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Parent Sanctuary Volunteer Training

Parent Sanctuary are looking forward to holding the first official volunteer training session on 10th April 2-4pm.

We have been walking in Kirklees and Calderdale since July 2020 (as a group)! Noticing how much better behaved our young children were for some time outside, and how much better we felt ourselves.

When walking alone with the children, they became bored, hard to motivate, and in much greater need of snack breaks. Our minds would wander, mulling our problems and making things seem more significant than they were. These, plus the time it takes to organise all the possible things we need before we leave made going out, not all that enjoyable to be honest!

Yet, meeting with people who are in a similar stage of life, seeing although our boats may be different our seas and our troubles were the same. We could help each other weather the storm!

We had discussions, learned more about parenting, taught our children about nature, and most importantly, we appreciated that our feelings were normal and felt by others. Days out with other parents made the weeks happier, we had activities to look forward to, and although some days we wanted to stay in and watch the rain, those days were the best, with soggy puddle jumping and a flask of hot chocolate to warm up afterwards.

In February 2021 we formally set up as Parent Sanctuary CIC, using our experience as a Nurse, a Teacher and a Researcher to form a company that could support parents in their physical and mental health. Through Parent Sanctuary we have been able to help people learn about the geography of the local area, connect same sex parents, and lone parent by choice, and parents with english as a second language, to help them build a support network, we have helped improve fitness levels, confidence and reduced anxiety. We have helped people develop coping strategies and build their resilience. We have also given them a sense of achievement.

This year is our year of growth. We have enjoyed working with NHS Kirklees and TSL to produce a video supporting the winter health message, we are helping Locala meet their Starting Well Initiative for under 2’s, and have more opportunities on the horizon.

We are opening our doors to formally recruit volunteers who can help us to develop our service to be sustainable, and help more parents across Kirklees. We have opportunities to walk with us or work from home, please complete our short application so we can discuss more with you.

As a social prescribing and self-refer activity we aim to reduce loneliness and isolation. Our activities are known to help alleviate depression and anxiety, improve mood and fitness levels. Giving parents chance to work on their wellbeing allows for families to feel better supported and bonding increases. Volunteering with us allows you to give back to the community, support others through a difficult stage of life. develop friendships and a sense of community, and gain experience or skills towards a new career or subject of study.

By Agency For Good

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