Balsam Family Project
Nurturing families in our community
WHO WE ARE
Balsam Family Project was founded in 2009 with a vision to create a sense of family for parents/carers and their young children where unconditional love and friendship could be taught, modeled and experienced. In January 2010 the first parenting & home management course was piloted. These 10 week Family College Courses are now firmly established together with weekly Family Days for parent/carer & baby/toddler; social events; and ongoing one-to-one family mentoring/befriending through a Community Family Friend for each family.
Balsam Family Project is a Christian charity which seeks to express God’s special compassion for all families following biblical principles of love, honour and restoration. We believe in the value of every adult and child and seek to encourage a sense of worth and value that parents can then pass on to their own children.
Founder Alex Walker is our Project Manager. She runs the project with the help of an Administrator, Martin Holden, three self-employed staff members and a growing team of volunteers.
Contact Alex on 07799 894410; or Martin on 01235 816353 (Office Phone)
Balsam Family Project is a charity governed by a board of seven trustees with extensive collective experience in Social Services, industry and allied professions.
WHAT WE DO
Balsam works alongside local organisations and churches to raise awareness of the needs of families in their communities, and to train volunteers to practically support them.
We offer the following services:
Balsam Family College Courses
Level 1: Parenting & Home Management
Families attend a 10 week course, 2 days per week, in a professional, nurturing and friendly environment, learning how to develop the skills to live well together as a family, manage their home and continue in their own development as confident, well-adjusted people.
Level 2: Personal Growth & Development
This 10 week course aims to explain the need for security, self worth and significance and to explore the consequences of a lack of these. The course teaches practical ways of developing a positive self image with the hope of encouraging a more rounded and whole personality.
Family Days –
coffee-morning-style parent & baby/toddler groups
We provide a place and time every week in a supportive, safe and stimulating environment for parents and children (under 5 years) to meet and make friends with other families and with our volunteers.
Family Friends – ongoing befrienders/mentors
A trained Community Family Friend is provided for each family to offer a caring listening ear, giving personal support, advice and mentoring for as long as needed, and helping them find friends and support networks in local community groups. We remain committed to every family for the long term, to help each one learn to live independently and successfully as families in their communities.
WHY WE EXIST
There is evident need for organisations like Balsam Family Project to provide the support that tackles the root causes of family and community breakdown, as well as providing guidance for parents who want to improve their parenting skills.
Some young parents never had good parenting role models themselves; some do not have the support of extended family living nearby; some lack confidence in their own parenting skills or may be experiencing behavioural difficulties with their young children; some would value support in making contact with other parents or local groups, especially if they are new to the area.
Balsam Family Project aims to build up the confidence of families who feel isolated, are facing difficulties, or who recognize their need for help in parenting or in accessing services and amenities in their community. Balsam Family Project provides opportunities for parents to practice newly learned skills with their children in a safe and supportive environment, and to learn from each other.
Would you like to join our team? All our volunteers are Police Checked and receive training and on-going support. Contact us to talk about how you can work with Balsam Family Project. Here are some of the ways you can get involved:
Be a Community Family Friend: Befriend and mentor a family through regular visits, practical support or simply being a friendly listening ear. This is a rewarding experience for both you and the family. Family Friends are given training and ongoing support in their role.
Support the Balsam College: We are looking to take on more college staff to support the Bright-Space crèche facility. It is wonderful being a part of the college where you can see families tangibly grow in confidence and develop more positive relationships and parenting skills.
Help at Family Day: Whether its setting up toys & equipment; serving refreshments; chatting with parents; playing with pre-school children or running craft activities there are all sorts of ways to help at our weekly family days.
Help at social events: If you can’t make a regular commitment but would like to be practically involved when you can, we run several social events and end of college graduation ceremonies throughout the year. These events are great fun and a real blessing to our families so we’re always grateful for willing volunteers to help make these events so special.
Join our fundraising team: Families and volunteers alike support Balsam’s fundraising events and we are always on the lookout for more volunteers. From running a stall at a charity event to bag-packing at Sainsbury’s or a sponsored sports day there all kinds of ways to get involved. Would you be willing to offer your time, skills or talents to help with fundraising?
Pray and receive regular updates via our Jabez Prayer Agenda: Once a month staff and supporters meet to pray together for BFP. A network of committed prayer partners receive monthly email updates to fuel their prayers. Our network of prayer partners includes members of a number of different local churches. Would you like to join them? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Balsam Family Project is funded solely by individual and business donations, church partnerships, corporate sponsorship and finances from Trust and Grant Applications. Visit our donate page for more details.