Family life a little prickly? How can Beacon Family Services help?

Charlotte JenkinsBeacon Community Services, Beacon Family Services, Family Relationships

Safe and Thriving: Workshops to support parenting in the wake of Covid


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We all know that the last two years has been an enormous strain for families and schools.  Children, as a result of Covid, have experienced disruption to schooling and the loss of loved ones whilst parents and teachers have faced increased stress and anxiety.  Every week parents and teachers tell us their worries about children who are more anxious and may be acting our or not attending school and struggling with building peer relationships.  They tell us there is a crisis in children’s mental health.

Throughout Beacon Family Services has worked to support parents and teachers by providing access to our Theraplay® services which use play to build and strengthen relationships.  These relationships are key to supporting children’s positive mental health helping children who are struggling to feel safe.   Parents using our service tell us they feel more confident.  We know that there are more parents who need urgent support: the NHS find 1 in 6 children have a probable mental health need; and the Children’s Commissioner that 50% of children are unable to access the help they need.

With thanks to the Peddimore Community Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund, we are able to extend our support to parents by launching a programme of free to access workshops. The workshops provide parents and professionals with access to our experienced therapists to improve their own and their children’s mental wellbeing and self-esteem and, in turn, reduce levels of stress.

The workshops last 90 minutes and are a one stop shop to provide you with a toolkit to meet your child’s needs.  They will support parents whose are concerned their child is:

  • struggling with relationships at home or school
  • behaving in a way that causes worry
  • needing support with additional social and communications needs due to ADHD or Autism.

Our practical and informative programmes, explore children, parent and carers’ feelings through play, and give practical guidance in how to respond to concerning behaviours at home.

All our session are promoted through our local Early Help Partnership which holds children and parents mental health and support as a priority.   Parents and the professionals supporting them can book the following dates as required:

  • Thursday May 12th, 1pm, virtual  Neurodiversity and Navigating the Unpredictable.

This session, led by Theraplay Practitioner Catherine Eveness, who is Autistic herself, will focus on the particular struggles that are experienced within a household living with Autism, ADHD and other specific conditions.  She will share ideas about:

  • Developing understandings of neurodiversity
  • Meltdowns following sensory burnout
  • Masking and stimming behaviours
  • Strategies for looking after yourself while navigating the unpredictable with a child
  • Friday May 27th, 11am, virtual Childhood Challenging, Violent and Aggressive Behaviour

This session, with Al Coates, MBE, will focus on his experiences as a foster carer, adoptive parent and social worker of responding when children are aggressive, challenging and violent.  Al is an advanced Non Violent Resistance Practitioner, a writer, blogger and podcaster and will share ideas about how we can talk about this and what can help families.

  • Thursday July 7th, 11am, face to face in Sutton Coldfield (Our Place Community Hub) Safe and Thriving Parent Workshop

We know that some groups of parents and carers want to talk about the particular issues that impact their families so we are also working closely with local schools and organisations supporting families they help such as Adoption UK, Kinship and Birmingham Ethnic Education & Advisory Service.

I’m a parent/carer, how do I book? 

If you are a parent and would like to book any of the  above workshops session  please email on:

I’m a professional, how do I book? 

If you are a professional and would like us to deliver a session for your school or organisation as part of your Early Help offer please get in touch with Pete Brindley at

To be kept informed of all the dates that will running over the next 6 months please sign up to our mailing list here BFS Safe and Thriving (Parent leaflet)

About the author: Pete Brindley, Safe and Thriving Lead at Beacon Family Services and Primary Specialist 

Pete has worked closely with teaching colleagues, outside agencies and, most importantly, the parents/carers of such vulnerable young people in order to help deal with some of the challenges met. Pete is also highly skilled in supporting and leading the development of emotional literacy and counselling with vulnerable, emotionally troubled or pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Pete has led many social skills groups and also worked more recently in supporting, engaging and challenging children and parents using Theraplay® principles. He has trained in Group Theraplay® (March 2020,) he is a trained Mental Health First Aider and has a current DBS.