Visit from the Stork CIC is a social enterprise for young parents and parents-to-be under 25. We aim to create opportunities for young parents to be inspired and empower them to do the best for themselves and their children.
What we do
Our focus is on upskilling young people to get ready to start work or further education and to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to improve other areas of their life. We provide a 12-week basic Journalism course through The Stork Academy, both online (nationwide) and face-to-face in Manchester. We teach our trainees journalism and media skills to enable them to produce quality articles, interesting information and real-life features and publish them on the website you are reading now (visitfromthestork.co.uk) and in our interactive magazine.
These articles, in turn, inform young parents about subjects they need to know about, and enable them to tackle the issues they face everyday.
In the last 12 months, we have started developing other areas of our work through community projects in Greater Manchester. You can read more about our projects here.
Our goals and vision for 2016-2018
We believe that being a parent is something to celebrate, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what your age is. Young people who make the choice to be parents (whether planned or not) deserve support, respect and access to the right information when they need it. Any new parent can relate to the feelings of worry, excitement, fear and joy at the thought of being responsible for a baby, but for younger parents, these can be increased dramatically by already raging hormones and the immense pressure on them to do ‘what is expected’ (getting a career and education first). This can make young parents and parents-to-be feel alone and vulnerable and they need access to a support system which won’t judge their parenting decisions, say negative comments or be stereotyped into a minority group. Visit from the Stork CIC aims to be the support system and the friend young parents need. We want to be the place they turn to first for information and advice, and be the publication they trust the most.
Since starting our work as a social enterprise we have realised the impact that community projects can have on a group of people. Our vision is that no young parent should ever feel judged simply because of their age, background or parenting choices.
Our goals for the next 24 months are:
- To provide a small pot of money for parents to claim childcare expenses for anyone who can’t claim working tax credit or childcare costs for education.
- Increase our free course places to those who are unemployed and looking to learn new skills (whether a parent or not) through our Stork Academy project.
- Start a media Work experience programme for students through partnering with schools, colleges and universities.
- Provide exciting volunteering opportunities through our community projects such as B.O.O.B.S
- To increase our advice work through B.O.O.B.S and working with relevant partners to provide access to information for parents.
- Work with services and partners on relevant campaigns and promotions. This includes supporting women suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Post-natal Depression.
- Provide employment to at least one person and provide a flexible and enjoyable working environment for all members of staff and volunteers.
- Increase our services and local projects across Greater Manchester and the Staffordshire areas.
Managing Director Kimberly Bond was inspired to start Visit from the Stork CIC when her friend Chantelle was pregnant with her son Jayden at just 18. Chantelle had lots of questions, but no-one to answer them, and nowhere to access the information she needed to ensure her son had the best start in life. Kimberly saw a gap in the market for a fresh new website and publication targeted specifically at younger parents – those under 25. The publication would give the information and advice that young people like Chantelle and her partner needed, but presented in an engaging and appealing way.
Fast forward four years, and Kimberly graduated from Staffordshire University with a First Class Honours in Journalism. Throughout her last semester at university, Kimberly had created the first prototype of the website, and on February 14th 2013, Visit from the Stork was born.
After moving to Salford in July 2013, Kimberly discovered the idea of ‘social enterprise’ – business that trades for good. Along with a core team, who are now Directors of the company, they created Visit from the Stork CIC, a social enterprise which would help young parents to achieve their goals, and raise their aspirations, whilst still providing the information and advice they need. We create income by selling sponsorship and charging a small fee for our courses, as well as advertising space in our magazine and on the website. We are also lucky enough to be grant funded for various projects and partnerships, but with an aim to make our core activities sustainable.
To find out more about Social Enterprise, you can visit the Social Enterprise UK website.
Legal information: Visit from the Stork is a Community Interest Company limited by Guarantee, registered in the UK. Company number: 08963615