Top Edinburgh children & families projects awarded

A team of young tour guides, an African links project and a scheme that supports lone fathers have all been awarded for their work at the City of Edinburgh Council's Achievement Awards.

The awards celebrate and recognise some of the best projects from within the Children and Families department.

An audience of more than 350 invited guests attended the event last night which was hosted by City Children & Families Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren and television and radio presenter Grant Stott.

Cllr MacLaren said:

"It is more important than ever that we recognise and reward examples of success in the city.  All of the nominated projects help to improve the lives of young people and the those involved are dedicated to making a real impact in Edinburgh's communities.

"This year's entries have been of the highest standard and the judging panel had some very tough decisions to make. All of those nominated deserve great credit and I hope the winners take some time to bask in the glory of their success!"

Grant Stott said:

"I really look forward to hosting the Achievement Awards night, it's a wonderful night.  It's one occasion where we get to see all the great work that's been done for young people on behalf of Edinburgh".

The capacity audience will be treated to performances by Holyrood High School Choir, Queensferry High School Brass Quintet and a screening of a short film, created by Kaimes School which was part of the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Award Categories and winners

Convener's Award for Outstanding Achievement


Jake White

The goal of Jake White's volunteer placement with Children and Families (Quality Improvement and Youngedinburgh) was to strengthen the support provided to student councils in Edinburgh Schools.  Jake brings valuable experience as the former chair of his own student council at James Gillespies where he established an effective, student led, council and pioneered new ways of working.  As part of his placement, Jake is currently developing a new online group on Glow, helping to plan a CPD course and a student council conference, and updating resources for members and advisors of student councils.

Director's Award for Outstanding Achievement


Edinburgh Families Project is unique within residential services delivering flexible and creative outreach and respite services to children, young people and their families. It provides support to help young people remain in their own homes and within their communities.  The project's ability to manage and respond to crisis significantly reduces the need for full-time accommodation.

Creativity & Innovation


The use of Talking Mats within Child Protection

Stenhouse Child and Family have been leading the way in the West Neighbourhood in using and developing the Talking Mats communication tool.  The team have used the mats in a variety of ways and to give both vulnerable children and adults their say in the decision making process within Child Protection and the Children's Hearing system. 

Highly Commended

St Katharine's Children's Centre, Education - Welcome to the Sixties

Welcome to the 60s  allowed some of the most vulnerable young people to unlock their potential and develop creatively and expressively.  Looked After young people were totally involved and engaged throughout the process from conception to final performance. The project allowed care and education staff to engage young people through increasing achievement and attainment. Relationships improved and everyone was able to work in harmony.

Greendykes Child and Family Centre - CLICK

Click is a fun project for parents to learn about computers and technology with their children. Activities include play sessions using electronic toys and robots, and using educational software on computers. Parents and children also use digital cameras to take photos which are then made into pictures and cards on the computer, and are also encouraged to search for activities and information online. Parents and carers are also offered assistance in online job searching and preparing CVs, and are encouraged to participate in training opportunities which may be available locally.

Partnerships in working


Craigmillar Castle Junior Tour Guides

Castleview Primary School's pupils, dressed in historical costumes from the time of Mary Queen of Scots, provide a tour of the historic Craigmillar Castle for classes from across Scotland.  The project is as a result of a partnership with Historic Scotland and is an innovative way to support teachers in implementing a Curriculum for Excellence.  Last year pupils from schools across Scotland participated in the tour, which is entirely pupil led.  Bookings have increased for this session and the project has supported raising pride in the Craigmillar area.

Highly Commended

Peep (Peers Early Education Partnership) In Edinburgh

Peep is a national early learning programme which aims to support all parents and carers with children from birth to age five. It encourages their child's development and learning through everyday fun activities in groups or at home. It is one of the evidenced based programmes named in 'Supporting Edinburgh's Parents and Carers: A Framework for Action 2009-2010', the Council and NHS Lothian's joint strategy which launched last year. Groups are being run across Edinburgh by practitioners in Child and Family Centres, Nursery Schools and Classes, Sure Start Projects, CLD and Health in a range of child and family and community settings.

Queensferry High School - Empowering Pupils & Parents using Customer Service Excellence

The school used Customer Service Excellence certification to improve the service they deliver by allowing them to review and evaluate how they understand the needs and experiences of pupils and their parents. This means they have been able to improve and monitor the ways they consult customers, distribute information, set customer service targets and measure customer satisfaction.

Quality of life


Promoting Positive Relationships

This is a partnership project working to support young people at Woodlands School to learn about healthy, respectful relationships and how to keep themselves safe.  This work is especially inspiring because of the way the school have involved parents, children, staff and external specialists to contribute to a whole school approach to an extremely challenging area of pupil welfare. The work at Woodlands School exemplifies effective partnership working to meet the expectations of the new Curriculum for Excellence and enhance the health and wellbeing of all pupils.

