Support for Thurrock parents facing a summer of uncertainty

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THANKS to funding from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Tavistock Relationships is delivering a free programme to support parents in Thurrock.

The ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme, which is currently being provided online, offers help to parents, whether living together or apart, divorced or separated, who are experiencing relationship and parenting problems.

Sarah Ingram, head of the ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme for Tavistock Relationships, explains: “A new report from the ONS reveals that 39 per cent of people married or in a civil partnership are reporting high levels of anxiety*. And families are facing a long summer of uncertainty, with most children not back to school until September, stressful social distancing measures still in place, health worries and increasing concern about jobs and finances.

“Many parents are telling us how hard life is during the pandemic, as they juggle family and work commitments, financial insecurity and all with very little to look forward to.

Sarah Ingram continues: “Research shows us that conflict between parents can have a negative effect on children’s development in terms of mental and physical health, problems with school work, sleep difficulties, and in the relationships they make themselves as they grow up. Lockdown has increased conflict between parents – both together and separated – and we are concerned that children, who are already having to deal with their own lockdown stresses, might be caught in the crossfire.

“We are very keen to reach out to parents to let them know that help is available – and at no cost to them. We are here to support parents feeling under extra pressure, both as a parent and within their relationship, whether together or separated.

“The ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme is a free and flexible support service for parents, providing one-to-one or group professional advice sessions to parents, enabling them to think about how to manage family life. Our trained therapists are able to work remotely and flexibly with Thurrock parents, at a time to suit them, whether it’s in the evening or in the daytime.”

Parents on who have already accessed the service, say:

“It’s a great way to learn to communicate better and understand the way you parent”

“I would encourage people in my situation to attend as it makes you look at your situation in a different light and helps you deal with issues where you thought there were no solutions.”

“You don’t know anything unless you try it and regardless of how good or bad you think your relationship is, this experience can only improve things.”

“I know it can be daunting, but we were both put at ease from the start and felt comfortable to be open and honest.”

“It was very informative and insightful and a good thing to do so you can look at situations from different angles, to help open up your way of thinking.”

Couples and families can apply for free support direct at https://www.tavistockrelationships.org/p-together or by calling 020 7380 1960.

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