Recent News

  • 21st October 2016

    Vote for Alana House to win £30,000

    PACT's community project for vulnerable women in Reading is calling for local people to vote to help it win vital funding of £30,000.Alana House has been shortlisted by the Natwest Skills and Opportunities Fund for the chance to win the grant but must compete in a public vote against 14 other shortlisted applications for a chance to be given the funding.Alana House uses a holistic approach to provide early intervention and prevention support for women who have multiple issues, complex needs and have reached crisis point. In 2015/16 it helped more than 260 women.The grant would be used to fund a dedicated Support Worker to work on finance and employment with the women that attend Alana House. The Support Worker will be able to offer individual support to the women, for example for those who cannot read and write and those who have mental health conditions which make learning much more difficult.The Support Worker will work in partnership with Enterprise Inspiration CIC to deliver support on a range of subjects such as communication skills for work, practical sales skills, how to map their network and use this to get business, using social media to search for/promote business, personal presentation for work, business goals and planning tools.Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive at PACT said: “We know that the women at Alana House have an appetite to develop these skills. A dedicated worker will be able to build up a relationship with this vulnerable client group, supporting them one to one and in group sessions.“Between April 2016 and June 2016, 40 women were supported with needs around finance/benefit/debt/skills/employment. 30% of these women had positive outcomes and we are keen to increase this.”“Please take thirty seconds to vote for Alana House. If successful, your vote will enable local women to receive the support they need to get back into work.”To vote for the project you need to visit http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/vote/vote-in-south-west-and-wales.html and select ‘Vote now’ at the bottom of the page. You will then be able to select Parents And Children Together and submit your vote.To find out more about Alana House visit www.alanahouse.org. 

  • 17th October 2016

    Do you support adoption this National Adoption Week?

    PACT is calling for more adopters and for people to support adoption during National Adoption Week (17th – 23rd October 2016).This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness of the challenges of adoptive parenting and invites anyone whose life or heart is touched by adoption to post on social media using the hashtag #SupportAdoption.PACT is one of the many independent adoption agencies and local authorities up and down the country to show their support for the campaign by taking photos of themselves with #SupportAdoption posters.PACT is particularly looking for adopters for ‘priority children’ who may be aged four or over, in sibling groups, of BME heritage or have disabilities or health conditions. PACT can offer accelerated adoption assessments to the types of adopters who are needed most, in order to speed up the adoption process for the children waiting.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “The #SupportAdoption theme is very apt. At PACT we are committed to supporting our families for as long as they need us and our therapeutic adoption support service FACTS, is shortlisted in the National Adoption Week awards for Excellence in Adoption Practice.”PACT adopters Hannah and Darren* approached PACT following the National Adoption Week campaign in 2010 and have since adopted Katie who was aged four when she was placed. Helen said: “To anyone considering adoption I’d say do it, jump all over it, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”PACT runs frequent adoption information evenings in London, Reading and Brighton. At these events you can find out more about the process and speak informally to a PACT social worker or adopter from the area. To find out more about information events or download a Guide to Adoption visit www.pactcharity.org/adoption. You can also enquire by telephone Monday-Friday between 10am and 3pm by calling 0300 456 4800.For more information on National Adoption Week and to download a #SupportAdoption poster please visit www.first4adoption.org/nationaladoptionweek.

  • 22nd September 2016

    PACT celebrates two years in Brighton

    Parents and Children Together (PACT) is celebrating a successful two years building new families in the city.PACT’s central Brighton office specialises in LGBT adoption but also welcomes heterosexual adopters. Since opening in 2014, 17 children have been placed for adoption with PACT Brighton families. 58% of adopters approved through the office so far are LGBT.Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, PACT supports its families for life through FACTS, its award-winning therapeutic support service. PACT can also offer accelerated adoption assessments to the types of adopters who are needed most, in order to speed up the adoption process.This weekend PACT will host a Family Fun Day for Brighton adoptive families. This will celebrate the last two years and offers the PACT families a variety of activities including face painting, circus skills, a petting zoo, as well as a BBQ feast with refreshments for all the family.PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are delighted at the success of our Brighton office. There are 17 children who were waiting in the care system who have now been placed with their forever families as a result of our work in the area recruiting and preparing adopters.“There are still more than 2000 children in England waiting to be adopted, so I would encourage anybody considering adoption to get in touch with PACT.“Our Family Fun Day is a real celebration of adoption and allows adopters to build life-long support networks with families who share similar experiences, sharing their stories, and the challenges that arise from the unique situation of adoption. The children have a fun day out and meet new friends.”PACT adopter Emily* who lives in Brighton said: “I can't recommend PACT highly enough. All the staff are friendly and supportive whilst being experts in their field. They helped me to make difficult decisions which has led to my wonderful son who is the perfect match for me.”PACT runs frequent adoption information evenings in Brighton as well as daytime drop-ins. At these events you can find out more about the process and speak informally to a PACT social worker or adopter from the area. The next information evening takes place on 6th October 2016 and the next drop in is on Friday 4th November 2016.To find out more about information events or download a Guide to Adoption click here. You can also enquire by telephone Monday-Friday between 10am and 3pm by calling 0300 456 4800.

