A highlight from Training

CEO’s Update

The IT equipment across the charity and service sites will be updated over the course of the next month to replace the outdated IT equipment, which is mainly held together with rubber bands! A huge thanks to funding from Queensbury House Trust and The ABC Foundation, as without this would never have been possible. This should allow us to encounter less IT problems going forward and save a lot of grinding of teeth.

Fundraising Updates

Our fundraising efforts over the last few months have included our Charitable Golf Day which was held at Bruntsfield Links this year and raised over £2,760. Helen, and her team the Rolling Rowans also participated in the Edinburgh Kilt Walk and managed to raise over £1,566. What makes this figure even more exciting is as part of the Kilt Walk and The Hunter Foundation commitment, they will top this raised figure up by 40%. Chris, Rynagh and more staff across RA will be participating in Naevember to raise funds for the charity, which involves giving up something you love dearly be it, alcohol or maybe chocolate for a whole month!  Grant applications have also gone in to more than six different potential funding streams to try and bring in further funding for the charity, with decisions announced as we hear back in due course.

Training Updates

Over the last couple of weeks Rowan Learning Centre has begun delivering its brand new ‘Trauma Informed Practice‘ training. The training was initially developed 3 years ago, to embed Rowan Alba’s principles of ‘Accept, Support, Include’ into staff work practice. Since the release of NHS Scotland’s National Trauma Training Framework (https://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/education-and-training/by-discipline/psychology/multiprofessional-psychology/national-trauma-training-framework.aspx) RLC staff have been working to incorporate these national standards into easy to digest training. Interestingly they found that Rowan Alba’s principles, values, and methods of working already matched up pretty well, so it wasn’t a massive task to get them all aligned on paper. So far we’ve delivered to over 20 staff from Rowan Alba, Cyrenians, The Action Group, Care4U and Edinburgh’s Common Ground. Feedback has been constructive, and positive, with attendees praising it for being “dynamic” “a safe environment” “empowering” and “unlike other training…a small step from information to implementation…realistic”. On average attendees felt over 50% more confident in supporting individuals who had experienced trauma, than they did before the training. With Trauma Informed staff being high on the Care Inspectorates list of training requirements, this practical, asset based, 2-day training has already gained plenty of attention.

CARDS Updates

We will now be offering a new all-inclusive social group for all our service users, carers, family, friends and volunteers that replicates the environment that they enjoy the most.  This will be our CARDS Café.  We plan to hold this in the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens Cottage and The National Portrait Gallery Education Room. The CARDS Café will be an informal social group serving breakfast and lunch and we will run an optional session after lunch offering support and information and gathering experiences along the way. Volunteers, staff, family, friends and carers or other supporters will be welcome to attend and input into the evaluation.  This creates a relaxed informal environment that many of our service users are motivated towards achieving to help them deal with the loneliness and isolation that they cite as the biggest barrier towards a better quality of life. This amazing opportunity has been made possible by an 18-month grant funding award from The Alliance, self-management fund.

Supported Accomodation Updates

Stramullion currently has two vacancies available to female support workers who feel they could support the women involved in our supported accommodation services to gain confidence and learn life skills. Click here to view and apply https://rowanalba.org/work-for-rowan-alba/

Throughout the summer Stramullion had volunteers from Aberdeen Standard Investments helping with the back garden at Stramullion. Lots of hard work was put into sprucing the garden up and now it’s an inviting place to relax in. We also look after our veggie patch and keep the garden weed free! Stramullion was also fortunate enough to be given several tickets for acts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Feedback from the festival was that it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Wednesday night book club is up and running again, after Sue took a break over the spring/summer. As the nights draw darker, Sue brings her bright energy into Stramullion. Whilst Sue reads a variety of poems, short stories, we listen with a cup of tea and biccie! Residents and staff also join in creating our own stories.

Our staff member Andie has worked her wonders and been offered free sessions for the residents this coming Sunday 27 October 2019 at the outstanding Float. Float philosophy is a flotation – based therapy company based in Edinburgh. Flotation therapy can help with both physical and mental health. Research shows it can help with feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.

On 21 November 2019, we have been very kindly given tickets for all residents and 3 staff to go and visit Edinburgh Castle. This was a big request from many residents as they have never had the opportunity to go to Edinburgh Castle and explore Edinburgh’s beautiful history!

And finally, the magnificent Vicky, who works with us, has worked her wonders at getting her beautician acquaintances to put together a beauty day of manicures, facials and haircuts, for any resident that would like some pamper bliss! It’s been a busy year so far at Stramullion and we are all very much looking forward to the festive season that’s just around the corner!

Thorntree Street was included in a STV news feature last month that focused in on the unique approach to addressing homelessness that it takes. The link can be watched at: https://youtu.be/vjEsZnlw4hk

On a sadder note, our long-term Thorntree resident Tom Wood has passed away peacefully at the age of 64 on 20 October 2019. Tom lived at Thorntree for over 10 years and will be dearly missed.

Perth Updates

It was with much sadness that we said farewell to Jodie, Stacey, Sharon and Janice in October. Four staff who had between them been with us an amazing 47 years. As is the way, services are tendered for, and Turning Point, a large national charity won them over. We were sorry to leave the Perth and Kinross area, having established the service over 20 years ago. Turning Point have got four great staff and we wish them all the best in their future with a very different kind of company and know they will continue to put users right at the centre of their work. We will also miss their coordinated Christmas outfits at this year’s RA Christmas party.

Thanks for taking the time to read our November Newsletter 2019.