Proud partners of WILD, a charity supporting young parents in Cornwall
We’re very proud to introduce our latest partner, WILD, an award-winning charity that works alongside some of the most vulnerable and marginalised young parents in Cornwall to give them the best possible start to family life, improving the outcomes for their children and helping future generations to thrive.
As one of the most vulnerable groups in society, young parents and parents-to-be often experience much higher levels of social inequalities. Many will have experienced abuse, poverty and the criminal justice system, and over 80% of WILD babies are born into a home with parental mental illness. Dads are largely absent from a child’s life and unresolved trauma limits a parent’s ability to look after their children effectively. Sadly, in so many cases, conventional support often comes too late to make a difference and the children grow up to experience the same outcomes as their parents.
The WILD approach
WILD recognised that instead of teaching young parents how to parent, what they needed were the tools to overcome barriers to education, employment and aspiration, breaking those intergenerational cycles and improving the outcomes for children and subsequent generations. By tackling issues such as mental health, food and fuel poverty, debt, housing problems, substance misuse, and money management, WILD helps parents to develop skills and build resilience to the many challenges they face. Thirty years after it was first founded, WILD has become the UK’s largest single cause charity for young parents and has helped over 400 families in and around Cornwall; the story and impact of WILD was recently celebrated and shared at a 30-year anniversary party at the Eden Project.
Their inclusive approach targets the most vulnerable, marginalised and isolated sections of society, including parents with disabilities, families from BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) communities, and those who identify as LGBTQ+. Their holistic ‘whole family’ approach employs the skills of three teams within the charity — the Families Team, the Operations Team and the Strategy and Learning Team — who collaborate with other teams across the organisation and with communities and partnerships across the UK.
WILD in action
The charity offers help to young families in a variety of ways, from basic support such as the provision of food and daily essentials, to online and in-person chat groups and offering advice on housing and money matters. They hold regular dads groups through which fathers are encouraged to become involved in their children’s lives and offer individual support to families that are at risk of having their children removed. They also encourage participation through music, creative writing, arts exhibitions, performance and choir and provide safe spaces where families can gather, such as allotments, activity centres and parks.
WILD also runs creative projects to help parents develop new skills and experience, helping them to integrate and contribute to local communities. They encourage parents to take on voluntary community roles, from allotment caretaker to mentoring new WILD parents, contributing to a sense of belonging and having a positive impact on the wider community.
The impact of WILD
The impact of WILD on local families and communities has been felt throughout Cornwall. Through case studies and annual surveys with parents and professionals, the charity regularly gathers data on the mental and economic wellbeing, family relationships, parenting and aspiration of the families they’ve supported, which they use to shape their future strategy and to try to influence national policy around parental interventions. In 2022, WILD supported more than 400 parents across the county, helping families to build positive family relationships, overcome adversity and become integrated in their local communities. We’re incredibly proud to be supporting WILD and the brilliant work they do for young families across Cornwall.