“It’s really helpful for parents to increase their confidence and abilities to deal with their children’s problems, and make them more happy and healthy.”Parent on Family Links course
The Mohn Westlake Foundation helps to support the work of the Hub, which includes Feltham Futures, a wide-ranging careers and higher education progression programme for local students; Girls' Group, a support and empowerment group for female students; and adult education, offering courses and volunteering opportunities to help parents into work. The NCT Birth & Beyond Community Supporters project offers volunteer-led peer support for new mums.
Families Connect and PEEP are group programmes helping parents to support their child's learning, and Family Links is a group support programme for parents to create a nurturing home environment.
Some of the funded projects include:
A Community Project Aimed At Improving Early Learning Outcomes In The Local Area
Delivered in partnership with Save the Children, Feltham Early Learning Community project is aimed at improving early learning outcomes in the local area. The project includes the Early Years Network, which offers free, monthly professional development and networking opportunities. Sessions are hosted by the Hub at the Reach Academy and have included topics such as speech and language in early years foundation stage (EYFS), creating a nurturing learning environment with Family Links, developmental trauma and attachment theory.
The Hub is also in the process of developing a Feltham early years' workforce strategy by establishing an EYFS apprenticeship programme with The Skills Network, and seeking validation from Kingston University to offer its Foundation Degree in Early Years from September 2020 at the Reach Academy.
The Hub's Early Years key workers run a variety of different, evidence-based parenting support courses to help upskill parents and build strong, supportive peer networks: Families Connect, Family Links and PEEP.
Building Blocks grants are also awarded up to £450 per family (with a child under six years old and at least one parent/carer receiving benefits) to purchase household goods and early learning packs. Referral teams carry out home visits to support the family and monitor the impact of the grant, helping to reduce pressure and enhance capacity.
The Hub has started several weekly initiatives to tackle social isolation, which aim to connect and empower parents through creativity and learning new skills (Coffee & Crafts) and encouraging a healthy lifestyle and discovering the local area (Walk & Talk). Free family activities are also hosted by the Hub during the school holidays.
As well as these activities, the Hub is in the process of developing a Local Strategic Plan for the Feltham Early Learning Community for the next three years, with the support of Save the Children UK. Strategic planning workshops have brought together local stakeholders from across the community, with representatives from nurseries, schools, children's centres, the council, police, charities and faith groups, and consultation groups are being held to capture the voice of children and parents.
“Thank you for creating this group and including me in it and making me one of the first members. I feel really safe and loved in this group and really wish every day life could be like this. Once again, thank you so much.” Girls' Group member
“Since completing the NCT Birth and Beyond course, I have been given the opportunity to volunteer at one of our local feeding clinics. This has been so helpful, not only in giving me more confidence in putting everything I have learnt in to practice, but also an insight of how useful this programme could be for mums and families in our community.”Jo, Volunteer on the NCT Birth & Beyond programme
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