First and foremost, we’d like you to know that this ambitious project has been proposed because of the tremendous support of our community, our staff, and the initial development team who have all worked tirelessly putting together the feasibility study. We have set our sights high, but we know the goals in this project are part of a much wider picture of support needed in our community.
This pattern of increased demand for family support work continues to today, with more women experiencing domestic violence, unemployment, single parenting and much much more. We know that women have been disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic, and Hannah and her team are taking a radical approach, building multiple social enterprises to create a holistic ecosystem of support for women, and children in the critical 1001 days and beyond. The proceeds generated by the social enterprises will go towards the funding of family support work at Nurture Families.
A: Our services are available to all families with a child under 2 years old, but in particular we work with women and babies who find themselves in situations which can increase their vulnerability or place them at risk of harm – and who are often facing complex family situations.
- The first 1001 days are largely ignored in policy, commissioning and practice, which is putting babies at significant risk of harm and costing the public purse considerable amounts of money.
- Women face numerous barriers to self-sufficiency and stability when experiencing complex family situations, such as abuse, poverty and domestic violence.
- Provide critical support in the first 1001 days to mother and child through parent-infant relationship work.
- Provide practical and skills-based learning needed to work towards self-sufficiency and stability.
- Provide training, consultancy and a successful model of holistic support to raise public and professional awareness and improve workforce capacity to protect and promote the parent-infant relationship.
- Work with local leaders and organisations to improve awareness, co-ordination and decision-making.
A: Our mission is to empower women and families to emerge from challenging situations with sustained health and wellbeing, secure relationships with their children built on responsiveness and connection, and the ability to establish safe homes and stable futures.
A: Our vision is that every parent sees their child as a catalyst for positive change. By building on their strengths, they are able to choose health, see hope for their future, and give back to their family and their community.
1. The first 1001 days are a crucial time and what happens in this period influences lifelong health and wellbeing.
2. Relationships, especially the parent-infant relationship, are at the heart of healthy development.
3. Early adversity brings costs to individuals, society and the public purse: investments in early life pays the greatest dividends.
4. There is increasing international and national recognition of this important early parent-infant relationship work.
5. We have a unique opportunity to intervene when parents are generally receptive to help and in touch with services.
6. Specialised parent-infant relationship interventions are commonly not available in existing provisions.
7. Early social and emotional development lays the foundation for a range of important life outcomes which feature in policy priorities.
8. A significant number of babies are at risk in the UK.
9. Babies are currently largely ignored in policy, commissioning and practice.
10. Specialised parent-infant relationship teams can drive systems change.
Further information about each of these elements is available, simply contact us you’re your request (see bottom of this page for details).
To grow the impact of our work with families, we are building a specialist parent-infant team that includes case managers, parent-infant practitioners, early years practitioners, health visitors, midwives, and psychotherapists.
A: Funding for our programmes come from donations and public support, grants, fundraising, and events. We are also working to establish multiple social enterprises that will offer job training and workforce development for the women we work with, generate revenue to strengthen and offset the cost of our programmes, and eventually become self-sustaining, reducing our reliance on donations.
A: Following a pilot study where we worked with a small group of women providing focused support, we have goals to support as many women as possible across Worcestershire and surrounding counties. We know from our feasibility study that
- The number of domestic abuse crimes being recorded is increasing year on year. For example, West Mercia had an increase of 17% compared to a national average of 7% for the year 2016/17 to 2017/18. 68% of victims were female.
- We know during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-21 domestic abuse crimes increased. In contrast with the decrease in other crimes, reports of domestic abuse rose by 6% across the UK.
- Between 2020-21, 23% of offences recorded that year were those of domestic abuse. Data from West Mercia police shows that 16,880 offences were recorded in total that year. This is equivalent to 13 of every 1,000 people in the area reporting a domestic abuse offence. Remember that domestic abuse crimes are typically underreported.
- Domestic abuse is one of the biggest social issues facing women and girls today.
- Children are the hidden victims of domestic abuse. In many cases, we know that without timely help, children go on to experience further abuse in their own relationships.
