Thank you for all the interactions over the years. However, this account will be dormant until further notice, as Chris and I have decided to move on. It has been a learning curve since we joined Solihull Parents’ Forum(SPF) in 2010.
SPF has been a platform for all parents to share their concerns and experiences with parents on the forum, who then shared them with services to bring about a positive change. As we know, each one of us is unique, with varied life experiences. Some people may reach out to services to give feedback, while some of us, though we feel passionately about the cause, may not feel comfortable sharing our views. EACH view is important. When we share our views like…’I felt confident as I knew the next steps while using a service’ or ‘I did not feel comfortable with the service as no one responded to my message’, we help build up intelligence around a service to bring about the changes needed to deliver effective service for the well-being of all.
I had beautiful moments through SPF, that helped me learn and grow. I would cherish attending events and meeting people working to improve lives and bringing positive energy to others lives. Hearing from researchers and community workers that studies prove, safe and loved childhood forms a strong, confident foundation for all individuals and helps improve their life chances. They are better equipped to handle difficult situations in relationships and career.
There is a lot of good work going around and support available from various sources. Keep believing in yourself. Somebody once told me, ‘People in general are good. If you don’t know something. Just ask. They would love to help.’
We are a volunteering group and have been volunteering individually at local schools for several years now. So, we were excited to meet Esther (from Empower, part of Engage Team), Team Lead for Volunteering in Solihull. What stood out during our conversation were the confidence courses running for general public at three levels. For example, I have never worked and am low on confidence. I call up on 0121 709 7000 Enagage Team. Well I did call up to be answered by a kind voice I must say 🙂 I then share what I am looking for. Within 2 weeks team member assigned to me contacts me with next steps.
These confidence courses or the training modules can help one to feel self-confident, recognising our valuable skills. If then interested we can learn more about volunteering and eventually if desired we can look up for jobs. At each step support is available for upscaling confidence in the community. We can find Volunteering Opportunities at https://do-it.org/
There are mentoring schemes available to support identified young people or a small group of young people to share skills and raise aspirations. We are looking for mentors with skills like fishing, sports, playing an instrument. Teaming up with mentors would help engage and inspire young people.
We would love to share this information with more of us. However, we all can play an important role here. When you read this share any questions that come to you, with the forum (Facebook, Twitter, Email at firstname.lastname@example.org) What happens next? How does this work? I can’t just call on 0121 709 7000. All these are valid queries and help the system to be more effective. These are not ‘Is it only me?’ questions. These conversations help us all.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
We would like to invite parents and carers to our next public meeting on Thursday 16th June 2016 10.00 am-12.00 noon at Encore formerly known as Arts Complex Cafe, Theatre Square, in front of Solihull Library. Let’s meet. It is an informal meeting to listen to what matters to Solihull parents and share what we did in 2015-16. Plese let us know if you would be joining us, to help estimate numbers. Feel free to come with friends. We would be happy to personally invite members of parent groups. Please contact us. We cover all areas of parenting including financial support as it helps improve life chances of children. Hopefully, by meeting each other we feel more confident to share concerns or feedback in future to improve services in Solihull and make a difference!
On 30th September, it was a great opportunity to have an Early Help overview for all partners, for each of the three areas of Early Help activity – Direct Work (directly supporting children, young people and families), Community Development (supporting existing organisations in the community in supporting people), Community Capacity (providing support to build up skill level in community)
It was enriching to meet people from different streams passionate about ‘lives not services’. We spoke to people working with youth, community housing, voluntary organisations, excited to work in partnership.
The idea of Early Help is preventing issues. It is a noble idea. We need to believe and extend hand to each other. If you have any questions, would like to be involved or aware of someone or some area that needs support, please write to us and together we can make a change!
