Recent News

  • 16th March 2018

    PACT supports Big Adoption Day 2018

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is supporting a national day of action to raise awareness of adoption and the need for more adopters.PACT, which last year placed 82 children with 56 families through its adoption services, is joining with adoption agencies across the country to mark this year's Big Adoption Day on Wednesday 21st March.Now in its third year, Big Adoption Day aims to promote the need for more people to come forward and provide a forever home to a child in care. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.The latest figures show that in the South East, 61 per cent of children waiting to be adopted are in a sibling group.As part of its support for Big Adoption Day, PACT is holding an information event in London on Thursday 22nd March for anyone interested in finding out more about adoption. The event will include an introduction to adoption from a PACT social worker and a talk from a PACT adopter.PACT is one of the leading adoption charities in the country and specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family. These include children over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of BME heritage or with additional needs.PACT adopters can be couples or single people, of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.Eddie, and his partner Jody, are adopting two brothers through PACT. The two boys, both under two years old, were placed with them last year.Eddie said: "The transformation in our boys is just phenomenal. They have just thrived from feeling loved and secure in our lives and our home. It's changed our lives completely too - really given us a new sense of meaning and purpose. We both just want to be the best parents we can possibly be."Eddie, who shares his experiences of adoption by speaking at PACT information events for prospective adopters, said his best advice to anyone considering adoption was to have belief that they had something to offer as a parent.He added: "The other thing I'd say is to take a leap of faith. I understand that people are tentative and nervous about starting the process of adoption, and it's actually not a bad thing to feel that, but you'll never know for sure if it's right for you unless you take that leap of faith and go for it."Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Big Adoption Day again this year and to be helping to raise awareness of the critical need for more people to consider adoption. I would urge anyone who thinks they can provide a loving, secure home to a child or children who need it, to please get in touch with us to find out more."PACT's Big Adoption Day information event on Thursday 22nd March is being held in Pimlico at 6.30pm. Please book your place to attend by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 08th March 2018

    Happy Mother’s Day from PACT

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mums who are celebrating this special day after adopting children through the charity.The adoption charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through outstanding adoption services, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, would particularly like to thank the 50 new mums who adopted children with PACT last year.One of the leading adoption charities in the country, PACT specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family. These include children over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of BME heritage or with additional needs.There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England. Karen and Charmaine, who adopted their youngest daughter through PACT, said adoption had transformed their lives.Charmaine said: "Before adopting my little girl, I never believed I would feel like a mum, despite how much I wanted to be one. From the moment Jessica arrived, I now can't remember not being her mum. I feel blown away every time I hear the word. I can't hear it enough!"Karen added: "Mother's Day for me is a day to reflect and say "we did it!" We have formed our own, perfectly unique family and have a huge amount of love for each other."Liz and her husband adopted two girls through PACT. She said it was an "honour and a privilege" to become their mum.She said: "I will never forget the first day of introductions when we walked into our girls former foster carers' house to be greeted by one of the girls putting her arms out to me and saying, "You are my new mummy!" From that moment on I have never looked back. Every single day is an absolute honour and a privilege to be our children's Mummy.Jan Fishwick OBE, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "This Mother's Day I would like to thank all the amazing women who have adopted children with PACT over the years, particularly those who may be celebrating this special day as a mum for the first time."I would also like to renew our plea for anyone who is thinking about adoption as a way of starting or extending their family to get in touch. There are so many children in need of a loving mum and we would really like to hear from anyone who thinks they might be able to help."To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org or call 0300 456 4800.

  • 22nd February 2018

    PACT celebrates LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week with a special event in Brighton

