Ailsa’s Story

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Community Foundation for Surrey – Surrey Nurturing Links Parent Group Leader Training Bursary 2017-18

Ailsa training as a Parent Group Leader

Surrey Nurturing Links awarded Ailsa a bursary from a Community Foundation for Surrey Dancer Fund grant, which enabled her to attend Parent Group Leader training.  The experience increased her confidence and led to other opportunities and hopefully future employment. This is her story.

“In early 2017 when I was looking to get some help and direction in supporting my children’s needs on both a practical and emotional level, it was suggested that I attend the Parenting Puzzle at the Kenyngton Manor Sure Start Children’s Centre. During the 10 week course I learnt much more than I expected in areas such as children’s development, self-awareness, self-worth, coping empathically and managing challenging behaviour. I really enjoyed being part of a group where I was given the opportunity to share honestly, without judgement, the frustrations I had and the hopes for my family’s future.

Ailsa with a parent from her first group


On completion of the course, the group facilitator and Centre’s manager Christine Cudmore said I had been a valuable contributor in group and asked if I would like the opportunity to both volunteer at the centre and be put forward for training in the Parenting Puzzle facilitation course (Parent Group Leader Training).

I jumped at the chance; I wanted to help others who had found themselves in a similar situation needing some extra support with their families as I felt I had some real hands-on experience to share. After some time working in a volunteering capacity I was able to secure a grant from the Community Foundation through Surrey Nurturing Links and am now nearing the end of my first facilitated group.


Ailsa facilitating her first parent group

In May, this year I was nominated for supporting individuals in need at the Runnymede and Spelthorne volunteer awards; the funding and training that was made available to me has opened so many doors and opportunities to support families in the community. Growing from someone who needed that extra support in the beginning to someone who can now support others evidences just how important funding is.

Considering the future, I am enrolled on another facilitator course this October (The Freedom Project) and hope to be able to offer both groups to the wider community with a special interest in the empowerment of vulnerable women who need support in multiple areas of their lives.

Ailsa Allan, June 2018”