Approachable Parenting is an Organisation which was established in response to the needs of the BAME Communities. The COSARAF Foundation has made a one year grant to support the organisation’s Sparklers programme in Birmingham.

This project aims to further develop the skills of Muslim women volunteers (called ‘Sparklers’) to enable them to provide a wide range of quality support to (mainly Muslim) women facing abuse, discrimination and disadvantage.

Sparklers support disadvantaged women through 1:1 mentoring/peer support, handholding/referrals to professionals and group activities to boost their well-being and help reduce the impact of discrimination, disadvantage and abuse on them.

I attended the pregnancy and beyond course with Approachable Parenting. I found this very useful and picked up on a lot of information that I would not have known otherwise. I really appreciated its faith based parenting approach. However, my greatest benefit from the course came after I had given birth. I gave birth to a baby boy on April 13th, I had no previous experience as a mother since he is my first child. I was contacted a couple of days after my son was born by a member of the Approachable Parenting team to see how we were getting on. Given the circumstances of my birth, during lockdown, it was welcome to receive another source of support since the services provided by the midwives and health visitor were very limited. I was struggling with breastfeeding due to latching issues and did not receive any help from the midwives. I mentioned this to the parenting practitioner and was immediately put in touch with a Sparkler who helped and supported me till we got to a stage where I was able to feed my son. Even a home visit was made wearing PPE to assist with latching and feeding advise. In addition I found the WhatsApp group’s setup very beneficial, lack of support and being a first time mum meant that at times everything had become overwhelming. Being able to communicate with other mums via a WhatsApp group, sharing our problems and receiving advice from fellow mums and Approachable Parenting was reassuring and helped realise that I was not doing a bad job. From birth I have felt very anxious but having contact with a Sparkler really helped to control this and provided me with the reassurance I needed. For me there was great benefit in attending the course and even more so in the support provided post-delivery.
Birmingham Mum

The project builds on their successful peer-support work via:
i. Enhancing the skills of mentors
ii. Providing enhanced support to disadvantaged women
iii. Mentoring and supporting more disadvantaged women

The project aligns with their aim of ‘guiding families to better parenting’. Approachable Parenting empowers parents by upskilling them through their award-winning courses. These courses use the ‘Five Pillars of Parenting’ model based on modern psychology and Islamic references. Approachable Parenting gives support to parents, young people and teenagers through parenting courses, relationship coaching and pre- and post-marriage workshops.

To say Approachable Parenting has been a positive change in my life would be an understatement! I joined a course after having my 4th child and then went on to become a sparkler. As a full time mum, I found incredible satisfaction in being able to help others through my experience and being part of such a positive, forward thinking team.