The project will refurbish our replacement vehicle (to be purchased from our own existing funds), which will provide a new and improved mobile service to families in need across the West Somerset area. The converted bus will take family support/parent toddler sessions to hard to reach families by going to where they live – helping them to feel a sense of belonging to this provision.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
A New Bus – West Somerset has pockets of great social, economic and often hidden deprivation and over 70% of the population live in rural locations, making this area one of the most rural in England. Many of the wards are above the national average of deprivation, with particular problems in accessing support services and facilities.
The project will refurbish CLOWNS’ replacement vehicle, which will provide a new and improved mobile service to families in need across the West Somerset area.
CLOWNS is the only provision in West Somerset providing a mobile facility for pre-school children and their parents/carers. Lack of community provision leads to the isolation of families with young children. Children could be disadvantaged in their early years in their social and emotional development and this could have an effect on their future lives. Parents need to be encouraged to access parenting skills/information for themselves and future generations. CLOWNS has developed a track record of delivering a quality, much needed service.
The aim of the project is to refurbish the bus to a high standard; to improve opportunities for better chances in life for parents/carers and children by supporting them in their development, and ensuring they have easy access to other agencies able to help them; to improve family relationships by providing family support enabling people to have better access to parenting skills and to improve early identification of problems both in parents and children and bring in specialist support to help overcome these problems.
CLOWNS will also be able to improve their networking with other agencies so that they can signpost users when and where necessary to specialist support.
The bus will provide family support/parent toddler sessions to groups across the West Somerset District Council area.
CLOWNS enjoys strong links with Job Centre Plus, Adult Learning and Leisure, Citizens Advice, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Debt Advice and any other agencies who need to make contact with parents/carers. These agencies reap the benefit of coming on board the Bus to meet up with parents in a non-threatening atmosphere.