Meet Karen Morris – parenting coordinator Coventry
I’m vice-president of Mothers’ Union in Coventry Diocese, and I’m joint coordinator of Mothers’ Union’s Passionate About Parenting programme here in the diocese.
I see my volunteering with parents as fulfilling part-time job! I spend on average 20 hours a week involved in the work, including raising the profile of the programme within the diocese, supporting and coordinating the team of parenting group facilitators we have, following up on enquiries from parents and planning the programme. I find the harder I work, the more opportunitites tend to present themselves and that is what sustains my faith and my passion!
The WSWTTC programme is a very unique programme. It was developed by the Coventry Primary Care Trust and commissioned by Coventry University. A very exciting and pleasing development, we (Diocese of Coventry) are hoping to take over the running of this programme now that WCC no longer has a Respect Yourself Team. This will allow us to roll out the WSWTTC programme nationwide. We are very proud that two of our facilitators were involved in writing the programme. They also visited Holland to get an overview of the relationship and sex education there. This is the first parenting programme that Mothers’ Union will be able to deliver with its own branding!
Training in specialisms has enabled me to reach and support parents who are deemed hard to reach and engage. The Triple P training means we have a very strong and successful collaboration with Warwickshire County Council and I delivered three Triple P, Group Teenage Parenting programmes last year, working alongside WCC facilitators. Our next project together will be Time Out For Special Needs Parenting Programme, based on local needs which have been raised at the Parenting Practitioner Network meetings.
We also are able to engage with harder to reach parents through the community café, Coffee Tots, based in Coventry. The parents who attend Coffee Tots in the main are those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Do have a look at the Coffee Tot’s website: www.coffeetots.co.uk and you will see the type of outreach that is provided. Mothers’ Union trained three ladies from Coffee Tots to deliver parenting programmes within the café setting. This year they have delivered two parenting programmes to parents with complex issues. We support through coordination of the parenting work, and members of Mothers’ Union donate clothes, toys, nappies and knit baby blankets. We also provided a day out for families from Coffee Tots through our locally funded “Away from it all” holiday scheme, so Mothers’ Union is really having a positive impact for families who really need support.