Recent News

  • 19th April 2018

    PACT adopters encouraged to take part in new exhibition about adoption

    Parents And Children Together (PACT) is taking part in an exciting new exhibition as part of a project called: The Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP).This initiative aims to celebrate the ripples that ordinary people leave behind, using everyday objects and collections to tell social narratives and write hidden histories and experience into the history books.During the first pop-up museum this May, as part of Brighton's Fringe festival, PACT and MOOP are collaborating to create an exhibition that tells the story of adoption. This will use everyday objects that were significant to families during the adoption process to help share the candid journey of adoption.Artist Lucy Malone, who is also a PACT volunteer, will be curating the exhibition.She said: "We are asking children, parents and social workers to loan an object that was important to them during their adoptive journey. We would like these objects to tell all sides of the story, to be a candid representation of the adoption journey and show both positive and negative experiences, and happy and sad memories."We will take complete care of these objects and return them to you after the exhibition." Objects could include:The first outfit you bought your childThe teddy bear they couldn't live without when they arrivedA picture they drew of your familyThe hairbrush they first let you brush their hair withLucy added that objects cannot be photographs or anything else that is identifiable although she is able to conceal names and addresses on letters or documents.The process is completely confidential and Lucy is DBS checked.PACT adopters who would like to take part are asked to either:Send your objects in (with some brief text about the object and why it was/is significant) to PACT's Brighton office at Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XGTake them into a PACT office in either Reading, Brighton or London (see our Contact Us page for details of addresses)Pass them onto your PACT Social WorkerThe deadline for objects to be submitted is Tuesday 15th May.Lucy added: "If you or your child have anything you would like to submit we would love to hear from you, please do get in touch if you would like to take part or if you have any questions."Lucy can be contacted at lucy.malone@pactcharity.orgParents and children will be very welcome to attend the exhibition, which will be on at The Spire in East Brighton from Tuesday 29th May to Sunday 3rd June. For more information see www.museumofordinarypeople.com

  • 19th April 2018

    Award-winning programme for women hosts round table discussion for leaders in criminal justice sector

    LEADING figures from the criminal justice sector have come together to discuss innovative new approaches to policing as part of celebrations to mark an award won by a Reading-based community programme.A round table discussion on the theme of Partnerships and Trauma-Informed Practice was jointly hosted by Alana House, Reading, and the Howard League for Penal Reform yesterday (Tuesday 17th April). The discussion was chaired by Graham Barker, High Sheriff of Berkshire 2018/19 and among the attendees were Reading Police Area Commander Supt Stan Gilmour, Chief Executive of Berkshire Community Foundation Gerry Lejeune OBE and representatives from business, statutory, criminal justice, charity, health and social care sectors. The event highlighted the benefits of using a trauma-informed approach to tackle penal reform, the current local issues, identified gaps in services available, and encouraged participants to suggest solutions, explore ways of working together and to pledge to take ownership and action. It was followed by a party at Alana House to mark the project's eighth birthday and to celebrate the Howard League award won by the Alana House-based Enrich Programme. The Enrich Programme was developed in response to partners identifying a need to work together to better support women who have reached crisis point, often experiencing domestic abuse, poor mental health, substance misuse, poverty, unemployment and isolation.The Enrich programme partners Alana House (PACT), Thames Valley Police, IRIS and Reading Borough Council aimed to: Help women develop resilience, life skills, self-esteem and confidence Reduce criminal behaviour by encouraging women to make better informed decisions Reduce vulnerability, and reduce the costs to statutory services (police, ambulance and A&E). In its pilot phase, all the women attending the Enrich Programme reported increased self-esteem and confidence and 100% saw a reduction in calls on police time. Alana House is run by family support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) and was established in 2010 to provide holistic support vulnerable and distressed women including those at the edge of the criminal justice system. The Howard League for Penal Reform hosts annual awards to celebrate best practice in diversionary work and champion work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better. The Howard League believes that projects which help to keep people out of the criminal justice system, by providing alternative, effective and targeted interventions will reduce the risk of re-offending.Speaking after the event, Supt Stan Gilmore said:"The idea of the event was to celebrate the award but also to move forward and keep developing this way of working that we piloted so successfully. "There was lots of interest and energy from the people in the room and it is vitally important that we continue to work together in partnership as this needs to be extended to other geographies." Graham Barker said: "This is a significant award and I am so pleased that the Howard League, one of the oldest penal reform organisations in the world, has recognised the value of this project in Reading and how it represents a model for all sorts of projects." PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "It was an honour to partner with the Howard League to host this special event as part of the celebrations for the award won by the Enrich Programme. "At Alana House, our aim is to give women opportunities to make courageous and positive changes that benefit not only their lives and the lives of their families but also the wider community. At this round table event we have been able to share the successes and learnings from our Enrich Programme with influential figures from the sector." Howard League Chief Executive Frances Crook said: "I am so pleased to be a part of the celebrations. This project represents women working together, supporting each other and achieving wonderful things. It is a fantastic way of working and I will be doing my best to share this widely."

