Teams across Ceredigion have worked together to tackle isolation and support emotional wellbeing and parenting skills during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With the national lockdown due to COVID-19 in late March, services had to change their ways of working. Ceredigion County Council, Ceredigion Flying Start, Tîm Teulu, Family Centres, Pathfinder pilot and Hywel Dda University Health Board staff all worked together in an integrated way to ensure families have access to information, advice and support as required. They have used technology, family input and shared expertise to overcome their challenges including working with children at home, lack of contact and having to adapt everything to be provided online.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture said, “The programmes had delivery plans set out to start providing a range of courses on 01 April 2020, as part of wider Children and Communities Grant. These included a broad range of groups and courses to engage families and build links with their local communities as well as addressing any identified needs in terms of growing their resilience, skills, confidence and knowledge. Of course, this couldn’t go ahead during the national lockdown, so the ways of working needed to change. The teams from partner organisations have worked brilliantly together for the benefit of Ceredigion parents and families.”

With increasing anxieties about parents’ wellbeing and pressure to find ways of supporting them, the teams agreed that it was important to be able to deliver courses and groups online. The key focuses for action became online groups and courses as well as digital connectivity.

Groups and courses were adapted in partnership with parents to be delivered virtually. The courses needed to be attractive and effective.

Elen James continued, “The end result was a very integrated programme of online courses that was available to parents all across Ceredigion. The number of phone calls from parents wanting more information or to register for courses has increased significantly. In the Autumn Term, a total of 20 courses were delivered by a range of staff from different agencies where 101 parents attended. There is now a waiting lists for all courses.”

Digital Connectivity was developed to ensure families in financial hardship don’t find themselves in a double lockdown through not having access to kit, the credit or the knowhow. 16 iPads and 10 MiFis were purchased and 17 on average are on loan to families.

For more information, ask your local family centre, follow the Teuluoedd Ceredigion Families Facebook page or go to Dewis Cymru website