“One mum who comes is just a couple of years older than me and didn’t know many of the other mums. A highlight for me was when she described how she feels accepted, comfortable and not judged – the reason why she stopped attending another mums and tots programme.”
Joanne (left in picture below) is a youth and community worker in Ballysally (a large council estate with a close knit community of residents) who has just finished an Innovista Tempo group in Coleraine. Tempo helps churches and young leaders reach their local community.
Joanne noticed that a lot of the mums with young children on the estate were a similar age to her, and a group the church was not engaging with. The mums spent most of their day at home looking after their children, with most of their interaction with other adults taking place on social media (apart from nights out at the weekends). Joanne wanted to create a space where children could make friends and be stimulated, and also where mums could come together, share experiences and build relationships with each other and with people from the church – creating a wider family.
After some more research into what other provision there was for young mums, Joanne laid out her vision for serving not just young mums but also their families and helping change the culture in the estate. The church leadership recognised the need and were quick to support her plans. Soon after, ‘Tots and Tea’ started on Wednesday mornings. She has enlisted a fantastic team of volunteers, mostly older women who love the opportunity to ‘mother’ and be grannies. Joanne is working hard at ensuring ‘Tots and Tea’ is organised sustainably.
“Through Tots & Tea we’ve to know lots of people from the estate we had no contact with before.
Over the next few years I’d like to see more families engaging and us providing more support, especially for first time mums – such as practical advice and sessions on post-natal depression and healthy eating (on a budget).
We need to continue to show the love of God in our relationships with the mothers and their children. We need continued prayer support for the volunteers that we might be an influence on this generation of mums and children for good and ultimately for God.”
From helping her identify a need in her community, Tempo equipped Joanne with the practical skills she needed and together we walked with her through the process of setting vision, goals, strategy and building team, giving feedback and providing encouragement.
Innovista runs Tempo groups in a number of locations and in partnership with local churches. to find out more click here.
We want to equip more young leaders like Joanne so that communities across Ireland experience hope and life. Giving regularly or a single gift can enable that to happen.