Children’s activities in Central Edinburgh Meeting

“Rejoice in the presence of children and young people in your Meeting”

(Advice 19).

Children’s activities in Central Edinburgh Meeting  are held on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays in the month.

We aim to enable children and young people to be an integral part of Central Edinburgh Meeting. On the first Sunday of each month there is an All-age Meeting for Worship. This is based in silence, but has a theme and is programmed to include a quiet activity that allows children to participate fully.

On the third Sunday of the month and when there is a fifth Sunday, our children’s meeting volunteers provide structured activities that help our children and young people explore their Quaker journeys. On these Sundays, children go into Meeting for Worship with their parents/carers for the first 10 minutes and then members of the children’s rota take them out to Children’s Meeting. 

Children's Meeting at Central Edinburgh is designed for children aged 4+, but younger children are welcome to join us with their parents or carers, and we will do our best to provide some interesting activities for this age group. On fifth Sundays, as well as Children's Meeting, there is a cafe visit for young people aged 12+.

Parents of crèche-age children are asked to take their children to the crèche to settle their child and stay if there are not enough adults.

The aim of Children’s Meeting is to provide the children and young people with a programme which will help and encourage them to explore and understand spirituality, Quakerism and related issues in a safe environment, using discussion, reading, writing, art and craft, drama etc. In the younger group, this may not involve much more than play, drawing and stories. We aim to make it enjoyable too!

Sometimes the groups visit the Scottish Wildlife Trust wildlife garden in Johnstone Terrace, about five minutes walk away. There we look at wildlife, litter pick and do other outdoors activities.

After Children’s Meeting we gather in the Hall for squash and a biscuit. During Children’s Meeting, members of the rota are responsible for children in their groups. At 12.15, we ask parents and carers to collect their children; children are the responsibility of parents and carers thereafter.

Safeguarding Policy

The work of volunteers on the rota is carried out in accordance with Safeguarding Policy agreed by South East Scotland Area Quaker Meeting Trustees. In summary this policy commits us to:

  1. Valuing, listening to and respecting children, young people and vulnerable adults as well as promoting their well being, welfare and protection.
  2. Helping prevent the physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that is discovered or suspected.
  3. Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the people working with children, young people and vulnerable adults entrusted to their care.
  4. Adopting a procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse.
  5. Encouraging and supporting parents/carers.
  6. Supporting those affected by abuse.
  7. Maintaining good links with the statutory authorities and other organisations.

The full policy is held in the Library.

Children’s Rota and Committee

This programme is run by volunteers on a rota, overseen by the Children's Committee. Volunteers on the rota are required to complete a volunteer form, and to provide us with the names of two suitable people who we will contact for references. The volunteer will also need to be a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme. Please let a member of children’s committee know if you would be interested in joining the rota.

Children’s Committee meets every six to eight weeks. The committee deals with issues surrounding the children and young people and attempts to provide a varied programme to meet all needs. If you have any suggestions or concerns, please pass them on to a member of Children’s Committee.

The Meeting has some books and resources for the children and young people, and volunteers are encouraged to make use of the Britain Yearly Meeting website (http://www.quaker.org.uk) and the Quaker Life Resources Room at Friend's House, which can provide lots of good material on loan.

For more information...

If you’d like to talk to someone about the children’s activities at Central Edinburgh, please email the Central Edinburgh Meeting House Clerks <centraledinburgh [at] quaker.org.uk>. They will forward your email to the right person.