With the support of Mo Mark Mental Health Community Fund we’re currently running a programme of parent workshops and one-to-one support for refugee parents, with the aims of:
- Improving mental health and wellbeing for 100 refugee parents in Battersea.
- Increasing their ability to effectively manage their own and their family issues.
- Increasing parents confidence to seek support from other services if needed e.g., schools, Jobcentres, GPs, mental health services.
What follows is a short update about our work to 1st October 2021.
Staff and Comms
Unfortunately our new member of staff, Asia Mohammed, left the organisation at the end of August. She was doing well in the role but decided to leave due to unexpected personal issues arising, and departed at relatively short notice. This work has been absorbed within the team until we recruit a new member of staff with the workshops in their brief. We have advertised and have a closing date of 8th October, with interviews the week after.
We have delivered 3 workshops this quarter. One short due to the school holiday period. But we are on track to deliver all 12 workshops by February 2022.
Somali and Tigrinya interpreting has been provided at all the workshops. At the most recent one an experienced parent volunteer provided this in Asia’s absence. Dari interpreting was also provided by another parent volunteer.
We are currently adding new Love to Learn and ESOL parents to our Love to Learn Parent News WhatsApp group.
We have delivered 3 parent workshops since our last report:
- 2nd July: Living with Diabetes (with NHS Talk Wandsworth)
- 16th July: Parenting Teenagers (with Elays Network)
- 24th September: How to look after yourself as a Parent (with Caroline Hanson, parent coach)
We have other workshops planned including:
- 15th October (Money, debts and where to get help)
- 19th November (Children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities)
Delivery of the fourth workshops was affected by school holidays this quarter. We plan to deliver 5 more between October and February 2022.
Our September workshop was delivered face to face (at last!) and meant we could offer a creche. The consensus was that participants were very happy to be back in person. They said they found the workshop more enjoyable and easier to contribute to. Seven of the participants had not been to previous online workshops in this programme.
59 different parents have attended workshops since they started in February and these 3 workshops were attended by 32 parents. All were attended by 10+ parents. Parenting Teenagers was attended by 17 and our Looking after Yourself workshop by 15.
Feedback from the workshops
Feedback for our Living with Diabetes workshop was sought at the end of the session. There was some criticism because it was felt that the facilitator did not have enough knowledge to respond to detailed questions (this has been fed back to Talk Wandsworth). However all parents said they felt somewhat more confident with the topic (mostly scoring 2 out of 3).
For Parenting Teenagers we followed up by phone:
- Prior to the workshop, 91% of participants said they had little or no professional knowledge of parenting teenagers and did not know where to get this information. 55% said they had little confidence in this, 45% felt moderately confident.
- Following the workshop everyone’s knowledge and confidence had gone up. 64% of participants said they had gained a lot more knowledge of the topic, 36% they had gained a moderate amount. 55% said they now felt highly confident, 45% moderately confident. 64% felt knowledgable about where to get more information and 36% moderately knowledgeable.
For the Looking After Yourself workshop, held face to face, we used paper feedback forms which participants filled in before and after the workshop.
- Prior to the workshop, 77% of participants said that they knew a moderate amount about and were moderately confident about looking after themselves as parents. 23%/16% felt fully knowledgeable/confident.
- Following the workshop, 77% participants said that they felt they knew a lot more, felt a lot more confident and knew fully where to get more information. 15%/15%/7% felt moderately more knowledgeable/confident/knowledgeable about where to get more information.
These three workshops were attended by 32 different parents. Of these 10 parents attended more than one workshop: 3 parents attended all 3 workshops, and 7 attended 2.
We have now supported 16 parents post-workshops, with issues arising from the workshops. In the last quarter these included specific family health questions, help to access mental health support, questions about and strategies to use in supporting teenagers, several parents assisted with school SEN issues and parents supported with challenging family issues.
Parents have told us the following about the workshops so far:
“KLS and Love to Learn are like my home, I always know I will learn new information from the workshops”
“The workshops are very useful; I find myself learning new information even if had some knowledge before, it makes me more confident to look for further information”
“Attending the workshops gives me the sense that I have a support system”
“The workshops are helpful. I took many ideas about different things specially the education options for my children”
“Attending workshops with L2L is always helpful, I learn more – especially with the Somali interpreter”
If you’d like to find out more about our Love to Learn team’s parent support then please contact Elaine at [email protected]