  • 02nd September 2016

    Could the Paralympics inspire you to adopt?

    WITH the Paralympics beginning on 7th September, Reading based adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is raising awareness of the children with a disability waiting to be adopted.PACT provides outstanding adoption (Ofsted 2014) services to local families along with award-winning therapeutic support and also runs community projects for vulnerable women in Reading and children affected by domestic abuse in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.PACT specialises in finding families for ‘harder to place’ children who wait longer to be adopted, these children can be aged five and over, part of a sibling group, of BME heritage or have additional needs or disabilities. At the last count, more than 70% of the children waiting to be adopted in England were classed as ‘harder to place’. †PACT CEO Jan Fishwick said: “PACT has helped a number of families adopt children with physical, genetic or learning impairments including Downs Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and would like to find more loving homes for disabled children – who often wait the longest.”PACT adopter Joanne* has adopted three children who all have additional needs. She said: “It is a misconception that these kids are challenging. It’s different, they need you so much more than an ordinary child and the opportunity to bond is readily available.”Iraqi-born Ahmed Kelly was adopted aged seven by an Australian woman after being born with severely deformed limbs and abandoned on the doorstep of a Baghdad orphanage as a baby. After a top four finish at London 2012, Kelly will compete for Australia in the Rio 2016 Paralympic swimming events and is currently ranked first in Australia in the 100m breaststroke.To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org or call 0300 456 4800. † Statistics from: http://corambaaf.org.uk/res/statengland*Joanne’s name has been changed to protect her identity. A case study for her is available on request.

  • 23rd August 2016

    Office move completed at PACT

    PACT has recently had an office move and redesign at its headquarters in Reading. Previously occupying three premises on South Street in Reading, PACT has now condensed down to two.The whole team at PACT helped to make this major undertaking a great success. The result is a bespoke boardroom/training room, reception and meeting office suite on the ground floor at its headquarters at 7 South Street.The remaining office space at 7 South Street has been opened up to allow open-plan working for the Adoption Team; and the Facilities and HR teams have merged.PACT’s two community projects (Bounce Back for Kids and Alana House) have been brought together on the middle floor of women’s community project, Alana House at 2 South Street and the Crèche facilities have had a makeover. PACTs award-winning adoption therapeutic support service FACTS now has its own office in Alana House; and the Finance and Fundraising and Marketing teams now occupy the top floor of this building.The majority of the works were carried out by Woodley based Active FM under the supervision of PACT’s Clerk of Works Debbie Hardy and Volunteer Project Manager Phil Lewis. PACT’s existing suppliers Nouveau and Tops Security played their part in getting everything up and running, on time and with a minimum of complications.Future works involve increased soundproofing and finishing the redecoration of the Crèche by volunteers from SSE who approached PACT to offer their time and enthusiasm to help.An official opening ceremony took place on 23rd August 2016 with the “ribbon” being cut by PACT’s CEO Jan Fishwick.  In attendance was Active FM Director Phil Tarsey and volunteer Phil Lewis.PACT’s CEO Jan Fishwick said: “This has been a great success for PACT. It was particularly apt that we had a volunteer project manager, given how well our volunteering scheme is doing. The new facilities will enable us to continue to build and strengthen families through adoption, therapeutic support and community projects.”To find out more about PACT visit: www.pactcharity.org.

  • 09th August 2016

    PACT seeking new corporate partner

    PACT is on the lookout for a local company to embark on a ‘Charity of the Year’ partnership with.PACT provides outstanding adoption (Ofsted 2014) services to local families along with award-winning therapeutic support and also runs community projects for vulnerable women in Reading and children affected by domestic abuse in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.Corporate partnerships offer companies the chance to boost their local media presence, increase employee morale and meet corporate social responsibility targets whilst fundraising for a local good cause.PACT has had previous partnerships with Reading Buses and legal firm Grant Thornton each raising close to £7000. James Freeman, Chief Executive at Reading Buses said: “PACT helped raise our profile as a local operator trying to do some good in the local area and lending a much needed legitimacy to our charity work.“Overall we were thrilled with our partnership and would have no hesitation in recommending PACT to be a favoured or chosen charity for any organisation. They really are tireless in wanting to get their message across and will be a fantastic asset and partner.”Tash Pettiford-White, Executive Assistant at Grant Thornton said: “We really enjoyed our partnership with PACT.  It was definitely a two-way thing. They supported us with lots of ideas and encouragement and made it easy for us to come up with ways to fundraise.”Chief Executive at PACT Jan Fishwick said: “PACT is very proud of its history of successful partnerships offering valuable business benefits to local companies.“PACT will provide a dedicated Fundraising Manager who knows that fundraising initiatives must be creative, not too time consuming for staff, and will provide relevant fundraising materials.”To find out more about charity partnerships with PACT please get in touch with Fundraising Manager, Laura Davison by emailing laura.davison@pactcharity.org calling 0118 402 1696.

