At present we are running all of our case work and support online and on the phone. We are keeping in touch with mums and minis through daily zoom drop ins, links and ideas on our facebook group, weekly wellbeing calls, and an ‘always on’ Whatsapp group.

Watch what we do as told by Chantalle one of our mums’ leadership team in a film to commemorate us winning the LHA homelessness awards 2019.

Shelter

Shelter remains a pivotal partner for us at the project. A founding partner they have sent a case worker to us once week since our project began. These case workers fight alongside mums to gain the housing support to which they are entitled. They have made a difference to so many women’s and children’s lives. At least 100 families have worked with our Shelter advisers since we started our project 3 years ago. Shelter helps with:

  • Homelessness applications
  • Representation in eviction issues
  • Applications for section 17 support
  • Complaints over conditions, or repairs

London Black Women’s Project

Another founding partner to whom we are eternally grateful is London Black Women’s Project. London Black Women’s Project since our pilot they have sent us legal and immigration and housing advisers every week. We have referred more than 70 mums to LBWP for advice in the period we have been operational and their results include:

  • Non-molestation orders
  • Leave to remain
  • Change of condition applications
  • Divorces

Newham Health visitors

We are working to a timetable of health visitor and nursery nurse attendance at the project every Monday. We have agreed to encourage mums to bring their red books with them so that we can help health visitors record their interactions with mums for their own records. Nursery nurses help with:

  • Health concerns and signposting
  • Advice on sleep, weaning, nutrition,
  • General parenting enquiries.

Our health visitor helps with:Making sure women have a local health visitor,

  • Safeguarding concerns
  • Making sure children are known to the health visiting team in their borough,
  • Onward referrals.

Newham Children’s Centres

We grew out of the wonderful Kay Rowe Nursery and Children’s Centre and still owe their family support team a massive debt. They are present weekly in our sessions making sure that every child, both inside and outside the borough is connected to the vital support that their local children’s centre can provide. Children’s centres help with:

  • Ensuring each child is registered with their local children’s centre
  • Ongoing family support
  • Parenting courses
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Nutritional support
  • Safeguarding expertise.

NCT/Alternatives peri-natal partnership

NCT, in partnership with Alternatives Trust East London, The Magpie Project and Compost London, will be designing and delivering a project to support women from BME background around childbirth and motherhood.

We are excited that our mums’ steering group is instrumental in co-designing this project to make sure it meets the needs of mothers like them who have not had the best service from existing maternity provision. Of this group of 11 mums only one had accessed any ante-natal classes, and many had been let down by statutory services.

We aim to co-create a project based around ante-natal classes, peer support, group drop ins, advocacy and counselling that will meet the needs of BME or marginalised mothers in Newham.

Discover Children’s Story Centre

We are lucky enough to have a world class children’s story centre within easy walking distance of our project. Discover Story is a wonderful land of imagination and learning. We are over the moon to have been able to partner with them to create the Story Sandwich programme which invites our mums to go to the centre, experience a story, share a lunch and after several visits be gifted a membership of this wonderful resource.

Discover Story have been continuing our collaboration through lockdown with special recorded stories and online events for our families. It offers unmitigated joy and we love everything about what we do together.

CPRE Forest Gate Community Garden Growing together project

Our partnership with CPRE London has been so rewarding. We have created 3 raised beds in association with Forest Gate Community Garden and despite lockdown managed to harvest a few vegetables and fruits last year.

This year we plan bigger and better things for our Growing Together project.

Advocacy and voice

Forum Theatre workshops

We are thrilled to be working alongside Greenwich University to train 4 of our leadership team in the skills and techniques they need to run forum theatre workshops. This form of creative advocacy is a magical, transformative way in which women and marginalised communities can express their experiences, in a visceral, physical and participatory way in order to advocate for themselves and bring about change.

Watch this space for so much more!

Rosa voices from the frontline

We have recently undertaken a leadership programme funded by Rosa Voices from the Frontline to enable mums to speak up for themselves to create change in the world.

Newham policy change partners

We have also worked with Project 17, London Black Women’s Project, Hackney Migrant Centre and Shelter to take 8 complaints to Newham Children’s Services over the gatekeeping of section 17 support. All eight complaints were upheld. An independent review was triggered, paperwork, guidance and policies were ammended. This work is not finished, we continue to advocate case by case for mothers who are approaching children’s services for support both in Newham and surrounding boroughs.

QNI call for homelessness health visitors

We are honoured to feed in to research and advocacy by the Queens’ Nursing Institute calling for better health provision for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We informed an article written in the Journal of Health Visiting, and now will give evidence to a APPG being organised to highlight the health risks to children represented by homelessness.

Bethany Williams fashion collective

This is our third season of raising our mums and minis voices through the incredible collaboration with menswear designer Bethany Williams. She has handed over her spotlight to our mums to tell their stories around NRPF in the first collection and All Our Children in the second. This has garnered attention and press in many national and international papers and fashion magazines.

FCA CEO Challenge

For the second year running we are happy to be working with a team of FCA graduate trainees and apprentices to bring about a solution to a problem that our mums face.

This year we are looking in to creating a co-authored guide to financial services that mums who have just gained their status in the UK will need. A practical, fun, person centred map to financial issues such as bank accounts, bills and budgeting. All backed by the research and tips from the giant that is the Financial Conduct Authority.

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