Don't just take our word for it....... here is what other people have said about us!
About the Princess Project
"The Princess Project is a wonderful organisation that really does make a difference to young mothers. As a mother, I know how important it is to be able to meet supportive people who can completely relate to your situation, and offer help and advice.
Whether it is simply meeting up for a chat, discussing and sharing real worries and anxieties, or learning new skills, The Princess Project is a rock of support for mothers throughout Maidstone."
Helen Grant, MP
About our Parenting Groups
"Makes you aware of things you do or don't do without realising. Other people have similar challenges, you are not alone. Lots of useful ideas."
"The main thing I have taken away is having the thought that I'm not the only one who struggles. And it's given me ideas on how to spend a bit more quality time with my children."
"It's given me confidence in myself."
"I've made new friends."
"I have learnt to make more of family traditions, and to be confident in my own parenting."
"It was good to hear that you can't be a perfect parent and that sometimes things do go wrong and you need to pick your battles."
"The most important thing I learnt was about how children see their parents as role models and how all children respond better to different things. I enjoyed finding out from other parents how they parent."
“As a school Family Liaison Officer I have access to many agencies who support the families within our school community. Over recent years it has been increasingly difficult to access parenting support without the families having a child with a diagnosis of ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).
The Princess Project were able to provide our school with a programme of support to enable our families to look at how they parent their children and recognise any areas that could be improved on. The project is run in a non-judgemental way and is conversation led by the parents but with the guidance of the Princess Project Volunteers.
Once the project was up and running in our school we found that word got out and other parents chose to join. The conversations are treated with confidentiality.
All of the families who attended the sessions have found this a positive experience and used the pointers given to adjust the way they parent.”
Sara Tozer, Family Liason Officer, Sandling Primary School
“The ladies from the Princess Project provided a friendly, supportive atmosphere for the parenting group and the mums who attended felt relaxed and comfortable to talk about their difficulties. Everyone was able to pick up useful tips to try at home and many of the mums shared how the subtle changes to their parenting style was having positive effects on their children’s behaviour.”
Corinne Laming, Family Liason Officer, Staplehurst Primary School
About the Mum2Mum Befriending Service
Charlie was referred to Mum2Mum in March 2014. She has been on a long and often difficult journey, and in April 2016 'graduated' from Mum2Mum having met with her befriender regularly for the maximum 2 years. We celebrated this achievement with a special teaparty, presented her with a certificate, and everyone (including Charlie's 3 lovely children) had the chance to say how proud they were of her, and why. We managed to make her cry (sorry Charlie!) and afterwards, she sent us these lovely words (which made us cry in turn!) We have her permission to share them here.
"I wanna say a massive thank you to everyone at the Princess Project for all the love help and support they have given me over the last 2 years, I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you, my story is like most people's I'm a single mum of 3 amazing children who had been through hell and back over the last few years before meeting PP, I had split with the children’s dad due to domestic violence and I’d never really dealt with it as I had my children to worry about, the older they got the harder it became, I was then introduced to the Princess Project at the worst time in my life I was having a nervous breakdown and my children had to go and stay with my mum, at first I was unsure about letting these strangers into my life when I was already so low and broken, would they judge me and think I’m a failure?? It took a while for me to let them in but I’m so glad I did, I have never once been judged or criticised by them, they have shown me a new type of love and support that you can’t always get from family or friends, they showed me that I wasn’t a bad mum or a failure but that all I needed was to believe in myself and after 9 weeks with the PP’s help my children finally came home but their support didn’t stop there, they have helped me grow from strength to strength and 2 years later I’m stronger than ever, I’m now a better person mother daughter granddaughter and friend and it’s all thanks to the Princess Project who have never given up on me and helped guide me, and although I have now completed the Mum2Mum I have made some amazing friends for life that will always be around to help me, and I’m proud to say that I’m a part of the Princess Project and they have played a massive part in my life and journey to the woman I am today, so please if anyone thinks they won’t help believe me they will, they are an amazing family and charity who help you to grow and thank you all again. Xx”
CEO Emma presenting
Charlie with her certificate
Charlie and Vicky, her befriender
More about Mum2Mum
"It has meant a lot to me being part of the Princess Project. It's been great knowing there's someone to talk to in times where I've felt most alone- the advice and support has been amazing, the project has truly helped me and it will always be appreciated."
“It’s good to have someone older to ask advice and get support from. It has given me more confidence especially with cooking for my daughter and the food I give her. It is good that my befriender was flexible to meet me at my house- because of my mental health needs I found it difficult at the time to leave the house. Hopefully the project will get bigger so that more women will have this help.”
“[My befriender] has been very supportive and has given me the confidence I needed to make some lifechanging decisions. I and my family have got a whole new life, and we are much happier.”
“Me and my befriender are getting on really well. I can talk to her about anything and it’s really good to have [her] to talk to. I like the places we meet as the children can play while we chat.”
“[My befriender] is able to give me advice and gets me out. Also it’s good to have someone different to talk to.”
“It has made a difference cause when money’s tight I can still come and get things I need on a tight budget.”