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is holding a special event in Brighton for anyone interested in finding out more about LGBT adoption. The event, on Saturday 10th March, which will feature a question and answer session with a panel of PACT LGBT adopters, is being held to help mark national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from 5th-11th March. PACT, which supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, actively recruits LGBT adopters and 35 per cent of people who adopted with PACT in 2017 were from the LGBT community. The agency's Brighton office, which specialises in LGBT adoption but also welcomes heterosexual adopters, is organising the event for people who are considering adoption or who are in the process of adopting. The panel of adopters will share their adoption stories and answer questions about their experiences of adoption. There will also be opportunities for people to talk individually with experienced adopters and PACT social workers as well as to meet other prospective adopters over refreshments. Mark and Laurence, who adopted a sister and brother through PACT in 2016, are among the adopters taking part in the panel. The couple said: "This event is a great opportunity for anyone considering adoption to find out what it's really like from people like us who have been through it and now have two amazing children and a fantastic family life as a result. "We're really looking forward to sharing our story and answering any questions that people might have, in the hope this can inspire more people to take the first step towards starting or extending a family through adoption. "We couldn't imagine our lives without children now and it all started with an initial enquiry with PACT. This has been an amazing journey for us and if it is something that you are considering, when the time is right for you, PACT will be there to hold your hand throughout every stage." PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "One of the best ways for anyone thinking about adoption to find out more is to talk with people who have already adopted. This event offers an ideal chance for people to speak to and ask questions of some of our inspirational families and our expert staff. "We are extremely proud to be supporting national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week again, and we look forward to working with many more wonderful LGBT adopters this year." LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers. PACT adopters are entitled to become New Family Social members for life free of charge. PACT's event will be held at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton from 2pm until 4.30pm on Saturday 10th March and light refreshments will be served. To find out more see http://pactcharity.org/news-events/events-and-campaigns/lgbt-qa. It is free to attend the event but you do need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org More information about adopting with PACT can be found at www.pactcharity.org and for more details about LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week see www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk

  • 08th February 2018

    PACT’s Alana House receives donation from Reading Councillors

    ALANA House has received a £265 donation from Labour Councillors at Reading Borough Council towards its work supporting vulnerable women.Alana House is a community project run by Parents And Children Together (PACT) which aims to empower women to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their opportunities. In 2017, 196 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support. Last November Alana House received a prestigious national Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award for its work reducing crime and transforming women's lives for the better through its innovative partnership Enrich Programme. This initiative is run in partnership with Thames Valley Police, IRiS and Reading Borough Council's Troubled Families service and works with a small cohort of female low-level offenders who want to make positive changes in their lives, access support in their communities and reduce their call upon the police and other emergency services. PACT's Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE thanked the councillors for their donation. She said: "Alana House is entirely funded through grants and voluntary income so we are always very grateful for donations such as this to help support this important service." Natausha van Vliet, Director of Business Development at PACT, added: "Alana House offers a safe and non-judgmental space where women who find themselves at a disadvantage can access the help and support they need to turn their lives around. Any financial support for us to continue this vital service is always incredibly appreciated." Cllr Deborah Edwards, who organised the collection of personal donations from Labour Councillors, said: "The work that PACT does with some of the most vulnerable women, through Alana House, is vital and nationally acclaimed. It is a pleasure to raise funds to help fund this work and support the women and their families." Find out more about Alana House by visiting www.alanahouse.org 

  • 23rd January 2018

    Can you make a Pact for PACT?

    Adoption charity Parents And Children Together is appealing for people to take on a charity challenge in 2018 in support of its work.The charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, would love to hear from anyone who can make a Pact for PACT and raise funds for its work helping vulnerable children and families.People can choose from a range of ways to support PACT, from signing up to do a sponsored walk, run or bike ride to holding a cake sale, raffle or quiz.All money raised will help support the charity’s community projects and post-adoption therapeutic services for families across the Thames Valley.One man who has already pledged to make a Pact for PACT this year is Andrew McAlley who is running the Brighton Marathon in April on behalf of the charity. Andrew, who was inspired to run for PACT by his fiancée who works in the adoption sector, is busy training and fundraising for the event.He said: "I've never run a marathon before, in fact I've never participated in any running events before, but I'm hell-bent on running every single one of the 26.2 miles on the 15th April."Since last August I've been training regularly, pounding the tarmac in all kinds of weather, trying my best to prepare myself for this. It's taken up a great deal of my free time, and I can't say I always enjoy it; there are days when the rain, wind and hail make training a miserable experience but I'm committed to helping raise money for PACT and proving to myself that I can do this!"You can support Andrew at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewMcAlley PACT also has a team of five runners who will be taking part in the London Marathon on 22nd April. PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "We are always delighted to hear from anyone who would like to support our work in whatever way they can. Any donations are gratefully received and make such a difference by enabling us to reach out to more families who need support." PACT Fundraising Manager Lina Artunduaga added: "There are many different ways in which you can support PACT and whatever you choose to do we can offer help, advice and ideas as well as materials and publicity. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved by making a Pact for PACT." You can also support PACTs work by becoming a Friend of PACT and making a regular contribution to the charity or by following @PACTcharity on Facebook or Twitter to help raise awareness of its work.To find out more, or to download a PACT Guide to Fundraising, see www.pactcharity.org/support-us or contact our fundraising team at fundraising@pactcharity.org or on 0118 402 1696.

