Holistic support for women and families in Newham, leading to transformation and hope.
At Alternatives we want to make Forrest House into a home, to provide space for families to live and breath, to cook and eat together. We know how important space has been over this year when it has been taken away from us, many never had it in the first place. Please watch out fundraising video and consider helping us tern Forrest House into a Home this year.Click Here to view our Fundraising Video
We want to raise £90,000, we know this is a big target and it will take us time. Please share our campaign with others and consider fundraising within your community groups, schools, churches or wherever else you are part of community.
Along with the whole world we at Alternatives have had a difficult 18 months, not only internally due to the pressures the pandemic has put on the working and personal lives of our staff and the leadership change that saw us transition from Simone to myself but additionally to this, we work with some of the most vulnerable members of our community, at most risk.
There are many things we have learned over this past year but one of the most important was how invaluable a welcoming home environment is to the families we support. With lockdown we have all felt trapped in our homes, our homes have felt smaller and more oppressive than every before. We also know that we are the lucky ones, how much worse for our clients living in inhospitable shared accommodation, hostels and B&Bs. Newham is overcrowded at the best of times but for the homeless families that use our service it is taken to another level.
Alternatives Trust East London is a small charity that empowers vulnerable families in the London Borough of Newham to transform their lives. A small dedicated team gives long-term, intensive support to over 100 women and their children each year through the We Are Family (WAF) programme. This is centred on a weekly therapeutic group which offers early intervention through parenting and life skills to 25-30 families each week. Alternatives offers advocacy to address the causes of poverty, practical help like food and baby equipment, one-to-one parenting support and counselling. Social enterprises run by mums, increase employability and help women move on. We believe anyone can be a good parent given the right support, and we aim to provide that support. Alternatives also delivers relationships and sex education to young people in schools and youth settings, provides pregnancy choices advice and support, and support following baby loss.Why the community needs us
Alternatives enables fragile families to build firm foundations, giving some of the most vulnerable children in Newham greater stability, love and a positive start in life. Around 80% of new clients are homeless, 80% have no recourse to public funds, and 90% have a background of domestic violence, trafficking or abuse. Our intervention helps mums build self-esteem, helps children develop healthy attachment, and builds resilience in young people helping them break the cycle of violence and abuse.Our impact on the community
As a result of our work, women are more confident and capable parents; women have improved mental and physical health; families are less isolated, and women have increased employability. In the last 12 months 20 women started training, work or volunteering. Children are more secure, have their emotional needs met, and are supported to reach their potential. They are safe from harm and have positive relationships with their mother and other adults. Children have improved health and wellbeing.