Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Rising Stars (RS) in Aberdeen is a weekly group aimed at vulnerable, socially isolated parents who are struggling to bond with their pre-school children. We aim to reduce isolation, enable social interaction and enhance parenting skills. Common themes affecting the families we support are: domestic violence, young parents who need parenting support, postnatal depression, loneliness, isolation and families suffering economic disadvantage.

RS runs for 42 weeks over the year. Each session lasts around 2.5 hours. Access to the group is by referral; a Co-ordinator assesses the suitability of all families. We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment to encourage participation, learning and development. Staff facilitate a variety of activities including arts & crafts, music, story time, games and puzzles.

We provide expert speakers on themes such as child development, debt advice, health and confidence building; we also provide a crèche to enable parents’ participation. Recently, we have introduced cooking lessons and advice on nutrition, budgeting and family health. These sessions are delivered by staff and volunteers who have undergone NHS Confidence to Cook training.

We rent facilities from the local Boys Brigade group. This provides an excellent city centre space, which is disabled accessible. Where needed, we provide bus fare costs for families to ensure maximum participation.
Austerity, cutbacks in services and a downturn in the local economy have significantly increased the numbers of disadvantaged and marginalised families.

Currently, we have 15 families involved in RS, most of whom live in acknowledged areas of deprivation. 7 families are single parent families, 6 families are from ethnic minorities, 3 are dads and 1 is a grandmother (kinship carer).

Recent activities have addressed the following themes:
• Healthy eating, budgeting and “cooking with kids”
• Music & movement
• First Aid for under 5s
• Relaxation
• Potty/toilet training
• Gross motor skills – climbing, jumping, playing
• Childsmile – oral health advice
• Arts & crafts
• Bookbug reading sessions
• Play@home books – NHS Grampian initiative

The parents largely suggest topics themselves and we’ve noted a growing emphasis on mental and physical health themes. Working with a parent-led programme helps ensure maximum buy-in and participation. This ensures we address families’ real needs.

We are facing a significant financial deficit in 2019/20 and we will not have the funding to continue RS. This application will fully fund 1 year’s running costs, from April 2019, which includes supervision, safeguarding, health and safety, and insurance.

Staffing: £4454 (Co-ordinator, Group Worker and Admin support)
Hall rent: £2500 (Hall/other facilities from Boy’s Brigade)
Volunteer/misc. expenses: £700
Total: £7654.
This will support a minimum of 15 families.

At an average cost of £510, RS delivers a high quality, value for money service.

Through evaluation and feedback from group members we know RS significantly improves:
• Confidence in parenting
• Parent-child bonding
• Household routines and family management
• Take-up of other services (such as debt advice)
• Engagement with “hard to reach” families

Parents leave us with enhanced parenting capacity, improved self-confidence and practical coping strategies – essential skills for modern family life.

Local communities also benefit as families become more involved in their neighbourhood. This can involve the take-up of appropriate local services, use of facilities such as libraries and swimming pools, and less dependency on statutory services.

Some parents have gone on to become volunteers. They have gained the confidence and skills, not only to look after themselves and their families, but to care for and support others.

We believe strong families build strong communities. A vote for Rising Stars will make a real difference to families in need.

Project Video

Home-Start Aberdeen

Moment of Pride

Rising Stars helps parents help themselves. It reduces isolation, improves confidence and enhances parenting skills. Over the past 30 years, Home-Start Aberdeen has improved the lives of thousands of vulnerable families, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

Location: Aberdeen City, UK