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We study, research, evaluate, learn and share our knowledge.

We constantly evaluate our work, and that of our partners, to measure our effectiveness and improve our impact. We believe with rigorous assessment we can continually improve on the work we do and help the charity sector to work better and smarter, allowing vital social organisations to do more for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in Scotland.

Completing Your Application Online: Video and Transcription Slide 1 – Introduction Hello! My name’s Gemma, and I’m a member of the Equality and Human Rights Fund team here at Inspiring Scotland. This video will provide some technical guidance for completing the online form. Please complete the form in Word first, then copy and paste your

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How To Complete the EHR Fund Budget Form:  Video and Transcription Slide 1 – Introduction Hi. I’m Chris Smith, and I’m a member of the Equality and Human Rights team here at Inspiring Scotland. This short webinar will take you through how to fill in the Excel budget form that has to be submitted as

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Link Up: Working Better Together in Place

The Place-based Programme Learning Exchange, a collaboration of national organisations that champion ‘place’ in their practices, has released a report highlighting what works and what doesn’t in place-based approaches. This report aims to share these key learnings to enhance both the scale and quality of place-based working across Scotland, and draws on over 50 years

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Practitioners Guide: Benefits of Outdoor Risky Play

  In this week’s #TuesdayTips blog we explore the subject of Risky play. You might be wondering …what even is risky play and how can I safely practice risky play in an ELC setting? This blog will cover this and more also highlighting some of the main benefits of #OutdoorRiskyPlay.  

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Webinar 5-Changes to the Delivering Equally Safe Fund

This webinar covers recent changes to the Delivering Equally Safe Fund. This is part of a series of five webinars which are available to support you as you develop your application to the fund. Transcript Slide 1: Welcome Welcome to this Webinar where we will be discussing recent changes to the Delivering Equally Safe Fund.

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Webinar 4-Applying to Delivering Equally Safe as a partnership

This webinar has been designed to support those who are applying to Delivering Equally Safe as a partnership. This webinar is part of a series designed to support you as you develop your application to the fund Transcript Slide 1: Welcome Hi and welcome to this webinar – where we will discuss applying to Delivering

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Webinar 3-Outcomes and Activities for Delivering Equally Safe

This webinar looks at developing your outcomes for your application to Delivering Equally Safe. This is part of a series of webinars which will include advice on completing your application, developing partnership applications and your outcomes and activities. Transcript Slide 1: Welcome Welcome to this webinar where we will be looking at developing your outcomes

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Webinar 2-Setting your budget for Delivering Equally Safe

Transcript Slide 1: Welcome Welcome to this webinar where we will be looking at developing your outcomes for your application to Delivering Equally Safe. This is part of a series of webinars which will include advice on completing your application, developing partnership applications and your outcomes and activities. Slide 2: Meet the team My name

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Webinar 1-Tips for Completing your Equally Safe Application

In this webinar we will provide you with an overview and tips for your Delivering Equally Safe application. This is the first in a series of webinars that include advice for setting your budget, support developing your outcomes and advice about working in partnerships.   Transcript Slide 1: Welcome Welcome to this webinar where we

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Children’s Parliament Guest Blog

  In this blog post, Children’s Parliament team member and current student-teacher Catrin discusses her experiences of playing and learning outdoors and what can get in the way of children realising their right to play and their right to reach their full potential through education.  

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Scotland’s National Outdoor Play and Learning Position Statement Relaunch: Campaign Toolkit

  Show your support and commitment to the statement by sharing the key messages within this toolkit on social media. To make this easier for you we have created a social media graphic to be used on social media and accompanying text for you to simply copy and paste into your own social media posts!

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Organised Outdoor Community Play: Budget Proposal

  Please download below a copy of the Organised Outdoor Community Play Budget Proposal.  

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Connection to Nature Activity

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. It’s time to re-connect with nature!  This activity is one that the whole family can do that engages all our senses.

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Thursday Think Piece-Connection to Nature

  For our first Thursday Think Piece we have a longer more informative blog from Jo Fitzpatrick- Learning Outdoors Development Officer here at Thrive Outdoors. This blog is a continuation on from Jo’s Tuesday Tips on the same subject of ‘Connection to Nature.    

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Delivering Equally Safe Fund Update

On the 24th March 2021, the Scottish Government and COSLA issued a joint statement on the Delivering Equally Safe fund. The statement, available in full below, outlines a number of important changes to the fund which have come in with immediate effect.    

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Connection to Nature

  In this week’s #TuesdayTips guest blog we hear from our very own Jo Fitzpatrick- Learning Outdoors Development Officer here at Thrive Outdoors. Jo has extensive experience in outdoor education with the subject of her final masters thesis being on ‘Connection to Nature’. In this blog Jo shares some handy tips and activities you can

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FAQ’s Delivering Equally Safe Fund

       

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Forest Kindergarten Training

  ‘When we observed a Forest Kindergarten, I saw that the children were not afraid to climb trees to get mucky, but this is all positive risk taking. When children climb trees or get muddy, they are exploring and growing in resilience and confidence, it teaches them not to be afraid’- Mairead, Glasgow Clyde College

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Therapeutic Powers of Play part 2

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play.. Part 2 for parents! In this week’s guest blog we hear from Deidre a play therapist based in Ireland who shares the therapeutic benefits of play and some handy play tips and activities for parents.

