It’s small, life is local and people are friendly. The island even markets itself as a great place to raise family. And it is, if you enjoy the traditional ways of life, can embrace the relaxed pace and don’t mind friends giving you lists for Ikea shopping every time you leave the island! I love it!!
But with all its uniqueness it is no different to any other community, with family life looking similar to any school gate snapshot anywhere in the UK. And because of that, Care for the Family has a growing group of volunteers, passionate about family life, being trained to deliver parenting materials on the island. Our volunteers are a motley lot and have come on board the team via different routes. Annette Millward, mum of 3 young children, tells us a little bit about why she has given of that precious commodity ‘time’ to be a parenting volunteer.
“I had been aware of the work of Care for the Family for some years. However, I had not considered becoming a volunteer until after discussions with the National Representative on the island, Maddie Porter and her vision of a Volunteer Network. Training to become a Parenting facilitator to run Positive Parenting courses seemed like a very natural progression for me after running a Parent and Tots church group for a number of years. I also know how challenging raising a family can be and how valuable such courses can be.
The Positive Parenting training to become a facilitator was excellent and very thorough. The experienced trainers were really helpful and the resources were brilliant. We covered many interesting and relevant topics in the two modules and I learnt so much from it. Compiling our portfolios was a challenging but really worthwhile and rewarding, and I gained a great deal. I felt fully equipped and supported in becoming a qualified facilitator at Level 3 with the Open College Network.
My colleague and I have just run our very first parenting course – Time Out For Parents – The Early Years and we have thoroughly enjoyed it! The course material is very user friendly and practical with a great mix of varied activities, ideas for discussion and gentle parental involvement for each session. The facilitator manuals include everything and anything that you could think of or need to run a course, from lists of equipment needed to suggested times to be spent on each activity. The interaction and feedback from the parents who attended has been both very positive and encouraging. I can’t wait to run our next course!
I would really recommend becoming a Positive Parenting facilitator for Care for the Family to anyone who wants to make a positive difference in their community.”
Starting with a small group of friends, Annette delivered her first parenting course alongside another volunteer, Stephanie. They are both now planning how best to invite the mums, dads, and other caregivers from their parent toddler groups along to the next course. I expect that with the little bit of activity that comes from this local way of connecting and strengthening family life, there will be a growing interest in Care for the Family’s materials and support across the island. Alongside the efforts of the Marriage and Let’s Stick Together volunteers it’s the combined efforts that make that positive difference.