Changing lives for the better

Seventy families, 170 children and 52 children under five years-of-age took part in a successful programme of sport, food and fun at Newbattle over the summer, in a ground-breaking initiative to tackle poverty, raise attainment and improve the lives of local people.

Newbattle community

The programme was organised by Midlothian Council’s Newbattle Learning Community, which includes all early years settings, catchment primary schools and Newbattle High School.

Strong relationships

Partnership manager Heather Ritchie said: “The summer programme allows us to establish strong relationships with local people and, by doing so, tailor our services to the needs of the community.”

Range of activities

As well as providing more than 2,000 hot meals, the project offered everything from dancing, to yoga sessions, craft sessions, judo, swimming and roller skating for the children.

Games and more

Families played games, cooked healthy recipes together and enjoyed sports, while parents and carers spoke to professionals about health and wellbeing concerns, free nursery places and education courses.

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Food packs

As well as organising the Newbattle project, council staff also helped other vulnerable families over the summer holidays. 508 food packs supplied by volunteers were delivered weekly to the homes of 231 children who would normally be receiving free school meals.

Support needs

More than 65 families who have children with additional support needs were supported in conjunction with Loanhead After School Club and Hawthorn Children & Families Centre. Activities included music and sensory workshops and beach outings.

Summer club

And Burnbrae Primary School’s Summer Club ran for the second year, offering local families access to a community pantry and a range of other activities over the summer break.

Challenge Poverty Week

  • This article has been produced to support Challenge Poverty Week, 7-13 October 2019.
4 Oct 2019