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Equality and Human Rights Webinar 4 – Impact and Outcomes

EHR Webinar 4 – Impact and Outcomes (video and transcription)

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Equality and Human Rights Webinar 3 – What types of activity will be funded?

Webinar 3: What types of activity will be funded? (video and transcription)

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Equality and Human Rights Webinar 2 – Fund Context

Equality and Human Rights Fund Webinar 2 – Fund Context (video and transcription)

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Equality and Human Rights Webinar 1 – About the fund

Equality and Human Rights Fund Webinar 1 – About the Fund (video and transcription)

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Equality and Human Rights Webinar 5 – How to apply

EHR Webinar 5 – How to apply (video and transcription)

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SiRD Progress Update

The latest SiRD 2021 progress report.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Therapeutic Powers of Play

  ‘Birds fly, fish swim, children play’ -Garry L. Landreth, Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship In this week’s guest blog we hear from Deidre a play therapist based in Ireland who shares the therapeutic benefits of play and some handy play tips and activities for both parents and practitioners.        

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Video: Outdoor ELC for Parents: Why do parents choose an outdoor nursery experience for their child?

Parents share their experiences and reasons for choosing an outdoor nursery in Scotland for their child. ‘From One Parent to Another.’

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Video: Outdoor ELC for Children: What do children think of their outdoor nursery?

What better way to hear what it’s like to attend an outdoor nursery in Scotland than from the children?

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Video: Outdoor ELC for Practitioners: What’s it like to work in a fully outdoor nursery?

Staff from all levels talk us through their experience of working in an outdoor nursery in Scotland. The Scottish Outdoor ELC workforce message is, ‘You have to try it!’

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Bringing more play to the school day!

  ‘There is an untapped resource of highly trained play professionals within many out of school services across Scotland. Let’s build on this model of partnership and educate the “whole child” within our schools. Let’s not only strive to make Scotland the best place to grow up but a super place to be educated in

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Create a Mini Garden

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. It’s time to get creative in the garden… Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? well it’s time to head to the garden to get creative! The garden is the perfect place for some outdoor

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Roberta’s Outdoor Learning Story

   Roberta’s story- ‘My outdoor learning journey!’ Back in 2017, Thrive Outdoors started working with Glasgow City Council to create collaborative nursery partnerships across the city to explore outdoor play and learning. One of these partnerships was the Welly Wanderers led by the Jeely Piece Club and involving eight local nurseries in Castlemilk. We caught

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Insight Paper – Employer Links

This second youth unemployment focused Insight paper by the Our Future Now team outlines the importance of employer engagement in enabling young people with the most challenging lives to compete in the face of fewer opportunities and greater competition for jobs. These young people face considerable disadvantage and the support delivered by the portfolio is

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Treasure Hunt

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. It’s time to go on a treasure hunt… Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? well it’s time to head to the beach so wrap up warm! The beach is the perfect place for some

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Play and Wellbeing Tips

   The power of play!  This week’s blog is from us at Thrive to raise awareness of the benefits of play on a child’s mental health. As some of you may know it is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we thought it might be useful to offer up some handy tips and activities for

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Creativity in the outdoors

  Time to embrace getting creative outdoors! This week’s guest blog is from Matt Searles -Head of Learning at Jupiter Artland. In this blog he shares his thoughts on taking a creative approach to outdoor learning and more on learning creativity in the outdoors.      

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SIRD progress report

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Snow Castles

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Do you wanna build a snow….castle?! Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? Here’s your chance to get outdoors, increase creativity and have some fun with this tactile snow themed activity.

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FAQ’s -Outdoor Winter Clothing Fund

       

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A Practitioner’s Guide: The joy of wintertime outdoor play

  Time to embrace winter weather! This week’s guest blog is from Dr Claire Warden from Mindstretchers Academy. In this blog Dr Claire shares how she believes embracing winter can bring about many new opportunities for outdoor play and learning as well as some top tips on keeping warm and dry. An interesting and informative

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Home-Schooling Ideas for Outdoor Learning

  Taking home-schooling outdoors! Top Tips for Incorporating Outdoor learning into your home-schooling schedule! Once again we all find ourselves in the midst of another lockdown with the prospect of becoming ‘teacher’ as well as parent again seeming rather daunting to many of us. But fear not the Thrive Outdoors team are on hand with

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Fun in the Snow

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Snow Activities  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? A chance to get outdoors and have some fun with these easy and simple snow themed activities.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Top 20 tips of 2020

  It was amazing to see how outdoor play and learning was fully embraced this year in spite of all the challenges. We all realised just how important the outdoors is- not just for our children but for the WHOLE family. As we face yet more restrictions at the start of the new year –

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Leaf printing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Leaf printing  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? A chance to get crafty with materials you have gathered outdoors! Collecting leaves of different shapes and colours is also a great opportunity to learn about

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Play in Primary Schools

  It’s a Primary School takeover!  This week’s guest blogger is Natalie Campbell, Education and Outreach manager & Forest school manager at Earthtime who shares her top tips for incorporating Play in Primary Schools! Free play at any age or stage allows for opportunities to be creative, test and develop problem solving skills, build relationships

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Pine Cone Bird feeder

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Pine Cone Bird Feeder   Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? Gather materials to make a pine cone feeder for your flying friends in the garden!

