Scheme offers support for local families

Six Mile Integrated Primary School with Acting Principal Claire Gault. INBT 24- PARENTING 3.

Six Mile Integrated Primary School with Acting Principal Claire Gault. INBT 24- PARENTING 3.

Local pupils have taken part in an innovative new project, which aims to improve outcomes for children and relationships in families.

The Families Together Project is a partnership between Parenting NI and New Life Counselling. The project has been awarded five years funding under the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out Supporting Families Programme.

Ballycraigy PS Parents and Children with Principal Dr Hazel Edwards. INBT 24- PARENTING 1.

Ballycraigy PS Parents and Children with Principal Dr Hazel Edwards. INBT 24- PARENTING 1.

The Families Together project has been designed to help support and improve family lives by strengthening family cohesion by encouraging more open and effective communication between parents and their children. The project includes a number of programmes for parents and children which will provide them with a better understanding of each other’s needs and the skills to manage family relationship difficulties a different way in the future.

Pip Jaffa, CEO at Parenting NI said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to enable us to deliver the Families Together project with our partners New Life Counselling.” This project will work towards improving outcomes for children in these areas as well as encourage families to actively get involved in the school life.

“The project gives us an opportunity to work alongside the schools in providing additional support to local families. Programmes for parents are available in schools in Antrim and Strabane which will help them with issues such as managing stress, building resilience and confidence in their parenting skills and managing situations like separation and communication breakdown. We also hope that parents will become more involved in school life with informal events and activities throughout the academic year.”

Karen Collins, CEO at New Life Counselling said: “New Life Counselling is delighted to be working with Parenting NI in the delivery of this Lottery funded project. From our experience in working with schools we know how much the support provided will be welcomed. We aim to support young children and parents to develop emotional resilience skills and improve their emotional wellbeing.”

Parkhall Primary School pupils with Principal Sandra Boyd. INBT 24- PARENTING 2.

Parkhall Primary School pupils with Principal Sandra Boyd. INBT 24- PARENTING 2.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg commented, “Families Together is a fantastic project that provides an important and much needed service to families who want to improve relationships with their loved ones. I am delighted to see this support available at three of our local primary schools in Antrim and trust that this will be a beneficial service to those who need it most.”

Throughout the week pupils from Ballycraigy Primary School, Parkhall Primary School and Six Mile Integrated Primary School have enjoyed fun activities to mark the projects first year in their school.

It is hoped that as the project develops it will be possible to open it out to more schools to further benefit families in each area.