Highly Commended

Residential Care for Children and Young People, St Katherine's Centre- Health Promoting Units

The Health Promoting Units (HPU) scheme are currently being rolled out across all City of Edinburgh Council residential care units.  The approach was developed by a multi-agency partnership involving CEC Residential Childcare Manager, residential unit staff, CEC health improvement staff, NHS Lothian LAC Nursing Service, NHS Lothian Health Promotion Service, Edinburgh Connect (mental health service) and Healthy Respect. All partners continue to support the implementation of this scheme through input into its monitoring and ongoing revision, provision of training, and the accreditation of units as health promoting.

The Edinburgh Primary Schools' Sports Association

The Edinburgh Primary Schools' Sports Association (EPSSA) is an Association that is managed and operated by teacher volunteers interested and motivated to develop opportunities in sports, health and wellbeing for pupils who attend primary schools within the City of Edinburgh. During any school session, a minimum of 7,000 pupils take part in sporting activities and tournaments organised by EPSSA. These activities include football, netball, basketball, athletics and a number major events including the Interscholastics at Meadowbank Stadium.

Young Edinburgh Citizenship Award


James Gillespie's High School Student Council

The James Gillespie's High School Student Council was officially set up in 2008 and has been a totally independent project run by students for students with students leading in every way. The council has a membership of over 70 students with staff taking a back seat advisory role. The council supports all of the students within the school through fund-raising.  The council supports extra curricular activities by making a reduced price available for more vulnerable students.

Highly Commended

Youngedinburgh Communications Group

This is a group of young people from across the city who meet with staff to develop and improve communications for Youngedinburgh, the Edinburgh Youth Issues Forum and Edinburgh Young Scot. Over the many years the group have been together they have been involved in developing publicity materials for young people; youth information for websites; DVD's for schools; and youth information handbooks. They are also often asked by other organisations to help improve their communication with young people.

South Central Youth Forum - Youth Event

The youth event was held to promote the opportunities in the area to local young people.  The youth forum organised and sourced funding for a free event in South Edinburgh for young people.  The event promoted youth forums and youth groups around the area.  The forum also invited other agencies to the event which highlighted what was available for young people in their areas.

Opportunities for all


Gilmerton Child and Family Centre - Edinburgh Lone Fathers Project

The Lone Fathers project is a partnership between One Parent Families Scotland and the Gilmerton Child & Family Centre. When families are breaking up, it's a very emotional and vulnerable time. The fathers and the children face challenges in terms of their own attachment, and there may be other things going on in the dads' lives such as unemployment that can have a big impact.  This service offers support to Dads and to their kids who are potentially in the middle of a difficult situation.

Highly Commended

Panmure St Ann's School Support - Happy, Safe and Achieving their Potential

Panmure provides a holistic service to youngsters experiencing such challenging and complex difficulties that they cannot maintain a place within mainstream education. In this supportive environment pupils have opportunities to fulfil their potential and achieve success, often for the first time in their lives. As well as achieving qualifications, they participate in enterprising and community activities all underpinned by an emphasis on developing life and social skills.

Youngedinburgh - Scottish Youth Parliament Elections in Edinburgh

Elections for the Scottish Youth Parliament were held in September 2009 for the eleven Edinburgh seats. The objective was to increase the number of young people standing and the number of young people voting in the Elections. Information about the candidates was made available through social media, including Facebook and videos on YouTube. Young people were able to vote at schools, libraries and other locations across the city. The results were very successful, with over 5,000 young people turning out to vote. Eleven members were democratically elected to represent the young people in their constituencies.

Our Communities


Global Identity and Empowerment

This is a project aimed at empowering young people in Umlazi, South Africa and James Gillespies High School.  It is founded on mutual respect and understanding and the values of Curriculum of Excellence.  The project is embedded within the curriculum, provides direct support for schools and nurseries in Umlazi (e.g. soup kitchens), has cultural exchanges, staff professional development opportunities and involves all stakeholders in JGHS including parents.

Highly Commended

St Thomas of Aquin's RC High School - Continuing Success in Fairtrade

St. Thomas of Aquin's RC High School was the first school in Edinburgh to receive the prestigious Fairtrade School Accreditation status in December 2008 and has been successful in retaining its status for 2010.  The school has built on the success of previous years.  They have continued fund-raising to help a primary school with which they have links in Uganda and are developing links with The African Interest and Eco schools Groups within the school. 

Castlebrae Cluster Primaries Heritage Trail Studies

Castlebrae Cluster's Primary Schools worked together to design and produce Curriculum for Excellence lesson plans to study key points in Craigmillar.  They then produced a junior heritage trail map which was issued to every child in the Castlebrae Cluster from Nursery through to P7.  Their work introduced many pupils to their artistic and historical heritage and they now have an appreciation of the part Craigmillar has played in shaping Scotland's cultural history.


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