Anchor for Families

Anchor Project - Background

big lottery community fund

The Anchor Project began in 2018, after being awarded funding by the Communities Fund, through their Early Action Systems Change Fund.  The first six months was spent undertaking research, setting up the project, and developing relationships across the existing system. Support for the development and delivery of the Project came from organisations across the Shetland Partnership, with the Council taking on the role of host organisation and Police Scotland taking on chairing responsibilities. 

The overall aim was to facilitate learning and action that demonstrates the value of family-led problem solving and early intervention. And to use this learning to enable system change putting families at the centre of decision-making and directing resources towards early action rather than crisis management.

The Project was designed to give families and services the space to try new ways of working together and to assist in the shift of spend from crisis intervention to early intervention and prevention. It was designed as a facilitator of change, including gathering evidence and sharing good practice and lessons learned.  Through the Project we;

  • Work with people to break down the challenges they face as a family unit into issues for which specific action can be taken or support can be sought; working directly with families to support the family.
  • Work with services to understand and support a shift to earlier action.
  • Gather evidence on where system change might be implemented to improve the outcomes for many more families.

Support Pyramid

A common feature observed is that when someone engages with Anchor they feel that their situation is out of control and/or overwhelming.  Stress, worry, lack of trust, family conflict and financial difficulties are commonly encountered. 

After working with Anchor, they report and show improved confidence as well as a new perspective on their challenges.  Importantly, Anchor supports the person on a journey from feeling overwhelmed to a position of understanding and learning and finally to a place where they take action. 

The impact of the action taken by families includes new or improved relationships with support services, reduction in stress and mental health issues, improved family relationships and wellbeing, and improved financial stability.