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting started with Bushcraft

  Its a Scout leader takeover!  This week’s guest blogger is Ignacio Luna Borras – Scout leader and founder of Earth Nature Adventures who shares his hints and tips on getting started with Bushcraft  and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience more outdoor learning and the chance to connect more deeply with

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Nature Mandala

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Nature Mandala  Looking for something fun and outdoors to do with the kids this weekend? What sort of treasures can you collect to make a stunning nature mandala with!

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Lets talk Cohorts

  Are you interested in learning more about what forest school nursery involves?  and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience more outdoor play and learning…then our latest blog is for you! This week’s guest blogger is Zoe Sills, Nursery Manager at Earthtime Forest School Nursery. Zoe shares all her hints and tips

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Flexi-schooling Fun

  Are you a parent or carer interested in learning more about flexi-schooling and how it can offer up the opportunity to experience outdoor play and learning…then our latest blog is for you! This week’s guest blogger is Gemma Craigie-Sharland, Performance and Impact advisor here at Inspiring Scotland featuring her daughter.Gemma shares more on what

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Increasing Understanding of Autism Programme- Progress Report

Read about what funded projects have been doing over the last six months from January-August 2020 with an update on the Increasing Understanding of Autism Programme impact over this time.

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Getting Started

  Are you a nursery looking to do more outdoor play but aren’t sure where to start? This week’s guest blogger is Vicki Shiels, manager of the Waterfront Nursery in Edinburgh. The Waterfront team have recently started on an exciting new outdoor adventure and this blog shares some of their first steps and tips to

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Inspiring Scotland Insights November 2020

  Inspiring Scotland’s monthly intelligence report, providing an overview of key issues being reported by charities supported across its funds. Initially developed as an internal resource, these reports help to highlight issues as they emerge, predict what is needed in the months ahead, and explore how we can best respond collectively. We also believe this

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Childminder Takeover 1

  Are you a childminder looking to do more outdoor play but aren’t sure where to start? Childminder extraordinaire Emma Smith is this week’s guest blogger, revealing her secrets to embracing and enjoying every opportunity to get outside. It’s a childminder takeover!  

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Link Up: Transforming Relationships

Annual Publication 2019-2020 Link Up is Inspiring Scotland’s community development and wellbeing programme.  It started in 2011 and sits at the heart of our ambition for a Scotland without poverty and disadvantage. It is among the largest and longest-running programmes of its kind in Scotland. Link Up brings people together to create activities and events

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Experiences

  The third of a series exploring the Play Pedagogy shared principles;  interactions, spaces and experiences. We know that learning experiences provided in the earliest months and years in a child’s life are critical for their future success in life – here are a few key experiences that can make a big impact on the development

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Spaces

Is going outdoors like stepping into the unknown? Alastair Davidson shares his approach to establishing an outdoor space for use in the early years.

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Inspiring Scotland Insights October 2020

  Inspiring Scotland’s monthly intelligence report, providing an overview of key issues being reported by charities supported across its funds. Initially developed as an internal resource, these reports help to highlight issues as they emerge, predict what is needed in the months ahead, and explore how we can best respond collectively. We also believe this

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Interactions

  Interactions are where the powers of nature and human nature meet. Dr Lynn McNair of Cowgate Under 5s Centre in Edinburgh talks fish faces, strong air, and enjoying the magic of discovery in this week’s guide exploring child and adult interactions in the outdoor environment.

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Islands Green Recovery Programme Summary

The Scottish Government recently launched the £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme/Prògram Ath-Shlànachaidh Uaine nan Eilean (IGRP). Background The £230 million ‘Restart the Economy’ capital stimulus package was announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance on 16 June 2020. The package was launched to help stimulate Scotland’s economy in light of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Our Future Now: Year One Report

The first year report for Our Future Now – Inspiring Scotland’s 10 year youth employability fund to help a generation of young people in Scotland flourish. Through the Our Future Now Fund, Inspiring Scotland has created a vehicle which enables the Third Sector to respond as a collective and at scale, utilising its 10 year

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Insights: Young People Falling Through the Cracks

Falling Through the Cracks is the first in a series of Insight Reports developed by Inspiring Scotland which we hope will help  inform our collective response to the youth unemployment crisis that has resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the positive response from Government to the Covid-19 youth unemployment crisis, some young people will fall

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Supporting Outdoor Childcare Provision A3 Guide

This printable A3 guide is designed to show  the range of possibilities when designing or developing high quality outdoor childcare provision. The guide includes examples of practice combined with site-specific and appropriate design and covers: site & access,  shelter,  toilets & handwashing, eating, clothing and play material . You may also find the Outdoor ELC

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Foraging

Are you worried you don’t know your edible mushrooms from your less ‘savoury’ kind? Are you just not sure what it is or where to start? We asked a couple of foraging experts, Hamish from Baltic Street Adventure Playground and to Zoe at Earthtime for foraging know-how!

