2 February 2017
STV’s Nicola McAlley has presented local community project Aberlour Sustain - Ross-shire with a cheque for £149,397 from the STV Children’s Appeal, boosting financial support for the service.
Nicola met with Aberlour's Jim Wallace and Beverly Hart, as well as representatives from Highland Council, in the Community Café at Invergordon Academy.
The project, which is run by Aberlour and will be in operation from April, is an ‘edge of care’ service, providing the support that is often needed to prevent children and young people from being taken out of their families, and even their communities. The service adapts an early intervention approach, taking action at the earliest opportunity to prevent problems from spiralling out of control further down the line.
Jim Wallace, Aberlour’s Director of Children and Families, said: “We are very grateful to the STV Children’s Appeal for generously supporting our new service.
“Early intervention is a well-known principle, but what sets ours service apart is the way in which it has been designed. We chose not to come in to the area with a ready-made solution based on our work elsewhere in Scotland. Instead, we recognise that the challenges experienced in one community can be very different from those affecting another.
“We spent a great deal of time consulting with families, young people with care experience, social workers, health and education teams and more. Our service will therefore be entirely bespoke to the community and its needs, working in the precise settings at the times of day best suited to our families’ needs, and focusing on the very issues they’ve identified as being important to them.
“Thanks to the STV Children’s Appeal coming on board to support our work, we are confident that we’ll be able to help more families to stay together here in the Highlands.”
Since launching in 2011, the STV Children's Appeal has raised over £13.7 million, with 722 big and small grants distributed to projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, providing much needed support to over 62,000 children. The money raised is distributed to provide practical help like food and warm clothes; create opportunities for training and employability; and enable social and emotional support for those who need it most.
Nicola McAlley said: "It was great to meet with Aberlour and hear how their project with Highland Council will be directly helping young people living in the Ross-shire area. It will enable specialist support workers to meet with youngsters and their families and respond to crises around the clock, giving them trusted, on-hand help and advice, which ultimately is aimed at preventing young people from having to go into care, or look at alternatives in their own area.
“It aims to stop people having to move hundreds of miles away from all they know; their school, relatives and friends. It's a great project that could be rolled out elsewhere in Scotland and give people a secure foundation for the rest of their lives."