At Grace Academy we believe in developing a strong sense of community spirit and frequently feature in the local newspaper for recognition of community engagement. We provide opportunities for students to engage in various community projects throughout the year. Such events include community gardening, Age UK, food bank, in addition to supporting a variety of charities each year by fundraising in many creative ways.
Similarly, on occasion, we have opportunities to engage adult volunteers. If you are interested in supporting your community or if you have ideas for local community initiatives that our families could get behind, chat it through with our Family Support Workers.
A major stress for many families is understanding what is required of them when talking or writing to authorities and/or organisations which are there to help you. It’s a huge support to have a familiar and friendly face alongside you at such times, especially in stressful meetings. As Family Support Workers, we aren’t easily intimidated by big words and jargon, and are able to sit with you privately to go over the issues of your family situation and understand the critical points, before presenting your case to those asking tough questions. We are happy to meet to support with paperwork, then go along with you, as needed, to ensure all your points are clearly communicated. We can help make sense of questions and patiently explain, in easily understood words, what is required. However, we are not legally qualified and cannot give you legal advice.
Health & Wellbeing
A healthy lifestyle and positive wellbeing enables us to embrace life and look forward to the future. It is achieved through making positive lifestyle choices that impact our behaviours and attitudes.
If we take responsibility for our own wellbeing, we can improve our health on a daily basis. That might mean considering our eating habits, our physical activity, our stress-coping methods, our relationships, and our career success.
As Family Support Workers, we recognise that when these things are not in balance our emotional, mental, social and physical health can be impaired. We are therefore available to help and support parents seeking balance in their lives or we can give information and guidance on local sources that are available.
Here are some useful organisations to help you on your way:
- NHS Choices offer 12 tips to help you lose weight on a twelve week plan
- Drugs Advisory Service is a Community Drug Team (managed by Coventry Primary Care Trust) that provides a confidential service and support to anyone over the age of 20 who is either using illicit drugs and/or solvents or is concerned about drugs
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) offer assessment and treatment when children and young people have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties
- Learning Disability Service offer a range of health care and residential support services for people with a learning disability
Here at Grace Academy our family support service offers a whole family approach to learning. We provide a wide programme of community courses for all family members to flourish and fulfil their potential. The courses are aimed at improving skills. Courses are always popular and operate on a first come first served booking system. Speak to our Family Support Worker if there is a subject you would particularly like considered, such as ‘Helping Families to Budget for Healthy Eating’, ‘Computer Skills’, ‘Reading’, ‘How to help my child with Maths Homework’, or ‘How to mend your bicycle’.
Here at Grace Academy we understand that each family is unique and is made up of different people, with different needs, ideas and ways of behaving. Families can be a source of support, encouragement and love but sometimes relationships within families are put under strain. This can make a family a special group, but can also mean that getting on well with each other is not always easy.
Families can be affected by a variety of issues i.e. when siblings aren’t getting on, or when parents and children are going through a divorce or separation. Forming a new family is a challenge and can take time for everyone to settle. Our Family Support Workers are here to support you whatever the reason when life is tough, or we can connect you to the right people who can help you.
Here are some useful organisations who offer additional information and guidance on relationships:
Relate offer counselling, support and information for all relationships – including helping parents with troubled teenagers
Walsall Relate Centre
Care for the Family is a national charity which aims to promote strong family life and to help those who face family difficulties
Care for the Family
Helpguide can offer online guidance for improving relationships
Young Carers can support children and young people who care for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction
Everyone needs a safe place to live but you may at some point find yourself with a housing crisis, this may be unexpected or planned. The worst case scenario is finding yourself homeless or threatened with eviction. As a tenant you have certain rights and there is help for you. We can support you in finding the appropriate help and arranging appointments.
Some people can find themselves homeless through fire and have lost all of their possessions, some people have rent arrears and are struggling financially. You may decide to leave an abusive relationship so need support finding safe accommodation, we can put you in touch with organisations that will do this. Other housing issues that you may need support with are overcrowding, landlord disputes, debt, repossession and claiming Housing Benefit. There are organisations out there can help including your local Job centre or Civic Centre. It can be difficult knowing where to start but that is where we can help, below are links of local and national organisations that can give you more information.
At Grace Academy we understand the importance of having quality family time together and therefore have developed a fun program of affordable family events. These events include family fun day trips, family summer fairs, academy productions and also movie nights. The program is available to all Grace Academy families and wider local community. To find out what events are coming up…
Parenting can be a tough job but we are here to support you. There are many issues that can have an effect on your relationship with your child. These can be simple things such as friendship groups or more complex issues such as drug misuse. Direct support is offered to parents through the Triple P, and Positive Parenting Programme. The programmes run for a number of weeks, and builds on what you already know as a parent and can help you to find more positive ways of dealing with challenging behaviour. We can also support through referrals to appropriate agencies. These include CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health), T3 for Drug Misuse and counselling services. As Family Support Workers we can support you with these referrals practically or with listening visits so that you have someone to talk to. Sometimes just being listened to and reassured in your decisions as a parent can make all the difference. We can also support with school processes and safeguarding procedures if necessary. You may have to attend meetings in the Academy or with other agencies which can be daunting, we can attend with you or go through the procedure so that you feel more prepared.
Safeguarding/Early Help Process
We all need money to live and this can be a huge source of stress for families. Debt is a huge issue today and can really impact on your quality of life and relationships. There are organisations that can support with debt issues including budgeting and paying off existing debt. Maybe you have trouble managing money and paying bills on time. Your local Credit Union is a great place to get help with this, they will also encourage you to save. You may find yourself out of work or unable to work, we can support you with benefit claims. Together we can find out what benefits you are entitled to claim and support with paperwork. If you are a carer or have an illness or disability this may be impacting on your finances and ability to provide for yourself and your family, again there are organisations that will be able to help you. Some people find themselves with a temporary problem, maybe benefits are being re-assessed or you have an unexpected bill to pay. We can help with things like food, so that you can feed yourself and your family during this period.
Below are links to local and national organisations that can give more information about money worries.