  • 05th April 2018

    Marathon challenge for Team PACT

    SIX runners are limbering up to run the London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April on behalf of adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT).PACT's team of runners comprises:Beckie, 43, from Reading - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BeckieTollerveyCarl, 27, from Witney, Oxfordshire - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CarlBoltonClarabella, 35, from North Wales - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ClarabellaGrayJason, 44, from Wokingham, Berkshire - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JasonLawMatthew, 32, from Woodley, Reading - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MatthewDurman2Wendy, 50, from Sunningdale, Berkshire - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WendyFaughnanMore details about each runner can be found at http://pactcharity.org/team-pactEach runner is aiming to raise £1,500 for the charity, which supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "We are so grateful to all six runners who have been working really hard, not only to train for the race, but also to raise funds for our work. Their efforts will make such a difference to the families and children we work with. I would like to thank them all and wish them lots of luck for the big day!" PACT is one of the UK's leading independent adoption agencies, and last year placed 82 children with 57 families. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting children over four years old, sibling groups of two or more children, children with a black or minority ethnic background and children who may have additional needs. For information about PACT and its adoption services, please visit www.pactcharity.org, call 0300 456 4800 or email enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 05th April 2018

    PACT holds special event for prospective adopters

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is holding a special event in Reading for anyone interested in finding out more about adoption.The agency is inviting anyone considering adoption to come along to the event on Saturday 21st April at which a panel of PACT adopters will be sharing their adoption stories and answering questions about their experiences of adoption.There will also be opportunities for people to talk individually with experienced adopters and PACT social workers as well as to meet other prospective adopters over refreshments.PACT supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects. Last year PACT placed 82 children with 57 families through its adoption services. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.PACT is particularly looking for couples or single people, including those from the LGBT community, who can consider adopting children over four years old, sibling groups of two or more children, children with a black or minority ethnic background and children who may have additional needs. One of the adopters taking part in the panel said: "PACT have made our dream come true by making us a family, something we thought would never happen. Adoption is a fantastic way to become a family and our journey has been nothing short of fantastic - we are so happy to be able to support PACT in recruiting new families."PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE added: “This event is an ideal opportunity for anyone considering adoption to find out what this is really like from people who have already done this. You can also ask any questions you may have and chat informally to our staff and adopters, as well as meet other prospective adopters.“If you are at all interested in starting or extending your family through adoption please do come along to help find out if this is right for you, and if so how we can help you to do this.”The event will be held at PACT’s office on South Street, Reading from 10am until midday. It will start with a brief presentation about the adoption process followed by the question and answer session with the panel of adopters. It is free to attend, but people will need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 16th March 2018

