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Shepherds Bush mum teaches parents and children life lessons

Categoriesnews Children and young peoplenews

Image captionImage 1: Elise Pacquette (second left) founder of Bridging the Gap at Burlington Danes Academy. She’s pictured with her daughter Naomi, Burlington Danes headteacher Michael Ribton and her assistant Kelly Gee

A Shepherds Bush mum is connecting local parents with their teenage children to help explain the world.

Thanks to Elise Pacquette’s after-school club – called Bridging the Gap – Year 7 and 8 pupils have had the chance to learn about a ‘more realistic’ outlook on life with their parents.

She says the sessions are ‘fun and interactive’ and has received praise from Hammersmith & Fulham Council for her efforts.

“There is no other course like it in the country so we are fortunate to have it here in H&F,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.

“It’s a fantastic helping hand for parents and their children at a time where many parents are struggling to manage their working lives alongside the needs of their children.”

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Image caption: Image 2: Elise Pacquette at Burlington Danes Academy

One-to-one time

A number of schools in the borough are running the course and the feedback has been ‘fantastic’, Cllr Fennimore said. One family called it ‘their family golden time together’. 

It all began when mother-of two Elise, 48, realised children wanted more one-to-one time with their parents to help through the challenges of modern society. 

So she wrote the six-week course in the knowledge that mothers and fathers were also feeling ill-equipped and needed her help.

After setting up her organisation Funpact in 2013 she has excelled at getting parents to work alongside their children to teach them about being more independent, managing finances and keeping safe online.

“Before I started my company I did some research and found out that kids simply wanted to have more fun with their parents,” Elise said.

“They get home from school and are told to do their homework, tidy their bedroom and make sure their PE kit is packed for the next day. So I realised the importance of engagement between children and their parents.

“Your children won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” she added.

The course has been a real success since it was introduced at White City’s Ark Burlington Danes Academy in 2014. Since then Phoenix Academy, also in White City, has hosted her programme.

New courses will be launched at the Masbro Centre in Shepherds Bush every Monday night from 20 February for any Year 7 and 8 pupil to attend with their parents; as well as at the Parkview Centre for Health and Wellbeing in White City every Thursday from 23 February.

“I hope many more local families can benefit from the course in the future,” Cllr Fennimore added.

For more details visit the Fun Pact website.