I am very excited to share some news about a project that’s been in the works for some time: today I received a certificate of incorporation for Cheshire Parenting Collective CIC, a new not-for-profit social enterprise.
A community interest company is a regulated type of limited company, whose activities are deemed to benefit the community. Cheshire Parenting Collective CIC will support families in Cheshire with children 0-3, providing support and information around pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and toddlerhood.
What does this mean for me?
In the short term, the sling meet and sling library functions of Peekaboo Slings will begin transferring to Cheshire Parenting Collective CIC. Our team of dedicated volunteers will continue to provide support and information for parents and carers and families using these services will probably not notice any difference.
In the longer term, our scope will widen to provide support on more areas of parenting life. We will be talking with with local organisations and local communities to find out how we can work together to support parents where they really need it.
You can find out more about our short-term goals below.
Who is involved in the new CIC?
The directors of Cheshire Parenting Collective are me (Ellie Thouret), Gemma Jones and Alex Smith. Gemma and Alex have volunteered alongside me at sling meets over the past year and they are both as passionate as I am about providing good quality support to parents in Stockport and Cheshire.
We will be supported by an amazing team of volunteers, including Donna Hawkyard who will be taking on a lot of the library organisation. You may have met our trained peer supporters at sling meets in Stockport and East Cheshire, and we are welcoming new team members to focus on fundraising and community outreach.
If you’d like to join our team of volunteers, please get in touch! We aim to help parents to develop their skills and experience while raising young families.
What are our goals?
We have many goals – many more goals than time! We are all raising young families and some of us work other jobs as well as running Cheshire Parenting Collective. However, we have identified several short-term goals:
1. Fundraise to establish the CIC sling library
We estimate that we need to raise more than £1K to gradually establish the sling library under Cheshire Parenting Collective. This is really important to us, because the hire fees from the library will be put directly back into growing our CIC. We will be announcing some initial fundraising efforts in the next few days – in the meantime, if you would like a donation, please contact us.
2. Apply for grants to develop community outreach projects
There are a few key areas that we would like to focus on, alongside our regular sling meets and library services. You may know that we operate a hardship fund, and we would like to grow this to provide support to very low-income families in our area.
3. Connect with individuals and organisations to identify joint working opportunities
You may have seen that we are embarking on a healthcare professional outreach project. We would also like to connect with local charity and community organisations, CICs/individuals working with families locally, and public sector teams so that we can work together to reach and support more families.
4. Speak with local parents to find out where support is needed
We would love to learn about the support for families you think is lacking in our area. You can connect with us in person at our sling meets and events, or online via Facebook or email. Your feedback will influence and shape our services and growth.
What about the longer term?
Our main priority is to grow sustainably. It is important to us that the support provided by Cheshire Parenting Collective CIC is not contingent on one person or one source of funding. We want to grow and expand our support services in the long-term and make a real impact on our local communities.
We also need to work to establish foundations and infrastructure that support our vision of sustainable growth, and this will take time. We look forward to sharing our journey with you, and we cannot wait to begin this next chapter!