  • 21st December 2017

    Happy Christmas from PACT

    Adoption charity Parents And Children Together has helped transform the lives of 82 children this year by finding them their forever families.PACT, which offers outstanding adoption services to families across the South East, has placed 82 children with 56 families since the start of the year. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.One of the leading adoption charities in the country, PACT has placed 641 children with 465 families over the last five years. It specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family.In March this year PACT’s adoption services were again rated as outstanding following an inspection by Ofsted. PACT supports all its families for life, including through its Strengthening Families Team and award-winning Family And Children Therapeutic Support (FACTS) service, which has this year worked with 62 families.As part of PACT’s ongoing commitment to supporting its families, in October it launched an innovative new online support service for adopters. The new service www.pactadoptionsupport.org, which aims to empower adoptive parents to help each other and access training and support, has so far been operating as a pilot for PACT adopters but will be rolled out more widely in 2018.PACT also runs two community projects - Alana House, a community service to support and empower women who find themselves at a disadvantage, and Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) which supports children affected by domestic abuse. This year 157 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support, and the BB4K project supported 38 children.Alana House has received three awards in 2017, including a prestigious national Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award for its innovative partnership Enrich Programme. This is a project PACT runs in partnership with Thames Valley Police, IRiS and Reading Borough Council’s Troubled Families service to work with a small cohort of female low-level offenders who want to make positive changes in their lives.PACT’s Chief Executive Jan Fishwick, who was made an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list this summer for her services to adoption, said: “It has been a very successful year for PACT, and while I am very proud of all that we have accomplished, our greatest achievement has to be that we have found forever families for 82 children, giving them the security and stability they deserve. I would like to wish these new families a very special first Christmas together.“I would like to thank our hard working and dedicated staff, trustees and volunteers as well as all those who have supported PACT in various ways over the year to enable us to continue our vital work.“I would also like to encourage anyone who is considering adoption to give it some real thought this Christmas and to get in touch with us in the New Year if this is something you would like to explore further in 2018. There are so many children who urgently need a permanent home and we would love to hear from anyone who thinks they might be able to help.”To find out more about adopting with PACT, including details of the free adoption information evenings we are holding in January and throughout 2018, or to download our guide to adoption, see www.pactcharity.org/adoptionPACT’s offices will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

  • 10th December 2017

    Carol Concert cancelled

    Sadly, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this evening's Carol Concert. Although Dorchester itself isn't too badly affected by the snow the surrounding area is, and many of the transport links are struggling and driving conditions dangerous. Our main concern is everyone's safety.We are so sorry, and very disappointed. Please do share this news with anyone you know was planning to attend.We'd like to wish you a very Merry and safe Christmas, on behalf of us all at PACT

