PACT's Celebration Event, 21st October 2022
PACT Celebration Event, 22nd October 2022
Thank you to the 200 parents, children, volunteers and community partners who came together to celebrate PACT’s achievements since the Covid19 lockdown.
The event was a great opportunity to bring everyone together and for PACT families and volunteers to take the lead, sharing stories, music, dancing, presentations and delicious food.
Why Were we Celebrating?
The past couple of years have been a very challenging time for everyone and especially parents of very young children. The nightmare of covid-19, the subsequent lockdown had a devastating impact on families. During this time, PACT listened to parents to understand the most challenging issues, adapted activities and partnered with organisations to respond our parents’ needs.
Can you imagine going through childbirth on your own without someone to hold your hand, bringing your baby home and nursing without support from family or friends not to mention home-schooling older children without sufficient resources? All parents deserve a medal! We wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing resilience of families and thank all our partners for getting us through this difficult period.
What Were we Celebrating?
The event was an opportunity for parents and volunteers to share their journeys and achievements throughout PACT activities. Our wonderful co-chairs, Adela and Sharon, guided us through the day, starting by sharing their own stories.
We heard how PACT took Adela from “a dark place where she was afraid” to where she was at the event, joining together with other parents. Sharon chose to share her story “so that people in a similar situation know that they can pull through" and see how PACT has “helped me to come out of my shell”.
Here’s a run through of what we heard at the event (while the children had play activities outside!):
We put relationships at the heart of what we do. Everyone had an opportunity to connect with a person from a different part of the community with a 121.
MumSpace and Espacio Mama
Our weekly MumSpace and Espacio Mama groups are the foundation of our work with parents.
Veronica’s experience “My health visitor told me about MumSpace and gave me a flyer. When I searched for the place, I felt scared and embarrassed because I didn’t speak any English… I learned a lot about caring for my child and my child enjoyed playing with other children. I could speak with other parents and have a cup of tea.”
“I have now been volunteering since March this year! I feel really motivated when I come to MumSpace and I love helping other parents.”
Fatima shared “My journey started at Parent University when I was 6 months pregnant… I wouldn’t have missed it for anything because Parent University is not just a class, but it has become a part of me. I used to look forward to every Monday… I have made friends at PACT and this has helped me a lot.”
“I go to the PACT allotment every week… I have learnt lots of things, how to plant a seed and seeing how quickly it grows, it’s very interesting.”
“The garden teaches our children. My children like everything, they didn’t know anything about gardening. They’re happy to learn and harvest.” The children enjoy the vegetables from the allotment more they say “this is from the garden, it’s fresh!”
Our volunteer Georgia shared:
“I love seeing the families explore the garden! It’s a place were the children can touch, smell and taste and discover different textures which is great for their sensory development especially were some families have no access to green space.”
Black Maternal Voices
The group started in response to the Despatches Programme on Channel 4: The Black Maternity Scandal, which highlighted that Black women are four times more likely to die during birth and postpartum.
Helen shared how "Black Maternal Voices has allowed me to share my experiences with other Black mothers. I now feel less isolated, less helpless, and more empowered."
Mental Health & Wellbeing
The pandemic put immense pressure on parents and caregivers. We joined with 6,000 other voices across South London to talk about the issues facing parents and to explore solutions.
More about South London Listens: Priority 3 — South London Listens
PACT has received funding from SLaM for two co-produced mental health projects, Mindful Mamas and Parents for Wellbeing. Saran shares her experience:
“During the lockdown, our most challenging time, PACT has always been there to support our Mental Health and Wellbeing. So, I decided to join the team, because everything we do at PACT for others we do for ourself.
I have been involved in Mindful Mama Project (My Happiness, My Empowerment). A peaceful and supporting space with no judgment, sharing experiences and memories. This project was built with Parents for Parents.
Thank you PACT for helping me to be me.”
The Parents for Wellbeing project is a peer-to-peer support course led by parents. We want to share our experiences with other community organisations to empower their parents as leaders within the community. Deshni shared: "Being a part of PACT and Volunteering in our community has improved my mental wellbeing and by joining the upskilling project I was able to share what's worked well in our organisation and hope it would help another parents/volunteers to share their passion within the community enabling them to improve their wellbeing".
To everyone who shared their stories, decorated the space, created beautiful stalls, cooked food and joined us on the day, it was really special to be together to celebrate.
Some of the feedback we heard:
What went well today?:
“Stories. Very creative and interactive”
“Entertained by performances and presentations, learnt a lot about PACT. Inspired by the day. Had lots of parent involvement. Excellent to have child play space”
How can you contribute?
“To help share and promote the fantastic work you are doing in this community. You are making a difference”!
To find out how you can be involved contact us at PACT@citizensuk.org