A Success Story: CCP Bringing Families Together Lockdown has been immensely challenging, but despite these challenges, we have continued many of our services to ensure those who have needed us the most continue to be supported throughout the pandemic. This includes Family Services, which you may or may not know is also supported by the National Lottery Community Fund. Focusing on working with parents, children and families across Gloucestershire, our Family Services team provides the necessary advice and support to help families avoid breakdown. Ali Kettle, one of our Family Services Support Workers has had the chance to reflect on the families she has supported before and during the pandemic. One family Ali was working with were having a really tough time, before the lockdown even started. Their teenage daughter was struggling to manage her anxiety and stress, brought on largely by the pressures from school, homework, and her peers. This resulted in challenging behaviours at home. Her sleeping routine became disjointed, eating was becoming an area of contention, she refused to do schoolwork and chores, while distancing herself from peers. Consequently, the family suffered a communication problem between the teenage daughter and parents, with the younger sisters bearing the brunt of the older daughters' frustrations. Ironically, the lockdown gave the family an opportunity to pause, and change things for the better with Ali’s support. Ali has supported the family to improve the strained communication after a family break up during the lockdown period. The parents were advised to communicate their concerns to their daughter’s school, which consequently led the family to be referred to CCP by the school itself, enabling Family Services to support change for the better. For this family, the lockdown was a time to remove the external factors causing so much distress and focus on building a strong family unit. They learnt the value of spending positive time together, rebuilding relationships and enjoying each other's company. “Having a voice that is heard empowers both parties,” confirms Support Worker, Ali. “Being encouraged to spend quality one to one time is vital, often negative behaviours can occur because a child can be grasping for attention. Encouraging families to complete positive tasks together can highlight to the parent and child the importance of fun. Playing a game is sometimes the first step to rebuilding relationships and promoting confidence.” As time went on, the family gradually improved their communication styles and learned to work more effectively as a unit. Their daughter started helping with chores without being asked and wanting to play games together with the family. Following mediation between mother and daughter, they were both able to discuss their feelings and ways to move past animosity. As a result, the teenage daughter's confidence increased, which led her to getting along better with her sisters, as she no longer feels resentful towards them after spending quality time with her parents. Ali is proud of how the family tackled the issues and used a challenging time to grow closer: “I am so pleased to have played a part in supporting this family on their positive journey and look forward to seeing them grow even closer together in the future." The CCP team thrives on success stories like this, knowing that our hard work and commitment truly benefits families. We are grateful for our Support Workers for providing amazing support for our community. If you are interested in changing people’s lives for the better, you may be interested to know that we are currently recruiting for Support Workers. Find out more and apply online. To learn more about Family Services and how the team can help, please visit: Family Support | Caring for Communities and People (ccp.org.uk). If you are interested in supporting a better future for families like the one Ali has supported, you can do so via a one-off or regular donation via our website.