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New Families First teams take a major step forward

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Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener has welcomed news that the co-ordinator for the new Gallowhill Families First Core Team has been appointed – with the service ready to launch later this month.

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Pamela McKechan has just been confirmed as the Core Team Lead for Families First Gallowhill, joining the service from the council’s CEDAR (Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery) Project.

Three new Families First core teams are about to launch later this month in Gallowhill, Foxbar and Johnstone following a £1m investment from the council’s Tackling Poverty Fund. This will bring the number of core teams in Renfrewshire up to five – with existing teams having been in place in Linwood and Ferguslie since November 2013.

Councillor Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “I welcome Pamela’s appointment to Families First and I’m sure she brings with her fantastic knowledge and experience to lead the team to be responsive and supportive for the whole Gallowhill community.

“We are currently finalising the details of the core team co-ordinators for the new Johnstone and Foxbar teams I look forward to the three new services going live later this month after the wonderful work that has been delivered by our innovative Families First approach in Linwood and Ferguslie.”

Pamela said: “I am delighted to be joining the Families First Core Team as Coordinator for the Gallowhill area. This is a very exciting opportunity and under the guidance of the Head Teacher for Gallowhill Primary and Children’s Services Early Years Team, I look forward to working with the whole community. It is a privilege to join the team and to contribute towards the on-going and future success of Renfrewshire’s Families First approach.”

Families First is pioneering neighbourhood-based programme that was launched by Renfrewshire Council in late 2013 as part of its drive to boost early years intervention and family support.

Independent evaluation carried out by Glasgow University found that the Linwood and Ferguslie core teams have made a ‘profound impact’ on the lives of local families.

The Gallowhill core team structure will replicate the same team model and size as the two existing Families First core teams in Linwood and Ferguslie. The Johnstone team will be slightly larger than the existing teams due to the town’s geographical size.