Katy Wilson likes to create new worlds and environments for people to feel good, relaxed and inspired in – often sophisticated and far from conventional baby friendly spaces – she likes to shake things up. Katy created Starcatchers’ creative play space for babies 0-24 months and their adults, Blue Block Studio.
Kim Donohoe is a theatre maker and performer who specialises in early years performance. She creates shows and workshops where babies and their grown-ups can connect and enjoy creative experiences together.
Marion Geoffray likes to make theatre that pushes the boundaries of communication and play on and off stage. As a performer, she is particularly interested in the concepts of identity, language and relationships. She is keen to explore these themes with parents and their wee ones through multi-sensory and multi-dimensional experiences.
Expecting Something works with new, young and expectant parents under 25 and their babies in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh and Lochgelly, Fife, providing a weekly safe space to spend time with their babies and peers whilst engaging in artist-lead creative activities.
We hope that this project will empower these young parents – boosting their confidence, forging new relationships and developing strong bonds with their babies through regular and continued contact with arts and creativity.
The sessions take place on a weekly basis at WHALE Arts in Wester Hailes and the Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly. They are led by artists Kim Donohoe, Katy Wilson and Marion Geoffray who are experienced at working with young children and adults alike. The content will be shaped by the group and their interests. During a pilot project of the same name run by Starcatchers in 2013/2014 sessions covered many different art-forms including photography, painting, sculpture, felt making, music, tie-dye, pottery, music and puppetry.
As well as the weekly sessions the participants will be given the opportunity to visit and engage with cultural activities in their area. We hope that Expecting Something can create a bridge for participants to connect and understand that they can contribute positively to their local community.
Expecting Something project has secured funding from Creative Scotland, The Scottish Government and the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. Expecting Something is working in partnership with WHALE Arts, On Fife and the Family Nurse Partnership, Lothians.
Pilot project participant:
The experience has made me more confident with my daughter and myself. Means I can spend lots of time with other mums and babies.
I think it’s good for their [the participant’s] self-esteem because, I think that people value them enough to let them have the opportunity to do these things, and it builds in them the idea that the judgmental attitudes and stigmatisation that some of them have experienced isn’t the universal thing. It also gives precious family memories.
New Project Funders
In December 2016 Starcatchers was awarded funding from Big Lottery to continue Expecting Something for the next two years.
Starcatchers Chief Executive Rhona Matheson said:
We’re very pleased that Expecting Something has been awarded funding from Big Lottery. These young parents are often the hardest to reach in terms of age and lifestyle and are in the greatest need of support. We had always hoped that we would be able to extend the life of this project in order to make a lasting impact on communities over a sustained period of time. Engaging in this programme affords these young people the chance to connect with their peers, express themselves, be creative and build their confidence and wellbeing, which all improve outcomes for themselves and their children.
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said:
I am delighted that Starcatchers has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant. The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Starcatchers every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.