First birthday for PACT’s Oxford office


FIFTY families from Oxfordshire have applied to adopt through Parents And Children Together (PACT) in the 12 months since the charity opened a new office in the county. PACT opened its base in Watlington Road, Cowley, in order to find more permanent, loving families for children in care. TV presenter and PACT adopter Saira Khan officially opened the office in July 2013.

PACT also has office locations in Reading, two in London and will soon be opening a fifth office in Brighton Since the opening, 183 families have enquired about adoption, 23 have been through the process to the point of being approved to adopt and 19 children have been placed with 15 families in the county. The charity has had links with the Oxford Diocese since it was founded in 1911.

PACT’s Adoption and Fostering Team Manager for Oxford Simon Furlong said: “Its been a busy but very successful first year for the new PACT Oxford office. We have had a lot of couples and single people from the county and beyond coming forward and its wonderful to support them on their journey to becoming a forever family for a child in care.”

Any families considering adoption are invited to attend an information event at PACT’s Oxford office on Tuesday 9th September from 7pm-8.30pm.

PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south east.

PACT’s adoption services were judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted in January 2014 and its therapeutic services FACTS were voted “Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year” in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards 2013.

Top award for Alana House

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A COMMUNITY project in Reading has scooped a top award in recognition of its work with vulnerable women.Award2 Jul14

Alana House, which is run by the charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), won The Howard League for Penal Reform Award in the Community Programme for Women category.

Alana House supports women with complex needs, including ex-offenders and those at risk of offending, and helps them to make positive life changes and develop new skills.

The award comes in the same week as Alana House opens up a new satellite branch in Newbury and will be reaching out to support women in West Berkshire in addition to those it already works with in Reading.

Alana House West Berkshire will be holding drop-in sessions from Broadway House, Newbury, on Fridays from 1.30pm-3.30pm. One-to-one support appointments can be made at other times.

The Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. It makes annual awards to well resourced and well structured programmes that raise public protection, bring down the rate of offending, and repay the damage done by crime in a way which custodial sentences cannot.

PACT’s Chief Executive Jan Fishwick, Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet and Trustee Rev Tim Edge received the award from HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony at Cavendish Square, London, yesterday (15th July).

Head of Communities Development Natausha van Vliet said: “We are so thrilled to receive this prestigious award on behalf of our wonderful team and the inspiring women we support. We look forward to further developing our work with vulnerable women in the future and helping them to make positive changes in their lives.”

Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “I am full of pride for the Alana House team who do an incredible job every day and this award recognizes that.”

The Revd Tim Edge, PACT Trustee and chairman of the charity’s Communities Committee said: “It was a privilege to be at the award ceremony on behalf of PACT, and I agree, we can be proud of all those who have worked to make Alana House work.”

The award is the latest accolade for PACT, which has had a successful few months.

The charity’s therapeutic support for adopted and fostered children was named Voluntary Adoption Service of the Year in the BAAF National Adoption Week Awards in October 2013.

In January, PACT’s adoption services were rated as “outstanding” across all four assessed areas by Ofsted and, in June, it received the bronze award from Investors in People.

PACT supports vulnerable families through outstanding adoption services, permanent fostering, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects in London and the south.

To find out more about Alana House West Berkshire visit

HRH the Countess of Wessex to visit PACT at Dorchester Abbey

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A ROYAL visitor is to help children’s charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) commemorate more than 100 years of building and strengthening families.

HRH The Countess of Wessex will attend a ceremony at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, on Thursday February 13 to find out about PACT’s work, unveil a plaque and bury a time capsule in the grounds. The time capsule will contain items collected from a number of PACT projects and service users to demonstrate the charity’s work in adoption, fostering and community projects.

The ceremony will also be attended by local dignitaries, trustees of PACT and children from Englefield School in Berkshire and Dorchester School in Oxfordshire. PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are thrilled and honoured that HRH The Countess of Wessex will be visiting us at Dorchester Abbey for this exciting occasion. PACT began in 1911 when the then Bishop of Oxford wanted to help unmarried mothers make a better life for their children. Today PACT looks very different but our core aim to build and strengthen families still remains. The time capsule will serve as a record of our work so far and a celebration of all we have achieved.”

PACT finds forever families for children in care through adoption and fostering services in London and the south east. PACT provides award-winning therapeutic services to help make adoptions succeed. It also runs inspirational community projects including Alana House – a women’s community project in Reading – and Bounce Back 4 Kids, a programme for children who have witnessed domestic abuse.


Carol concert for adoption charity at Dorchester Abbey


THE annual carol concert at Dorchester Abbey raised £1,000 for the charity Parents and Children Together (PACT). Read the Oxford Mail’s report here.