Despite the challenges presented by the current pandemic, Welcare in Bromley have continued to actively support children, young people and families over the past year. Working closely with local schools and partner agencies, we’ve provided support for 34 families, facing issues ranging from isolation, mental health and domestic abuse concerns during lockdown, to finance and housing.
“Our online adapted services are meeting local needs, and feedback received from families have been extremely positive,” says Barbara Wilson, Child and Family Support Services Manager. “Our parish reps and church supporters have surpassed themselves. They’ve organised collections for the Families In Crisis Appeal at Christmas and continued their work as ambassadors for our work with the parish churches in Bromley, Beckenham, and Orpington who support our work financially and through prayer. All of this during periods when public worship has been suspended and congregations have faced so many of their own challenges. We are thankful to local organisations including food banks for continuing to partner with us, to provide practical support throughout a difficult year, when more people than ever have found themselves in need.”
Welcare has maintained our work with local schools, notably with Parish CE Primary School (pictured above L-R: Babara Wilson – Welcare, Maryse Bruneau – Family Worker, and Rachel Coleman – Head Teacher) and Poverest Primary School. Before lockdown at the start of the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020, several group courses had been planned with Parish CE School for children. Working during a pandemic is not without its challenges, and individual one-to-one and group work programmes had to be altered to comply with changing regulations and restrictions. A lot of these had to be put on hold or adapted for one-to-one work online, but now we have a timeline out of lockdown, we can start making plans for the resumption of face-to-face services.
“All of those groups – Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities, a parenting skills course; My Next Steps, for children transitioning from primary to secondary school; and With Respect, for children facing difficulties in the classroom or at home – are to be picked up again as soon as we can do so safely,” says Barbara. Other online services will continue such as Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities online digital parent programme. Although, Welcare in Bromley have gone above and beyond to work with families however possible throughout the pandemic – from support with the new challenges of isolation and home schooling, to practical things like food vouchers and baby blankets.
Mrs R Coleman, Head Teacher at Parish CE Primary School, sent her thanks this month for the work Welcare have done and continue to do: “We would like to thank Welcare for their ongoing partnership work and support of Parish families, both emotionally and practically, particularly through the pandemic. We look forward to the Welcare groups once again being offered throughout this year and will continue to work in partnership on an ongoing basis.”
With a recent move to Community House to work alongside other voluntary organisations in the centre of Bromley, and upcoming recruitment for a new Family Support Worker, 2021 is shaping up to be a year even busier than the last, although with a much brighter future.
If you’d like to learn more about our Bromley Centre, or ask for support, please get in touch on Bromley@welcare.org or 0208 466 0399.
For more information about our Family Support Worker vacancy view the job listing here.