We understand that children and young people face a range of challenges. We listen, respect and work confidentially to design programmes and services that families need. Our goal is to help young people ages 4-12 in the Cookstown area reach their full potential at school.
The project has three family support workers who will meet with and chat to families about what they need. Most of our work is around supporting families to put better routines, habits and strategies in place to build confidence and make life easier in the home. We also work on behaviour tools, goal setting, consistent boundaries and just simply help to implement small changes that will make a big difference.
‘I felt that I had hit a parenting brick wall. After coming to SOFT I know see that our family has moved from chaos to organised chaos and that’s a good thing.’
SOFT organises workshops and courses throughout the year – lots of different programmes designed with family’s needs in mind. We involve our partners in workshops and run some in-house. These include family bonding trips, children’s and young people’s events, trips, residentials and a summer scheme, reaching a wide audience. Our programmes involve and work with people from all backgrounds, sharing, learning and growing together. The breadth and scope of diversity within the project is it’s greatest strength.
‘It has been so good to reflect on the parent I am today and learn new tools to help me be the parent I want to be tomorrow. It has been great to share concerns with other parents and talk through ideas about what has worked well and where we’ve all made mistakes.’
The Speedwell Trust is the lead Partner of the SOFT Project. Speedwell is an educational charity that aims to ‘encourage children and young people to respect theselves, each other and the world we share.’ Speedwell was founded in 1991 by local teachers and community members in response to the social and political events of the time.
In 2016 the Trust signed an agreement with the Big Lottery to support and provide administration services to the SOFT project engaging partners in the voluntary, community and statutory sectors in enhancing provision for families in Cookstown over a five year period.
SOFT members are as follows:
Cookstown High School
Cookstown Nursery School
Cookstown Primary School
Holy Trinity Primary School
Holy Trinity College
Phoenix Integrated Primary School
St. Vincent de Paul
Citizens Advice, Mid Ulster
Mid Ulster Disability Forum
Mid Ulster Women’s Aid
Mid Ulster Volunteer Centre
Mid Ulster Council
Mid Ulster Seniors’ Network
Opportunities for Older People
Cookstown & Western Shores Area Network
GOLD Community Partnership
The Speedwell Trust
SOFT Project Policies