  • 25th July 2016

    Gala evening in aid of PACT

    PACT is holding a fundraising Gala Evening at the Oxford Playhouse’ performance of Relatively Speaking on Friday 16th September.Supported by the Oxford Diocese, PACT is an independent adoption agency and also runs a women’s community project and Bounce Back 4 Kids (BB4K) which helps families in Oxfordshire affected by domestic abuse. All funds raised at this event will go to Bounce Back 4 Kids.The production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking stars Robert Powell and Lisa Goddard. The play was Ayckbourn’s first great West End success and set him on course to become a household name.The Gala Evening begins at 7pm with a private supper reception, drinks and a silent auction. During the interval there will be coffee and delicious mini desserts. There is an optional opportunity for after show drinks with members of the cast. Tickets start from £70.The BB4K programme consists of a 10 week children’s course and parent’s course which run simultaneously. The course uses therapeutic techniques to help them come to terms with experiencing family breakdowns.One family helped by BB4K following domestic abuse is Mandy* and her three sons. She said: “BB4K was a good experience, a really good experience for all of us.“I have definitely seen an improvement down to BB4K. The boys behaviour has improved, their emotional levels are down. At home the boys have learnt tools for if they feel anxious; they take themselves off and breathe. We have more understanding of each other.”PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “This is set to be a wonderful evening in aid of an excellent cause.“BB4K groups are very much in demand in Oxfordshire and we are committed to helping as many children as we can. If you are interested in seeing the play please do come along and support a local charity.”To find out more and book tickets click here.Picture courtesy:  www.oxfordplayhouse.com

  • 20th July 2016

    New animated film for prospective adopters

    PACT has teamed up with other the other independent adoption agencies in England to produce an animated film for those considering adoption.The film, which can be seen here, helps those considering adoption know what to expect and makes suggestions on how best to prepare themselves for the journey.The film is being launched this week to recognise that there are just three months to go until National Adoption Week which takes place from 17th- 23rd October with a theme embodied by the hashtag #SupportAdoption.In September 2015 there were 2,060 children waiting in the care system to be adopted and PACT is recruiting adopters for those that wait the longest. These ‘priority children’ can be aged four or over, be part of a sibling group that need to stay together, have additional needs or uncertainty or be of BME heritage.Chief Executive at PACT Jan Fishwick said: “This new animated film is a great starting point for those considering adoption, the information is very useful and easy to digest.“PACT is committed to finding the right families for the ‘priority children’ waiting. If you live within 50 miles of our Reading, Brighton or London offices and have thought about adoption I would urge you to contact PACT. Our friendly and skilled team is rated outstanding by Ofsted and PACT adopters can access our award-winning FACTS therapeutic support service. We take pride in supporting our adoptive families for life.”PACT runs regular information events across its offices:- Wednesday 3rd August 6.30pm – 8.30pm (Brighton)- Tuesday 9th August 6.30pm – 8.30pm (Reading)- Saturday 20th August 10.00am – 11.30am (London)- Friday 2nd September 10.00am – 2.00pm (Brighton drop in session)- Tuesday 13th September 6.30pm – 8.30pm (Reading)- Thursday 22nd September 6.30pm – 8.30pm (London)- Wednesday 5th October 6.30pm – 8.30pm (Brighton)- Thursday 20th October 6.30pm – 8.30pm (London)To find out more about adopting with PACT, download an information pack or book on to an information event, click here or call 0300 456 4800.

  • 15th June 2016

    PACT celebrates 66 new dads this Father’s Day

    FATHER’S Day on 19th June will be extra special for 66 new dads across Berkshire, London and the South who have had their adoptive children placed with them through PACT in the last year.PACT is an independent adoption agency rated Outstanding by Ofsted and is committed to supporting its families for life with an award-winning therapeutic support service.There were 79 children placed with the 66 new dads, many of them adopting a sibling group and helping brothers and sisters in care to stay together. PACT urgently needs more families who can consider adopting a sibling group of up to three children.One new PACT dad, Harry, said: “For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a father. I'd thought about the birth, first day of school, father of the bride - things like that - but never first Father’s Day in particular.  Now, that has all changed due to our amazing three children and it is something I have thought about over the past couple of weeks. I have learnt every moment is time we will never have again and to make the most of them all, and my first Father’s Day will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life.“To adopt a sibling group of three has been the toughest and single most rewarding thing my wife and I have done. Our children have been kept together which in turn has helped with their transition to our family whilst also helping to keep their identity. Seeing their smiling, excited faces when I come home from work or get off early and pick them up from school is more than I had ever dreamed of.”Chief Executive at PACT Jan Fishwick said: “Congratulations to every one of our 66 new dads, who are making a real difference in these children’s lives.“We welcome heterosexual couples, single men and women and same sex couples to approach us about adoption. We particularly need adopters with the time and space to adopt a sibling group or who could adopt a child of black or minority ethnic heritage.“If you are thinking about adoption I would really encourage you to download our information pack, or call us and speak to our friendly enquiries team who will be able to answer any questions you might have and book you onto an information event.”To find out more about adopting with PACT, click here or call 0300 456 4800.

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