Recent News

  • 31st January 2017

    Volunteers raise more than £10,000 for vital PACT project

    A COMMITTEE of fundraising volunteers in Oxford raised more than £10,000 last year for a project that helps families break the cycle of domestic abuse.Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) is an innovative programme developed by adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) that uses therapeutic techniques to support children and parents who have been victims or witnesses of domestic abuse. Its work has been supported by PACT’s BB4K Fundraising Committee in Oxford, which raised £10,870 through a series of events over the year, enabling 23 children to attend the project’s courses in 2016/17.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are incredibly grateful for the work of our Oxford Committee and the fantastic amount it has raised for BB4K. This is such a vital project, and the money raised for it is crucial in enabling us to reach out to even more families who need support.”The fundraising committee is already busy planning events for 2017, including Racquets and Rosé – a tennis tournament and lunch - on Thursday 25 May and a Bridge Day event on Thursday 9 November. PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison said: “This committee is a great example of what a group of dedicated volunteers can achieve. We would love to see similar committees working in other parts of Thames Valley to help raise funds to support our work.”If you would like to find out more about the BB4K Fundraising Committee in Oxford and the events it is organising, or if you could help with fundraising for PACT in your local area please contact Laura by emailing fundraising@pactcharity.org or calling 0118 402 1696. 

  • 25th January 2017

    PACT calling for more adopters in Brighton

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) would love to hear from anyone in Brighton who can provide a secure loving home to a child in care.PACT is holding a series of information events where anyone considering adoption can find out more about what’s involved and the services it offers. Events include a session in Brighton on Wednesday 8 February at 6.30pm. It is free to attend but please book a place in advance by calling 0300 456 4800.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. Last year PACT placed 91 children with 58 PACT families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting a child with additional needs or a sibling group of three or more.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We would love to hear from you if you are thinking about embarking on a route to adopt. We understand this is a big step but getting in touch with us and attending one of our information events is a great way for you to find out more and work out if this is right for you. It could be the first step you take on an amazing journey.” Information events are led by a PACT social worker and will include a talk from someone who has adopted through PACT. There will also be chance to ask questions and talk informally to adoption staff, and there will be information to take away and read at home.Shirley Elliott, Head of Adoption at PACT, added: “Our experienced and approachable teams can offer help and support from day one. If you are thinking of adopting or have any questions at all about our services, please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.”You can find out more about PACT and its adoption services at www.pactcharity.org or you can speak to one of PACT’s dedicated enquiry officers by calling 0300 456 4800. Lines are open 10am-3pm Monday to Friday.  

  • 20th January 2017

    Can you make a Pact for PACT in 2017?

    PACT is calling for people to make a new year’s resolution to take on a charity challenge in 2017 in support of its work.The adoption 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.People can choose what challenge they undertake in aid of PACT, from signing up for a sky-dive to holding a cake sale. Other fundraising initiatives could include taking part in a sponsored walk, run or bike ride; encouraging your company, church or school to host a dress down day; or getting sponsored to give something up for a month.All money raised will help support the charity’s community projects and post-adoption therapeutic services for families across the Thames Valley. For example £155 will fund a support package for a vulnerable woman at the charity’s Alana House for a month including one-to-one sessions with a specialist support worker, or £50 will fund a child who has witnessed or been affected by domestic abuse to attend a Bounce Back 4 Kids session to help them manage their feelings and break the cycle of domestic abuse.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We would love to hear from anyone who would like to support our vital work by making a Pact for PACT this year. All money raised will make a difference by enabling us to help more vulnerable children and families.”PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison added: “There are many different ways in which you can support PACT from running a marathon to organising a pub quiz. Whatever you choose to do we can support you along the way with help, advice and ideas. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved by making a Pact for PACT.”You can also support PACT’s work by becoming a Friend of PACT and making a regular contribution to the charity or by following @PACTcharity on Facebook and Twitter to help raise awareness of its work.To find out more see www.pactcharity.org/support-us or contact our fundraising team at fundraising@pactcharity.org or on 0118 402 1696. 

