West Leeds: Helpful hints for mums and dads

Thuli Mpofu leads a class at the Positive Family Course at Bramley Children's Centre.
Thuli Mpofu leads a class at the Positive Family Course at Bramley Children's Centre.
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A new course is helping young mums and dads with their parenting skills.

Based at Bramley Children’s Centre, Positive Families lets people share their experiences of family life and learn about the support available to them.

The course follows an earlier, successful pilot project run by Housing Leeds, Together Women Project and Total Families and is bringing together parents over a six week period.

It was designed after community involvement staff from Housing Leeds realised many parents needed help but didn’t know about the organisations or services available to assist them.

An initial course in Burmantofts in 2014 provided a forum for parents to come together and get advice on accessing childcare, tackling truanting or challenging behaviour and help for parents of children with disabilities.

Key to the success of the pilot was the support provided by parent champions. These volunteers were trained to support other parents within their own community, at playgroups, work place or place of worship, offering advice and signposting them to sources of help.

The new Positive Families project is looking to replicate this success by recruiting new parent champions to work with young parents.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said: “Staff who deal regularly with our tenants spotted a need within the community and a gap in the take up of the support services available.

“The pilot project proved a real success, getting parents and families the support they needed and we hope parents will benefit from this new course too.

“Parents themselves are best placed to advise others on the challenges they are facing, sharing experiences, techniques and support methods. It’s fantastic that we’re able to be part of offering this service and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future.”