    PACT supports Big Adoption Day 2018

    ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is supporting a national day of action to raise awareness of adoption and the need for more adopters.PACT, which last year placed 82 children with 56 families through its adoption services, is joining with adoption agencies across the country to mark this year's Big Adoption Day on Wednesday 21st March.Now in its third year, Big Adoption Day aims to promote the need for more people to come forward and provide a forever home to a child in care. There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.The latest figures show that in the South East, 61 per cent of children waiting to be adopted are in a sibling group.As part of its support for Big Adoption Day, PACT is holding an information event in London on Thursday 22nd March for anyone interested in finding out more about adoption. The event will include an introduction to adoption from a PACT social worker and a talk from a PACT adopter.PACT is one of the leading adoption charities in the country and specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family. These include children over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of BME heritage or with additional needs.PACT adopters can be couples or single people, of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.Eddie, and his partner Jody, are adopting two brothers through PACT. The two boys, both under two years old, were placed with them last year.Eddie said: "The transformation in our boys is just phenomenal. They have just thrived from feeling loved and secure in our lives and our home. It's changed our lives completely too - really given us a new sense of meaning and purpose. We both just want to be the best parents we can possibly be."Eddie, who shares his experiences of adoption by speaking at PACT information events for prospective adopters, said his best advice to anyone considering adoption was to have belief that they had something to offer as a parent.He added: "The other thing I'd say is to take a leap of faith. I understand that people are tentative and nervous about starting the process of adoption, and it's actually not a bad thing to feel that, but you'll never know for sure if it's right for you unless you take that leap of faith and go for it."Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Big Adoption Day again this year and to be helping to raise awareness of the critical need for more people to consider adoption. I would urge anyone who thinks they can provide a loving, secure home to a child or children who need it, to please get in touch with us to find out more."PACT's Big Adoption Day information event on Thursday 22nd March is being held in Pimlico at 6.30pm. Please book your place to attend by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org

  • 08th March 2018

    Happy Mother’s Day from PACT

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mums who are celebrating this special day after adopting children through the charity.The adoption charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through outstanding adoption services, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, would particularly like to thank the 50 new mums who adopted children with PACT last year.One of the leading adoption charities in the country, PACT specialises in finding secure and loving homes for those priority children who can be harder to place and can face the longest wait for their forever family. These include children over four years old, in sibling groups of two or three, of BME heritage or with additional needs.There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England. Karen and Charmaine, who adopted their youngest daughter through PACT, said adoption had transformed their lives.Charmaine said: "Before adopting my little girl, I never believed I would feel like a mum, despite how much I wanted to be one. From the moment Jessica arrived, I now can't remember not being her mum. I feel blown away every time I hear the word. I can't hear it enough!"Karen added: "Mother's Day for me is a day to reflect and say "we did it!" We have formed our own, perfectly unique family and have a huge amount of love for each other."Liz and her husband adopted two girls through PACT. She said it was an "honour and a privilege" to become their mum.She said: "I will never forget the first day of introductions when we walked into our girls former foster carers' house to be greeted by one of the girls putting her arms out to me and saying, "You are my new mummy!" From that moment on I have never looked back. Every single day is an absolute honour and a privilege to be our children's Mummy.Jan Fishwick OBE, Chief Executive of PACT, said: "This Mother's Day I would like to thank all the amazing women who have adopted children with PACT over the years, particularly those who may be celebrating this special day as a mum for the first time."I would also like to renew our plea for anyone who is thinking about adoption as a way of starting or extending their family to get in touch. There are so many children in need of a loving mum and we would really like to hear from anyone who thinks they might be able to help."To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org or call 0300 456 4800.

  • 22nd February 2018

    PACT celebrates LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week with a special event in Brighton

    PARENTS And Children Together (PACT) is holding a special event in Brighton for anyone interested in finding out more about LGBT adoption. The event, on Saturday 10th March, which will feature a question and answer session with a panel of PACT LGBT adopters, is being held to help mark national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from 5th-11th March. PACT, which supports families across the south east through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, actively recruits LGBT adopters and 35 per cent of people who adopted with PACT in 2017 were from the LGBT community. The agency's Brighton office, which specialises in LGBT adoption but also welcomes heterosexual adopters, is organising the event for people who are considering adoption or who are in the process of adopting. The panel of adopters will share their adoption stories and answer questions about their experiences of adoption. There will also be opportunities for people to talk individually with experienced adopters and PACT social workers as well as to meet other prospective adopters over refreshments. Mark and Laurence, who adopted a sister and brother through PACT in 2016, are among the adopters taking part in the panel. The couple said: "This event is a great opportunity for anyone considering adoption to find out what it's really like from people like us who have been through it and now have two amazing children and a fantastic family life as a result. "We're really looking forward to sharing our story and answering any questions that people might have, in the hope this can inspire more people to take the first step towards starting or extending a family through adoption. "We couldn't imagine our lives without children now and it all started with an initial enquiry with PACT. This has been an amazing journey for us and if it is something that you are considering, when the time is right for you, PACT will be there to hold your hand throughout every stage." PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "One of the best ways for anyone thinking about adoption to find out more is to talk with people who have already adopted. This event offers an ideal chance for people to speak to and ask questions of some of our inspirational families and our expert staff. "We are extremely proud to be supporting national LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week again, and we look forward to working with many more wonderful LGBT adopters this year." LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers. PACT adopters are entitled to become New Family Social members for life free of charge. PACT's event will be held at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton from 2pm until 4.30pm on Saturday 10th March and light refreshments will be served. To find out more see http://pactcharity.org/news-events/events-and-campaigns/lgbt-qa. It is free to attend the event but you do need to book a place by calling 0300 456 4800 or emailing enquiries@pactcharity.org More information about adopting with PACT can be found at www.pactcharity.org and for more details about LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week see www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk

