Sharon Blyth, Lee Hurrell and Jane Nott from Barnstaple started running Kids Matter groups at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more about how they supported families in their community…
At Holy Trinity, Barnstaple, we have run groups for almost 18 months now, making contact with approximately 20 families. Throughout lockdown, our contact remained focused on checking in with gift bags and crafts for families, and then meeting up safely in the garden.
A major thing we have discovered is that many of the parents suffer from mental health challenges and low self-esteem, so every session focuses on helping parents to feel affirmed in their parenting. As well as this, we learn skills together on subjects such as routines, playing and screen time.
To finish this term, we provided home-made gifts linked to Advent. One comment on the Handmade Kindness Advent Calendar was, “It’s really good, something we do together. We love it!” from ‘J’ – a mum of three, who has been in and out of care herself and is keen to give her children the best start she can. We concluded by making table centre pieces in our Christmas session. These families will also be recipients of church-made hampers for Christmas.
We now have two trained facilitators and would warmly recommend other churches look to explore this training, as a way to share Jesus love beyond the church walls.