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Parents build strong network

Published on:

08 May 2016

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Parent Engagement Panel poised to become a charity

Started by Enfield Council with two parents six years ago, Enfield’s Parent Engagement Panel (PEP) now has 300 members and is preparing to become a fully-fledged charity.

Its swift success means that it has been able to register as a company with Companies House and it has appointed a Board of Trustees as well as submitting registration documents to the Charities Commission.

Chair of Trustees, Norma Leon said: “As a charity we will be able to raise funds, promote our work more widely across the borough and offer more training to parents.

“PEP members already advise and direct parents to local services. Through professional training they learn how to support and represent their community. With charitable status we can plan and do so much more – and members of our network are very determined.”

The PEP is a growing and strong independent network whose members are keen to improve the life chances for children in the borough.

PEP meetings take place every six months to increase the scope of its work such as the Family and Adolescent Support Hub that supports the parents of teenagers and the Antenatal Project providing advice and information to prospective parents.

Eighty trained parent champions are spreading the word about the PEP and its work. They visit schools, give talks to young people, meet teachers and develop their own learning seeking opportunities to build their knowledge.

Because they understand parents the PEP welcomes new members introducing them to their own local network at area meetings, events and training sessions.

Enfield’s departing mayor, Cllr Patricia Ekechi, recently invited 30 members of the PEP to a reception at Enfield Civic Centre to celebrate their work and their plans for charity status.

She said: “As a PEP member myself I am so proud to be involved. The PEP was originally developed by Enfield Council as a self- help group of volunteers keen to be trained in order to support other parents and their children. It has grown into a magnificent organisation where parents are seizing the opportunities that it offers.”

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services & Protection, said: “The PEP fulfils our aim to build strong communities and is a great example of what can be achieved by volunteers.

“It educates, builds confidence and gives local communities the tools to help themselves. It is truly giving parents the opportunities to help all our children.
As a new charity I wish it every success.”

Parents who would like to find out becoming a PEP member please
email: pep@enfield.gov.uk

• In 2015 the Enfield PEP won a Local Government Chronicle Award for Involving Residents

• Enfield Council has supported the PEP with an annual grant to help it become independent and to develop charitable status.

• To find out about volunteering in Enfield visit: www.enfield.gov.uk