Fair Start campaign launches
NSPCC Scotland is calling on people to knit two pairs of baby booties to help the charity campaign for better support for young children and their parents.
For every pair of booties received, the charity will donate one pair to families it works with in Glasgow and the other it will use to raise awareness with MSPs about the importance of investing in early childhood.
Through its Fight for a Fair Start campaign, NSPCC Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to provide support for all families who need it, so that every child is given the chance to thrive.
The charity says substantial investment is needed in specialist services that support the parent-infant relationship, which in turn help a child’s healthy development and prevent future problems in its life.
Evelyn Hart, a volunteer counsellor at the Aberdeen Childline base, has already been busy with her knitting needles and has completed her first pair of booties.
She said: “I want to help the NSPCC in this campaign because I know that it is so important that families receive all the support they need, so children can grow up feeling safe and nurtured.
“If we can prevent some of the trauma and hardship that some children face by giving them a better start in life, then I want to do what I can to help - and knitting a couple of pairs of booties is a small task!”
NSPCC Scotland research shows that despite overwhelming evidence that people’s experiences in early childhood lay the foundations for their future health and wellbeing, there is still very little support available in the country for families with young children.
In studies carried out before the pandemic hit, the charity found that very few services across Scotland specifically addressed the emotional and developmental needs of children under the age of two.
Last year, around half of the children on the child protection register and over a third coming into the care system in Scotland were younger than five years old.
Joanne Smith, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for NSPCC Scotland, said: “A baby’s experiences can have a profound impact on the rest of their life. Yet, this is a stage of life that is too often overlooked and under-supported.
“We recognise that advances in early years policy have been made in the last decade in Scotland but this needs to be matched with funding. Providing early support to families can help build positive relationships that prevent harm and, in turn, change life trajectories. This is fundamental to transforming childhood and creating equality in Scotland.
“People don’t need to be seasoned knitters to support our campaign, in fact they could even sew or crochet the booties. And we will appreciate all the support we can get to help us fight for a fair start for every child.”