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Different Minds.One Scotland. Toolkit

Different minds. One Scotland. is the first national campaign on autism and was created in response to The Scottish Government Consultation on The Scottish Strategy for Autism, which highlighted the stigma and discrimination that autistic people face.

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Loose Parts Play Toolkit

Welcome to the second edition of the Loose Parts Play Toolkit. In this edition, we have tried to reflect the changing context. Loose parts for play are a more familiar sight, but their introduction is still providing a learning and development experience for adults and organisations, as much as for children. With this in mind,

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Animal antics

We would love to have animals at our setting, we’re just not sure where to start. We asked practitioners who have pets on their site just how they manage…

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Nature scavenger hunt

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Nature scavenger hunt What sort of treasure can you find outdoors?

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Support In The Right Direction Progress Update

This Progress report provides an update on  project activity from October 2019 to 31 March 2020. As the  Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown started to take effect in the last couple of weeks of the latest report period. In June 2020 we asked projects what the impact of lockdown was on their activities and how

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy – Part 2

What is pedagogy? It’s in all the documents, but we are not really sure what it is… Pedagogy is defined as the study of the methods and activities of teaching – but how does this relate to your work as an outdoor play practitioner? And how on earth do you pronounce it? Find out more

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Spread your wings

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Spread your wings How many different birds can you find in your local area…

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A Practitioner’s Guide: Unpacking Pedagogy

What is pedagogy? It’s in all the documents, but we are not really sure what it is… Pedagogy is defined as the study of the methods and activities of teaching – but how does this relate to your work as an outdoor play practitioner? And how on earth do you pronounce it? Find out more

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The world’s oldest toy

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. The world’s oldest toy What can you build with twigs and sticks…

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A Practitioners’ Guide: ‘We can’t live without’

What are the top must-have tips for Outdoor ELC? We asked outdoor practitioners from across the country for their ultimate all time TOP TIP. For tips that save your socks and your sanity, look no further!

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Drawing with chalk

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Drawing with chalk Unleash your creative side…

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A practitioner’s guide: Knots and Ropes

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help! How do tie knots and what rope do I use?” Tying knots can get us into a real tangle. They can look so…complicated. Never fear, our on the ground practitioners tell us that just five knots can cover most situations

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Video – Practitioner Tips: Knots and Ropes by FCDWL

Don’t get in a tangle – learn all about ropes and knots with Si the knot guy from Family & Community Development West Lothian.

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Wild side

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. A walk on the wild side Take a walk with a difference…

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A practitioner’s guide: Tarp Tips

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Tarp is one of the best bits of kit for Outdoor ELC?? What can I do with it??” A tarp is one of the most useful resources in a practitioner’s backpack and is one of our essential pieces of kit for

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Bug Hunting

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Bug Hunting We know about going on a bear hunt. But what about a bug hunt…

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A practitioner’s guide: Five Minute Fires

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – Everyone’s talking about fires but how do you actually build one?” For a fire first timer, building a fire outdoors can be scary. The good news is, by following a few simple steps you too can enjoy the benefits

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Cloud Gazing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Cloud Gazing Take some time out to relax and watch the clouds. Here’s how.

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A practitioner’s guide: What to wear for children

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – I’m starting Outdoor Nursery, what should I wear?” Being outside is so exciting, there is just so much to explore! But what should a mud-exploring little adventurer wear for outdoor nursery/forest kindergarten?  This guide takes a closer look at

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A practitioner’s guide: Handsfree handwashing

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – What is a tippy tap?” How can you make handwashing handsfree? Follow this guide to making your own tippy tap.

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A practitioner’s guide: Outdoor ELC Can’t or won’t?

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. “Help – I know I should be outside, but I’m stuck” Taking the first steps to learning about the outdoors can be a bit daunting and some of us  simply haven’t got the ‘outdoors’ bug.  This guide is here to help

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A practitioner’s guide to What to Wear

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Help – We have no idea what to wear outdoors The right clothing is key to ensuring that time outdoors with children is as enjoyable as possible. A little planning and thought can prevent us from being distracted and/or miserable due

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A practitioner’s guide to hand drying

  Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. Help! – How do we dry hands, kill germs and save the planet? Cleanliness of hands after washing is a priority, so how important is hand drying, in achieving clean hands? The transmission of bacteria is more likely to occur from

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A practitioner’s guide to Shelter

Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play. One of the most frequently asked questions in outdoor ELC is, what happens when it rains? The perfect solution to any Scottish weather is to get the children motivated and build yourselves a shelter. This guide covers popular techniques from pallet and

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Resource: Covid-19 weekly intelligence gathering

Each week Inspiring Scotland staff produce a Covid-19 intelligence report providing an overview of the key issues being reported by the 300 charities Inspiring Scotland supports across its funds. These initially were developed as an internal resource to help highlight issues as they emerge, help to predict what is needed in the months ahead, and

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A practitioner’s guide to handwashing

Part of Thrive Outdoors downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play.