Andy Giles, SMBC then shared how Early Help is everyone’s business. Several consultations have taken place over the year http://socialsolihull.org.uk/earlyhelp/ Here comes our part by sharing our views. If we had an issue in our family – financial or realtionship or concerning our children, where will we turn for information and support? More questions can be found here Early Help Questions for Parents Some people go to family/friends, some search on-line, while its harder for lot of us to accept there is a concern. Speaking to someone, could be a step forward towards reducing stress in our lives. What information would you need and where would you like to find it? Share your views and be part of shaping Early Help in Solihull…
Inspired by discussions on making Early Help everyone’s business, at Early help Board last month, we have been speaking to people in general. We spoke to parents on school playground, local voluntary groups, local hair dressers… We are glad we did that, as we introduced the idea of Early Help to them. It raised curiosity to know more, what does Early Help mean? Early Help is supporting families early before the life problems become big. Next, how early does Early Help mean, is it for early years? It is true by helping children in Early Years we support future of our community well. But Early Help for families is for all stages of families babies, young children, teenagers. We are discussing, basic information families should have to make them feel confident in difficult life situations.
As Solihull Parents’ Forum we have been part of Early Help work for almost 2 years and can confidently say, Early Help is important in everyone’s life.
Effective Early Help improves the lives of children & young people – they know and can find solutions to problems affecting their lives like: how they can help their child when children are stuck, developing skills needed to get a job.
Prevents difficulties being passed from one generation to the next – when we can find solutions to our problems, we have a more positive outlook towards life and it touches lives of our children.
We can know more about Early Help at, http://socialsolihull.org.uk/earlyhelp/ If you have suggestions or questions to know more about it, be part of discussion forum on the page. There are Early Help Engagement events being organised in March, which can be booked on the Early Help page. More people, effective discussions.
Early Help helps improves lives for generations. Be part of Early Help!
Happy New Year everyone! As we look back to 2014, we had some great experiences. Working with Early Help Board, pledging as Early Intervention Champion with Early Intervention Foundation, learning about services like Families First, participating in School Nurse consultation to name a few. But we are even more excited for what 2015 has in store for us. This year we aim to meet more parent groups in the borough, understanding people and spreading awareness and raising confidence for happy lives, to build up ‘Strong and Resilient’ community.
We need more parents/ carers from the borough, to take the work of spreading confidence in community further. This year we will try to reach people, those who are not on social media. Please get in touch with us, we will share what we do. Ask your questions and learn in the process. Then pass that learning, to your friend circle. This may eventually start reaching to people not on internet.
We look forward to working with more people this year. Have a great 2015!
Blue balloons named World Gratitude day, people writing on post-aids and on black board ‘What they are grateful for?’ looked interesting. We came to know, World Gratitude day (on 21st Sept) was being celebrated by the team of The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues. They are doing research among children and adults across the nation to know more about who are people grateful for?
As the name suggests…Familes come first, lives come first, people come first. Thank you Ian. It was great to know about the intensive support provided to families in the borough by Families First multi-agency service. The team workers aim to improve communication, information and developing problem-solving skills among people. The team supports families in becoming independent and taking charge of their lives. What we see is happy families. Together we will look towards building communities…where everyone feels confident and cared for.
We are with you… by spreading awareness of the noble work and finding ways to build, strong and resilient communities. Do we have any ideas which can help our community?
It was a great opportunity for us to be at Shirley Volunteering Fair celebrating the Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June. It was supported by SUSTAIN. It felt good to meet actual people behind the names we often hear and read about. It was a pleasure to discuss what volunteers can do and add smiles in people’s lives. Thank you Barnardo’s, ReCOM, Family Care Trust, SoLO, Health Exchange, Samaritans, Marie Curie and several other organisations present. We found if there is a desire to support the community there are volunteering jobs from child care, clinic, listening to people, health, IT, adding value to all lives including disabilities, elderly.
In addition volunteering also develops confidence amongst us and keeps us fit as we meet different people. We treasure these organisations in Solihull and would be happy to share awareness among people about them at all times.