Looking Back on 2017 at PossobilitiesPosted on January 8th, 2018 in Possobilities News
Happy New Year! It’s 2018 and while things continue to spiral inexorably out of control on a geopolitical stage, Possobilities are still hard at work in North Glasgow to provide the very best services for disabled and vulnerable people in our community.
With that in mind, we thought we’d give you a wee update of what we got up to in 2017 and what we’re planning to do as we move forward into the new year.
Chairperson – Rita Ferguson
I have been the Chairperson of these wonderful charities for three years now and have watched the centre continue to grow during that time. There has been a lot of work put into our centre in the last years with different fundraising activities and applications being submitted for grant funding, in which the centre has been lucky enough to have a good success rate.
Our clubs and activities are growing in numbers all the time and I am pleased to say that all of the events we hold over the course of the year are very well attended.
I am also delighted to have our new free Family Breakfast Club in the centre, in conjunction with our partners ng Homes. Families are welcome to come along from 8am every weekday and enjoy a free, healthy breakfast together. It’s another example of how Possobilities and our partners are always striving to bring the community together.
Possobilities and Cook ‘n’ Care have a very bright future ahead with lots of new and exciting things happening, many of which you will hear about at this evening’s meeting or be able to read about in this report.
I would like to thank you all for your continuous support in 2017, our fantastic members, our dedicated volunteers who without your help our services couldn’t operate, to all of our staff who work so hard for the good of the centre and its members, and our partners whose support and encouragement is always welcome.
Management – Jim McCabe & Melanie Fyfe
It’s been a very busy 18 months here at Possobilities and Cook ‘n’ Care. We have been relentlessly applying for grant funding and support for many areas within the centre, from creating sensory gardens to designing websites, to creating new positions within the centre, to introducing new activities, all the while holding up the values that the centre and its members hold dear.
The sensory garden and new summer house were a big success story from the Summer of 2016 and even featured in the Evening Times, that funding enabled us to create a beautiful space where our members could go outside and enjoy the sunshine, and our arts and crafts group could get outside and paint lovely paintings and also put into place the gorgeous bell tree mural by our Artist In Residence Ron Green on the back wall. The summer house now also hosts our weekly VIP group.
We were successful in getting funding for a new website, not only for the centre, but Cook ‘n’ Care as well, and through this funding we were able to employ Michael Park, who was initially funded for 6 months but via funding secured from The Scottish Government’s Strengthening Communities fund, we were able to keep him on board for another year.
Just before Christmas 2016 we had to say goodbye to our long-serving Finance & Administration manager John McLardie who decided to take early retirement.
In the leadup to Christmas, our Santa’s Grotto proved to be another great event in our calendar with over 300 local children coming into the centre to meet Santa and take part in festive activities, facilitated by Claire and her amazing volunteers. Thanks to funds raised through kind donations to our Localgiving page and from local organisations, we were able to provide this free of charge too.
Thanks to Celebrate Scotland and the Area Partnership, we received funding to buy new Christmas trees and decorations, which are already giving the centre a festive flair this year, and to provide a Christmas party for members, volunteers and staff which was greatly appreciated by all who attended.
The new year brought its first piece of good news when we received a three year funding package from the Robertson Trust and throughout the year we have had many funding oppprtunities come to fruition which our members will benefit from in the coming months. From new activities to new storage solutions giving us more valuable activity space in the hall.
We had a very successful run of sessions with Bargo Services, who you will be hearing from at this meeting. They came in and provided keep fit classes which our members loved, our new cookery classes are another successful session, our daytime and evening sessions continue to go from strength to strength and we have our upcoming Big Bingo fundraiser to look forward to, which will be very well attended as always.
Our ‘Posso Abilities’ gym, which we have been working on for three years and you can read more about on page ten, is now well on its way to completion and we will have big news on that in the coming months.
Once again, we would like to thank all of our members, volunteers, and staff for their continued support and hard work and we look forward to a bright 2018 for Possobilities and Cook ‘n’ Care.
