Three community projects awarded grants

Alex Busch, Executive Director of Camphill School Aberdeen

THREE community projects including a full inclusive outdoor sensory playground for young people with complex needs have received funding worth nearly £400,000.

Camphill School Aberdeen is to receive an award of £250,976 for the adventure playground for children and young people with complex support needs, as agreed at the Finance and Resources Committee.

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Citymoves Dance Agency is also to be given £14,988 for the Strive project and Flexible Childcare Services Scotland is to receive £129,259 for the Flexible Childcare & Family Support hubs in Tillydrone and Cummings Park from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund managed by Aberdeen City Council.

Committee convener Councillor Alex McLellan said: “These three projects help our city’s communities in different ways and they are all provide important support for residents.

“We look forward to seeing the benefits these grants give to the organisations and the difference the projects will make.”

The report to committee said the outdoor sensory adventure playground would be the first fully inclusive outdoor Sensory Adventure playground in Aberdeen co-designed by young people with sensory issues and disabilities.

The playground will Camphill School grounds in Milltimber and will be free of charge, open all-year-round and fully accessible to all children and families in the wider community in Aberdeen who would benefit from accessing relaxed play sessions, including specialised additional support needs (ASN) school bases, other ASN charities/groups, and Camphill School Aberdeen pupils. It has been designed to reduce sensory overload and engage sensory experiences such as touch, sight and smell and includes a diverse range of colours, natural textures, sounds and interactive features that encourage exploration and play, fostering a holistic approach to child development.

The park will be accessed through an online booking system to ensure group sizes remain small enough to enable the children to have the space they need to have positive experiences and reduce sensory overload.

The report to committee said Citymoves’ Strive is a dance project which provides alternative engagement for hard-to-reach young people and those living in areas of deprivation and aims to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in antisocial behaviour as well as improve health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Strive provides creative activity and positive opportunities for young people aged 10-25 who live in areas of high deprivation as well as those who may be attending alternative education settings. Dance is used as a vehicle to engage with young people to develop transferable life skills through provision of free classes.

Strive classes are currently running at three city locations – Rosemount Community Centre, Middlefield Community Project (The Hub), and Tillydrone Community Campus.

The report to committee said Flexible Childcare Services Scotland was created to challenge the inflexibility of current childcare provision across the country and to meet employer needs around a more flexible workforce.

It provides affordable, accessible, high quality childcare which is a game changer for families as it enables parents to enter employment, education, or training, increase family income, raise prospects for themselves and their children, create citizenship and develop a work ethic within their family.

The Flexible Childcare Services Scotland flexible model allows families to book and pay for only the hours of childcare they need, those eligible for funded early learning and childcare hours are also able to use these hours flexibly. This model saves money for parents/carers and removes the barrier to working of being unable to source childcare.

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