Dear Kids Matter Supporters,
As we move into a new pandemic season that has seen children returning to school, social distancing relaxed and an inkling of pre-Covid life peeking an eager face over the hill, we are also facing winter and the predicted ‘second wave’ that is likely to inject further disruption and uncertaintly into our current rhythm of being. But we are ready. Kids Matter has spent the last six months assessing and adjusting so that we are able to meet the need of parents and families no matter what our world looks like.
Our facilitators are looking forward to connecting with parents in their communities and getting groups up and running in person, if they are able (according to government guidelines). If face-to-face meetings are not possible, our full parenting programme has been formatted to run online. We have also developed some other online-appropriate tools that our facilitators can use to engage with and encourage families in the case of isolation or strict social distancing.
The impact of Covid-19 on the country’s most vulnerable children and families over the last six months has been devestating. There has been unprecedented demand for charity food since lockdown, jobs are at risk and poverty is on the increase – all factors that affect parenting and ultimately child wellbeing. Crucially, vulnerable families have fewer contacts with agencies that would otherwise pick up children at risk, which means that issues can go unchecked longer than they might have. For vulnerable families the loss of support networks, alongside the anxiety and financial pressures caused by Covid-19, could be what tips them from being able to cope, to reaching crisis point.
The need was great, and it has intensified.
As dire as the circumstances might be, there is an opportunity for us – the church, individuals, society at large – and Kids Matter to rise up and meet the challenge. We must act now.
- In this back-to-school autumn season, we are full steam ahead with Tasters (for anyone who’d like to find out out about Kids Matter), Training Sessions (for new facilitators) and Connect Groups (for existing facilitators) planned and filling up. If you’d like to know what’s happening, follow us on social media or visit our website www.kidsmatter.org.uk .
- Kids Matter is finalising details for the first training for our (yet to launch) Babies Matter parenting programme, set to take place in November.
- Congratulations to Lynette Woodward, Kids Matter facilitator and tireless champion for vulnerable children and families in her community, for being recognised by HM Lord-Luitenant of Norfolk for her “innovation, collaboration, courage and selflessness” during Covid-19.
- We’re grateful to have Church Leadership Consultant Yemi Adedeji join Kids Matter to help us take necessary steps to become more ethnically diverse as an organisation.
- We have welcomed three new team members since lockdown in March – Catherine (partnerships), Lydia (operations) and Emma (fundraising) – who we’ve spend much time with on Zoom (in this strange new world of online meetings and socials) but have yet to meet in person; and what an incredible job they’re doing!
- Thank you to the Kids Matter Trustees who joined us for a quick chat at our most recent team day. It was really special seeing our full team PLUS board members together in a single virtual space So many different roles and personalities united by a vision and passiont to see children raised in strong families.
Check out our latest Blog! The first in a series on the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable children, answering the following questions: What is the need?👇 What is the opportunity? What is the challenge? What can we do?