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The Play Cards Series

Chalk drawing, denbuilding, crazy races, islands and sharks, nature activity, rainbow road and cloud gazing – just some ideas for play in this series of Play Cards. Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – 17 downloadable play card resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19. 01 Drawing with chalk 02 Building

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16 Rainbow road

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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15 Helicopter

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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14 Croquet

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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13 Footgolf

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Research into Digital Exclusion in Scotland

During Covid-19 we knew the levels of digital exclusion across Scotland would become forefront. Our calls with charity leaders and frontline staff highlighted what we knew: Pre-existing inequality meant that people across Scotland were excluded from accessing support services  and that many of these services were compromised, reduced or couldn’t be delivered due to lack

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Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 2

Ever wondered how you can help out local wildlife? A budding ornithologist from Edinburgh Forest Kindergarten show us how to ‘Build a house for a Robin’

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12 Nature activity: Birds

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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11 Nature activity: Bugs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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10 Cups and Downs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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09 8 Steps to Heaven

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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08 Islands and sharks

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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07 Kangaroos and frogs

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Video: Urban Outdoor Play

‘You don’t need to be in forest to be outside.’ Hamish Orr from Baltic Street Adventure Playground in Glasgow, shares ideas and enthusiasm for outdoor play in towns and cities (C19A)

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Video: Connecting with Nature in ELC 1

There are lots of requests for fire building training in early years. A future Outdoor Education Officer from Craighead Country Nursery shows us his top tips.

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Video: Outdoor Play, Health and Wellbeing

What happens when we spend more time outdoors? Zoe Sills from Earthtime for All in Elgin, explains the benefits of outdoor play-based learning for adults and children in Scotland. (C19A)

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Practitioner Tips #2

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Practitioner Tips #1

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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06 Crazy races

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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05 Be a bean

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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04 Den Building

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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03 Mask Making

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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02 Building with twigs and sticks

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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01 Drawing with chalk

Part of Thrive Outdoors Make Time For Outdoor Play – a downloadable series of resources developed to support outdoor play during COVID-19.

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Support in the Right Direction 2021: Year 2 progress report

This report contains updates on the Support in the Right Direction fund between April and September 2019.

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Working Together: Inspiring Scotland in 2019

? We support essential charities to become extraordinary charities, enabling them to support the people and communities in Scotland that experience inequality and help them to change their lives for the better. We do it because we want a healthy, happy and thriving Scotland, without poverty or disadvantage. Introducing Working Together, the 2019 Annual Review of our

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What good looks like: Telling your story and Evaluation

Welcome to What Good Looks Like: Telling your Story and Evaluation. This is the third in our series of guides showcasing best practice, which have been developed in close partnership with Survivor Charities. If you’re interested in this area of work and want to learn more, please contact either Debbie McColgan or Angela Jamieson.  

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What good looks like: Service Delivery

Welcome to What good looks like: Service Delivery, the third of our best practice guides, prepared in partnership with Survivor charities. Other guides will be added as part of the ‘What good looks like’ work. If you are interested in taking part in this or would like any additional information, please contact either Debbie McColgan or Angela Jamieson.

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Supporting Outdoor Play Provision

This guide is designed to show you the range of possibilities when designing or developing high quality outdoor childcare provision. The list provides examples of practice combined with site-specific and appropriate design.

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intandem impact report

Find out more about what intandem does in the intandem impact report 2019

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Active Play Prospectus 2019

Active Play promotes greater physical activity for Scotland’s children in a way that is fun, inclusive and active. It contributes directly to Curriculum for Excellence outcomes in health and wellbeing. The Active Play programme runs for a minimum of 10 weeks and is targeted at a whole Primary 3 or 4 class and helps improve

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Support in the Right Direction 2021: Year 1 progress report

This report contains updates on the Support in the Right Direction fund between October 2018 and March 2019

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Loose Parts Play Toolkit 2019 edition

We are pleased to announce the publication of the revised edition of the Loose Parts Play Toolkit. The updated Toolkit provides a greater focus on helping adults develop the skills to support inclusive, all-weather outdoor play in Scotland and encourage them to allow children to play in a less structured and more imaginative manner. Since

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What good looks like: Staff Expertise in Trauma Awareness and Training

Welcome to What good looks like: Staff Expertise in Trauma Awareness and Training , the second of our best practice guides, prepared in partnership with Survivor charities.  Other guides will be added as part of the ‘What good looks like’ work. If you are interested in taking part in this or would like any additional

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Link Up: Local People Building Flourishing Communities

For people to thrive, three things really matter: supportive relationships, confidence and self-esteem. Seven years of Inspiring Scotland’s Link Up programme has demonstrated beyond doubt that these three things are not only fundamental human needs essential for individual wellbeing, they are the foundations on which individuals and communities can change things for the better. Find out

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Information for intandem volunteers

If you’re interested in volunteering as a mentor with intandem, you can find useful information here.

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What good looks like: Survivor-led services

Welcome to What good looks like: Survivor-led services, the first of our best practice guides, prepared in partnership with Survivor charities.  Other guides will be added as part of the ‘What good looks like’ work. If you are interested in taking part in this or would like any additional information, please contact either Debbie McColgan

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14:19 Fund 2018 Annual Report

This reports on the progress of the 14:19 Fund in 2018.

