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Thrive Under 5

Calendar icon Children and Young People, Communities, Food, Inequalities

Folder icon Jun 2021 - Ongoing

Thrive Under 5 is a two-year project funded by the Scottish Government and led by Health Improvement staff from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde in three Glasgow areas. The program aims to support children under the age of five in achieving a healthy weight.

The project adopts a whole systems approach to addressing child poverty by acknowledging the necessity of a comprehensive, collective, and long-term strategy for change. This approach extends beyond addressing food insecurity, encompassing initiatives that equip families with resources and knowledge to make healthier choices.

objectives icon Project objectives

GCPH is the evaluation partner on the project. The evaluation objectives are: 

  • To provide a clear and transparent outline of the evaluation approach, including how we will work with partners to capture and write-up learning. 
  • To support locality leads and delivery organisations in the determination of how to collect useful data on the project and what questions to ask as part of this process.  
  • To collate data and information from locality leads/delivery partners into an evaluation report. 
  • To review relevant documents and meeting papers that can be used to support the write-up of the project. 
  • To capture information on the project through primary research with those involved in delivering it. 
  • To summarise relevant information and learning at Steering Group meetings. 
  • With support and approval of all project partners, to write up a coherent report of the project which captures progress and key learning across the project’s timeline, and which situates this within the current and evolving context. 

The evaluation is capturing information on project reach, process learning from the approach, and the extent to which there is a direction of travel towards achieving the agreed project outcomes. The following research questions are driving the evaluation:  

  • To what extent has the project developed in line with agreed project plan?  
  • What impact has the project had on families across the three areas?  
  • What factors have shaped the delivery of the project?  
  • To what extent have the agreed project outcomes been met? 

involved icon What is involved

Three neighbourhoods across Glasgow received funding to deliver the projectRuchazie, Garthamlock and Cranhill (North East); Drumchapel (North West); and Priesthill, Househillwood, Nitshill and Pollok (South). A further site in Inverclyde was added in late 2021.  

Community launches began in September 2021, while local network meetings began in January 2022. Three organisations were appointed to help deliver key project priorities:  

  • Money Matters was funded to provide eligible people with financial inclusion advice and links to other forms of support;  
  • Alexandra Rose provided funding for Thrive Under 5 to support an initial 35 families in the North West through a voucher scheme;   
  • East End Flat Packed Meals was funded to supply ingredients and recipe cards to local people across the three areas.  

An Evaluation Plan was finalised in December 2021 and a social media launch of the project took place in May 2022. Staff training, community budgeting, and a physical activity programme have since been taken forward in each area. 

Thrive under 5 (3)

findings icon Findings & outcomes

Key learning from year one of the project evaluation:  

  • The project broadly developed in line with the project plan despite delays and challenges relating to COVID-19 restrictions and the emerging cost-of-living crisis 
  • The financial inclusion element of the project provided support to 155 families across the three areas. This included advice and assistance on a range of issues, including welfare, money advice, energy support and access to healthy food.  
  • 47 families benefited from the use of Alexandra Rose vouchers in the North West 
  • East End Flat Pack Meals were distributed to 115 families across the three areas, with a further 300 meals being shared at community events.  
  • Progress was demonstrated against each of the eight project outcomes, although it is too early to assess impact.  
  • Opportunities are emerging following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions but rises in the cost of living are pushing more people in each area into poverty or destitution. This has increased demand for family services and support. 
  • Supporting positive behaviour change is challenging within a context of worsening poverty and rising food insecurity.  
  • Local support for the approach and the availability of funding has been crucial for driving forward actions.  
  • There is a strong will to see more families benefit from the project, but the current project timescales are insufficient to deliver on aspects that could lead to long-term behaviour changes.  
  • There is growing interest in the project both within the three localities and beyond. With additional funding, it may be beneficial to extend the project to all Thriving Places areas in the city, but more time is needed to assess which aspects of the project have been most effective. 

Learning from the year one evaluation will drive priorities for the remainder of the project. It also identified aspects of the project where more comprehensive evaluation is required or a different approach to capturing information may be needed.  

Output icon Project outputs

Publications & Documents

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