Dovecote Children & Families Project
Project Category: Registered charity
Dovecote Voluntary Parent Committee is made up of local parent who came together as a constituted group in 1996 (becoming a charity in 2017) to help meet the needs of children and families living in the newly built part of the estate, Greater Leys.
We are a Community led and managed project meeting locally identified needs e.g. training, low-cost out of school recreational services, volunteering opportunities etc. We work with local residents who are highly committed to making their community a better place to live.
The overall aim of our project is around early intervention support for vulnerable children and families to overcome barriers to accessing opportunities that increase their prospect to improve with regards to both their immediate wellbeing and their future life chances. We employ a unified approach to securing the delivery and development of fundamental services to children aged 0 to 12 years old and their parents/families experiencing disordered lives, poor health and social exclusion. We involve parents and young people in the design and delivery of services; by offering experiences and opportunities that build and enhance their confidence, knowledge and aspirations.
Project area of benefit Blackbird and Greater Leys estates (the Leys) has the greatest number of children living in poverty in Oxford city. It is an area where families are affected by multiple deprivations –relatively high levels of crime, high indicators of social disadvantage, benefit dependency, high child density, lone parents, high unemployment, educational under-achievement/poorer learning outcome for children and low expectations amongst families.
Along with being an area with some of most deprived groups in Oxford, teenage mothers and people with mental health problems. Statistics have shown that the most socially excluded are very hard to reach making it even more crucial for existing successful groups working within these communities to be able to build on the trust and relationships already in place. Early intervention is crucial if we are to tackle social exclusion
Approximately 220 children and 180 families of which 30% are young mums engage with Dovecote project per year; Along with 5 local and statutory organisations benefiting; Social Services, local schools, Family Solutions, Health Visitors and Oxford Home- Start.
Invaluable core funding if awarded will supply us with the ability to secure and invest in the resources; e.g. staff, insurance, materials and equipment needed to safeguard consistency of fundamental local services supporting children and families who have been identified as being vulnerable for a range of reasons including, domestic abuse, or because of other problems within the family home, with a safe environment in which they can build trusting relationships.
Session support the following;
- team games – communication and leadership skills, cooperation, friendship
- art and crafts –creativity, imagination, fine motor skills
- music/ drama workshops– greater confidence, increase awareness of what they can achieve.
- outdoor risky play, (many of our children reside in flats) – develop both mentally and physically, keep healthy,
- Free play, baking, and much more – nurture curiosity, increase confidence to try new things, learn new skills
- purpose built sensory room and garden provides therapeutic play
We are the only provider of;
- key play facilities for 4 to 8 year old’s across the Leys estate with an estimated population of 1,708
- only provider of Mother and toddler facilities in Greater Leys.
- Sensory play sessions for children with disabilities in our purpose-built sensory room and garden in Blackbird Leys
We are an Ofsted registered project. We have all-inclusive policies and procedure in place including a very comprehensive child protection policy which is implemented in all aspects of our work. All staff and volunteers are DBS checked (Disclosure Baring Service).