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intandem External Evaluation – Blake Stevenson report

Inspiring Scotland commissioned Blake Stevenson to undertake an external evaluation of Phase 1 of the intandem programme, Scotland’s first national mentoring programme for children and young people who are looked after at home, from August 2017 to March 2019. This report details the key findings of that evaluation, looking at the benefits for mentees, mentors

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Out to Play – creating outdoor play experiences for children: practical guidance

This document is a step-by-step guide providing practical advice on how to access outdoors spaces, including land or forest areas owned by local authorities, private landowners or national bodies (such as the Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage) to create safe, nurturing and inspiring outdoor learning experiences.

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Scotland’s Coalition for Outdoor Play and Learning Position Statement

  In 2018, we brought together a broad group of academics and organisations from education, childcare, healthcare, environment and government to create Scotland’s Outdoor Play and Learning Coalition. The Coalition created a bold position statement which committed signatories to working together to embed playing and learning outdoors as an everyday activity and a fundamental part

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Funders of Play 2018

This guide contains eligibility, priority and contact details of organisations funding not-for-profit and charitable organisations in Scotland. It has been complied for Inspiring Scotland’s Thrive Outdoors programme and therefore focusses on potential funders of play activities. Funders have been selected through a review of SCVO’s ‘Scottish Directory of Funding for Third Sector Organisations’ and a

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14:19 Fund 2018 Half-year Report

This interim report reviews the performance of the Inspiring Scotland 14:19 Fund in the six-month period from January to June 2018. This report offers a snapshot of the progress of the fund in its final year and we are pleased to report it is on track to deliver its annual targets. This will mean we

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Inspiring Scotland – What we do

We strive for a Scotland without poverty or disadvantage. Through our thematic funds, covering issues from youth employment to childhood health and wellbeing to community development, we work with and fund the organisations and people who can have the greatest impact. We want to make Scotland a better place and everyone at Inspiring Scotland, and

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14:19 Fund 2017 Annual Report

Introducing the ninth and penultimate 14:19 Fund Annual Report showing another year of amazing impact for Scotland’s young people.

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Profiles of Young People from the 14:19 Fund

This report was commissioned by Inspiring Scotland to highlight the profile of participants of the 14:19 Fund, which targets the most disadvantaged young people who are not in employment, education or training, to help inform any future development of the Fund.  

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Free to Play: A guide to creating accessible and inclusive public play spaces

Free to Play: A guide to creating accessible and inclusive public play spaces is designed to ensure that all children and young people, including those with additional support needs, can exercise their right to play in their local communities. Written by play, children’s rights and inclusive play space experts, Theresa Casey and Harry Harbottle, the guide has

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Review of Independent Information and Support Services

Download the research findings from the 2017 ‘Review of Independent Information and Support Services’. The report presents findings from an evaluation of project funded to deliver such activities under the Support in the Right Direction (SiRD) Fund.

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14:19 Fund 2017 Half-year Report

This interim report reviews the performance of the Inspiring Scotland 14:19 Fund in the six-month period from January to June 2017.

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14:19 Fund Academic Review

An academic review commissioned by Inspiring Scotland and written by Mike Danson and Joanne Macfarlane assessing the impact and continued requirement for the role of the third sector in combating youth unemployment through programmes like 14:19 Fund.  

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14:19 Fund Independent Evaluation 2017

An independent evaluation undertaken by Research Scotland exploring the impact of Inspiring Scotland’s first and longest running fund.  

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Self-directed Support Innovation Fund Progress Report: Year 2 2016/17

Innovation Fund Progress Report April 2017 The Self-directed Support Innovation Fund (2015-2018) aims to support innovation and piloting of different service models as well as help develop the capacity of practitioners and providers to implement Self-directed Support. In Years 1 and 2 of the Fund (April 2015 – March 2017) 21 projects spent a total

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Support in the Right Direction Fund: Year 2 Report 2016/17

The Self-directed Support: Support in the Right Direction Fund (2015 – 2018) aims to build the capacity and availability of independent support services across Scotland. In this second year £2.9 million was spent by 36 funded projects delivering Independent Support and this report outlines reported progress to March 2017. Projects are delivering a range of activity

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Link Up’s Relevance in a Justice context

Link Up is making a significant contribution to the delivery of Scottish Government’s Justice Strategy by: • Addressing the psycho-social factors that can cause individual criminal activity or increase the risk of unintentional harm. • Giving individuals the support, confidence and skills to choose alternative life-courses. • Building social connections & community trust, making people

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Link Up’s relevance to a Healthier Scotland

Focusing on some of Scotland’s most deprived communities, Link Up is making a significant contribution to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce health inequalities and improve health by: 1. Addressing the social determinants of health, widely recognised as key to addressing health inequalities and setting foundations for positive change 2. Growing individuals’

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Support in the Right Direction Progress Report: Year 1 April – September 2015

This report for the Support in the Right Direction Fund reviews the progress  between April and September 2015. Download the Resource  

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Support in the Right Direction Innovation Fund Progress Report: Year 1 April – September 2015

This report for the Support in the Right Direction Innovation Fund reviews the progress of the fund between April and September 2015. Download the Resource

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Video: Your Support Your Choice

A short animation from Dundee Carers Centre that explains self-directed support using text, narration and British Sign Language. The animation explains what self-directed support is, who it is for, and how to access it.

