Surrey Nurturing Links has been fortunate to obtain grants to enable a variety of projects, including Parent Group Leader training for parent volunteers, Cookery Skills training and equipment, and attendance at Parenting Puzzle Groups.
Community Foundation for Surrey – The Dancer Fund (2017-18)
We are grateful to the Dancer Fund which provided bursary places for 5 parents from unemployed or low income backgrounds to train as Parent Group Leaders. This training enabled beneficiaries to become qualified PGLs and deliver Parenting Puzzle courses for other parents in their local areas. One participant has already delivered her first course and another two are planning courses for Autumn 2018.
“I feel it has helped me reconnect with my personal power as a rounded individual, not just a mother. I feel much calmer and more capable. I feel valued and like I have things to offer. I plan to continue running the local toddler group and volunteering with teens.”
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to develop myself in this nurturing environment. It’s been a brilliant course, fantastically facilitated.”
Read Ailsa’s story
Community Foundation for Surrey – The Parkes Fund (2015-16)
The Parkes Fund generously provided bursary places for 5 parent volunteers from unemployed and low income backgrounds to train as Parent Group Leaders. As a result of the training, some have gone on to deliver Parenting Puzzle groups in their local communities, others were given the confidence to undertake further training or study, and have gone on to obtain paid or voluntary work as a result.
“I do feel I have gained confidence and I’m still looking to improve more. I have been given the push needed to develop a new career path and to motivate myself.”
“I feel more positive and encouraged to do a professional job.”
“I have loved this whole experience…. It has made me want to pursue this even more professionally.”
Community Foundation for Surrey – The Peter Harrison Foundation Community Fund & The Dancer Fund (2014-17)
We were grateful to receive a substantial donation from these funds. The grant funding comprised two different elements:
- provision of mobile kitchen kits for Surrey Children’s Centres
- funding for the delivery of cookery skills sessions to parents attending the ‘Right from the Start with HENRY’ Parent Group Programme, including staff time, crèche and ingredients
This enabled children’s centres to offer support to parents already attending the HENRY groups, as well as being able to offer other stand-alone cookery skills session for families attending the children’s centres in the future, that otherwise would not have been possible.
During the project, 19 cookery skills sessions were delivered in 15 different Children’s Centres. 109 parents attended the sessions, with their children and partners – estimated at an additional 275 people – also benefitting from the project. The parents who attended the cookery skills sessions learnt valuable practical skills in a supportive environment which helped them to gain the confidence and skills they need to cook simple, healthy meals, with limited resources, at home with their families. The staff who have been trained are continuing to use the resources and provide cookery sessions to parents.
European Social Fund Grant (South East Region) (2014-15)
Funding from the European Social Fund Community Grant South East Region provided financial support for 25 unemployed or economically inactive parents across Surrey to attend Parenting Puzzle courses by subsidising course costs, crèche places and transport. Parents commented that the course “changed their lives”; one said he felt “the course should be mandatory for all parents; home life changed positively throughout the course.” As well as raising self-esteem and confidence, the course offers valuable life skills which are transferable to routes into paid employment, eg Early Years or Primary School settings.
The grant also enabled a member of Surrey Nurturing Links staff to train with Family Links as an Open College Network Tutor Assessor. She then worked with four young, single parents who were attending a local parent group, all of whom went on to achieve 6 credits at Level 2 with the OCN in January 2015 following completion of a portfolio of work alongside attending a 10 week Parenting Puzzle course. The parents undertaking this additional OCN accreditation were very pleased to have the opportunity to achieve a qualification and would not have otherwise been able to afford to do so. One of the parents accessing this additional accreditation said the project had made her life better, “improved my confidence and self-esteem and will help when looking for work.”
In addition, the grant provided bursary places and expenses for 7 unemployed or economically inactive parents to attend Parent Group Leader Training in November 2014 and March 2015. This training opened up the possibility of voluntary and paid employment – several beneficiaries volunteered in their local Children’s Centres and have since run successful Parenting Puzzle groups. One delivered her first course as a volunteer in a local Children’s Centre and was hoping this would be a stepping stone to a return to employment. Another participant said she felt the training had improved her organisational skills, her ability to order and prioritise and “helped me feel ready for employment after several years not working…it could potentially lead to a whole new career change so the impact could be quite dramatic.”
European Social Fund (2010)
This project was in two stages. The first stage enabled 5 economically inactive parents to attend the 10-week Family Links Parenting Puzzle course to raise their self-esteem and confidence in their role as parents. The second stage of the project funded 7 economically inactive parents to attend a four day training course enabling them to become qualified Family Links course facilitators, a status which can lead to voluntary and paid employment in the immediate future.
We would also like to thank and acknowledge donations towards our work from:
- Henry Smith Charity (2011-12)
- Garfield Weston (2009-10)
- Kelly Family Charitable Trust (2009-10)
- Waitrose Community Matters (2015)
- Asda Green Token Giving (2015)