July’s Spotlight – Somali Parents Network
Who: Somali Parent Network
What: Supporting Somali families to access mainstream services through signposting, referring and working in partnership
Where: Royal Borough of Greenwich
Q. Tell us a bit about your organisation
Somali Parents Network was established to promote social inclusion and integration for the Somali community. We became a charity last year, with the support of GAVS. We aim to support families that require support in order to access mainstream services and provide a signposting, bridging and rapid response service for families in crisis.
Q. How did you start?
Our organisation started in 2002. We could see that there was a clear lack of educational achievement for Somali young people, as well as a lot of social issues for the Somali community as a whole, such as exclusion and worklessness. We could see that the main issues for our community were lack of engagement in decision making processes, the need to capacity build from within and under-representation at a strategic level.
Q. Biggest Highlight?
One of the biggest highlights was when the Family Support Service at Brookhill Childrens Centre was inspected by OFSTED last year and achieved Outstanding in many areas.
Also, In 2006/7, we ran a homework club for GCSE-aged pupils. Through this, many of them achieved results above the national average and this was reflected in the RBG league tables.
Q. Biggest Challenge?
One of the biggest problems we are facing in our community at the moment is hate crime. We invited Greenwich Inclusion Project (GrIP) to do a presentation at our AGM in June, to help raise awareness in our community of how to deal with hate crime.
Aside from this, identifying funding to allow us to sustain our organisation is always a challenge.
Q. Plans for the future?
Yes, lots. We are always looking to work in partnership with others across the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We want to continue to work with those in greatest need in our community.