On 2nd July, the Giving Poverty a Voice project joined the Parents Forum at the 1st Place Children’s Centre in Burgess Park. The aim was to present the project to parents around Southwark and to understand what issues are rising out of the local community.
Patricia began by introducing ATD Fourth World to other parents of the group and introduced Sarah, who gave an overview of the aims and ideas of the project.
We all exchanged names and got a feel for why everyone was at the forum. 1st Place offers a creche whilst families can take courses, get to know other parents or simply just get out of the house for an afternoon.
“I used to feel very isolated with no-one to turn to. When I found the children’s centre we all learned together and offered information and advice to others.”
The group began to talk about issues that are affecting them or people they know. Lots of people felt there was a lack of information available to parents, especially when they have their first child. Suggestions were made in how these barriers could be overcome.
We then began to talk about flexible working hours for parents and how it was possible (or impossible) for mother’s to go back to work whilst they had children at home or at school until 3pm everyday.
“A lot of people want to work but can’t commit to full-time.”
One parent said your self esteem and confidence is really affected when you haven’t been working for a few years. The group all suggested that being a parent loads you with skills that aren’t always identified.
“You have lots of management skills, lots of planning, lots of budgeting skills.”