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Publication Date: 20/04/2010 

Project which helps new mums and their babies scoops national award 

First Steps Team Receive Gold COSLA Award 

First-steps-Programme-award 

The First Steps team received the award from TV presenter Jackie Bird. 

A project which helps South Lanarkshire mums ensure their babies get the best start in life scooped a national award recently.

The First Steps Programme - supported and funded by the Fairer Scotland Fund, NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council’s Community Regeneration Partnership – received the gold COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) National Excellence Award in the “Ones to Watch” category.

Shirley Mitchell, First Steps programme manager said: “Achieving this award has been a real highlight for everyone involved in the First Steps Programme and shows us the benefits of committed partnership working.

“With the help and support of South Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire, workers on the First Steps project have been able to make a real difference to the lives of many clients and their children which shows us that together we can improve not only the health and well being of current communities but future generations as well.”

COSLA Excellence Awards celebrate the very best in Scottish local government.

They put an emphasis on rewarding the most innovative and passionate developments across the country that demonstrate excellent service delivery to communities and set new standards for excellence and good practice.

A gold COSLA award is the highest rank that can be bestowed upon a project.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Enterprise Resources Committee and the Community Regeneration Partnership, Councillor Chris Thompson, said: “The First Steps project started in April 2009.

“It helps women expecting their first babies and new mums from South Lanarkshire regeneration areas, to ensure their children get off to the best possible start in life. 

“The programme provides one-to-one support to mums in their own homes to enable them to provide lifestyles for their families that are nurturing, healthy, happy and stimulating.

“We are all very proud to win this award and will strive to continue the work of the First Steps programme for the benefit of local mums and babies.

If you would like any more information about the First Steps Programme please contact Shirley Mitchell, NHS Lanarkshire health improvement co-ordinator at 01698 714952 or email: shirley.mitchell@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk