ROC Family Mentors

ROC Family Mentoring in Sussex

Family MentoringROC  has launched its first Family Support and Mentoring project in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, which has seen volunteers from local churches trained and matched with families referred by the local authority. The project, which is being delivered in partnership with West Sussex and Arun District Councils is now well under way and ROC is in discussion about further projects across the South of England.

The real challenge facing local authorities all across the country, Is that they are now having to find a way to  support many more families as the Government begins launching ‘Phase 2’ of its Troubled Families agenda. The national scheme, which has been extended in an attempt to support more families who are in real need of help, can  in some cases, mean local authorities working with three times as many families as they did previously.

The project works in partnership with Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council (WSCC)  working with families in real need of help who are being referred to ROC from West Sussex County Council’s Think Family programme. ROC has trained 10 family mentors who are now providing intensive ‘one to one’ support to families. WSCC have expressed an interest in seeing the scheme extended across the county and discussions are already under way with a view to launching in other areas.

The range of issues that families struggle to deal with are many and varied, and more often than not, are issues that we have all at one time or another, come into contact with in our own lives or that of our extended families and friends. Issues such as debt, addiction, bereavement, family break up, the challenge of teenagers, particularly how to help young people deal with the enormous peer pressures that they face today, often resulting in lack of achievement at school and poor attendance, all can be massive challenges to family life.

But perhaps the biggest issue, is one of loneliness. People struggling with these issues can feel overwhelmed and isolated as they struggle to deal with them alone. Many of these issues are a day to day part of the ROC family mentoring programme in West Sussex and are why the programme is so rewarding  for those involved. The relief of these families in having someone who will come alongside, to just be there for them is immense, someone who will befriend them, sit and listen to them, who will help with simple practical things like getting the kids to school or cooking a simple meal. The churches taking part and the mentors we have trained describe their experience as an enormous privilege, just being able to help people in their own communities and love those in real need. All this and more is happening daily through the programme in Sussex. 

 Needless to say, the scale of this challenge nationally is huge but also a huge opportunity and ROC is delighted to be working with local authorities and churches to support families more effectively. If you think your church might be interested in supporting families in this way please contact us at the ROC office for more information.


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