Fundraising by Mothers' Union activities is often directed to a particular 'fund'. Once money has been assigned to such a fund, it can only be used for projects within that fund. Information on the various funds is given below.
Away From It All
Away From It All (AFIA) is a Mothers' Union holiday scheme, primarily funded by Mothers' Union members, to help people who are experiencing stress in their family life. We pay the cost of 4 night holiday or a day trip to Centre Parcs, Legoland, etc. This is much appreciated by those families whom we help in this way. The cost ranges from £250 to £900 depending on time of year and whether it is one day or five. Grants can also be given, for example towards the cost of a child attending a school residential trip.
Sometimes branches are not quite sure how they wish excess money to be allocated. This fund enables the Diocesan Trustees to decide where it is best spent - sometimes within the Diocese and sometimes to support a sudden appeal from Mary Sumner House. In the past, it has helped support the Parenting course in Halesworth for six participants, to provide Christmas vouchers for young people in families at the Women's Refuges in Ipswich and Bury and support for women and families subjected to gender-based violence through Mary Sumner House.
National and Worldwide Mothers' Union Funds managed by Mary Sumner House:
Since December 2013, Mothers' Union has been supporting those affected by the ongoing regional crisis stemming from the civil war in South Sudan, for example. In total more than 1.5 million refugees have now fled from the country to the surrounding regions such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan - the UN also estimate that a further 2 million have been internally displaced. 60% of the refugees are children who will often arrive at the camps suffering from acute malnutrition. Despite the scale of the crisis, it is receiving little international attention and is therefore chronically underfunded.
In response to this growing crisis, Mothers' Union aims to fund a £50k emergency relief project to help feed, clothe and provide post-conflict trauma support for refugees fleeing the war.
Mothers' Union is proud that we have been able to work in partnership with other organisations in order to release funds for Relief grants and help those most in need. These partnerships are especially significant as Mothers' Union across the world plays an active role in their local Anglican Churches and Dioceses and thus this move symbolises a joined-up ‘whole Church' approach to 'supporting families facing adversity' and forms the very basis of our relief approach.
Overseas - Helping Families around the world
Our members do all they can to support and strengthen family life. In the firm belief that stable marriage and family life benefits everyone, our four million members come alongside individuals, families and communities in over 80 countries of the world. Through our programme work we build resilience and relationships within families and through our advocacy, we tackle the issues which cause social injustice for families.
We do this because wherever Mothers' Union has a presence we encounter an ever-greater number of families where poverty, inequality of opportunity, and countless external pressures undermine the unique value of each individual and family life.
With your help we can bring about transformational change which can help every couple and family, every community and neighbourhood to enjoy loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. It costs around £6 for every person we help through our programmes.
Britain & Ireland (Parenting)
Being a parent or carer for a child is hugely rewarding. But we can often feel isolated, daunted or overwhelmed by the responsibility of bringing up our children. The job of parenting can feel like the job we are least prepared for in life. From its formation in 1876 Mothers' Union has believed that supporting parents is of the utmost importance - not only for the parent-child relationship but for the impact good parenting has on the whole of society. Since 1999 Mothers' Union has trained community-based facilitators to run effective groups for parents. Beginning in the UK, the programme is now operational in 26 countries with nearly 1,500 members trained to run groups.
Groups cater to different ages or parenting needs and provide an opportunity for parents, grandparents and carers alike to meet in a supportive environment. The aim is to help each person to develop their parenting skills, build relationships and contribute to the stability of family life in society. The participants learn as much from each other as from the facilitator.
Passionate about Parenting is the name of the Mothers' Union's training course which equips members to facilitate their own parents' groups. Within the course, they learn about subjects such as understanding parents, the family life cycle, parents' group dynamics, group facilitation styles and facilitation skills. They consider the resources that are available for groups and are guided to choose and adapt them for specific groups.
We have two such persons in this Diocese, who have been on training courses and are running a successful parenting group. If you would like further information, please contact the diocesan MU president.
Mothers' Union also runs appeals during the year, typically Make a Mother's Day, Harvest Appeal, Count your Blessings, Christmas Appeal and Summer of Hope. Information about these is available on the main Mothers' Union website.
Further information about all of the Mothers' Union funds, projects and appeals is available on the Mothers' Union website, and you can also sign up for a monthly newsletter which is sent to your email address.