- Teenage parents are prone to poor antenatal health, lower birthweight babies and higher infant mortality rates. Their health, and that of their children, is likely to be worse than average.
- Teenage mothers are less likely to finish their education, less likely to find a good job, and more likely to end up both as single parents and bringing up their children in poverty. The children themselves run a much greater risk of poor health, and have a much higher chance of becoming teenage mothers themselves.
- In 2017, there were 123 teenage conceptions in Worcestershire with 70 of these opting for an abortion.
- This means that in 2017, over 50 mothers aged under 18 made the choice to have a child in Worcestershire.
- Higher numbers of teenage conceptions occur in deprived areas.
These are the groups of women we typically work with, but we are able to support women and children facing a range of challenges with the help of our partner organisations. We are aiming to work with approximately 1,200 women annually. The families we serve live across counties from Worcestershire to Hereforshire. More than 50% live in Worcester and Malvern.
A: Currrently, the majority of our referrals come from Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten, but we also have families referred by local family support teams, churches, parents and schools. Women can also contact us directly seeking support.
A: Quite simply we are seeing a need for more support, and we want to answer this, creating bigger impact in our community. Good parenting and a stable home are critical for a child, a family, and for the health of our society as a whole. Parenting is hard, even under the best of circumstances. For the last seven years, we have been helping mums get a good start to parenting through Nurture Outdoor Kindergarten. During the last two years we have been supporting women through serious challenges, including experiences of domestic abuse.
We have witnessed firsthand the tremendous barriers that our mums face. Working to overcome generational cycles of poverty and abuse and provide a safe and stable home, over the long haul, is extremely difficult and takes time. Many of our mums need holistic care and support, beyond what we can currently provide.
Nurture Families is in a unique position to help women move seamlessly from their first steps in our existing support, making healthy choices and delivering a healthy baby, to the next steps needed to work towards self-sufficiency and stability. Our expanded programmes will continue to be holistic in nature, offering job training and workforce development opportunities that will be braided into our existing family services. We will continue to focus on mental health, life skills and parenting, and continued counseling and education.
A: We are looking for opportunities to establish two social enterprises, where we can provide job training and workforce development to the women we serve, while also generating revenue to fund our programmes.
We believe that women from towns and cities have a lot to bring to agricultural projects. We know this from past crises, including the Women’s Land Army of World War I and World War II, when more than a third of the 20,000 women who volunteered had lived in London or another large city.
Currently, in many countries around the world funding is being allocated to agricultural projects run by women who have traditionally been the ‘workers on the ground’ or city dwellers looking for new opportunities to grow and thrive. We would like to grasp a similar opportunity for our community here in the UK.
For us, farms are symbolic of what women and children need to experience - a sense of home and togetherness, shared values, and hard work. Family farms have been essential to our rural communities, and we are looking to have the opportunity to preserve a beloved farm in this area and to perhaps bring it back to life.
We look forward to being able to repurpose historically significant buildings and to breathe new life and legacy into a site. We envisage it being a place that will continue to serve this community for generations to come.
A: We are looking for opportunities to establish a restaurant, event space and food garden, where we can provide job training and workforce development to the women we serve, while also generating revenue to fund our programmes.
A: Yes! We will need to recruit experienced professionals to oversee the successful launch of the social enterprises, and pilot training programme. Nurture Families clients will be referred into the programme by their case manager, and will begin with counselling and soft skills education and support. Later, when ready clients will move into mentored job training roles and may be recruited for peer training and management positions over time. However, the primary goal of this programme is to teach skills and support them into employment in their communities outside of the programme.
A: We will soon be launching a public campaign to seek financial support for our programmes. In the meantime, please complete the contact form on our website.
A: We are breaking this ambitious project into a number of phases. At the moment we are in phase I, securing a site and securing funding for our current programmes. We are also further analysing our potential impact at Nurture Families through an extensive feasibility study. Getting to the final phase of the project will take a number of years, and will depend on fundraising goals being met.