Chelmsford MP visits Home-Start Essex Family Group
Vicky Ford MP visits Home-Start Essex Family Group in Chelmsford
Home-Start Essex recently welcomed Vicky Ford MP to its family groups in Chelmsford, where she met with the parents and children who attend the group and Home-Start staff and volunteers who run the sessions, which is held in Trinity Methodist Church Hall on a weekly basis.
Home-Start Essex has delivered services in Chelmsford for over 40 years. The aim of the family groups is to support families, many of whom are feeling isolated and would like to build a support network, within a fun and structured environment where children can get involved in creative play, songs, stories and games.
Jo Hemming, the Mid Essex lead for services says, ‘the pandemic has hit many of our families hard. 90% of families we support say they are struggling with their mental health and more than three quarters say they feel isolated. Being isolated can really impact your self-esteem, so we are delighted that we are able to run face-to-face groups again where our friendly staff and volunteers make families feel welcome and help build their confidence both in themselves and in their parenting skills. We are thrilled that Vicky Ford has been able to come here today, to find out more about the experiences of the families at the group and to hear about the positive difference support from the family group makes.’
Vicky spent time talking to the parents at the group to gain an understanding of the challenges they had faced and how the group was helping them to overcome their difficulties. Parents told Vicky how the group benefitted them and their children, talked about their parenting experiences, as well as playing together with the children. Parent, Cydney one of the parents who attends with her son every week said,’ I don’t feel judged here. The group makes me feel like a normal parent and I am not the only one struggling. I know I can say I am having a bad day and people will reassure me’.
There are two family groups currently running in Chelmsford, the family group running at the Trinity Methodist Church Hall and one in St Andrew’s Church Hall in Melbourne.
Both groups currently have spaces for families with young children. The groups are free of charge and refreshments are always provided. Home-Start Essex also has groups running in other locations throughout Essex. To find out more about the groups and the other support services offered by Home-Start Essex, please call 01245 847410 or visit www.home-startessex.org.uk/getting-support