Where we came from -
November 1989: Group founded with seed funding provided by Parents' Aid (Harlow).
January 1990: First AGM. Focus on Southend and Castle Point. Base provided by Shoebury Family Centre. First draft of our 'Code of Practice' drawn up.
1991: £1,500 grant aid received from E.C.C. - first funding award ever received.
1992: Expanded to cover Rayleigh. £2,000 awarded by E.C.C. Focus on enabling parents to understand the implications of the new Children Act 1989. Drafted our Constitution and obtained charitable status.
1994: Invited to expand to cover Basildon - funding for South-West Essex obtained for the first time.
1995: Funding received for South-East and South-West Essex.
1996: Development of service in the Basildon area.
1997: Westward expansion continued to include Thurrock, especially Grays and Tilbury. Service Level Agreements with both South-East and South-West area offices of E.C.C. Children's services.
1998: Southend and Thurrock became unitary authorities. Southend B.C. have always turned down our funding applications. Thurrock B.C., however, proved supportive.
1999: Funding from Essex substantially reduced. Service limited to Basildon and Thurrock.
2000: Agency payment for Basildon and funding from Thurrock. Drop-In established at Target Centre in Tilbury.
2002: Donation received from Nationwide Foundation to fund Drop-In at Laindon Link. Committee meetings held in NSPCC offices in Tilbury.
2003: Development of Castle Point project. Drop-In founded at Grays Health Centre thanks to Thurrock Primary Care Trust. Funding obtained for new edition of "A Guide for Families: Your Child and Social Services" from Thurrock External Fund Awards for All. Funding awarded from Children's Fund Essex.
2004: Booklet published and our first official website designed. Launch of new Parent-Teenager Mediation service with funding from Local Network Fund and a Mediation Administrator appointed.
2006: Head of Community Social Work at County Hall requested expansion to cover Colchester and North Essex. New project received support from M.P. Bob Russell. Funding provided by Children's Fund Essex to finance business development. New services, Anger and Aggression Management and Effective Parenting Skills, designed and launched, as also Conflict for Kids workshops in primary and junior schools. Grant aid reinstated by Essex County Council.
2007: Colchester service launched and salaried staff appointed. Funding obtained from Keymed and the Rosca Trust for continuation of our Conflict for Kids project in the Southend area. Program of business development pursued with funding from Children's Fund Essex. South Essex funding, however, withdrawn again this year. Our first Stakeholder Day held on 24th March 2007.
2008: Focus of operation Colchester, Basildon and Thurrock. Work continued in Colchester and the surrounding area.
2009: Service level Agreement expired but continuation funding obtained from Essex County Council. Work continued in Colchester, Thurrock, Basildon, Rochford/Rayleigh and Castle Point. First-ever Tender Document submitted to Thurrock Borough Council as that authority went over to a tendering and procurement model. Our tender to Essex County Council's Local Priority Fund was successful, financing our project in South but not North Essex - obliged to pull out of Colchester. Work continued in other areas.
2010: Framework Contract Agreement successfully secured with Thurrock Borough Council. Base established at Culver Centre in South Ockendon. Salaried project Co-ordinator appointed in Thurrock for the first time. Base also established in Maldon.
2011:Thurrock Framework Contract monies withdrawn due to cuts from central government. Website enhanced and upgraded. Award obtained from Thames Gateway Development Corporation to finance continuation of work in Thurrock. Base established at Chetwood Children's Centre in South Woodham.
2012: Local Priority Fund Contract extended. Base established at Target Centre in Tilbury.
2013: Application to Essex County Council's Family Innovation Fund successful in South-East, South-West and Mid-Essex. Launch of new Family Mediation project across most of Essex. Salaried Project Co-ordinators appointed in all areas.
This was the pinnacle of Parents' Aid's achievement: then austerity measures were introduced nationwide. We have received no Local Authority funding since 2015, but have continued to deliver our services to families entirely volunteer-led and running on reserves.