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Tori and Emily; listening to Mum and Dad.

Working with people's families helps us understand what matters to them, and the way they want to live their life.

Nigel and Mandy Mullett are parents to Tori and Emily who are both supported by Avenues. When building a relationship with the family, Avenues learnt that as children the girls loved being outside and they really thrived on being part of the community; “At home the girls have always been out about every day, everybody knew the girls” says Mandy.

It was really important for Avenues to incorporate this into their new life. So when as staff member, a keen runner suggested the girls got involved in his local ‘parkrun’ event, it seemed like the perfect fit.

Mandy needs no convincing of the benefits of the event for the girls; “Being the cheerleading team just sums them up, you know encouraging other people… it’s also a planned activity so it’s great for the girls in terms of routine and structure”. “And they look forward to it” says husband Nigel.

The parents also praised support workers for their dedication to the girls and stressed the important of open and frequent communication “We just want to continue being part of their lives in whatever role we can…Everyone just has to honest with each other through the good things and bad things” says Mandy.

Open and honest communication is just one of the themes that has been discussed recently in the design of the new training programme ‘Working with Families’ that Avenues has been producing in partnership with the education organisation Skills for Care.  “We have developed a competency framework and a comprehensive training programme for providers to use.” Says Shane Carroll, Avenues’ Learning and Development Manager. It is hoped the training programme will be ready to use by the end of May and can be found on the Skills for Care website.