08 Jun 2015

Support offered to make positive difference to families


A new course is helping young mums and dads with their parenting skills.

Based at Bramley Children’s Centre, Positive Families lets people share their experiences of family life and learn about the support available to them.

Based on an earlier, successful pilot project run by Housing Leeds, Together Women Project and Total Families, Positive Families is bringing together parents over a six week period.

The course was designed after community involvement staff from Housing Leeds realised parents needed help but that parents didn’t know about the organisations or services available to assist them.

An initial course in Burmantofts in 2014 provided a forum for parents to come together and get advice on accessing childcare, tackling truanting or challenging behaviour and help for parents of children with disabilities.

Key to the success of the pilot was the support provided by parent champions.

These volunteers were trained to support other parents within their own community, at playgroups, work place or place of worship, offering advice and signposting them to sources of help.

The new Positive Families project is looking to replicate this success by recruiting new parent champions to work with young parents.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said:

“Staff who deal regularly with our tenants spotted a need within the community and a gap in the take up of the support services available. The pilot project proved a real success, getting parents and families the support they needed and we hope parents will benefit from this new course too.

“Parents themselves are best placed to advise others on the challenges they are facing, sharing experiences, techniques and support methods. It’s fantastic that we’re able to be part of offering this service and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for children and families, said:

“We’re now offering young parents in Bramley the opportunity to build their confidence in dealing with everything from eating problems to sorting childcare and to help raise aspirations for their family.

“Parents turn to other parents for advice and we know first-hand that these projects and parent champions can make a real difference in people’s lives as well as their own.”

Of the people who took part in the first Positive Families course, 96% of them said that the course was good, helping them to improve their parenting skills and giving them confidence to deal with their children’s problems and behaviours.

Having attending the course 57% of parents used the referral given to them by a parent champion. Just under a half of these referrals lead to parents regularly using the service or activity recommended.

Helen, a parent champion, said:

“I enjoy being a parent champion. I can go talk to other parents and I know I can help them, offer them help and support.

“I’d never done this kind of training before. The first time I went to speak to other parents I was really scared, but the training gave me the confidence I needed.”

The Positive Families group meets every Wednesday at Bramley Children’s Centre, Fairfield Street between 11am and 1pm until 17 June.

Positive Families forms part of the children’s centre parenting offer which includes, Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond and Baby Steps programmes.

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team