  • 04th January 2017

    PACT receives £400 from Reading Councillors

    PACT was delighted to receive a cheque for £400 in December from Labour Councillors at Reading Borough Council. The Councillors personally contributed to make the donation which was organised by Cllr Deborah Edwards.PACT's Fundraising Manager Laura Davison (pictured) visited the Civic Centre to collect the cheque. She said: "We are delighted to receive this generous donation, made personally by the Councillors. They have chosen to donate the money specifically to our Alana House Project."PACT's Alana House project supports vulnerable women in Reading and West Berkshire. The project uses a holistic approach to support women by empowering them to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances. Find out more about Alana House here. 

  • 22nd December 2016

    Inspirational adoptive mum awarded MBE

    Sue and Jim Clifford

    ADOPTION charity Parents and Children Together (PACT) is celebrating the inclusion of one of its adopters in the New Year Honours list. Sue Clifford is being awarded an MBE for services to children and families.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.Sue and husband Jim Clifford OBE, have adopted nine children over the last 20 years, the last five of whom were through PACT. They chose adoption over IVF after being unable to conceive and have used therapeutic parenting methods to transform the lives of their children, all of whom had complex needs.The first children they adopted, their eldest daughters, were six and almost 10 when placed. The girls had been overlooked by other adopters due to their ages, and the local authority was considering splitting them up.Sue said: “The girls had always lived together, and Jim and I were horrified to think they might be separated.” For Jim and Sue it was the start of a remarkable family life, going on to adopt a further seven children.The couple believe that “every child should have the best childhood they can” and after adopting their own children, they founded a pioneering scheme – IAAM (It’s All About Me) to find adopters for the children who often wait the longest to be adopted.The IAAM scheme recognises that there is a group of children for whom moving to a new family and forming attachments is particularly difficult. The scheme provides adopters with an enhanced support package and additional support.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are delighted that Sue’s inspirational story has been recognised. What makes this extraordinary couple stand out from other adoptive parents is that their motivation to adopt was completely altruistic, as they deliberately set out to adopt specifically hard-to-place, older children with very complex needs. This is indeed a rare commodity in the world of adoption.“Sue has the most amazing ability to build her children’s self-esteem, making them feel worthy and valued.  She is hugely empathetic and, despite many setbacks and initial rejections, never falters in her unending advocacy, support, love and therapeutic care of her children. “The scale of her achievement, and that of her children’s with her guiding hand, not only has a massive impact on these new members of society, but on society itself.  The impact is unending.”Sue said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, it is a complete surprise and completely unexpected.“Over the years I have supported well over 100 families, many for extended periods. Currently I am supporting around 25 families in total, and also co-facilitating Diadic Developmental Pschotherapy training for adoptive families. I have also spoken at conferences and support groups to encourage and support adopters and to campaign for more appropriate training and adoption support.”To find out more about PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org.  Sue and husband Jim are pictured speaking at a PACT event in 2011.

  • 08th December 2016

    Maidenhead girl raises money for cause close to her heart

    Parents and Children Together (PACT) has thanked a schoolgirl from Maidenhead who recently raised £122 for them.Rhiannon, aged nine, who attends Claires Court school in Maidenhead chose to support PACT, as the charity helped her family to adopt her younger brother, Harley.PACT supports families across Berkshire and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.Rhiannon organised events across the school week; selling bracelets, styling classmates hair and she also ran a guess how many sweets in the jar competition. Rhiannon gave a presentation in assembly about the work that PACT do. Rhiannon said: “I am supporting PACT as the charity that supported us as a family to adopt my brother. My brother who is five has now been with us for nearly two years and he is definitely one of the family now.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is a wonderful example of fundraising at such a young age. The money that Rhiannon has raised will go directly towards our work with families so that more children like Harley can find their adoptive families.”PACT Fundraising Manager Laura Davison visited Rhiannon in school to receive the cheque and presented Rhiannon with a certificate. Laura said: “There are lots of different ways to support PACT. We welcome fundraisers of all ages, and provide help and support along the way. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved and fundraise for PACT.”To find out more about fundraising for PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org/support-us.

