A CashBack Difference
Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment – Achieve More Scotland January 2022
Achieve More Scotland deliver programmes of community based activities that focus on engaging children and young people (aged 5-24) from socially deprived areas and diverting them from negative lifestyle choices whilst also promoting positive destinations. Activities focus around play, sports, physical activity, group-work, volunteering, personal development and employability to an average of 2000 participants per week in 32 community settings, all of which fall within the 10% most deprived communities on the SIMD. The young people we work with generally suffer from low levels of confidence, self-esteem and personal aspirations. We support them to improve these by engaging them in fun, free and regular, sporting and physical activities, delivered locally by role models who create a fun and supportive environment where young people can relax, develop, learn, make friends and have fun.
We provide nightly youth activities in targeted communities through our funded work with GCC and the Scottish Government. We currently work in 9 schools on a daily basis with another 5 schools on a weekly basis. These schools are situated across Glasgow and Lanarkshire. Our work in schools is focused specially on working with targeted groups of children and young people to improve their confidence, self-esteem, personal and social skills and ultimately their learning which will reduce the attainment gap seen in many schools across the country’s most deprived areas. We have been doing this work for a number of years and it continues to grow with more and more schools coming on board and requesting our services. In schools alone we support an additional 1550 children each week in addition to those we work with in a community setting in the evenings.
The past 18 months has been hard with covid however we have been able to maintain a constant service throughout from co-ordinating and managing 5 food banks to delivering the largest school holiday programmes in the country, working in schools daily and across the last year returning to a comprehensive evening programme working with children and young people aged 12-19 which was much more difficult during the early months of covid-19.
Which children and young people does this CRWIA affect?
A CashBack Difference programme targets young people:
- Aged 10-24
- Living in SIMD Deciles 1 & 2 in the following local authorities: Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire
- Those living in poverty, suffering from low levels of confidence, self-esteem and personal aspirations as well as limited opportunities.
- Those most at risk of anti-social behaviour, offending or re-offending, focussing on the following areas;
- Shettleston, Possilpark, Milton, Springburn, Haghill, Sighthill, Maryhill, Cadder, Pollockshaws, Pollockshields, Govanhill, Kingsway, Wishaw, Airdrie, Motherwell, Hamilton and Blantyre.
What aspects of the programme will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?
All aspects of our work include children and young people up to the age of 18 being involved. It was a direct result of feedback from children and young people that we were able to develop and design our Cashback programme. This feedback shaped the original design and delivery model. As the programme has progressed we have gathered more feedback from children and young people and this has further developed and or changed elements of the programme. This is an ongoing process within all of our programmes and projects that is essential to ensuring the voice of young people is heard and that they have genuine ownership over them.
Achieve More Scotland have a very young staff team that are representative of the children, young people and communities we work with and in. Of our current pool of staff 75% are ex participants and/or volunteers who participated in our community programmes prior to employment. Our staff continue to live in the communities we work in and support on a daily basis and have extensive networks across these communities which play an important role in our programme delivery.
Child Protection and Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing are two of the biggest and most important elements/aspects of the programme which affect children up to the age of 18.
Staff undertake training on a regular basis. Training focuses on a number of key areas, including, but not limited to;- child protection, mental health, ACE’s, sport and physical activity, disability awareness and play. It is common place that after training takes place staff and volunteers come up with ideas and or approaches that change/adapt existing programmes.
All new staff and volunteers take part in an induction which includes a section on children protection, GIRFEC, SHANARI and UNCRWIA. It is essential part of our induction and key that understand the important role they will playing in the lives of the children they will be working with/supporting.
How will this programme impact on children and their rights
In delivering A CashBack Difference programme, we aim to increase the positive opportunities and activities that young people have access to in their local areas. Our community based initiatives engage children and young people from Scotland’s most deprived communities in free, openly accessible, locally delivery sporting and physical opportunities which improve their confidence, self-esteem, physical and mental health and well-being and ultimately their life chances.
Young people were involved in every stage of planning and co-ordinating this project from being asked; what would you like? Why would you like it? What difference do you think it will make etc etc.
The impact of these activities has thus far been increased self-confidence and resilience, skill-levels, health including improved mental health and physical wellbeing. The programme has also positively impacted on learning, volunteering and employability opportunities.
