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About the project

Outside the Box is currently working on a new project exploring ways to develop peer support between different kinds of families.

This new project builds upon the Mums Supporting Mums work in rural areas that supported and encouraged peer support and small scale initiatives for parents, including mums, who had poorer mental wellbeing or were facing other challenges

Over the next year we will be working with interested organisations, people, communities and families to explore what things help support different parents and families.

The aim of the work is to support and encourage:

  • Social inclusion for parents and their children
  • Support for parents who have poorer mental wellbeing
  • Access to activities and other services when needed

We will share the things we have learnt with people and organisations across Scotland by:

  • Resourcing and sharing
  • Working with organisations that are doing complementary work
  • Producing hints and tips with practical advice to support and help people in parenting roles

We will be doing all of this through a range of different sub-projects – see below for details of these.

This work is funded by the Scottish Government through the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund.

We will be working with local partners.

Mums Returning to Work

We met with groups of women returning to work after having children. They described how there were local peer support groups and networks for Mums with babies and young children, which many women find are good for their own wellbeing and for their children. These groups mostly happen during the day and this source of peer support stops for most women once they go back to work. From speaking to Mums and employers, we have developed 2 resources:

– A discussion paper that helps highlight the good practice of employers in Scotland as well as looking for solutions to support Mums to have equal access to work.

– A guide outlining some of the issues women are facing on their return to work. It gives information about support networks and shares some of their experiences- that we hope will give some emotional and practical reassurance to other women in these circumstances.

Contact Jill: / 07841 015 949

Families and Mental Health

We know that parenting can be tough, and it is even more difficult if you or your child suffer from poor mental health. We have produced some hints and tips for families and teenagers to help develop tools to cope better and support one another.

To find out more or for copies of the booklets email Ciara at

Parents and Teenagers

Adolescence is a period of big changes for young people and their families. We are exploring support options for parents and carers of teenagers and teenagers themselves.

Contact Ania: / 07514 905 945

Clydebank Pilot Project

As part of our Families Supporting Families work, we are running a pilot project with women from Syria and Kurdish ‘new Scots’ in the Clydebank area in partnership with the Resettlement Team at West Dumbartonshire council.

The pilot has been a great success so far with a big turn out at each session which brings the women together to do activities and have a space to talk about what they would like to do in their new area. All of the women are keen to find out ways they can connect with their wider community so they can support their families in making Scotland their new home. In response, the project will work with the women in the coming weeks to think of practical ideas to make this happen.

Contact Jill or Kate: / 07841 015 949 / 07841 015 945

Queer Families Group

We are working with the Rainbow Families project for LGBTQI families to share resources and ways of supporting one another. LGBTQI families have many different challenges and experiences and we want to develop resources that reflect this. We are currently running a monthly informal peer support group, where you can bring your kids along for an afternoon of fun activities and conversation!

Contact Ciara for more information: 


Is a value based charity run by parents of children and young people with additional support needs. In the coming months we will be providing some support to help Differabled become fully constituted and establish how they will take their vision further in the new year.

Contact Jill for more information: / 07841 015 949

Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about our Families Supporting Families work in general or would like to be involved in any elements of this work please get in touch – we would love to hear from you.

Contact Louise Willson or Ciara Maguire (0141 419 0451)


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Certified Living Wage

Outside the Box is a certified living wage employer