Volunteers are needed in Cookstown and Dungannon to help run a new relationship education course organised by national charity Care for the Family.
Let’s Stick Together is a ground-breaking relationship education programme available free of charge, to all first-time parents. Launched by the charity in 2013, it involves a one-hour peer-led session that teaches three key principles to which all new parents can easily relate - bad habits to avoid; good habits to build; friendship and involvement. It aims to lower the number of family breakdowns by reaching both married and non-married parents in the first years of a child’s life when many breakdowns occur.
The arrival of a baby can be a time of great excitement but it can also cause extreme exhaustion when the reality of caring for a newborn sets in.
“Research has shown that with early intervention and small changes in a couple’s behaviour, family breakdown is avoidable,” said Caroline Bradley, National Representative from Care for the Family.
According to statistics, 50 per cent of parents who separate do so within three years of having a baby.
Figures reveal that across Northern Ireland there are 63,900 lone parent households, a figure that has increased 27 per cent in the decade 2001-2011.
“We need volunteers to help deliver the sessions in Cookstown and Dungannon. They will take place in informal ante-natal, post natal or parent group settings,” explained Caroline.
You don’t have to be an expert to become a volunteer.
“We’re looking for people who enjoy interacting with others, and have experience of being a parent,” said Caroline.
Full training will be given.
The new initiative has received the backing of Belfast’s Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
“Building strong stable families that help children flourish is to be welcomed in our communities and by society as a whole. The Let’s Stick Together programme will provide a fantastic local support for new mums and dads as they set out on the journey of parenthood,” he said.
If you work with new parents and would like to organise a session for your group, or would like to find out more about free training to become a volunteer presenter, contact Sonya Pascoe at Care for the Family on 028 9262 8050 or visit www.careforthefamily.org.uk.