Cooking at Home - 4 Week Challenge: Developing independent life skills during Covid-19 emergency
The Clare CYPSC is delighted to be working with Obair Newmarket-on-Fergus on an important initiative that aims to tackle food poverty, targetting families where there is a child under 6 years old.
Obair was selected by the Children's Rights Alliance as one of a select number of pilot areas in the Country who received financial support for their innovative initiative.
The Clare CYPSC has been working with Obair to identify 100 children in three priority areas 1. Ennis 2. Kilrush and 3,Shannon.
These families will receive Fresh Food Boxes which will be delivered to homes as part of the Cooking at Home project. The scheme will be in operation for four weeks with families receiving their Fresh Food Boxes with simple meal recipes delivered to their homes 3 days a week.
Families will be identified by Tusla staff, Clarecare staff and local preschool providers. Local volunteers will act as the Fresh Food deliverers in the three areas.
The Clare CYPSC would like to acknowledge these volunteers, in particular the Irish Red Cross, who have come on board to support this project. The CYPSC Active & Healthy subgroup has also directed finacial support to the project as has the Clare St. Vincent de Paul. This funding will be used to provide families with cooking utensils ( pots, graters, chopping boards, peelers etc) so they are fully equipped to engage with the initiative.
The aim of the project is to promote healthy eating in the home and upskill parental capacity in this area.
It is hoped that after the four weeks the families who engaged will continue their new found love of cooking with their children through programmes such as the HSE Cook-It initiative which we will plan for post Covid-19.
Clare Covid-19 Community Response Forum
Supporting children and their educational transitions during the Covid-19 emergency response
The CYPSC Achieving in Learning subgroup identified supporting educational transitions as one of its priority areas for 2020. Since all pre-schools and schools closed in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 emergency, children have missed out vital transition perparation they may have received during the last academic term. In response to this, the Clare CYPSC is engaging with a multi-media team to design and build interactive virtual tours of school facilities which the children can watch at home in advance of them starting in their new schools in September 2020. It is hoped that these tours will make the children more confortable and familiar with the new spaces they will be learning in during this important educational transition.
An online survey of 6th class students in Shannon Co. Clare on the theme of transitions will play an important part in the design of the secondary school virtual tours. This survey will be distributed by all Shannon primary schools in April 2020. This is in keeping with the CYPSC commitment to youth participation in all phases of its projects.
Five primary schools and five secondary schools in Clare will be selected by the Clare CYPSC to be pilot sites for the interactive virtual schools project.
- Junior Infant classrooms in five schools will be photographed/filmed.
- The images will be built into a virtual tour.
- Points of interest will be identified in each classroom as selected by each school
- Using a range of technology (animation pop ups/interactive audio files of teachers speaking) these points of interest will be highlighted for the children as part of the tour.
- Other facilities such as the school hall and school yard may be included
- Sound effects and other creative ideas will be used to make the experience as realistic and engaging as possible for the children i.e. sound of the school bell and explanation as to what the bell signifies, sounds of children playing in the yard etc.
- Parent information included as to how to best prepare your child to start school.
- The finished tour will be uploaded onto each school website
- Select spaces will be identified by each of the five secondary schools.
- These spaces will be unique to a secondary school environment such as woodwork rooms/science labs/home economics rooms/language room/sports hall/ canteen/lockers etc.
- Points of interest will be identified in each space provided by the teachers that teach in these spaces.
- Using a range of technology (animation pop ups/interactive audio files of teachers speaking) these points of interest will be highlighted for the incoming 1st year students as part of the tour.
- Other elements such as voice overs by the 1st Year Head teacher will be utilised to talk to students about 1st year and what they should expect.
- A generic tour of a digitally constructed Junior Infant classroom will be built for dissemination to all other primary schools/pre-schools in Co. Clare. This generic tour will highlight general points of interest that may be common to all Junior Infant classrooms.
- The same technologies/interactive elements as described above, will be utilised in the generic tour.
- Once completed, the generic tour will be available on the CYPSC website as well as other sites for dissemination.
- Personalised elements will be available to schools wanting to use the generic tour such as being able to add stills of the school crest/photographs to the start of the tour.
- All tours will be available to schools and their students in August 2020.
Supporting education and learning in the home during the Covid - 19 emergency response.
As a result of school closures, parents have become the sole educators of their children at home. A financial burden has been placed on some families who may have lost their incomes due to the Covid-19 emergency. In order to support families, the Clare CYPSC provided funding to the Kilrush and Ennis School Completion Programmes for the development of educational materials packs. These packs contain practical materials that support children's learning in a home environment. 172 families across Ennis and Kilrush received these packs directly to their homes with the support of the SCPs in these areas.
