The CFC team will run craft groups in Bishop’s Cleeve, Tewkesbury, Brockworth and Matson primarily for parents who become isolated, often when their children go to school.
“We all recognise loneliness as a factor of old age, but there are huge numbers of parents who face the same problem,” said Family Care Manager of Community Family Care, a registered charity based in Staunton.
“A lot of parents only have interaction with professionals, like their GP, who might be the only person they speak to for days. They find it difficult to make contact with others and don’t necessarily have support from their families. Isolation and depression become huge factors.”
The groups, which begin in September, target practical skills. The aim is to give parents a sense of purpose and to help them form their own network of friends which will last beyond the groups.
“Our work is about empowerment and building self-esteem,” said Sasha. “Ultimately, it reduces the pressure on other resources such as social workers and the NHS.”
The grant comes from the Healthy Together initiative, funded by Gloucestershire County Council.
Community Family Care helps families, children and young people in need of additional support. It seeks to improve parents’ confidence, help with routines to get children to school, or more complex support dealing with challenging behaviours at home. The work its staff carry out includes peer mentoring and life coaches for young people, and family support programmes.