  • 23rd November 2017

    PACT’s Alana House picks up prestigious national award

    Alana House Women's Community Project has received a prestigious national award for its work reducing crime and transforming women's lives for the better.The Reading-based project has won the Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award in the women category for its innovative partnership Enrich Programme. It is the second time Alana House has received this national honour, gaining the same award in 2014 in recognition of the positive impact it has on the women it supports and their wider communities.Alana House, which is run by Parents And Children Together (PACT), supports vulnerable women by empowering them to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances. In 2016, 190 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire.Its Enrich Programme was launched last October in partnership with Thames Valley Police, IRiS and Reading Borough Council's Troubled Families service to work with a small cohort of female low-level offenders who want to make positive changes in their lives and improve outcomes for them and their families, access support in their communities and reduce their call upon the police and other emergency services. It does this by working in partnership and providing targeted, holistic interventions including one-to-one support, group workshops, outreach, access to training, volunteering and employment opportunities, counselling, and a therapeutic PhotoVoice photography course and exhibition.In its first six months 100 per cent of women on the programme reported having increased self-esteem and self-confidence. The Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. Its annual national awards aim to recognise the country's most successful community projects encouraging desistance from crime. Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "Our Community Awards celebrate the success of projects that guide people away from crime and make us all safer. Only the very best schemes in the UK are honoured each year and, once again, we were delighted to receive so many high-quality nominations." Jan Fishwick OBE, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "We are thrilled and honoured to receive this award which is very well-deserved by all involved in the Enrich Programme, not least by the very courageous women who decide to turn their lives around, with the support of the project." Superintendent Stan Gilmour, Local Policing Area Commander for Reading, said: “Thames Valley Police is committed to working with our partners to reduce harm and helping our communities thrive. This programme is a wonderful example of how this approach can improve lives. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate PACT's Alana House on receiving this prestigious award." Cllr Jan Gavin, Reading's Lead Councillor for Children's Services, said: "I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the Enrich Programme for receiving this national award. It is well-deserved recognition for the partnership work which has helped bring about positive change to the lives of women in need of support in Reading." Simi Warah, Service Manager at IRiS Reading, added: "IRiS are happy to have been involved with Enrich from the outset. The increased partnership approach, resulting in more intensive support for the women involved, makes it a fantastic project and we will continue to champion it."

  • 21st November 2017

    PACT launches new domestic abuse programme in Berkshire

    FAMILY support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is extending its work with families affected by domestic abuse by launching new courses for young people in Bracknell.PACT has been running its innovative Bounce Back 4 Kids programme for primary school aged children and their parents who have been victims of or witness to domestic abuse in Berkshire and Oxfordshire for the past seven years, helping hundreds of families to break the cycle of domestic abuse.The charity has now secured three years’ worth of new funding from local churches to deliver a similar programme in Bracknell to help young people and their non-abusing parent to recover and move on positively with their lives following domestic abuse.The Recovery Toolkit is an eight-week course aimed at secondary school aged children. A 12-week course will run concurrently for their parent. Evidence shows outcomes are strengthened if both the parent and their child attend concurrent groups, however, we know that this isn’t always possible. The content in both groups is still valuable and we would welcome any young person or adult that wishes to positively move on from traumatic experiences.The programme, a nationally-accredited scheme that will be delivered by trained PACT community support workers, will feature interactive group sessions looking at topics ranging from how to handle difficult feelings to how to foster healthy relationships and trust. It aims to help young people understand the impact of experiencing domestic abuse, develop practical coping strategies and techniques and to help increase their confidence and self-esteem.Natausha van Vliet, Director of Business Development at PACT, said: "We were thrilled to secure funding to run The Recovery Toolkit for the first time as we have seen the positive impact that BB4K can have on younger children and their families, and we are acutely aware that there is just as much need for this kind of support for young people too."We know too well that the experiences of young people living with domestic abuse are likely to influence the way they see themselves and the world around them. The Recovery Toolkit aims to help them to come to terms with these experiences and to develop positive lifestyle and coping strategies. By also engaging with their non-abusive parent the programme ensures that families learn to support each other and move forward together."PACT's other community project, Alana House, which supports vulnerable women, is also working in Bracknell for the first time through its new Building Family Bridges project which is funded until 2020. This programme, which aims to help women turn their lives around by helping them to access education, training and employment, is also available to women in Wokingham and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.Jan Fishwick OBE, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "We are very grateful for the funding we have received to enable us to extend our vital work supporting vulnerable families and women. We know the need is there, and we know what a difference our BB4K programme and our Alana House service can make to people who need this support. I would encourage anyone who thinks they may benefit from these services to get in touch to find out more. Referrals are now being taken for The Recovery Toolkit groups due to start in January and April 2018. For more information or to make a referral email jeanie.herbert@pactcharity.org, call 0118 402 1749, or see www.bounceback4kids.org. To find out more about Alana House and its Building Family Bridges project, including how to access support and details of activities on in your area, please see www.alanahouse.org or call 0118 9217640.

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