This week, as we look back on a year of funding highs, we want to bring to life the three approaches that we ask you to embrace and evidence when applying for our medium and large grants. Today we focus on our ‘people led’ approach.
New grant holders, Mind Mosaic, were awarded £122,329 National Lottery funding from our Improving Lives fund to provide counselling and specialist play therapy to over 200 children and their parents and carers across Inverclyde.
By its nature Play Therapy is centred around the child and their needs. As well as gathering feedback on their services via focus groups, Mind Mosaic also work jointly with local young peoples’ groups to identify the needs and specialist interventions required by young people to help inform the project’s activities.
Family Worker, Stephen Crawford, tells us more: “The way our service works is that the concerns or issues for each child are at the very centre of the service we provide and we tailor it to meet those needs.
“During the play therapy sessions the child always leads the way every time, even when they can’t tell us verbally whether that be due to age, disability or through trauma and grief.
“Often, but not always, the first piece of play equipment can tell us where the heart of the problem or issue really lies. For instance if a child goes to a doll’s house this can mean that the heart of the problem lies in the family home. All of our equipment is specially chosen to lead the sessions and our play therapists are trained to draw information out of the child in a way taking into consideration their very unique circumstances and personalities . During the course of the sessions various themes emerge and the story that the child is trying to tell through play becomes apparent.
“Because each child is at the centre of what do, we provide a service for the whole family should that be required. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and parents can have their own issues too.
“The advice I would give to a group who want to be people led is to always ask and keep listening to what people are telling you. Then make sure you take on board what they are telling you. Don’t do it as a one off exercise but keep having regular contact and conversations with people who use your services and then feedback to them on a regular basis.
I would also add that measuring change and evaluation is really important as what you are being told can help you to shape the services you are offering to best meet the needs of the people you are trying to help.”
If Mind Mosaic’s story has inspired you and you have an idea for funding you can contact us for advice on your project idea.