Parent and Community Support Services (PCSS)
The Parent and Community Support Service project came to a successful conclusion in September 2018.
PATA, partnered with GRCC, have been supporting 30 Children Centres throughout the county as services and targeted support for families with children aged 0-11 years are now based from 16 Children and Family centres rather than the 46 Children Centres previously operating in Gloucestershire. The provision from these 30 children’s centres is now being run by local communities. In many cases a children centre building was transferred by Gloucestershire County Council to a school or community group.
PATA’s role was to support the continuation of the groups running within these centres and help them become sustainable for the future. Each setting encountered their own challenges and struggles ranging from finding volunteers; establishing a set of guidelines and policies for the group to operate by; advertising and promoting their group; managing finances and health and safety issues.
PATA’s Early Years Support Workers, Kate Beevers and Sarah Urquhart, visited settings regularly offering training, support, advice, information and modelling good practice. The EYSW’s also created a variety of factsheets to support the smooth running of these groups. The attendance sheet, room risk assessment, group welcome letter and guidelines were all popular resources and can be found under toddler information sheets in the members area of the website.
It became increasingly clear that the groups who spent their time setting up and putting correct procedures, guidelines and policies in place felt more confident about what they were offering to families within the community. These volunteers appreciated the importance of these procedures as a way to support and protect the setting and those families who use it.
We celebrated the achievements of these centres at the Spring Event in April, presenting certificates to Parent Champions who had made a significant contribution to their group and Peer mentors within the centres were also celebrated for offering continual support to volunteers.
PATA understands that the challenges of running a community group continues beyond its initial set up and has gifted each setting free PATA membership for a year. These groups will benefit from our continued membership support that includes free information, advice and guidance, access to discounted training, and the PATA Chatter!
We wish all these groups every success in their future. If you know of any newly set up or existing groups who you feel would benefit from our membership support please tell them to contact us.