The Flourish Group, led by our Parent and Families Worker, provides a comfortable space which is culturally sensitive to different needs, helping to break down barriers to participation. The programme mixes relaxation time for mothers/carers with parenting workshops around healthly living, development through play and others.
Most of the women who come to Dundee International Women’s Centre are isolated, have poor English skills and find it very hard to communicate with their children’s school or health professionals. After attending Flourish, and other groups at the Centre, they benefit from an extended social circle, more confidence in speaking English and are better informed about parenting and the expectations of modern Scottish society.
Women from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities often lack awareness of, or access to, appropriate services which could help them or they may see them as not appropriate to their particular needs or unsympathetic to their cultural and/or religious sensitivities. Our staff work in partnership with many different agencies and can help them to make 1:1 connections, as well as inviting professionals such as Dundee City Councils Parent Liaison Officer to speak to women in the groups.
Their children also benefit from spending time in our in-house creche. Many of the families with which we work see a negative connotation in using childcare outside the family as a reflection of the mother’s inability to cope. This can mean that the children have little interaction with other adults and children and find the transition to mainstream nursery much harder than it would be with better social and language skills.
Alisha came from India to Dundee with her husband and three children age under 5 in 2015. Alisha didn’t speak very good English and didn’t know anyone else in the city. She often felt very lonely and isolated. Her husband works long hours and she spends most of her days at home with her children. Alisha can’t drive and doesn’t feel confident using the bus.
Despite being a devoted and loving mother, Alisha often felt depressed and lonely which made taking care of her three children hard. She never had time for herself. When Alisha heard about Dundee International Women’s Centre, she started coming to English classes and from that she heard about Flourish.
Flourish makes it possible for Alisha to socialise and have some time away from her children and gives her peace of mind knowing that her children are looked after and are having a good time while she gets the opportunity to learn new skills and meet other mothers.
Alisha has learned all about positive parenting and play, healthy lifestyles and coping mechanisms.
“Each time I leave Flourish I feel more cheerful and feel happy being with my children, I spend quality time with them doing activities I learned through the workshops. My husband noticed the positive change and the difference it has made in our home life. Flourish has definitely had a positive impact in my mental wellbeing.”
Through Flourish, Alisha also learned about the different services throughout Dundee that will benefit her family, feeling positive about the local community is a key outcome for Flourish.