  • 11th November 2016

    A free Christmas Carol Concert for the whole family at Dorchester Abbey

    Parents and Children Together (PACT) is inviting local families to join its annual Carol Concert at Dorchester Abbey on Sunday 11th December.The concert will include performances from The Dorchester Abbey Choir, Benson Military Wives Choir and young soprano Erin Hughes. There will be plenty of opportunities for the congregation to join in with some classic Christmas Carols.PACT supports families across Oxfordshire and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects.The concert begins at 5pm with a family tea party from 4pm. Tickets are free but must be booked online. Donations to PACT’s work with families will be welcomed.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is one of the highlights of the year at PACT. It’s a wonderfully festive event, which many PACT families attend year after year. All are welcome so please do come along and help us celebrate family life this Christmas.”To find out more and book your free tickets visit: www.pactcharity.org/carols.  

  • 09th November 2016

    PACT statement in reaction to ITV documentary Britain’s Adoption Scandal: Breaking the Silence

    An ITV documentary is to be screened on November 9 about unmarried mothers in the 50s, 60s and 70s who felt pressured to give up their babies for adoption.The documentary tells the stories of women who gave up their babies when the church ran mother and baby homes.The Catholic Church has issued an apology to the women. Cardinal Vincent Nichols acknowledged the “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”, adding: “Sadly for unmarried mothers, adoption was considered to be in the best interests of the mother and child because of the associated stigma and the lack of support for lone parents.”In reaction to the documentary and this apology, PACT has released the following statement:“Adoption has, throughout the last century, been society’s mirror.  Just as this apology highlights society’s intolerance in the mid twentieth century, adoption today champions inclusion, alternative lifestyles and sexualities, myriad ethnicities and cultures, and reflects a modern Britain where single parents achieve highly positive outcomes for the children they nurture, sometimes against all odds.“In welcoming this apology, we must also be mindful of the significant progress made in national care legislation that requires statutory multi-agency checks and balances to be in place before a child is removed for his or her parents. “Adoption, as the best permanence option for any child in this sad and desperate situation, remains an important governmental activity today requiring more ordinary people to step forward and become extraordinary adopters.”Read more about this story in The Guardian here. 

  • 07th November 2016

    Can you spare as little as £5 to help local children under five affected by domestic abuse?

    Parents and Children Together (PACT) has launched a crowdfunding appeal to pilot a project supporting children under five who have witnessed domestic abuse.The new programme will be part of PACT’s successful Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) project which currently supports children living in the Thames Valley aged between five and 12. The programme is innovative, working with the child and non-abusing parent at the same time, providing therapeutic support following the trauma of a family breakdown.BB4K has identified gaps in the provision of this type of support for other age groups and is experiencing a growing demand of referrals for children under the age of five.PACT CEO Jan Fishwick said: “Research has shown that by providing targeted early intervention and prevention support to this age group we can increase these children’s opportunities to have smoother transitions into primary school, improved family relationships, increased social skills and emotional intelligence.“This project is very much needed, there were 41,846 domestic abuse incidents recorded by Thames Valley Police in 2014/15 and The Home Office and The Centre for Social Justice reports that 90% of children are in the same room or the room next door during attacks on their mothers.*“If this cause is important to you please give what you can, whether it’s £5 or £500 it will make a real difference in these children’s lives.”PACT has until February 2017 to reach its target of £10,420. There are various opportunities available depending on the amount pledged by individuals including meeting with PACT’s CEO and the BB4K delivery team.To find out more about the project and donate visit: https://fundit.buzz/BounceBack4Kids    

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