Picture book project to help parents build employment skills


Unemployed parents in Aberdeen could soon be producing their own picture books as they develop skills to help them secure work.

The innovative course has been designed as part of the Progress Through Positive Partnerships employability project to help unemployed parents develop a range of work-related skills.

Small arts business Gabi Reith Artworks Ltd has been awarded the contract to deliver two courses, for up to 12 people, in the city’s regeneration areas.

Husband and wife team Gabi Reith and Phil Thompson will deliver the nine-week courses which have been designed to help participants build confidence and workplace skills. by combining literacy, creativity and project management activities to enable participants to plan, make and keep their very own picture books to read to their children.

Aberdeen City Council Co-leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said, Aberdeen City Council said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for parents or grandparents to design, write and produce their very own book.

Working through the entire production process from conception to the physical product will offer participants a unique opportunity to learn new skills and build confidence which we hope they can then pass on to their children.”

Phil said: “Gabi and I are excited about the Progress Through Positive Partnerships employability pipeline programme. We’re looking forward to once again engaging with a wide range of Aberdonians, helping them to be creative, giving them confidence and opportunities to make stories and books they can be proud of and share with their families and friends.”

A local writer may be recruited to help participants with the writing element, while Gabi and Phil will support participants to create the content. Support and advice will be offered throughout the to ensure the participants feels confident about their creation, which will be theirs to keep following production.

The course is aimed at parents and will support numeracy, literacy, and confidence issues as well as other areas outlined above. It is suitable for native English speakers, as well as those with limited English.

Phil and Gabi live and work in Aberdeen. They are both highly creative individuals, working on their own projects and businesses, (Small Stories, GRA Design, Look Inside, Digital Maker CIC), and often work together on community projects.

The couple have worked with Aberdeen City Council and the Creative Learning team on ‘LIFT,’ working in Northfield and Seaton setting up Creative Cafes for parents and children to drop in and enjoy a cup of tea and a chance to be creative.

They have also used "Oor Monster", a celebration of creativity using a wide range of mediums and delivery contexts, in Aberdeen, most recently for the Look Again Arts Festival and the council’s Arts Across Learning Festival, where they engaged with adults and school children to encourage play and creativity.

Progress Through Positive Partnerships seeks to support people into work through the delivery of a broad range of support and training provision.

Part-funded by the European Structural Fund (ESF), the £2.2million project, which forms part of the City Centre Masterplan, sees Aberdeen City Council working in partnership with a range of organisations, including charities, to provide increased employability services and positive outcomes across the city. The ESF is contributing £880,000 (40%) of the project funding.

The picture book course is open to Progress Through Positive Partnerships clients only. For more information about the project, or to register, visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/esfgetstarted.

Unemployed parents in Aberdeen could soon be producing their own picture books as they develop skills to help them secure work.