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Active Play: Evaluation Report April 2016

Through our Go2Play Fund, we have invested in four play organisations to deliver an Active Play Programme targeting children in the more deprived areas of Scotland. The Active Play Programme uses play as a means to engage children in physical activity, and to build their skills, confidence and motivation to introduce greater physical activity into their

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Autism Innovation & Development Fund Progress Report 2016/17

Supporting people with autism and their families to lead more meaningful and satisfying lives. At Inspiring Scotland, our vision is to create a Scotland without poverty or disadvantage. It is not going to be easy to achieve, but we know from experience when people, communities, charities and government all work together, remarkable things can be

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Pro Bono Supporter’s Guide

It is through collaboration we will transform society. Read our guide to how our Pro Bono programme works and join over 420 professionals who each want to make a difference, giving their time and expertise to a range of charities.

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Inspiring Scotland 2017 Overview

When Inspiring Scotland was formed in 2008, we wanted to tackle some of the long-term, entrenched social problems faced by Scotland’s people and communities. Since then, we have transformed 100,000s of lives, supported more than 300 charities, built a network of more than 350 professional pro bono volunteers and managed ÂŁ120m of funding for Scotland’s

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14:19 Fund Report 2016

In 2016, with the support of Inspiring Scotland Performance Advisors, 14:19 Fund charities helped more young people than in previous years achieve a positive destination with just over 5,000 moving into employment, education or training. At this point in the fund, it is a sign of great maturity, resilience and progress towards sustainability which will

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“It’s safer outdoors than in indoors.”

Dr. Mark Tremblay of Canada’s HALO Research talks to Prof. John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde and Rachel Cowper of Inspiring Scotland about how, counter to to popular belief, it is safer for children to be outdoors than indoors. This video is part of a series on the health crisis faced by young children

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Play Champions Toolkit

This Play Champion Toolkit is designed to support partners working with Primary schools to engage in more activity that is playful within their school day. It outlines a programme, which play workers can use to support primary school children to become ‘leaders’ of play. It is designed for play charities working with schools, school staff

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Guide: Easy-read guide to Self-directed Support law

Download an easy-read version of the Scottish Government’s statutory guidance to the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013.

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Guide: Future Visions -A guide to Self Directed Support for young disabled people and their parents and carers

Download a guide to getting the best from Self-directed Support for young disabled people from the Glasgow Disability Alliance.

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Guide: SDS- Personal Assistant Employer’s Handbook

Download the guide from Scottish Government to becoming a Personal Assistant Employer in the context of Self-direct Support legislation and policy.  

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14:19 Fund Report 2011

2011 marked the three year milestone for the 14:19 Fund and I am pleased to report it is successfully achieving exactly what it set out to – supporting disadvantaged young people across Scotland into employment, education or training. These initial three years have provided ÂŁ19.2 million of direct cash investment in the ventures in the

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14:19 Fund Report 2012

The 14:19 Fund has an impressive track record from a standing start in January 2009, with almost 9,000 young people supported into positive destinations of employment, education or training to December 2012. Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund delivered yet another strong performance in 2012. It has achieved greater social impact year on year since its launch in

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14:19 Fund Report 2013

2013 was a significant year for Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund. It marked the half way point in this ten year fund, which has delivered its strongest performance to date. It has achieved greater social impact, year on year since its launch in January 2009 and has supported over 12,000 disadvantaged young people across Scotland  into

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14:19 Fund Report 2014

The 14:19 Fund delivered another strong performance in 2014. 14:19 Fund ventures supported more young people than in previous years and more young people achieved a positive destination of employment, education or training. 74% of young people who completed venture programmes in 2014 successfully secured a positive destination.

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“Physical activity levels are far too low” – children’s health & well-being in Canada & Scotland

Dr. Mark Tremblay of HALO Research and Prof. John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde discuss childhood inactivity levels in Canada and Scotland from the Active Healthy Kids Report Card 2016 – one of the reasons we strive for physically active outdoor play for all of Scotland’s children.

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Link Up – Background, rationale and logic model

Link Up looks at how strengthening social networks and facilitating opportunities for people to help each other through an activity, builds trust. It also explores how supporting others through these activities increases the confidence and capacity of individuals to seek solutions to their own problems instead of outsourcing their needs to external organisations.

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Economic Evaluation of Link Up 2014

In 2014, independent evaluator Matrix was commissioned to undertake a preliminary examination of the monetary value of the impact of the Link Up programme established by Inspiring Scotland. This report does not provide a full cost benefit analysis rather, it gives an indication of the potential economic value of a still-evolving programme.

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Support in the Right Direction Fund Interim Progress Report: Year 2 April-September 2016

The Support in the Right Direction Fund (2015-18) aims to build the capacity and availability of independent support services across Scotland. £1.36 million has been invested in 36 projects in the first half of Year 2 (1 April 2016 – 30 September 2016).