Development – Louise Hunter
In the past 12 months we’ve been extremely busy building new programmes and making new memories with our members, we’ve been able to do this as a result of the dedication and support of our members, families and volunteers!
We’ve been able to run a very successful summer programme with the support of Clyde Cash for Kids. During our summer programmes we were able to offer additional services throughout the six week period to give kids some structure and fun to their holidays. We were able to go to Glasgow Science Centre, Kelvingrove Museum, bowling, hill walking in the Campsies, bubble football and the Riverside Museum. On top of this we ran additional social groups and had our first Summer Prom and Graduation!
We ran our first Easter and October week programme this year supported by Clyde Cash for Kids, where we encouraged healthy eating, walks, social opportunities and outings to Glasgow landmarks like Scotland Street School!
At our social groups we have implemented a new format in the delivery of our activities, ensuring our members can try a bit of everything! Often attendees asked for bigger events such as discos, bingo and quiz nights during their social time. What we do now is plan out each month of activities ensuring there is one week each month with a larger group activity. These activities include Possobilities Got Talent, BBQ’s, Murder Mysteries, and sports days.
We’ve also had some exciting visitors to the social groups! We’ve had the local Police team, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Services, Pets at Home, NHS oral hygiene workshops, Alcohol & Drug Awareness workshops and have been joined by student interns from Germany and Sweden.
We have also had amazing partnership workshops through Bargo Services, Paragon, The Village Storytelling Centre and British Red Cross. Through these partnerships we’ve been able to offer chair-based exercise classes, imaginative storytelling workshops, expressive music activities, and an understanding of basic First Aid.
This Christmas we left it to our members to decide what special activities they wanted to take part in and no surprises – they picked the brilliant Wizard of Never Woz panto at the Pavilion Theatre, as well as a trip to the bowling for the younger crew to determine the ultimate Possobilities Champion.
2017 has been one exciting adventure after another, with new activities and new members each week giving us a glimpse of what 2018 holds in store for us. We hope to have another year of adding new projects to the timetable, meeting new faces and building on the memories we have formed this year which have been nothing short of amazing!
Daytime – Claire Nisbet
I have been supporting adults with a disability during day time social clubs for two years now and have been part of the centre for a decade, creating new and exciting programmes that has caused a dramatic increase to the numbers of service users accessing Possobilities.
By working closely with Community Lifestyles and Social Work I have been able to recruit almost one hundred new members and there continues to be a high demand for daytime services. This is beneficial for us and means that we have – on average – two new starts per week.
One of our new programmes that I am extremely proud of is The Interns, a group of young adults who are developing life skills to make them more employable in the future. The group work on money management, budgeting, cooking skills, CVs with the aim of gaining work experience going forward.
When the group began they set goals, and one of the young people had a dream to become a DJ. We were able to make this dream a reality by allowing him to DJ at our Halloween Spooktacular this year.
This year we nominated our amazing volunteers from Cook ‘n’ Care into the Evening Times Glasgow Community Champion Awards 2017 and they won the North West award! This was an amazing experience for our volunteers to attend and receive acknowledgment and praise for all of the hard work they do in the community.
This year we have been busy with fundraising events, we had our Psychic Night which was a success, raising more than £700, then in the summer we held a family fun day/car boot sale raising more than £200. Not only are we raising funds for Possobilities, we are working hard to bring our community together.
Our annual Big Bingo night took place in November which was a sold out success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended! We raised in excess of £1,000 to go toward the work that we do in the centre.
We have been working really hard to expand and grow our daytime sessions in line with the demand from the local community and our members and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!
Cook ‘n’ Care – Julia McInally
Cook ‘n’ Care remains an award-winning, essential service provider to some of the most vulnerable people in the North Glasgow area.
We have been busy over the past few months giving the service a push in order to increase our customer-base and spread the word among our partners and other like-minded organisations.
As well as ensuring that our usual contacts from the likes of Social Services, Community Connectors, Community Links, and Tenant Support Workers are aware of any updates to services that we provide, we have also been working hard to make new links by attending networking events, meetings, and getting out and about in the community to spread the word about the possibilities of Cook ‘n’ Care for those looking to live more independently.
