Love Letham is a new initiative looking for community members to play a part in making Letham a great place for children to grow up.
The pioneering project, from Perth & Kinross Council and Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland, will support children, young people, families, the wider community and local decision-makers to work together towards a shared vision of what children and young people need to flourish, as well as a plan to deliver it.
Love Letham launches today with a call for people from the community to put their names forward to join a new Love Letham Commission. The Love Letham team has already gathered opinions from hundreds of children, young people and families in the community about what wellbeing means to them and what they need to grow up well in Letham. Commissioners will use this information to develop a shared vision, identify priorities and make recommendations to bring Letham’s vision to life. As well as young people and residents from the community, the Commission will include representatives from Perth & Kinross Council and public bodies.
A Commission of younger children is already active in Letham’s primary schools. The Children’s Love Letham Commission will present their work to the rest of the Commission to ensure children’s voices are central to the process.
The project, supported by local schools, NHS Tayside, national children’s charities and Police Scotland is based on an understanding that if policies are to ensure children and young people can flourish now and in the future, they must be co-designed with children and young people. Love Letham goes beyond short term challenges to think long-term about what is needed for all of Letham’s young people to thrive.
Commissioners will be asked to attend up to ten meetings between April and November. The Commission will comprise a mixture of young people, local residents, councillors and senior staff from Perth & Kinross Council and public bodies. Commissioners will be compensated for their time in the form of cash or vouchers and travel expenses and childcare support will be available. The organisers are keen to hear from anyone who is passionate about making Letham a great place for children to grow up.
Jo White, Depute Headteacher at Letham Primary School said: “We are delighted to play such a fundamental role in the Love Letham initiative! Our children have been able to clearly articulate their thoughts and feelings about what would make Letham the best place to live and grow up and what is needed to promote positive wellbeing for all. Empathy, creativity and curiosity have shone through as our children have engaged in our visioning for a ‘Future Letham’. Our hopes for the project is that these views will be listened to and acted upon to ensure our children realise their value in shaping the future.”
Jon Kidd, Chair of local charity Letham4All, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for all of Letham’s children, young people and families. As a local organisation with an aim to enable people to improve their health and well-being and be at the heart of shaping activities to support this, Letham4All is delighted to be part of the Love Letham Commission.
“This initiative comes at a time as construction work for the new Letham Community Hub is underway, a major investment for the area, and we hope our new community owned building will contribute to making Letham a great place for children to grow up in, thrive and be happy.”
Amy Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation at national charity Children in Scotland, said: “It’s really important that children and young people have a say in decisions made about the places where they live.
“This can help make communities more supportive and inclusive for everyone – and result in some creative and imaginative solutions to problems that adults would not have thought of.
“We hope children and young people will be encouraged and supported to take part in this exciting venture and wish everyone involved in Love Letham the best of luck. We look forward to hearing how it is progressing.”
Blair Finlay, Senior Health Promotion Officer at NHS Tayside said: “NHS Tayside is delighted to be supporting the Love Letham initiative. We are particularly pleased to be working in partnership with Perth & Kinross Council and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland on this innovative collaboration. The pilot is a great opportunity to empower children and young people to tell us what they need to flourish.”
Love Letham is a collaboration of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council. It is supported by Northern Star and is funded by the Cattanach Trust, Partners for a New Economy and Robert Bosch Foundation.