The First 6 months of MyTime Scotland

by Tracey Burns, Group Work at Peer Support Manager at Families Outside.

I can’t believe it has been 6 months, time really does fly!

Building on the feedback and momentum from the consultation ‘Conversation Cafes’ the first MyTime Peer Support Group started in March 2019. It has been a busy, challenging, rewarding and exciting time for the group coming together, meeting me and the other group members for the first time, building new friendships and having the opportunity to talk about how their family members imprisonment has affected them.

MyTime Scotland is held once per month at Vox Liminis, in Glasgow, 5.30 – 7.30pm.

From the first group member joining we now have 9 children and young people who attend MyTime Scotland on a regular basis, travelling from across the East & West of Scotland.  Each month the topic of conversation in the group is decided by the children and young people and is based on the issues they are experiencing as a result of their family members imprisonment.

In some of the first MyTime group meetings the group were meeting for the first time they found that playing ‘Getting to Know You’ bingo helped them start conversations and find common group with each other. The group also made ‘Thinking Hats’ while chatting about the thoughts and feelings they have experienced from having a family member in prison. From this conversation the group identified that they were experiencing particular thoughts and emotions surrounding their family members imprisonment which led to a discussion about identifying, expressing and managing anger.

FUN!!!!

It is really important to the children and young people that as well as having the opportunity to talk to other children and young people about how their family members imprisonment affects them they also want and need to have FUN together. The group asked that they have the opportunity to do fun things together and for their other family members to be able to take part sometimes and already they have had a ‘Family Fun Day’ in partnership with HighBalls Low & Glasgow Life, and a group cycle activity in partnership with Bikes for Good (South).

The group also welcomed Families Outside’s first SW Student, Lisa Petterson to one of their groups. Lisa was surprised to learn that the children and young people had only been meeting for 2 months feeding back that;

“I was very impressed with how far along they are in terms of confidence, sharing personal feelings and information, and being respectful of each other.”

This has been an action packed 6 months that wouldn’t have been possible without help in facilitating the group from Sam Jelf, the Volunteer Manager from Families Outside who has supported the first 6 sessions of group delivery. A HUGE THANK YOU to Sam for all her help and support. We say goodbye to Sam as our new Peer Support Group Volunteer, Linda Brown Joins us, although Sam will still be joining us for our future bigger group events.

MyTime Scotland Peer Support Group are looking forward to the next 6 months and beyond sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences and welcoming any new members who join them.

For more information on MyTime Scotland, Families Outside’s Group Work and Peer Support project please visit www.familiesoutside.org.uk/families/group-work-peer-support/

Our Group Work and Peer Support Team is part financed by the European Social Fund and Scottish Government. The project is supported by the £9.7m Growing the Social Economy Programme as part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan to tackle poverty and inequality.

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