Ealing Anchor Foundation is the brand new face of what was formerly the Parents of Ealing Self Help Training Scheme. Though our face may be new, our spirit and soul remains the same it has always been.
We provide a safe space where parent carers of children who are differently abled come together for mutual support and friendship during the early stages of diagnosis, in a friendly and nurturing setting. We bring families who are socially and economically vulnerable together to befriend and support one another, helping to improve life for themselves and their family members. If you would like to register, please complete the form HERE
What EAF does
Just as it has been from its inception, the charity is led by parents of differently abled children. The majority of Trustees, staff and volunteers have direct experience of raising a child with a disability or additional need. The understanding and support you will find with us is unparalleled.
We provide a range of services to benefit our community including play & support sessions, music therapy, parties and outings, workshops, legal and other clinics, support groups, carer evenings and a dedicated outreach worker who can support with many aspects of daily life. During COVID we diversified our support to include food packs, and other care packages for our families.
In addition, we participate in a number of local panels and groups, to drive initiatives across the borough that improve services and opportunities available to the children and families that we support.
Our Mission is to assist differently abled children and those with complex health needs aged 0-5 years living in the London Borough of Ealing and their families by: –
- Supporting parent/carers
- Delivering information, advice and training to empower families
- Offering a stimulating play environment whilst also promoting motor skills and communication development
- Organising supported family activities and outings.
- Providing opportunities and training for volunteers to learn about working with differently abled children
- Ensuring we generate funds to continue to deliver all of the above activities
- Assisting the Ealing LEA and other organisations in improving services within the community and inclusion
P.E.S.T.S. started life on 15th September 1981 and was the brainchild of Sue Humphries, a very resourceful lady and parent of a disabled son. Sue was motivated to start a self-help group where parents could, with the help of professionals, develop individual portage programmes to use at home with their children to help them reach their potential. The parents also felt the need to meet together for mutual support and friendship, to exchange and gather information and to feel less isolated.
Sue organised a social gathering in July 1981 where parents and interested professionals discussed the formation of P.E.S.T.S. Several staff members of Heller House, Ealing’s residential home for children with learning disabilities, provided several staff and playroom to help assist the parents. Other professionals, including therapists and Ealing’s specialist health visitor, expressed willingness to contribute their skills to the group. Thus all the necessary components were in place to launch P.E.S.T.S. on 15th September 1981.
Initially the week by week organisation and staffing of P.E.S.T.S. was carried out by members of Heller House staff. Soon, it expanded to include any local professionals, including the specialist health visitors, speech therapist, physiotherapist, voluntary sector workers and Portage Co-ordinator, who were demonstrated their support by visiting on a regular basis.
In 1989 P.E.S.T.S. experienced difficulties when many of the key people involved in its organisation left. Thus, it was decided to get funding for a Project Co-ordinator to be responsible for the overall running of the group and it’s activites. A new play leader, Portage trained, was also employed and a new Parents’ Committee was elected. This new stability enabled P.E.S.T.S. to grow from strength to strength and membership grow rapidly.
In November 1994 P.E.S.T.S. became a registered Charity, enabling us to apply to Charitable Trusts for financial support to help increase it’s activities. In 1995 P.E.S.T.S. developed its services further by setting up our Outreach Project. This year also saw the publication of the first edition of P.E.S.T.S. information booklet ‘Special Needs’, a very useful resource for parents and caring professionals. In January 2005 P.E.S.T.S. appointed a Project Manager made possible by 3 year funding by John Lyon’s Charity. The post is currently financed by John Lyon’s Charity.
In 2007, when Councillor Michael Elliot was Mayor of Ealing, he chose P.E.S.T.S. as one of his Charities and raised £6,250 which enabled us to run additional play sessions. These have proved so popular with families that we now run regular play sessions at Heller House on Tuesday and Friday mornings during term time.
In 2021, P.E.S.T.S decided to rebrand and rename itself as Ealing Anchor Foundation to modernise its look and feel. Our mission remains the same though as do our ethos and services but it was time for a refresh and a need to ensure we remain relevant to the needs of our community.
Ealing Anchor Foundation’s core principles have not changed since it’s formation decades ago and are just as relevant and valuable today. In our first report in 1981, a parent is quoted saying how much she appreciated P.E.S.T.S. because “someone else was genuinely interested in what she (her child) could do. At P.E.S.T.S. we can talk over our children’s achievements with the same pride as any other parent. P.E.S.T.S. stopped the feeling of isolation. You discovered other parents with similar problems – you weren’t alone in the world” . Overcoming that feeling of isolation is just as big a need today, if not bigger, so let us hope that Ealing Anchor Foundation. will be around to provide support and friendship for many years to come.
Joy Barton, Manager
Natalie Stone, Outreach Worker
Erica Giles, Admin
Gladys Bennett, Senior Play Leader
Maggie Rutkowska, Snr Play Worker
Board of Trustees
Aisha Tabani Chowdhry, Chair
Fred Burley, Treasurer
Nadiya Shvets, Secretary
Katerina Pupovic, Trustee
Beckie Shuttleworth, Trustee
Want to help?
Click here to find out how you can help the Ealing Anchor Foundation