  • 08th February 2018

    PACT’s Alana House receives donation from Reading Councillors

    ALANA House has received a £265 donation from Labour Councillors at Reading Borough Council towards its work supporting vulnerable women.Alana House is a community project run by Parents And Children Together (PACT) which aims to empower women to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their opportunities. In 2017, 196 women accessed Alana House in Reading and its satellite service in West Berkshire for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support. Last November Alana House received a prestigious national Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award for its work reducing crime and transforming women's lives for the better through its innovative partnership Enrich Programme. This initiative is run in partnership with Thames Valley Police, IRiS and Reading Borough Council's Troubled Families service and works with a small cohort of female low-level offenders who want to make positive changes in their lives, access support in their communities and reduce their call upon the police and other emergency services. PACT's Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE thanked the councillors for their donation. She said: "Alana House is entirely funded through grants and voluntary income so we are always very grateful for donations such as this to help support this important service." Natausha van Vliet, Director of Business Development at PACT, added: "Alana House offers a safe and non-judgmental space where women who find themselves at a disadvantage can access the help and support they need to turn their lives around. Any financial support for us to continue this vital service is always incredibly appreciated." Cllr Deborah Edwards, who organised the collection of personal donations from Labour Councillors, said: "The work that PACT does with some of the most vulnerable women, through Alana House, is vital and nationally acclaimed. It is a pleasure to raise funds to help fund this work and support the women and their families." Find out more about Alana House by visiting www.alanahouse.org 

  • 23rd January 2018

    Can you make a Pact for PACT?

    Adoption charity Parents And Children Together is appealing for people to take on a charity challenge in 2018 in support of its work.The charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, would love to hear from anyone who can make a Pact for PACT and raise funds for its work helping vulnerable children and families.People can choose from a range of ways to support PACT, from signing up to do a sponsored walk, run or bike ride to holding a cake sale, raffle or quiz.All money raised will help support the charity’s community projects and post-adoption therapeutic services for families across the Thames Valley.One man who has already pledged to make a Pact for PACT this year is Andrew McAlley who is running the Brighton Marathon in April on behalf of the charity. Andrew, who was inspired to run for PACT by his fiancée who works in the adoption sector, is busy training and fundraising for the event.He said: "I've never run a marathon before, in fact I've never participated in any running events before, but I'm hell-bent on running every single one of the 26.2 miles on the 15th April."Since last August I've been training regularly, pounding the tarmac in all kinds of weather, trying my best to prepare myself for this. It's taken up a great deal of my free time, and I can't say I always enjoy it; there are days when the rain, wind and hail make training a miserable experience but I'm committed to helping raise money for PACT and proving to myself that I can do this!"You can support Andrew at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewMcAlley PACT also has a team of five runners who will be taking part in the London Marathon on 22nd April. PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick OBE said: "We are always delighted to hear from anyone who would like to support our work in whatever way they can. Any donations are gratefully received and make such a difference by enabling us to reach out to more families who need support." PACT Fundraising Manager Lina Artunduaga added: "There are many different ways in which you can support PACT and whatever you choose to do we can offer help, advice and ideas as well as materials and publicity. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved by making a Pact for PACT." You can also support PACTs work by becoming a Friend of PACT and making a regular contribution to the charity or by following @PACTcharity on Facebook or Twitter to help raise awareness of its work.To find out more, or to download a PACT Guide to Fundraising, see www.pactcharity.org/support-us or contact our fundraising team at fundraising@pactcharity.org or on 0118 402 1696.

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