Supporting families in Direct Provision Accomodation during the Covid - 19 emergency response
The Clare CYPSC identified supporting families seeking asylum in Direct Provision Accomodation as one of its priority areas back in 2016. For fourteen years, the CYPSC Coordinator coordinated the Knockalisheen Christmas Wish campaign for all children and young people under 18 living in the Centre.
Families living in communal living spaces are facing greater challenges to self isolate during this difficult time. In Knockalisheen DP Centre, for the 22 families residing there, the only dedicated private family space they have is their bedrooms. All other spaces such as the canteen and recreational rooms are communal. In ordero adhere to social distancing, many families may be spending additional time in their confined bedrooms. Parenting children under these circumstances can be a challenge. In order to support these families, the Clare CYPSC provided funding to the Northside Family Resource Centre in Limerick to deliver child support packs to all 25 families.
In 2019, the Clare CYPSC supported a number of children to engage in their local communities through community arts programmes. Below are a few of the successful Knockalisheen participants who won prozes at the CYPSC funded Knocklaisheen Got Talent Show in November 2019.
Continuing our youth participation work during the Covid-19 emergency response.
As a result of social distancing requirements, a range of CYPSC focus groups with children, which were integral to our planning processes, had to be cancelled. Staying committed to our values, interactive online surveys were designed in order to continue to hear the voices of children to inform and direct our work. In partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology, the Clare CYPSC is developing an animation for children aged 7 - 10 years old on the theme of children's rights, safety and planning. The following survey was designed and distributed to parents of children via social media and parent Whats App groups, in order to gauge children's ideas around the design of the project. The interactive child friendly survey can be viewed HERE
To read about another CYPSC Click here.
Clare and Limerick CYPSC - Bridging the Digital Divide for young people
Since the Covid-19 emergency was announced it has come to the attention of the CYPSC that there are young people in our communities that do not have access to digital technologies in the home that can facilitate remote learning. These students have been placed at a significant disadvantge. In order to breach this "digital divide" , in partnership with TESS and the University of Limerick Access Office, the Clare and Limerick CYPSC initiated a call out to corporations and service providers for donations of laptops which would be securly restored and distributed to students identified by their school.
We are currently liasing with corporations and individuals that have stepped forward to offer their support for this worthwhile initiative. Remote learning is going to be an aspect of schooling throughout 2020 so all donations will not only support end of year learning but future learning needs also.
Clare CYPSC Wellbeing Pamper Packs - Supporting mental health and families in Direct Provision
In April 2020 the Clare CYPSC supported 25 families in Knockalisheen Direct Provision Centre with wellbeing pamper packs. Each pack was hand made by a local supplier ( www.giftguru.ie). Our colleagues in CAMHS included mental health resources with each pack. Familes isolating in communal facilities with limited personal space are facing additional challenges during this time. Supporting their mental wellbeing is paramount, particularly as some of these families have already experienced trauma in their asylum journey and in their countries of origin. The H.S.E Psychosocial Response System agreed to identify families in Direct Provision as a vulnerable population who may be in need of targetted support and interventions. On site staff support and training was offered via I.P.A.S.S to staff in the Centre.
The contents of each pack were as follows:
- Ear plugs – To get a little quiet time even in busy places.
- Dove Set - Some Dove products and a sponge to enjoy.
- A Lavender Neck Pillow : inside is Rice. You can heat it or cool it. Place it on a radiator to heat or in a fridge to cool.The lavender oil inside has relaxing properties.
- An eyemask to help relax.
- A facial mask for travelling outside if you need to.
- All of the cloth items can be washed at 40 degrees or less. The rice pillow will lose its lavender smell if it washed.
- A beauty facemask – something to relax and help your skin. Some packs may have more than one in case someone else in the family may like one.
- Vaseline – Lip balm
- Handcream – All the handwashing is leaving us with dry hands so this might help a little.
- A game – something to play and occupy a little time.
- Some chocolate – something sweet always makes us feel a bit better.
- Justbe.ie – Room Spray. This is an essential oil room spray to help lighten the smell of any room. The blend is handmade with : Lavender ( relaxing) , Geranium – (balancing), Bergamot (warm), Grapefruit ( uplifting) and Cedarwood ( soothing). It is mixed with distilled water and alcohol to help it to stay intact for longer.PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. NOT FOR INGESTION OR INTERNAL USE.
- Manicure Set – This little pretty set will be useful for nails.
- A tailor made pack for Dads was also prepared.