Leeds is the 3rd largest city in the UK, with a population of over 750,000. It's a busy, vibrant and diverse city full of opportunities as well as challenges for children and families.
Flourishing Families Leeds is a local organisation which enables trained volunteers to befriend and support families. Our skills in family support work, social care, children and youth mentoring, education, teaching English as an additional language and charity administration come together to form a common goal: to help families in Leeds to thrive. Collectively our team has more than seventy years of directly relevant experience which enables us to provide high quality training to our volunteers, allowing them to be highly effective mentors. We have a rigorous child protection policy and all our team and volunteers undergo Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced checks.
We want to see children grow in confidence and fulfil their potential. Sadly, there can often be barriers to overcome for a child to reach this potential. Visible barriers to progress can include challenges with literacy and numeracy skills. However, there are also invisible barriers which prevent children and young people fulfilling their true potential in the future. These include challenges with social and emotional development, low levels of communication skills and a lack of experience in team settings, leading to low levels of self- esteem, poor levels of participation in team activities, challenging social behaviour and a lack of leadership ability. The previous work by our team in other cities has shown that mentoring can have a dramatically positive effect, which is why much of our work with children and young people focuses on developing a mentoring relationship based on a trusting friendship.
We don't just work with children but with whole families and seek to support parents and carers both emotionally and in practical ways. Our Flourishing Families Course is a flexible, tailor-made approach to creating an environment in which parents and carers can share with one another whilst also receiving tips and encouragement from our family support team. We also have volunteers who are professionally qualified to be able to teach English as an additional language and we provide English conversation classes for adult family members alongside other help such as accompanying people to key meetings or CV writing.