“We have built some really positive and valuable relationships with parents through the programme.”
We are a church who gather people from all over our city, and we wanted to find a way of reaching families who we would not normally connect with from the area around the church.
We began our Kids Matter journey in 2019, just before the pandemic. Lockdown was tough and we had a difficult time building relationships with community links. Today, gaining referrals is still a big challenge because all the agencies around us are very stretched and we don’t have a school in the parish to link into but we’re persistent.
We have built some really positive and valuable relationships with parents through the Kids Matter programme. We started Lighthouse, our own version of Messy Church, as a way to stay connected with families when they’ve completed the programme. Lighthouse meets once a month, and we invite families right from the start of the programme. We have several church families with teenagers involved and they are loving engaging with the younger children.
Lighthouse, too, has taken a long time to get established but this month we welcomed a family that had been signposted to Lighthouse by one of our community links, so our follow-on activity may itself offer a softer way of bringing parents and carers into Kids Matter!