The Parent Champions programme is rich with inspiring stories from our volunteers and coordinators. This story was recently sent in by a Parent Champions coordinator from Wolverhampton:
With six children of her own, Caroline was keen to help other families get information on childcare and other local services as she was a service user of the local children’s centre. Caroline was heavily pregnant while she volunteered at the Bingley Children’s Centre and soon built the confidence to volunteer as a Parent Champion. The Parent Champions training was really helpful to her in gaining basic skills and information on how to approach parents. She also found it really useful for setting boundaries as sometimes parents had very difficult personal problems and circumstances.
Caroline soon learned that her role was not to try to immediately help parents with everything, but to refer them to the local Family Information Service. From speaking to parents when they meet up for activities, Caroline has found that most families know very little about the free childcare offer for two year olds so she explains what general support families may be able to get and always has relevant leaflets to hand out.
Caroline was keen to gain employment as she had a hunger to learn, develop, and be a role model to her children. During her pregnancy, she applied for a part time Strengthening Worker post which she successfully gained in July 2016. Even though Caroline will have to pause volunteering for a few months to take care of her new born baby girl and prepare for her new paid role, she still wants to carry on supporting other parents by being a Parent Champion.
Caroline knows the skills and experience she has picked up as a Parent Champion will be really useful in her new job supporting local communities to thrive. She looks forward to helping families turn their lives around, just like she has.
We love hearing these encouraging stories! If you have any similar stories about the impact Parent Champions are making in your area, please get in touch with Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org.