Square Start is the first BRAG project to offer full family support. First launched in May 2021 and funded by Opportunities Fife's NOLB Strategy, this project is innovative as sessions are held mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends, to suit the demands of family life. and support Scottish Governments Best Start ambitions.

Our Square Start project offers full family support for the residents of Dunfermline, Southwest and Northeast Fife. Offering activities for all members of the family, we provide direction, guidance, and support to allow the families to flourish and have confidence they can have a positive future.

Brag partners with Frontline Fife, Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF) and Youth 1st to supply a diverse project where families can access the support of any or all organisations.

Our experience of working with families since early 2019 has shown us that those living in poverty tend to also live in a life of chaos and deprivation with many of these households struggling to just keep their heads above water. Whilst the circumstances that they find themselves in may have been influenced by poor life choices, they are more likely to have been held back by a poverty of opportunity. Square Start was conceptualised to address this.

We initially assess the level of need which supports us to create a bespoke action plan. By working through the key components to achieve the end goals with a fluid and flexible approach to allow for change in the family’s circumstances. This consistent review and refresh approach ensures that the service fits the client rather than the client fits the service. The aim is to progress the family members into a variety of group activities to end social isolation and create new relationships and peer support.

Our list of activities is vast and is specific to the needs of the families but can include:

  • Budgeting workshops
  • Cooking and nutritional skills
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Mental Health resilience
  • Book bug sessions
  • Messy Play
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Play therapy
  • B: active sessions for children 5 to 25 years of age
  • Family fitness sessions for registered families
  • Weekly family afternoon and evening groups including food for all

Parents will also have the choice to complete formal training including conflict resolution, first aid awareness, emotional health and well-being and trauma informed parenting, to name a few.

This service is targeted within the local community via Community Learning and Development teams, Welfare Reform Action Groups, schools, nurseries, local charities including food and clothing banks with the activities offered as part of the project having been designed with input from all these groups.

Find out more about No One Left Behind here.

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