The Gladiator Programme links to central government and local authority strategies.
Over the past eight years, the local Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) has funded the Gladiator programme. Now, having replaced the SIP, the Community Planning Board provides our funding.
We originally planned to reach about 100 children each week. Remarkably, despite the same level of original funding, we are now reaching 2,200 children each week. This is a huge achievement. For the Community Planning Board, it represents an outstanding value-for-money return on their financial investment. Indirectly, it is also good news for tax-payers!
The new Community Planning Board works with the new Community Health Partnership (headed by NHS Greater Glasgow) to run health-related programmes. One of these programmes focuses on oral health. We deliver the three key themes to support this:
• healthy eating
• looking after your teeth
• being less afraid of the dentist
Our mascot, Gladigator, visits local nurseries to involve the children in learning about these themes in a fun atmosphere. We help them learn about oral health through physical activity, including singing and dancing, and this introduces them to the first line of our physiological sequence at an early age. See Physiological Sequence
Once the children move onto Primary 1 at their local school, they meet Gladigator again, who introduces them to our many theme toys. The Active Schools Programme has given us a contract to help with other health-related strategies including one to reduce child obesity through physical activity. This of course helps children advance further along the physiological sequence.
Although we work with schools across Glasgow, Greater Easterhouse schools can also take advantage of our night-time play halls. By learning the Gladiator’s repetitive skills base hidden in the games they play, the kids are already preparing themselves to move on to our sports base as they get older. Once again this taps into the long-term physiological sequence.
Just recently, the Anti-social Task Force in Easterhouse told us they are interested in working with us to implement their strategies to shield children from drugs, territoriality and crime.
Many children who take part in the Gladiator Programme go on to major sporting success. For most, they will gain relevant sporting qualifications and enjoy careers in the leisure industry. Being able to show that we empower local young people in this way in crucial in our relationship with the Greater Easterhouse Development Company, one of our major funders.
The Gladiator Programme is a great platform for job training, job creation and, of course, enhancing the reputation of the local community to encourage more development agencies to invest locally. Again this reflects the social pyramid of development.
Because of the positive spin-offs we bring to the local community, we have been successful in getting some funding from private sector organisations. For example, Soapworks Glasgow has sponsored our work around capacity building, and, more recently, Tulloch Construction has helped us be able to provide transport for the Variety Club.
As you will see from our history page, Gladiators have produced many top sports people for Scotland over the years. This encouraged Sport Scotland to invest in our outdoor sports facility - it now sees over 20,000 visitors every year.
Children in Need supported us by funding an assistant activity manager’s post and help with ongoing running costs of our main base for our first three years. This was also crucial to the success.
More recently, the Key Fund, the Bishopwood Forum and other agencies have helped us with our ability to contribute to increasing, for example, employment, training, transport and equipment. Because of this, Gladiators have been able to create many more local jobs.
Finally, Community Scotland has given us money so we can employ two managers to help us with our long-term goal of creating the Gladigator Fun Factory.
See Fun Factory
See Who We Work With