Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 13.43.31Funding from Newcastle City Council and players of People’s Postcode Lottery has helped Children North East provide support for vulnerable families in the City during National Families week 2015. Families United is a programme which works with the whole family to establish positive relationships, build self-esteem and provide skills to help them overcome difficulties together.

The programme runs over five days during school holidays. The families take part in themed activities including:

‘volcano in my tummy’ – an activity exploring the emotion of anger and its positive and negative effects.

‘starry sky’ – an activity exploring praise and recognition.

These types of activities have proven really successful and allow the families to explore issues such as positive thinking and effective management of emotions.

Lesley Hutchinson, Service Manager for Families Plus said: “The Families United programme supports the whole family, including children, parents and grandparents to work towards developing positive relationships.

Children North East staff and volunteers work with parents attending the programme to enhance their parenting skills and encourage the families to work together to identify their own strengths and build upon relationships. Where needed families then receive ongoing 1-1 support in the home to reinforce their learning.

The money we receive from Newcastle City Council and players of People’s Postcode lottery is vital to enable us to do this important one to one work with families that need a helping hand in Newcastle.”

One parent, after taking part in the Families United course, said: “I was in a very bad place until Children North East got involved. Because of them I am in a much better place; they made a really big difference.”

Families United is happening during National Family Week (25th May to 1st June) which is the biggest annual celebration of families and family life in the UK. The week creates a wealth of opportunity for families to spend time together and provides fun activities and useful resources that actively combat the biggest barriers to positive family life.