What is ASPIRE?
ASPIRE is a project funded by the Big Lottery Fund to support young parents (or expectant young parents from 29 weeks pregnant), aged 14 to 25 years old across Flintshire and Wrexham.
The ASPIRE project consists of Barnardo's Cymru Compass Partnership, Flintshire Mind, Careers Wales, Flintshire and Wrexham Family Information Services and Glyndwr University. It aims to ensure the fulfillment of aspirations for both parent and child.
The ASPIRE project supports young parents and expectant young parents with the aim of building self-esteem and confidence, along with emotional and mental resilience so that they can successfully undertake the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood and achieve their aspirations for the future.
The ASPIRE project provides the following services:
Through the ASPIRE project young parents can be provided with one-to-one support through an allocated project worker, who will help to address and overcome the issues that they are facing.
The ASPIRE project provides support and guidance to young parents through a number of regular group work sessions; such as HUGGS, STEPS and parenting support courses.
- HUGGS (Have You Got Good Support) is a weekly young parent's group in Wrexham and Flintshire, which aims to bring together young parents and their child/children for peer-support and offers a variety of activities. These sessions focus on different themes each week and address some of the issues young people have identified; this can be through presentations, guest speakers or activities.
- STEPS is a recognised learning route for the Level 2 Award in Developing Effective Thinking Skills (QCF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is credited and leveled by SCQF at Level 5 in Scotland, through the awarding body NCFE. It is delivered in a group setting with a qualified facilitator who helps participants to co-create their learning through interactive discussions, personal reflection time, the use of short video clips and activities incorporating a wide variety of learning styles.
- In partnership with the Wrexham parenting team the ASPIRE project offers a bespoke parenting programme for young parents. This is a 12 week parenting course which combines group sessions and one-to-one sessions, and aims to support young parents with the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Through the ASPIRE project young parents can access one-to-one or group support to address emotional health and wellbeing issues. There are a number of programmes to help tackle thses issues; including Enjoy Your Baby, and Wellness Rcovery Action Planning (WRAP).
Enjoy your baby is a programme run by MIND. It is a five week course to help young parents with mild to moderate post-natal depression. It has been reported that 75% of young mothers suffering post-natal depression do not receive any form of support. We believe it is vital to provide support and guidance to all young parents affected; and enable them to feel better about themselves and parenthood.
Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) is a programme that can be run individually or as part of a group. WRAP then supports young people to develop a plan of what to do in a crisis and how to deal with it.
As part of the emotional health and wellbeing programmes on offer, the ASPIRE project provides various activities. In the last few years such activities have included; day trips to Liverpool, afternoon tea, picnics, massages, Glyndwr University tours, and tennis sessions.
The ASPIRE careers advisors can provide young parents with career advice, support, guidance and information, in relation to taking the next steps. Whether that be through education, training, employment or volunteering.
Advisors can help with:
- Access to childcare places
- College applications
- Interview support
- Discussing career advice and guidance
- Voluntary work and experience
- Job applications
- Accessing internships
- Writing CVs
- Developing interview skills and confidence
Signposting and other services
The Family Information Service provides information and guidance for young parents and families facing issues including childcare, information on organisations and helplines. The service sends out information or provides young parents with referrals for support from other agencies or services.
The services and information that can be provided include but are not limited to:
- Parenting advice (such as toilet training and behaviour)
- Childcare facility details
- Parenting groups (such as parent and baby groups and children clubs)
- Help for young parents to get back into work
- Information and support on special needs and disabilities
- Information on school holiday events and activities
Why is the ASPIRE project needed?
Contrary to media streotypes, the research suggests that young parents and their children have a greater likelihood of experiencing; poverty, poor physical or mental health, problems with substance misuse, low educational attainment and lower rates of economic activity in later life.
The ASPIRE project is unique and it helps young parents to realise and achieve their aspirations.
If you are a young parent or know a young parent who you think could benefit from the support from the ASPIRE project please contact us at Barnardo's Compass Partnership.