Croydon is the second highest populated borough in London with over 385,000 residents; there is a large Muslim community accounting for more than 8% of the total population.

COSARAF Foundation has made a multi-year grant to support local, Muslim mums in Croydon through Home-Start Croydon’s Mum’s Space programme.

Mum’s Space primarily focusses on providing a safe, confidential, social environment to facilitate open, honest conversations: promoting personal growth, sharing knowledge and experience and encouraging inclusivity and integration with the wider community.

Home-Start Croydon has seen that the Muslim mums they are working with had become isolated and not accessing the services they are entitled to. In particular there are common difficulties with loneliness, stress, not having any reason to leave the home and feeling excluded from, or misunderstood by, their communities.

Mum’s Space helps to address these difficulties by:

• Offering peer support and friendship.
• Respecting and protecting the dignity and identity of each adult and child.
• Reassuring parents that difficulties in bringing up children is not unusual and encouraging them to enjoy family life.
• Enabling the development of healthy relationships that enhance their social and personal skills.
• Encouraging and developing parents’ strengths and emotional wellbeing – for the ultimate benefit of their children.
• Encouraging families to widen their network of relationships, and to effectively use the support and services available within their community.

The Mum’s Space programme aims to achieve the following end goals:

• Reducing loneliness and isolation through social engagement with neighbours and the wider community. Mum’s Space is first and foremost a social, friendship group; offering participants a welcoming environment in which to meet new people and make new friends.
• Providing structured problem solving techniques; everybody could do with a little help with family life and we’ll provide the framework and individual sessions to help Muslim mums.
• Providing guest speakers and practical workshops on a variety of topics to educate and inform; the project team will define the first few sessions and after that the participants will determine the topics that are most important to them.

Working with the whole family and listening to the needs of our participants. Home-Start Croydon doesn’t want the improvements they help to create to be limited to the people attending the group; they want their families and children to benefit from their new found knowledge and confidence and for them to actively participate in community life.