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Project information

We Are Family (supporting vulnerable families)

To holistically support very vulnerable parents and children through We Are Family support group delivering parenting and life skills teaching, plus counselling, advocacy, and practical help enabling them to move forwards into employment and manage their own families.

December 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: Alternatives Trust East London

Alternatives Trust East London logo
  • Need


    Typical circumstances of mothers are:

    - Having escaped a violent partner
    - Having escaped domestic slavery, trafficking or prostitution
    - Homeless & paperless
    - Been abandoned by their family, often because of pregnancy
    - Experienced rape or seen family members killed

    The challenges these women face are traumatic and severe which is why we emphasise a holistic approach. The We Are Family project includes a variety of activities which seek to address different aspects of an individual’s need.


    By providing:

    - A secure and supportive community for women and their children to meet; like a family to those who don’t have one
    - Parenting and life skills
    - Practical support: clothes, toys, equipment
    - Practical help: support re accessing housing, benefits and right to remain applications for women genuinely unable to return to their country of origin
    - Counselling
    - Emergency food donations
    - A number of social enterprise co-operatives formed to help mums move to employment or training

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    More confident and capable parents


    » Deliver 23 parenting training sessions for 100 parents
    » Deliver more practical parenting sessions in a smaller group for those wanting more

    What success will look like

    Increase in number attending additional parenting sessions.
    Increase in self-report feelings of confidence.

    Aim 2

    Improved life skills and grow in self esteem


    » Deliver 600 sessions of free counselling
    » Deliver 23 Life Skill sessions for 100 parents

    What success will look like

    Increase in self-report feelings of self-esteem.
    High levels of attendance at specific life-skills sessions.
    Increase in numbers of parents taking training and employment.

    Aim 3

    Move from isolation to be more integrated in society


    » Deliver 46 structured sessions to encourage and support parents to build supportive relationships with each other
    » Deliver two day trips for the group members and their children (160 folk)
    » Take families to local support services, e.g. children's centres, sports facilities, library

    What success will look like

    Numbers attending additional community / social centres / clubs.
    Numbers registered with library.

    Aim 4

    Families to be healthier, physically and emotionally


    » Provide 500 free food bags for vulnerable families
    » Supporting mums to get their children vaccinated
    » Counselling for those in a secure place to benefit from it

    What success will look like

    Numbers up to date with vaccinations and health check-ups.
    Numbers registered with a GP.
    Numbers participating in group sports activities.
    Numbers attending counselling.

    Aim 5

    Increased employability and access to services


    » Delivery of 780 hours of support for a range of needs including housing applications, benefit applications and right to remain applications.
    » Deliver training and support for parents to improve experience, skills, confidence and employability.
    » Parents volunteering or working in the Social Enterprise projects we have - Charity Shop, Pop Up Cafe, WAF Angels Cleaning Service.

    What success will look like

    Increase in numbers in training, study or employment.
    Increase in number of users accessing appropriate benefits.
    Increase in number of users that actively seek legal immigration

  • Impact


    - Children live in a safer happier environment as their mothers form safe, healthy relationships with other adults.
    - Children’s living environments improve as their parents take steps out of poverty.
    - All babies successfully bonded.
    - All children registered with a doctor.
    - Children are up to date with vaccinations and health check-ups.
    - Children are eating adequate, nutritious food.
    - Children are not exposed to or in the care of adults abusing drugs or alcohol.

    Outcomes are monitored


    Lack of core funding would cut our capacity to professionally staff project. The charity consists of many volunteers who ensure the ongoing operational delivery of our aims. If our staff base decreases this could hinder our ability to deliver our aims. To mitigate this risk, a flexible programme has been developed that can be adapted to fit the capacity of our work force. We currently have around 30 volunteers so potential loss of volunteers can be absorbed across our team.


    Donors to this project will receive quarterly progress reports via email giving details on the ongoing activities and providing feedback and success stories throughout the duration. Quantitative and qualitative data will be continually collected during the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Support Worker Contribution (72%) towards ongoing annual cost of Part-Time Support Worker
      £2,000 Room Hire Rental cost for room hire associated with running WAF for 1 year
      £1,000 Food & Baby Supplies Food & Baby Supplies as needed throughout the year to supplement ongoing donations
      £1,000 Group outings Travel costs for 2 outings for 100 people, destinations will be a beach trip & The Science Museum
      £1,000 Presents Cost of Birthday & Christmas presents for 165 Children and 60 Adults
  • Background


    Newham is one of the most diverse places in Europe in terms of culture and religion. Newham is also one of the most deprived places in London. The London Poverty Profile describes Newham as Inner London’s most populous borough, including a ‘hidden’ population of up to 70,000, made up of the jobless, failed asylum seekers and other groups who are unable to claim benefits and do not have access to adequate housing.


    We help the most vulnerable mothers with complex needs. Most come from outside the UK and most have experienced abusive relationships. Many come to us alone and pregnant from within the UK with no idea of legal status. They may have suffered violence, been abandoned or sold into domestic slavery at a young age. Some have witnessed murder, suffered rape, been imprisoned, or trafficked. Most have had their confidence severely damaged and struggle with despair as well as poverty and isolation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Without projects like We Are Family, many women and their children will have little or no hope of a safe and healthy future. We began this work in 2005 because there was nowhere we could refer pregnant women with complex needs. The need for our service remains as urgent as ever and there has been a huge reduction in council provision. Services such as Sure Start, some Children’s Centres, community centres and voluntary groups are closing and those that remain have had to tighten their budgets.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Julia Acott

    Julia founded Alternatives in 1994 and has been the Director for the past 23 years. Her knowledge and passion are key in delivering our aims.

    Jenny Jones

    Jenny is the Centre Manager which is a key role in ensuring the successful delivery of our aims.

    Julia Dexter

    Julia is Support to Parents Manager delivering all parenting courses and support to the We Are Family Group - she is instrumental to our success.

    Yetunde Fatejo

    Yetunde is a beneficiary and key member of We Are Family and is one of many success stories. She now works for us as a Destitution Co-ordinator.

Life is beautiful. This time last year I was going to hang myself. I was going to get rid of my pregnancy because I wasn't managing. I didn't want to be here. I had medication. I wanted to die. But now life is beautiful...

One of our mothers as she reflected on her past year while looking out to sea during last year's beach trip.