Projects aimed at improving the lives of children and young families in Edinburgh will be the focus for members of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on Monday (16 June) as they see the differences early intervention can make in young lives.
During the visit, Committee members will hear of the work of Total Craigroyston and Stepping Stones. Based in the North of Edinburgh, both projects seek to improve the lives of children and young families. The Committee will also hear about the impact of the Family Nurse Partnership.
The visit is part of the Committee’s inquiry into the impact of health inequalities in the early years. The inquiry is looking at how early years interventions can be an effective and positive step in addressing these inequalities and what more could and should be done.
Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP said:
“We have heard time and again about the link between health inequalities and poverty but we have also heard about the impact which early intervention can have in improving the lives of our young people.
“Visits such as this are invaluable as we gather evidence in our inquiry. Meeting people, seeing practical actions and their results, mean we can see first-hand the differences early intervention can make.”
Deputy Convener of the Committee Bob Doris MSP said:
“A significant amount of resources is invested in early years and our inquiry is about ensuring that is making a difference in tackling health inequalities and improving health in our country in the future.
“Our Committee understands the valuable work which is being undertaken across Scotland to do just that which is why we are visiting these projects today.”
Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener for the Education, Children & Families Committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:
“Stepping Stones provides a wide range of early support to young parents at various bases in the community. Working with partners and the local residents, Total Craigroyston is finding different ways to join our services up and to involve people who live here find solutions to the issues that face their community. The Total Craigroyston model is one we are looking to expand across the city.”
The Health and Sport Committee began its work on health inequalities last year with a “scoping exercise” to set the overall context and a short inquiry into teenage pregnancy (which reported in May 2013).
The scoping exercise convinced the Committee that most of the causes of health inequalities are related to wider societal inequalities that are outside the remit of the Health and Sport Committee.
Total Craigroyston is an initiative set up by the Edinburgh Partnership to improve outcomes for children and families in the neighbourhood around Craigroyston Community High School.
Stepping Stones (North Edinburgh) provides support services to young parent families and pregnant young women living in the Forth and Inverleith Wards of the city of Edinburgh.