“I enjoy coming to talk to different people and my daughter enjoys coming to see and play with other children.”
“Totcycle has made a massive difference to my family. It has allowed my child to have toys and clothes we are unable to afford. I look forward to coming as we get new things and I get to have a cuppa and catch up with friends while my child plays with other children. This is a fantastic organisation and should be in every town.”
“I enjoy coming to Totcycle because it’s lovely to meet new people, have a nice cup of coffee and get a few bits for the baby. Emma and all the team do great jobs! Thank you!”
“Totcycle has made such a great impact on the residents of Park Wood, so helpful.”
“I enjoy coming as nice to socialise.”
“Great need for more events like this.”
About our Princess Baskets
“Such a blessing”
“A wonderful and practical gift to receive”
“An unexpected treat”
About our Partnership Working
"The Meadow is a round one children’s centre located in the centre of Parkwood as this is an area of great need. Our aim is to support local families through 1:1, outreach and community support work with the overarching goal of creating better outcomes for children. We have been working alongside the Princess Project for around a year now signposting parents to their tot cycle and befriending services. This has been a most valuable resource within the community where there is a high percentage of workless households and isolation. We have been looking at how we can develop our partnership working to reach more families, creating a greater awareness of both services within the community. The Princess Project are now giving out the centre timetables and registration cards which we hope will encourage more young families to come along to our play groups and access our support services. On behalf of the Princess Project the centre offer all mothers of new babies a welcome gift, which also included information about the project as well as a leaflet on parenting tips. The service also offers a parenting course which allows us to signpost families in need of low level support and opportunity for discussion with peers. Equally we share the information we have around upcoming parenting courses for those families who need a higher level of support. We plan to continue building this partnership as together we can make a bigger impact on our community and the families within it."
Sarah Benn, Early Help Family Practitioner , The Meadow Children’s Centre
"I have worked with the Princess Project since I began my post working with Early Help almost eighteen months ago. They were the first agency I was introduced to and I continue to be amazed at their hard work to improve the lives of families within our community.
The Princess Project not only cares for families but goes above and beyond what is expected and deliver support tailored specifically to residents. They use their knowledge of the community to develop events and groups that will
benefit the most vulnerable families and allow them access to a safe and friendly environment.
There is never a question of a job too big or small, no matter whether it is a single family or a targeted group such as young parents, The Princess Project are there to offer advice and information and have clear, positive outcomes. Working alongside them has allowed me to access families that I wouldn’t normally see but may be in need of further support and I am actively encouraged to inform those that attend any PP event to engage with Children’s Centre services. Having this type of successful multi agency relationship is very rare and is equally valued.
Not only do I have a constantly reliable contact in which I can turn to for help as a professional but I have a service in which I can signpost parents to who then receive genuine care, understanding and compassion."
Charlotte King, Early Help Worker, The Meadow Children's Centre
The Princess Project offers families a fantastic service from:-
A Totcycle where used clothes and resources are recycled in the community via a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in their coffee morning sessions.
We use the befriending service greatly and refer families who are experiencing difficulties with isolation/anxiety or may just need an extra pair of hands if there are mobility issues with multiple children.
Distribution of new parent baskets for those families who have just had a new baby, a little bounty pack of goodies are distributed to local families.
If we have families in crisis we are always an email away from a really helpful, caring and enthusiastic team, we also promote the parenting sessions that are run at Princess Project as well, these less formal and friendly and welcoming sessions attract families who may not have the confidence to come along to a children centre service.
I would heartily recommend the services of the Princess Project it is a fantastic service that has had a huge impact in relation to the above services.
Children Centre Delivery Manager- Maidstone
As a health visitor I would like to let you know what a valuable job the Princess Project has been doing for some of the families I have been working with in Maidstone.
For the past year and a half, I have been aware of your voluntary agency and have referred families to you for varying support.
A few of my mothers have been referred to the befriender service and have fed back to me that they felt that this had helped them to be more confident to go out and about, supported with parenting difficulties and generally it has been good to have a neutral person to talk to out of the family structure.
I have signposted families to the Hub that is held on Fridays where families can go and have a drink and let their children play in a safe environment for free whilst meeting other families and staff.
One of my mums had many toys and she donated these to the Project for other families and a collection was arranged.
There is a toy swap scheme which I promote to families as a good way of renewing toys for their children for free as they grow out of them and move on to their next development stages.
A homeless family were able to go along and get equipment, toys and clothes for their children which supported them when starting up a new home.
A young pregnant mum was able to go and get all the equipment she needed for her unborn.
I understand there is also a scheme which provides a pack of the necessities for young parents having a baby to start them off, I have not yet referred anyone for this but am aware of the option.
I believe that the Princess Project supports young families helping them to provide the best for the children and helping them to feel supported while doing this in a friendly manner.
Communication between myself and Emma at the Princess Project has always been good and I will continue to refer my families to the service.
Practice Teacher Health Visitor and Born to Move Champion,
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust,
Maidstone Health Visiting Team
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