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Hello and welcome to our 2020 annual report. Like everyone else this has been a strange and unusual year for CrossReach Residential Care & Education Services.

The Covid19 pandemic, the restrictions and the ‘new normal’ that has meant we have faced many difficulties and challenges, not forgetting many stories of full compassion, hope and resilience.

As Head of Service, I have nothing but admiration and pride in our community of children, young people and adults.

Here are a few of our highlights……

Paul

Jack has written a book following the adventures of a dog called Dugless as he sets out on an adventure to find the lost city of Ballikinrain.

It is available at a very reasonable price of £1 to raise money for local charities.

Do you recognise where these photos were taken?

Warm Fire After a Hard Day’s Work

Bobbie spent Sunday afternoon helping to reclaim the wooden walkway and decked area around the bird hide at the curling pond on Sunday afternoon and evening.

It made an amazing difference.

30 Day Lego Challenge

Some of our young people and staff enjoyed taking part in the 30 Day Lego Challenge. Here is the 30 Day Challenge in case you’d like to build some yourself.

The Old Lodge River Adventure

Staff and pupils went on a river adventure after a busy morning learning about VE day.

Marc’s Marathon Challenge:

Marc challenged us all to run, walk, jog or cycle. Lots of kids and adults from the castle and houses have been taken part. Well done everyone.

Hanlon & Sarah cycled over a mile and Lee felt great after his 2 mile run. Well done.

‘The Mask’

After watching an instruction video online, Lewis and staff from Rockwood have been creative and resourceful by making facemasks from socks! ...hope they have been washed first!

Doing Things Differently

Kayleigh has worked with staff to make some baking for the elderly who reside in Crossreach South Beach Care Home in Ardrossan.

Kayleigh made some bueno fudge last Friday evening packaged it up nicely and included a lovely message on each packet with said “Stay Safe and Keep Smiling”.

She hopes this will cheer both staff and residents up. Well done Kayleigh.

Blooming Good Job! The base of this planter had become rotten over the winter months, so Kalvin decided to make a new one – Kalvin & Danny, measured, cut and replaced the old base, as good as new!

Celebration of Achievement - A Toast to New Beginnings

Gillian & the team at Finniescroft Farm prepared a lunch as an ‘End of Year Celebration of Achievement’. Everyone is delighted that not 1, not 2, but 3 of the boys at Finniescroft have received an unconditional offer and will all head off to college after the summer to set out on the next step in their learning journey.

All three young people have attended Erskine Waterfront Campus (and formerly Ballikinrain) for many years. They completed some of their primary education and all of their secondary education with us. It is a proud moment for everyone involved in their care and education to be able to celebrate this achievement with them.

And not to be outdone…….

Tom and Jack at Ballikinrain, Aiden and Lewis at Rockwood.

Pupils attending our Erskine Waterfront Campus achieved these National Certificates – including a new Comedy and Confidence Award at National 4 level.

Our staff team are active learners through CPD and professional academic qualifications.

Back to Learning The ‘New’ Normal

In August, like all schools in Scotland we returned to normal, with a difference…

Getting to know each other again through fun.

We have been working hard, having fun and building friendships...

Forest Schools were not only having fun but carrying out a science experiment – what do you get if you mix together water, washing up liquid, glycerine, guar gum and baking powder... BUBBLES!!!

Victoria’s Class

This month the boys have been working hard in technical with Danny. Thomas has made a toolbox and a bird box.

Outdoor sports

This is always fun! Whether it’s kayaking, cycling, playing on a seesaw, or using Jenny’s foot as a stepping stone.

Outcomes

CrossReach Young Team [CYT]

The CYT is supported by Who Cares? Scotland and is where our Children & Young People explore different topics that are important to them and tell the adults what we can do better.

CYT met every Wednesday in ‘virtual’ meeting – even in lockdown it is business as usual for these committed young people. This year they have talked about a wide range of topics from:

  • The Promise – Independent Care Review
  • What makes the perfect care worker
  • UNCRC
  • The Love Button
  • Our Practice model – Alliance not Compliance
  • Letter to future self

What our Partners say

There is a commitment to the children and the motivation to provide good quality services. The staff know the children well. The service has adapted to meet the needs of the children, eg. smaller houses, flexible approaches to learning, additional staff at difficult times. When issues are raised there is a commitment from senior managers to look the practice and address concerns which is positive.

Excellent communication with parents and professionals. Very good understanding of pupils' needs. Trauma informed practice, nurturing principles and relationship based practice very evident.

The school worked around our young person's learning styles and needs, and have managed to get him to a point where he can attend the main campus. This is great progress for this young person who was unable to manage main stream education for a prolonged period.

Engaging young people in learning and working towards their return home and mainstream education.

Clear, regular updates throughout lockdown. Strategies put in place to ensure continuity in education provision. Building good working relationships with Lead Professionals and Commissioner.

I think the school offers a welcoming campus and tailors the education provision to the young person's stage and needs. There is real stickability in terms of trying to progress young people into attending the school campus, even when this takes time and effort. The staff at Rockwood are easy to speak to, and approachable.

Staff make considerable efforts to develop positive relationships with pupils and their families. They demonstrate an understanding of trauma informed practice and seem highly motivated to provide positive educational experiences for pupils within a supportive and nurturing environment.

The end of an Era – New Beginnings

For over 50 years CrossReach have provided residential care & education for young people in large residential school campuses.

In 2007 we started on a journey of change, opening our first house in Gargunnock, Stirlingshire. In 2014 we announced a complete restructure of our service and decided that we would move away from the residential school model, to providing a range of houses located in communities, and a separate school.

2020 marks the end of this transition as we move from and close Ballikinrain.

2021 is the start of a new chapter as we open our next 2 houses in Strathblane and Port Glasgow.