Jayne first became involved with A Better Start Southend in June 2018, where she was referred through to SAVS by her Health Visitor as Jayne had expressed an interest in getting involved with the community and trying to build her confidence through meeting new people. Before joining, her anxiety and self esteem levels were low, she was a parent to three children and felt that she had no direction and nothing felt fulfilling.
After meeting with an ABSS Engagement Officer and learning more about the project Jayne became quickly involved in many aspects. She went on complete the Parent Champion Training course and commented “We are being heard and can actually make changes in the community, through doing the training. I have made friends and created a support group together that I would not have had before”.
Since becoming a Parent Champion Jayne has been involved in Partnership Board and Insight and Analysis meetings as well as Service Design, Mascot Innovation, Parent Forums, Comms group and represents Southend parents at the National Evaluation Steering Group meetings in London.
Jayne joined the Comms group as she is very creative and went on to create the first Shoebury Newsletter for parents ‘Memoirs of a Mother’. Jayne was recently part of a committee for the Shoebury Christmas event, “It was great to see everyone come together and be involved in their community, everyone seemed so happy and wanted to learn more about what the project is about”.
Jayne has also had a chance to attend other events that parents have held, most recently was the taster session on British Sign Language, she has now been able to take this new skill home and teach all of her children, they in turn have taken that knowledge to school and have been able to make friends with children that are hearing impaired.
Jayne is now keen to follow a new career path that she only had the confidence to chase since being a part of ABSS, she has been accepted onto a Psychology course and from there plans to become a child play therapist, she stated “since being involved with this project it has helped to build my confidence and I realise how much I love to help other people, I know what I want to do with my life now”.
The difference that ABSS has made to Jayne is clear, she stated that it has given her a new purpose outside the life of being a mum and looking after her children and she feels that she has a reason to be here and involved in many aspects that she is really passionate about.
The only challenge with being involved in the project is that Jayne has had to learn to juggle family life and her Champion commitments but has admitted that it is because she wants to be involved in as much as possible and making those changes around her. She commented that “that is has made a massive difference to me and my life”.
Our ‘Parent Champion Stories’ series aims to share the experiences and stories of the wonderful Parent Champions who volunteer for the A Better Start Southend project. Without these creative, forward thinking and inspiring parents, the project would simply not exist. Turning Tides would like to thank Jayne and all of the Parent Champions who we get to work with, for helping to improve the future for the children of Southend.
If you’d like to learn more about the project, how you can get involved or becoming a Parent Champion you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01702 356069.