Today I met the team from Nest + Grow who were running the PACE Arts & Crafts Club for parents and children at Repton Connect.

What is the PACE Activity Club, you ask? Well, it's a brilliant initiative that aims to bring families together in a fun and active way through activity taster sessions and linking up with nearby hobby groups, clubs, sports, and local organisations. The idea is to help parents and children build their self-confidence and social connections, especially if they have faced any challenges or difficulties in their lives.

The PACE Activity Club is based on the concept of Parenting with PACE, which stands for Protective and Compensatory Experiences. This is a positive and forward-looking therapeutic approach that helps families adapt positively following any Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), such as trauma, abuse, neglect or loss. It also helps families recover from the effects of Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence (DADV), which can include physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse.

As you can imagine, this is a very important and timely project that can make a huge difference in the lives of many people in our community. That's why I was so happy to support it with £500 from my Ward Member Grant Fund. This fund allows me to allocate money to local projects that benefit our residents.

I was very impressed to hear how engaging the fully-booked session was. The atmosphere was lively and cheerful, with lots of laughter and smiles.

Adam Colthorpe, director of Nest + Grow CIC (who was covered in glitter and glue from the activity session) told me more about N+Gs vision of enabling local communities to adopt the sessions as their own using the template and support that his organisation provides. He said he wants to empower parents to take charge of their own wellbeing and happiness by creating positive experiences for themselves and their children.

I think this is a wonderful idea that deserves more recognition and support. If you are interested in finding out more or joining one of their sessions please visit their website

Cllr Matthew Forest meets the team from Nest + Grow CIC

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