We have visited local sheltered and very sheltered housing units and hospitals whose users are those who may find our services most beneficial. Additionally we have visited local GP surgeries to make update their staff on the service and leave leaflets for patients who may be seeking to make a change.
We have recently carried out a customer and volunteer survey in order to guide the direction of Cook ‘n’ Care and provide us with feedback. We were delighted with the response to this among our customers and our incredible volunteers and we are currently in the process of analysing the results.
The Steamie continues to be one of our most popular services with much of our customer feedback acknowledging how convenient, efficient, and affordable it is. Now that Winter has come, we have seen a definite upturn in this service and we continue to welcome new customers to all of our services, both by word of mouth and also through referrals from our professional contacts and partners.
I anticipate a challenging but exciting 2018, with the nature of a Social Enterprise such as ours, there is a need to regularly generate new custom and we are looking at new and innovative ways of doing this as we go into the new financial year in April.
Meal Delivery Service
For almost 12 years, our social enterprise, Cook ‘n’ Care has been providing a first-class meals delivery service for vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in their own homes.
Cook ‘n’ Care widens Possobilities’ message of supporting independent living because we are able to help people stay in their own homes for longer.
We serve the whole of North Glasgow and pride ourselves on the quality of our meals and the efficiency and friendliness of our volunteer care staff.
Our volunteers and work experience placements continue to lead the provision of this essential service to our community. Helping customers to remain independent in their own homes, and giving families and carers reassurance and necessary respite. We continue to update and innovate throughout our menus to give variety to our customers, and the feedback has been excellent.
Our service is open to anyone who needs it. Some of our customers have a disability, others use Cook ‘n’ Care simply for convenience or due to temporary illness.
Our volunteers are the face of our service and constantly do us proud.
We work with a number of local housing associations, Queens Cross, ng Homes, GHA, and Maryhill Housing Association to deliver our hot meals to their Sheltered and Very Sheltered housing units.
We have a strong partnership with many organisations in our community who rely on our lunch clubs to promote social inclusion among their clients and service users. Feedback from our partners has found that another benefit of offering lunch clubs is the potential for an activity, such as bingo, being provided afterwards which further boosts inclusion and combats social isolation.
The Steamie Laundry Service
In addition to Cook ‘n’ Care and the fantastic social programmes offered by Possobilities, we also offer an affordable laundry service, known as The North Glasgow Steamie. It was developed to complement these other services and is designed primarily to support those living at home who may have trouble lifting heavy items like baskets of laundry – or even those who just want a break from the washing!
We can wash any item for customers in our industrial machines including bedding, quilts, most items of clothing, bulk kits (football, rugby etc.) as well as heavily soiled items which other machines may struggle to clean effectively. We also dry clothes before they’re returned to the customer.
Not only is our laundry service significantly cheaper than many others available in the city, our pick up and delivery service is free meaning that laundry will be returned washed and dried within three working days.
Through Cook ’n’ Care we are able to provide two work placement opportunities every eight weeks with JobCentre Plus. This can either be in our industrial training kitchen and Community Café, or out and about in the community with our delivery vans. This is a very successful scheme which operates daily.
We also work with the Unpaid Work Scheme (formerly known as Community Payback) to provide other catering and training opportunities in our kitchen. We offer accredited certification through Glasgow Kelvin College, which helps volunteers prepare for future interviews and boosts their confidence. We also offer Saltire Awards which are available for younger volunteers.
We try our best to retain talented volunteers for the good of both the organisation and our customers who rely on a good relationship with us to maintain their independence.
This year we held a barbeque in the centre to celebrate the contribution of our volunteers and hand out recognition certificates. Two of our longest-serving volunteers, Betty & Myra, became the first recipients of our Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteers.
Unsung Local Heroes
Some of our staff and volunteers were recipients of Spirit of Ruchill & Possilpark’s Unsung Local Hero Awards in 2017. The awards, nominated by people in the community, recognise local people who go above and beyond to help others. John, Alex, Jim, Frances and Linzi were all winners and we are immensely proud of them.