This might not be the most riveting part of our presentation of the work of The Jenniburn Centre SCIO, but it is important that we explain:
The need for The Jenniburn, working in concert with Trustees - all from the local community - and in partnership with voluntary and statutory bodies tackling the many issues facing residents in Castlemilk and beyond is amply demonstrated by consideration of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
The latest figures available show that the area, despite all the cosmetic improvements of recent years, remains in the 5% most deprived areas of Scotland in terms of income deprivation, low employment, poor health, housing, high crime rate and low educational attainment.
Underpinning the work of The Jenniburn is a recognition of the fact no single body can address these issues and that the solutions are as multi-faceted as the problems.
There is one factor, however, that is common to almost all the issues faced by the community.
That is that for services to be accessible and to be delivered effectively, they need to be delivered as close to the community as possible.
The Jenniburn Centre SCIO aspires to continue and develop partnerships with all relevant statutory and voluntary organisations to bring a wide range of services for the community, to the community.
Trustees do not ignore the more traditional roles of such centres in the provision of venues for recreational, cultural and leisure activities and these are catered for, but there is a greater emphasis on overcoming barriers, be they territorial or perceptual for the delivery of relevant services in a venue which is readily accessible to the community.
In this context, exemplars are the work with the Kingdom Heritage Foundation in establishing a foodbank and place of worship, with Jobs & Business Glasgow in the five days per week Job Counselling Service, the Down's Syndrome Scotland Communication group which is being negotiated with a view to a three days per week service working with young people and their parents, the South Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Hub which is soon to expand its’ work in the Jenniburn to whole family provision including a homework club for the children of adults attending the services and shared evening family dinner service etc.
Recognition of the need for equality of opportunity, in the context of, for example, physical access, cultural sensitivities and lifestyle choices etc etc is crucial.
The Jenniburn offers no barriers to those with mobility impairments in respect of access/egress and use of the facility with ramps, disabled toilets etc available.
The Centre has hosted events for the LGBTI+ community and for various minority ethnic groups.
Trustees recently approved a policy document in respect of Muslim Dietary Guidance in order that cultural sensitivities might be observed when providing catering for relevant events.
The issue of multi-lingual signage is one of practicalities and is currently being addressed by Trustees.
The immediate environs include numerous groups – a precise figure and breakdown has yet to be identified – using different languages and it is hoped that Trustees will be able to engage with Education Services to use (obviously anonymously) the information they hold to identify the key languages of minority ethnic groups in East Castlemilk and to make appropriate arrangements for signage to be multi-lingual – with the priority being those associated with Health & Safety Functions.
It is not practicable for The Jenniburn website and Twitter feeds to be available in multiple languages but the intention is to provide an introductory page in each of the main minority ethnic languages identified with links throughout to on-line, free to use translation.
The provision of signage in braille has already been explored but the costs are prohibitive and an alternative source of funding needs to be sought to address this.
The Jenniburn’s long running Open Access IT project, providing free to use, broadband linked PCs has assisted in bridging not only the digital divide in respect of assisting people to access information/benefits etc, but in providing rudimentary translation facilities to overcome communication barriers.
Territorial imperatives, either real or perceived, remain a problem as does the cost (either actual or consequential in terms of child care, organisation etc) of travelling to venues outwith the immediate environs of the homes of individuals who, in cases of, for example, addiction issues may have what are unkindly referred to as chaotic lifestyles and for whom every possible barrier to services must be removed.
The role of Trustees is not merely in the passive provision of accommodation for activities, it is in actively lobbying for services to be brought to the community rather than expecting the opposite to be the case. Further, it is using revenue earning strategies to cross subsidise priority groups such as, for example, the Foodbank and Jobs Counselling Services which help them to be located where they are needed.
Local support for such initiatives is demonstrated by uptake of services. By the fact that other bodies are increasing their presence in the area and the frequency of their meetings.
Given that all voluntary and statutory agencies are under financial pressure to ensure that the public pound is well spent, they would not be slow to withdraw provision form where it is no longer needed or where there was no positive response form their various target groups.
All partners (inclusive of Trustees) apply different criteria to determine the success or otherwise of their initiatives and the value or lack thereof of sustaining projects.
Ultimately, however, the partnership agreements and the response of the community we all serve determines the development and direction of the project(s) and underpins arguments for ongoing support in both financial and logistical terms.
Local interests are, therefore, of crucial influence at two levels - as expressed by the Trustees and as manifested by the response of the local community to the services provided.
The purpose of the project is to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary bodies, as well as community groups and individuals to bring services for the community to the community.
In that respect, the aspiration sounds simple, but the reality is complex.
As has been previously stated, both real and perceived barriers exist to participation in activities/programmes aimed at developing the potential of individuals, the resilience of communities and the capability for groups/individuals to improve their own situations and those of the community in which they live.
Prominent in any list of such barriers is proximity.
All too often, people in need of assistance, support and/or who could benefit from guidance from qualified individuals, lack the incentives and/or motivation/organised lifestyle to travel to where they are available.
Bringing solutions to where the needs exist underpins much of the work of Trustees of The Jenniburn and its' partner organisations.
The project is therefore, aimed at working with others to identify relevant needs and to identify partnerships whereby these needs might be addressed by those most qualified to do so and in an accessible environment that is literally “close to home”.
Trustees seek to support and develop existing partnerships and to identify new ones in respondse to perceived or expressed needs in the community.
The Centre will offer a base for, and prioritise, such activities rather than merely operating as a quasi-social club.
That is not to detract from the importance of such leisure orientated activities, indeed the Jenniburn will continue to offer accommodation to a wide range of cultural, leisure and sporting activities/classes, it is a reflection of the wider perception of the role of a community centre in an area of multiple deprivation.
Additionally, The Centre will continue to be used as a polling station thus negating the need for at least one school closure and avoiding working parents having to make alternative and often costly arrangements for childcare.
The Jenniburn will also continue to feature as an emergency refuge centre in the Council’s Emergency Plan and to offer similar facilities to local housing associations when required.
Find out how by contacting us at:
The Jenniburn Centre SCIO
370 Tormusk Road
Tel: 0141 630 1323
Or use our online contact form.
The website is here to tell you the who, what and why about our Centre.
The best place to go for NEWS about what's on and when in The Jenniburn is our Twitter Feed (see below).