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Self-directed Support Innovation Fund Interim Progress Report: Year 2 April-September 2016

The Innovation Fund (2015-2018) aims to support innovation and develop the capacity of providers to develop the workforce and to support people to directly or indirectly purchase support. £0.58 million has been invested in 21 projects in the first half of Year 2 (1 April 2016 – 30 September 2016).

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Link Up Phase 1 Independent Evaluation

This evaluation of Link Up by ODS Consulting has found that Inspiring Scotland has successfully delivered its asset-building approach in ten communities in Scotland. There is clear evidence that this has had significant positive personal impacts for those residents who have been actively involved in these communities.

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14:19 Fund Focus of Investment

This guidance was published in 2008 to coincide with the launch of the 14:19 Fund and outlines the focus of the investment.

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14:19 Fund 2016 Half Year Report

This reports on the progress of the 14:19 Fund first six months in 2016.

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14:19 Fund Baseline Report

This report, which was published in 2008, provided a starting point for Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund. It introduced the issues underlying the problem of young people who are neither learning nor working and suggests what the fund might hope to achieve.

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Guide: SDS assessment process for children with additional support needs

A short video from the Self-direct Support Forum in East Renfrewshire explaining the SDS assessment process specifically for children and the terminology parents may encounter.

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Organisational transformation – Murton Trust video

Having worked with Inspiring Scotland as part of the 14:19 Fund since 2009, Murton Trust in Angus has transformed from an under-used outdoor education facility to a a thriving, SQA-accredited vocational training centre.

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Active Play Evaluation Summary

Active Play: Physical Activity by Stealth. Download a summary of independent evaluations & research into Active Play.

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The Practices, Impact and Implications of Inspiring Scotland’s First Five Years

“The complexity and urgency of our social challenges demand careful examination of emerging institutional and financing models that aim to meet them. Inspiring Scotland is such a model: a pioneer in venture philanthropy, it is notable for its targeted, portfolio-based approach and the large amount of public money it receives and channels. Those features attracted

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Support in Right Direction Progress Report : Year 1 April 2015- March 2016

The National Strategy for Self Directed Support (SDS) in Scotland sets out a vision for high quality support and advice which enables people to make genuine individual choices and promotes independent living. Known as ‘Independent Support’, organisations including charities and care providers, are helping people make informed decisions about SDS to ensure that any care

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14:19 Fund Report 2015

Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund has an impressive track record from a standing start in January 2009, with over 20,000 disadvantaged young people across Scotland supported into positive destinations of employment, education or training to December 2015. 2015 saw 14:19 Fund ventures operating at scale and delivering significant growth in social impact, both in terms of

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Self-directed Support Innovation Fund Progress Report: Year 1 April 2015 – March 2016

The National Strategy for Self Directed Support (SDS) in Scotland recognises the need to build capacity of providers and develop the workforce to support the effective implementation and delivery of SDS. The SDS Innovation Fund (2015-2018) aims to support innovation and the piloting of different service models as well as help develop the capacity of

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Autism Innovation & Development Report

The purpose of this paper is to provide a six monthly progress report from Inspiring Scotland on the impact of the Autism Innovation and Development Portfolio activity during the period 1st April 2016 to 30th September 2016. We have looked at what activities have been delivered and what impact this is having. It ties together

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How to approach Cost Benefit Analysis

Social care charities are particularly adept at spotting gaps in services for the most vulnerable in our communities, and as such are able to respond with early intervention programmes that can save both local authorities and health services a large amount of money. But, as a charity, how can you evidence that, or even start

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Go2Play Outcome and Evaluation Framework

Download the original Go Play Outcome and Evaluation Framework, set out in 2011, which established the principles of Inspiring Scotland’s play programme.  The guide identifies ways that play organisations can realistically demonstrate their difference though the use of evidence and helps the play sector to identify common ground to assess how play organisations can have the

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Play Ranger Toolkit

This Play Ranger Toolkit was developed using the experience and learning of Play Ranger charities supported by Thrive Outdoors, initially under its former name Go2Play. The Play Rangers project focused on providing opportunities for children to access free play within their community – on street corners, or in local parks or woodland. The toolkit is

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Active Play Literature Review April 2016

This brief literature review by the University of Strathclyde PhD student Avril Johnstone provides the background literature to the evaluation of Inspiring Scotland’s Active Play Programme. The evaluation has the following research question: does the implementation of an active play programme improve physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills competency in children?

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Realising the potential in our communities: A synthesis of three years of learning from Link Up

For decades, and despite millions of pounds of investment, Governments and public agencies have struggled to change the experience of many people living in Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities. Problems of low life expectancy, low levels of employment and educational attainment persist. Link Up set-out to prove that creating the right conditions for change and the

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Evaluation of Active Play in Glasgow by Blake Stevenson – Dec 2016

Read the independent evaluation by Blake Stevenson into the impact of Active Play in Glasgow. This report covers the first cohort of pupils to take part in the programme from August 2016 and was completed in December 2016.

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