28 of Achieve More Scotland’s current employees are ex participants. They have progressed from taking part in our weekly activities into leading and co-ordinating sessions and managing and supporting other staff and volunteers. A cornerstone of our organisation is the pathway which we have created whereby young people can progress from being participants at sessions, to volunteers, to sessional coaches and ultimately to members of staff. Young people’s views, opinions and voices are always heard in our organisation due our progression pathways and culture of putting young people, front and centre in relation to everything we do. Our staff team includes young people from Scotland, the Congo, Iran, Somalia, Poland, Iraq and Spain. Every single young member of staff has grown up in an area that features in the 10% most deprived communities in Scotland and we have a number of staff who face additional barriers and challenges on an ongoing basis.
Supported UNCRC Articles – Detailing which of the Articles you feel to be most relevant
2 (non-discrimination) – Achieve More Scotland work with children, young people and families from Scotland’s most deprived communities. We work with over 90 nationalities on a weekly basis. We work with children and young people without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.
Article 3 (best interests of the child) The best interests of the child are met in our programme of activity as the children are regularly consulted on what additions/changes should be made based upon their experiences of participating and their knowledge of their local communities. All information gathered is used to ensure that the best and most appropriate programme of delivery is developed based upon the direct wants and needs of those who it seeks to benefit.
Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. At Achieve More Scotland we use the views, opinions and wishes of each child to help to shape our programmes of delivery. Children are put front and centre in relation to programme design and delivery.
Article 13 (freedom of expression) Every child who participates in our activities is regularly asked for their views and opinions across a wide range of issues. Ensuring freedom of speech and expression is paramount to the work we do in ensuring that the voices of children and young people are heard throughout our work and society in general.
Article 31 (leisure, play and culture) We deliver, free, openly accessible, locally delivered, play, sport and physical activity opportunities across all of the communities in which we work. It is written in our constitution that we will never charge any child for taking part in our activities and we actively seek to influence government and other decision makers to make play, sport and physical activity opportunities more widely accessible to those who face barriers to participation. Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
Article 39 (recovery from trauma and reintegration) The children we work with face significant challenges as a direct result of the poverty they face on a daily basis. Many of the families we work with struggle to pay their rent, heat their home or pay for the essentials for their children. They face insecurity, uncertainty and impossibly hard decisions relating to money. As a result of this many of the children and young people we support have problems with both their physical and mental health and well- being, confidence and self-esteem and play a limited role in society. They feel excluded due to the barriers they face and the lack of support they receive. Many struggle in school and receive few or no formal qualifications and have no hopes or aspirations re college, university, work or life in general. They are so focused on the day to day life they lead and have no plans in place for their future. Across the targeted areas for this project child poverty affects between 1 in 3 and 1 in 2. These are shockingly high numbers of children who face the horrors of poverty every day. The trauma of poverty can be debilitating and destructive to the lives of children. By providing free activities, locally delivered, by putting on free breakfasts and hot lunches and by being a constant positive presence in the lives of children we aim to improve their mental health and well-being both short and long term and hope to reduce the trauma they ae exposed to.
Does the project/programme impact differently on different groups of Children &Young People affected
Every single young person is unique and has their own skills, experiences, goals and ambitions. We support each child who participates in our programmes to identify their strengths and help them to harness them into something they want to achieve (e.g. a job, a new community project, a qualification, a skill, or other.)
Many of the young people we support need significant help to aid them to improve their confidence, self-esteem and overall health and well-being so that they are in the best position to identify their strengths.
Many of the young people we engage with are disengaged from general society and are so focused on the day to day that they don’t think about their life long term or in the big picture. Our work supports young people to improve their confidence, self-esteem, self-efficacy, health and wellbeing and personal aspirations through regular 1-2-1 support with the programme manager, regular conversations and support from a mentor and regular group discussions with other young people participating in the programme.
We work closely with some groups that require additional support given the barriers they face e.g. Roma community, young immigrants, children with physical and or mental health issues
If a negative impact is assessed, or potentially could arise for any area of rights or any group of children and young people, what options have you considered to modify the proposal, or mitigate the impact?
We regularly gather feedback from children participating in our programmes. This information is used to adapt/change any elements which have been raised as a concern or potential issues. Our staff and volunteers regularly report back varying points raised by the children they are working with. Sometimes these points require immediate attention, others require investigation, whilst other are looked at on a wider basis. All concerns and or issues raised are always looked at and evaluated.
What evidence have you used to inform your assessment? What does it tell you?
We have spoken with staff, volunteers and hundreds of young people participating in our activities on a weekly basis. We have also spoken with our board of trustees.
Monitoring and review Bi-annually by COO/Programme Leadership.
- CRWIA – training tool – this relates to the training tool which all staff in Achieve More Scotland will have completed when working as part of the CashBack programme.
- SG Materials for further reference.