Local charity wins Queen’s Award
Islington-based The Parent House has won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of its success at providing vulnerable local parents with training and mentoring to help them get into work.
The Queen’s Award is the highest possible honour given to volunteer groups across the country. The Parent House received its award in July. The charity offers guidance through training courses, ongoing one-to-one support and work placements to parents. It was set up by the head teacher and governors of Winton Primary School in 2000.
It has a small but dedicated team of staff, which nearly two thirds of are previous service users, like Aki (pictured) whose story is below. Hearing from people who have been in a similar place is one of the most effective ways of engaging new parents.
Gina Camputaro, director, says: “I am so pleased that we won this prestigious award, our volunteers and staff work so hard to provide a good service to parents, I am very proud to be part of The Parent House.”
The charity is supported by Islington Council, the Cripplegate Foundation, Morris Trust and Islington Giving.
From service user to staff member
Aki, an Islington mum, was thinking about her employment options when a flyer from The Parent House came through her door. It was information about a mentoring project that caught her eye. She contacted the charity about getting a mentor and was connected with a volunteer mentor, who she still to this day she remembers fondly.
That first step led to Aki becoming a Volunteer Peer Mentor herself, and applying her new skills to gain a place on two counselling courses.
Her journey has now come full circle and she is now a member of The Parent House staff, sharing her knowledge she has gained with other parents. Aki now coordinates one of the charity’s outreach projects, which trains parents to go out in the community to raise awareness of services.