food insecurity, and how schools and community buildings can be used in a more imaginative, flexible and accessible way.

“There is also important learning about the false division between school and holidays, and how this could be broken down to build relationships and transform schools into through-the-year community assets.

“Most of all, there is learning for all of us about how any kind of project that seeks to address inequality or social justice at community level must be done with families not to them.

“I’d like to thank all our partners who’ve supported this project over the past five years – businesses, third sector groups, funders, local authorities, and most importantly the children and families who have been at the heart of FFF.”

Challenging food insecurity

Our five-year food partnership programme addressed a major societal issue

Click to find out more

Food, fun and family learning

Shelagh Young's independent review of FFF looks at the project's impact and successes

Click to download

Report author Shelagh Young

Shelagh is a freelance writer and consultant

Click to visit her website

Positive change alongside families

Elaine Kerridge's report is aimed at strategic leads and captures key FFF learning

Click to download the report

Report author Elaine Kerridge

Our Policy Manager Elaine has also written a blog about her learning from the project

Click to read Elaine's blog

2017 summer clubs

Children and families tell us what they like about the FFF experience in this short film

Click to watch the film