Last Summer I was asked by Balsall Heath Children’s Centre to document their ‘Sparklers’ parent peer mentoring programme. Now, the Children’s Centre’s Stay and Play groups have been like a second home for my little family and I over the past few years, so I am slightly biased when I say that their vision and provision for local families are excellent.
‘Sparklers’ are a group of parents in Birmingham who are doing dynamic, life changing work in their local community. Through parenting classes and peer support they are pushing themselves to take on important roles as mentors whilst assisting other families through signposting. The project, which is a collaboration between Balsall Heath Children’s Centre, Washwood Heath Children’s Centre, Clifton Primary School and Approachable Parenting, has been recognised at a national level through the prestigious ‘Nursery World’ awards. This is their story.