Report from Peter Freeman (July)

Children and Families Work…….IMPACT

Following on from my review of the work I am doing with schools, I have now reviewed, in a similar fashion, my work with families.

What are you doing? In the last year my role has expanded and I now coordinate the ‘All In’ parts of the 10:45 service. This means that when the circuit service plan is published, I then invite people (willing volunteers) to lead this part of worship. With different people leading brings different approaches and currently the feedback I receive is very positive. Whilst I am in church most Sundays with my commitments to leading worship in other churches, I do depend on volunteers and if you would like to be part of the small team who deliver All In please speak to me.

I am also working hard with Chris Johnson at St John’s preparing for the Community Event on the Moor. My hope is that children will have fun and that the people of the town will see ‘the churches’ working together.

Thirdly I am leading Care for the Family – Time out for Parents courses on a regular basis. Having completed Time Out for Parents – ‘The Teenage Years’ and ‘Early Years’, I am facilitating Time Out for Parents – ‘Children with Special Needs’. This may well include, as a bolt on, ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder. The first part of the course (SEN) is seven two hour sessions and then each of the other two are three further weeks.

Why is the work you do, with families, important to you and the Church? When describing children in the church someone said “We have to nurture children because they are the church of tomorrow”. I strongly disagree. Children are the church of today. We need to nurture them, support and love them as we do all members of the church. The ‘All In’ part of the service is, by its name, for everyone, but definitely something that engages the children when attending worship.

My role is not just about families who attend church each Sunday but also families within the community. For me the only way to engage the community is to go where the community are so events such as The Community Event on the Moor 29th June have added significance.

The most challenging parts of my job is leading the parenting classes. Having worked with parents and on occasions seen the desperation in their faces. I knew that the Care for the Family courses would be well received. As many will know, ‘Care for the family’ is a Christian organisation and their values are Christian.

Stable, happy family lives is what we all strive for but sometimes we all need help to achieve it. I know that these sessions really help families. They really are a privilege to facilitate.

Where and when do you do parenting classes? Currently the parenting classes are held on a Wednesday night in church. It is likely that we will complete these sessions around the middle of July but the Academy has asked if I will run another course in the Autumn term. I am looking forward to this as a way of introducing their new ‘parents ‘to the work of KMC in the community.

How do you know your work is having an impact? I always receive very positive verbal feedback from the attendees of parenting classes and in recent months about the ‘All In’ sections of the 10:45 services. Every attendee who attends parenting courses has to fill in a questionnaire at the commencement and completion of the courses and these are analysed nationally. If nothing else the courses provide an opportunity to create self-help groups, friendships that are invaluable when requiring help and assistance.

Peter Freeman [Children and Families Worker]

Peter Freeman

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