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Kids Matter SEPTEMBER Newsletter 2021

In March 2021, the Children’s Commissioner launched “The Big Ask” – a national survey asking children across England to set out their priorities for improving childhood post-Covid. Over half a million children responded. The results were published this month and one of the Commissioner’s most poignant observations was this:

This is not a ‘snowflake generation.’ It is a heroic generation. A generation of children who are veterans of a global crisis. They have seen how colossally frightening life can be, far too young, and have made a lot of sacrifices. But they have endured, and are emerging stronger and prematurely wise. Bruised, yes, and in many cases seriously vulnerable, but for the most part, happy, optimistic, and determined. – Dame Rachel de Souza DBE

At Kids Matter, our heart is for these children; the children whose wounds will take longer to heal, if they ever do? We want to see every child in need raised in a strong family and we know that we need to invest in parents for children to thrive. Child suffering is increasing at an alarming rate. Rising poverty across the UK is rendering families in already disadvantaged communities unable to cope and it is the children who suffer the most with a range of emotional, psychological and social problems.

There is no later, there is only now.

two women standing together
We enjoyed catching up with Carmen and Hodan (above) this month. When Hodan first attended a Kids Matter group, her fifth child was a newborn; now he’s 6 years old! Hodan has done the Kids Matter programme a total of three times and still uses so many things she learned. Carmen (Head Teacher) is keen to get another KM programme running again soon.

Here’s how Kids Matter is making a difference in the life of one family:

“I’m not so impulsive. I’m pausing more in my parenting. I want to model something different because I realise my son will be impulsive and react if I do. My son knows Kids Matter has made a positive difference to me because he drew a picture of a child’s face and head with arrows around it saying kids matter. He knows my stress levels and anxiety are better.”  – Kids Matter mum

Facilitator Spotlight: Emma Bennett

Recently, we asked Emma Bennett, one of our Kids Matter Facilitators, a couple of questions as part of a series of interviews for the National Parenting Initiative; to find out a bit more about the impact of our parenting programme in the lives of children and families facing disadvantages. Here are Emma’s answers:

1. What made you decide to run a parenting programme in your church?

I noticed the impact lockdown had on children and families – children were at home continually and the absence of a well-balanced home environment (in some cases) took a toll on the children’s well-being. The Kids Matter programme equips parents and carers to manage their children’s behaviour, with practical advice on how to make their homes a better place. I was encouraged by this as many parents (even my husband) come from an unhappy family environment, so I could see the impact the Kids Matter programme could make.

2. Why Kids Matter?

I was contacted during lockdown about running a Taster* for Kids Matter in my community, and I liked the sound of it.

*A Kids Matter ‘Taster’ is an event that introduces the programme to guests who might be interested in attending a group.

 3. What were the costs involved?

Apart from the training costs and the church partnership fee, I spent about £150 to set up my crèche.

 4. How did it go? What were the highlights?

The programme went well! Both parent teams were encouraged and were very open, and shared a lot about how they were parented and how they would like to parent their own children differently. The main highlights were: seeing the improvement in the parents’ approach to parenting and how they were willing to say they would try some of the new techniques and honest enough to say “no” if they weren’t!

 5. What would you say to anyone looking at this programme and wondering whether it might work in their community?

It will work but you just need to get people sign up. The main challenge is getting parents to attend. No matter how many times you tell people about the programme, they have to really want to do it. Now that I have run my first group, I am going to get testimonies from the attending parents that I will use to encourage others to come.

There were 4.3 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2019-20 *. That’s 31 per cent of children, or nine in a classroom of 30. The parents and carers of these children will probably skip meals so their children can eat. Parenting is tough at the best of times but for families facing disadvantages, it is even tougher. Whilst we cannot solve poverty, our Kids Matter parenting programme gives mums, dads and carers the confidence to do their best in spite of it.

Join Kids Matter this CHALLENGE POVERTY WEEK as we raise our voices in unison against poverty and shine a light on visions for a more just, compassionate and opportunity-filled country.

*Child Poverty Action Group

Community Highlights!

With the start of the new school year, our facilitators are in the throes of planning and taster sessions, with groups up and running as well, in an effort to see families and children supported in their communities. We will continue share their stories with you in our newsletter, on our website and via our social media channels.

If you would like to discover more about how partnering with Kids Matter can help you work alongside families facing disadvantages in your communities, then sign up for our online Taster on 18 November 7:45pm.

If you work with families in your church or community in Merseyside & Cheshire, join us online for an hour of inspiration on 6 October, hosted by the National Parenting Initiative. Free tickets here:

Our church partner in Bulgaria started their first Kids Matter programme this month; we are looking forward to updating you with stories of change from this very special community.

Our content-updated programme booklets are almost ready to roll out with a stack of fun new illustrations that our KM families are going to love!

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