The Parent House was born out of the belief that there is a credible link between achievement in parents and the welfare and success of their children.
38% of children in workless households experience persistent poverty.
Social rented housing in Islington accounts for 42% of all homes – much higher than the London average of 24.1%
18,000 Islington residents of working age have no qualifications at all
29% of Islington households with dependent children are workless - the highest proportion in London
There are 8,863 lone parents in Islington with dependent children
A welcoming ethos
We do all we can to make sure every parent feels welcome. We have built a ‘house’ rather than an institution to make parents feel at home from the moment we greet them at the gate; the kettle is always on and there is often food to enjoy.
Our welcoming ethos is about more than just the physical environment, we take our approach into the wider community. Our Outreach Programme, for example, empowers our parents to talk to other parents in local organisations or groups about their first-hand experience of using our service. This is often how parents find out about us.
Through listening, valuing and welcoming each parent as an individual, we help them to recognise their potential.
Time to focus and think aloud
We recognise that parents make important and often challenging decisions on a daily basis. So we provide a space in which childcare is covered and parents’ time is their own, allowing them to share their thoughts and give those decisions the attention they deserve.
As important as any formal training, we understand the value of having a quiet place to think, and the mental space to define your goals.
Personal learning in and out of the classroom
We have developed a group-led approach to learning, one that counts confidence and personal development as markers of success, because at The Parent House it is not just about the qualifications.
Parents are encouraged to contribute to the planning of their own course and its aims. We place as much value on individual support as we do on group work in the classroom, which is why our project workers work closely with our
tutors. Learning also happens out of the classroom as parents gain confidence and new skills as stepping stones to employment through our mentor project.
Having been part of the process that shaped their own learning, more parents complete their courses with a sense of empowerment.
Being part of something
From the moment an outreach volunteer meets an isolated parent to the point at which a parent forms a friendship or link, sharing experiences allows parents to feel that they are not alone.
We provide access to services that parents did not even know existed, introduce them to professionals who are able to help them with specific needs like housing and debt, and help them to feel part of a strong and supportive network.
Equipped with the information and confidence they need, our parents can move beyond our walls and take the ‘next step’ in establishing their own connections with other organisations and employers. We help them to feel and become part of something bigger.
The support of our project workers continues for individual parents long after they have taken their next step; providing the ongoing encouragement, skills and information they need to continue to achieve.
We know that real change takes time. Which is why we do not put a time frame on change or a hard metric on success. Like many of our parents, our staff often stay connected with us for years.
We are delighted when parents move on, and equally ready to be here for them if they need a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear should circumstances change.
With our ongoing support, parents develop a more positive outlook on life and on their potential; they begin to take up opportunities which in the past would have passed them by.
The Parent House was conceived by the Head teacher and governors of Winton Primary School in 2000 and has stayed true to its original purpose to this day.
The surrounding area of Islington is well documented for its levels of poverty and low income houses and the founders set out to raise the achievement levels of local children through directly servicing the needs of their parents.
It established the working method and philosophy outlined in these pages; one that has been proven to result in life-changing opportunities for parents, and which believes in consulting parents in any decisions the charity makes.
The Parent House has since grown to serve the needs of parents all across the borough and beyond.
The Parent House is run by a small but dedicated team. We rely on funding from trusts, charities, corporate and private donors. All donations go directly into The Parent House services and facilities.
We hope you can join us on our journey to help unlock opportunities for more parents and children that need them.
Our full financial details are available on the Charity Commission website.
Please visit our My donate BT website to donate
Our parents are our ambassadors in the community. We run outreach training workshops for our parents to empower them to spread the word about The Parent House’s work to some of the most isolated in the borough. For more information, please contact us.
We have a committed board of trustees from a wide range of professional backgrounds. From education and social work to law and finance, our trustees are united in their dedication to seeing The Parent House thrive.