Moving Up Moving On
Moving Up Moving On (MUMO) started in 2016 and works in close, aspirational, ambitious partnership with Springfield Primary School, St. Clare’s Primary School, Relate NI and over 20 other community, voluntary, public, creative, corporate and statutory partners. These partnerships are delivering large scale, community led programmes which are outlined below to provide support services for children and parents from the two schools. Partnerships are working together to bring about collective, transgenerational change in a socially disadvantaged community experiencing many post conflict legacy issues. Springfield Primary School and St. Clare’s Primary School are MUMO’s two core (cross community) schools. MUMO also delivers activities in a small amount of other schools to replicate the programme and share excellent practice family support work with more schools. MUMO is a hyper local programme with far reaching partnerships, impact and possibilities for replication.
MUMO’s programme of activity aims to address inequalities adult participants may have experienced as children and to create exciting academic, social and emotional opportunities for children, parents and families, contributing to a more equitable society and supporting local people to achieve their aspirations. Activities with children aim to give them lifelong skills, allowing them to thrive as adults. MUMO works with participants from birth to 90+.
MUMO’s work is trauma informed. All MUMO staff have had training in this area.
MUMO services are mostly cross community and aim to support and complement each other – they include:
- Programmes supporting parents and children such as Families Connect in partnership with Save the Children Fund which aim to increase parent’s skills and confidence in supporting their child’s learning, focusing on emotional development; literacy and numeracy
- Annual summer activities for up to 100 children from the two schools. This includes MUMO’s cross-community Summer Scheme which engages with up to 60 children and different summer activities in the two schools which MUMO supports
- Weekly gardening sessions – the garden is an important outdoor resource for the Clonard/Woodvale areas, playing an important role in local biodiversity, increasing habitats for local species and giving local people access to outdoor spaces and growing and harvestiong food. MUMO participants are embedded in garden management and practice
- Family Matters: a monthly session where parents and children from the two schools do an activity and eat together. During these sessions, families have the opportunity to spend quality time together – working and playing, learning how to communicate as a family and work together, recognising every family members’ individual strengths
- Regular after-school’s activities such as games clubs, a coding club and bespoke workshops for individual children
- A weekly women’s group for parents/carers/grandparents from the two schools: participants engage in a wide variety of activities such as creative sessions, cooking; gardening; health awareness or sewing. Sessions are delivered with a wide range of partners
- Formal and informal education and training e.g. Five Steps to Wellbeing (Open College Network level two) or Mental Health First Aid
- Exercise classes – pilates; aerobics; zumba to promote a positive sense of physical and emotional wellbeing. Classes are free or low cost to make them accessible to as many people as possible
- Regular walking challenges, recognising the power of walking for physical health and emotional wellbeing
- Regular health taster promotion events such as complementary therapy sessions
- Regular trips to local cultural institutions such as The Mac, Queen’s Film Theatre or the Grand Opera House, creating access to some of Belfast’s primary cultural institutions
- A transition programme, offering workshops for children in P7 to prepare them for moving from primary to post primary education.
Children Support Workers
MUMO employs two children’s support workers – one based in each school. They can work one on one with children, with small groups of children or with whole classes, aiming to support children, develop skills, improve lives and school experiences. Both are trained in lego therapy and use this is a key resource. Other activities include:
- Team building exercises
- Exercise activities
- Support with communication skills
- Friendship groups
- Literacy and numeracy support
- Nurture groups
- Lego therapy sessions
Family Engagement and counselling programme
MUMO family engagement workers (FEWs) provide one to one parenting support to parents. FEWs adopt a preventative approach, gently encouraging parents to take steps to promote positive physical and emotional health and wellbeing for themselves and their children. Support is wide and varied – including providing emotional support to accessing food/fuel vouchers for parents from partner organisations when available to supporting parents in school meetings to liaising with housing officers on behalf of parents in housing stress to supporting families with free school meal forms and much, much more. MUMO has a spare computer specifically for parents which they can use any time during office hours – not all of our parents have access to a device suitable for filling in forms. FEWs also organise and deliver a developmental, informative, supportive programme of activity for parents.
Thorough a partnership with Relate NI, MUMO delivers a counselling programme in the two schools for children who need counselling support. During the second year of the current funding programme (The National Lottery Community Fund’s People and Communities programme), the MUMO schools’ counsellor facilitated 191 sessions with children in the two schools (up from 123 sessions the year before). Support is also available for parents, making the service as holistic as possible, basing the counselling service on the principle that whole family support is the most effective.
In response to the return to schools in September 2020 after closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MUMO paid for full time counsellors in each school for two weeks to support returning children and teachers who had all been out of full-time education for almost six months. MUMO was able to respond in an effective and innovative way, thanks to funding from the National Lottery’s Covid Emergency Fund.
MUMO staff attend nurture meetings in St. Clare’s and pastoral care meetings in both schools. These are multidisciplinary meetings where the best options for support for vulnerable families are explored. MUMO staff can provide important insights into issues parents may be facing.
MUMO is passionate about providing meaningful opportunities for children and families to develop and strengthen relationships, to increase motivation, confidence and aspirations and to work towards a more equitable society..stress
MUMO has four outcomes aiming to achieve long-term, cross generational change:
- Children make a positive transition from nursery to primary school, through primary school and from primary into post-primary school. Children approach learning with a positive, confident and enthusiastic outlook
- Families will be engaged with education and learning and will have developed educational aspirations and goals
- Improved relationships between school, family and community with an increased engagement of families in education and learning
- Emotional wellbeing will be raised/improved due to the provision and support provided to families and individuals, including access to specialist counselling.
July 2022-July 2023
MUMO is managed through a project steering group (MUMO Advisory Parents Group) which consists of parents/grandparents/carers from the two partner schools. This group meets regularly to review activities and plan ahead. The MAP group is very involved in delivery as well, making a monthly lunch for older people in the community and helping to deliver many events throughout the year. The MAP group is an excellent model of a group where local people have a lot of input into decisions which directly affect their community and their own lives ensuring MUMO is a community-led project contributing to place-based regeneration. Group members are ambitious for their community and are key drivers for change within the community – they are great models for other parents/carers within the schools and the broader community.
Members of the MAP group act as strong advocates for MUMO, regularly talking to other parents, funders, government and other community organisations and schools about the project. Members of the MAP group have driven developments in Forthspring’s community garden, encouraging local people to attend events in the garden and to become involved in volunteering in the garden, encouraging local people to grow and harvest their own vegetables.
There is also a partnership group consisting of head teachers and deputy heads from the two schools, a Forthspring board member, MUMO project manager, Forthspring director and a representative from Relate NI. This group meets on a monthly basis and discusses activities suggested by the advisory group and issues in the schools which MUMO might be able to help with.
MUMO’s work has been evaluated by an external consultation since inception. Evaluation frameworks are co-created with MUMO staff and the MAP group. Evaluation reports focus on impact of the work on participants, schools and the wider community.
Most recent external evaluation report available on request.
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If you would like to get involved or have a question about the MUMO project you can get in touch by emailing: email@example.com.
The National Lottery Community Fund has been MUMO’s principal funder since it started in 2016. This funding is enhanced by grants from other funders – mainly for programme costs – such as Belfast City Council and the Public Health Agency’s CLEAR programme.