STRUGGLING PARENTS RECEIVE £5,000 FROM THE WPH CHARITABLE TRUST
The WPH Charitable Trust has awarded £5,000 to The Parenting Project, to help Warwickshire families struggling with wide-ranging issues such as unemployment, isolation, relationship breakdowns and financial difficulties.
Operating a range of services including parent mentoring and family wellbeing in the Warwick and Stratford areas, as well as counselling across the whole of the county, The Parenting Project will use the money to develop its parent mentoring offering.
The service uses mentors to meet regularly with families to offer friendly, informal support and guidance.
Before Covid19 the service coped with four mentors but since the start of the pandemic demand has spiralled and today there are 30 mentors.
Emma Smith, Development Manager of The Parenting Project in Warwickshire, said: “Throughout the year our parent mentors are supporting around 60 parents.
“Before the pandemic we thought we were already busy and serving a high level of need, but since then we have been faced with parents who had been just about coping but are now at crisis level. There were more family breakdowns and whereas in one quarter we may have dealt with one or two parents with suicide ideation, between September 2021 and January this year we were dealing with 11.
“This number is unprecedented and at the moment much of our work is firefighting – managing risk and complex needs on a daily basis, instead of helping our families to move forward which is our priority.
The charity helps parents from all walks of life with children aged 19 and under, or with children aged up to 25 with a disability.
Almost all parents are referred through social services, health services, GPs and other statutory and voluntary bodies.
Emma said the service had originally been established in Stratford in about 2008 as local families were being overlooked as the town was deemed more affluent and without issues.
Today its parent mentoring and family wellbeing services operate in Stratford, Warwick and more latterly Rugby. Its counselling services are available across the whole of Warwickshire.
Emma said the endgame is to continue growing all three services to all areas across Warwickshire.