NPI Update from Jane
Our outgoing Co-ordinator, Jane Auld, and our new Co-ordinator, Sharon Blair
This year we celebrate our tenth anniversary! The National Parenting Initiative was launched in January 2012 by senior church leaders and the then parenting providers with a website for the registration of parenting courses run by churches. I joined it as Co-ordinator in October 2012 and it became a charity in 2016. Now after over 9 years it is time for me to retire.
It has come a long way in the last 10 years from just being a website
where churches could register their courses to being a Christian signposting charity, with a vision to encourage churches to support parents in their community. We are passionate about seeing family life strengthened through the many parenting courses and resources available to churches to support and empower families.
It has been exciting being part of what God is doing in our nation. I think most of you will know that our vision is based on Malachi 4v6
WHY: “We believe that now is the time that God wants to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children (Malachi 4v6)”
HOW: “We believe that the NPI’s calling is to inspire and mobilise churches to play their part in seeing this prophecy fulfilled in their local community.”
WHAT: "We believe that the NPI are called to do this by signposting churches and parents to all the excellent material [courses and other] available to support, empower and disciple families.”
Many of the charities or ministries shown below have been developed in the last 10 years and I am sure that in the next 10 there will be more. Kids Matter are currently trialling a programme called Babies Matter.
page which again is really worth keeping abreast of.
To explain the logo COSP it is Circle of Security an Early Intervention Programme for Parents & Children. The Circle of Security is a visual map of attachment. It is the course run by Connected Lives and more information about it is on our website which gives the link to their website.
I have so enjoyed being involved with the NPI and having the joy of introducing churches to all these amazing resources. Many have helped me along the way particularly in the area of administration, which is not my strength! Now we have the joy, who is Kayte Potter, who not only helps with administration (substantially does it!) but is also responsible for communication and engagement. She has transformed the NPI website which now has blogs, family life resources, information about available parenting courses, programmes as well as the map of the UK showing all the courses registered and instructions of how to register your course. If you have not visited it recently it is really worth a visit! She also runs our
in the summer of 2020. Its followers have slowly climbed and have now exceeded 500! Megan, like Kayte, is doing a fantastic job with our social media, enabling us to launch our YouTube channel
with 2 series of video interviews, Series One – Toolkit for Church Leaders and Series Two – Empowering Parents and last year launching the NPI into Podcasts
on the theme of Courageous Parenting.
More recently the team has been joined by Megan Landreth-Smith who is our Social Media co-ordinator and she launched our
It will not surprise you to know that both Kayte and Megan are considerably younger than me and I have done my best to catch up with social media, but without them none of this would have been possible.
Covid, lockdowns and restrictions to meeting in person has been the catalyst to taking our NPI vision events online. We were planning to hold an event in Manchester in March 2020 but Boris Johnson’s announcement of lockdown put paid to that! So in March of last year we held it online on Zoom. It went well and was the first of 10 run in 2020.
So, after Greater Manchester we ‘visited’ Cornwall, Devon, Bristol Bath & Somerset, Lancashire & Cumbria, Merseyside & Cheshire, Staffordshire & Shropshire, Birmingham Coventry & Warwickshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire and in December Gloucestershire Oxfordshire & Berkshire.
My last one was Wiltshire and Dorset on 18th January 2022 and you can find out where next by clicking on Events on the website (but I will tell you the next two are Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham this month and Yorkshire next!)
We have been delighted by the very positive feedback we have received from these online events and this one from the Wiltshire & Dorset event, follows many other resounding endorsements:
Thank you so much for putting on the Vision event today. I can honestly say that it was one of the best webinar / seminars I have attended in the last few years online. The format worked well with a brief intro, short introductions from each person and the options to choose the breakout room you wanted to attend. The number attending was just right as it allowed people to actually ask questions. It was also not overlong which is appreciated.
So now Sharon Blair, a fellow trustee, takes over from me. She is a great friend from when we lived in Bath in the 1990s and is now Associate Minister (Pastoral and Families) and part of the Senior Leadership team of Holy Trinity Combe Down in Bath. Sharon, who taught for many years, regularly runs parenting courses and oversees the Families Support Scheme which helps families in her community. So, she is the perfect choice to become co-ordinator of the National Parenting Initiative and I am very grateful that she is willing to undertake what I am sure she will find is a very rewarding role.
Finally, thank you for all of your support and prayers for the NPI during my time there. I’m deeply grateful and ask that you continue to pray for the work of the NPI into the future, as they seek to strengthen families and empower parents.
Posted: February 2022