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Support4Progress began as the black male peer parenting support group in February 2000 by David Spence Madden. The aim was to create an environment where black males were able to discuss the di culties they were experiencing in their lives everyday lives.

A women’s group began a short time later with the same focus. Both groups met weekly at the Pepperhill and later the Nello James Centre. Individuals felt encouraged, supported and better equipped to deal with their everyday lives.

Soon after, in 2001, a mixed gender group began at the interest of group members. The groups became extensive as all ages and sexes were catered for and the youth began their own groups- ‘Unity Group’ under the charming eye of Janet Wyatt. In this way views were shared and issues discussed amongst peers and family independently and together. Some of these members have gone on to form SME’s of their own- Nubian Times to name but one.

By 2002, there was a need to formulise what BMPPSG was doing and a management committee was formed under the name of Black Peer Support Group, acknowledging the inclusion of both genders and all ages.

There came the opportunity to take up training to enhance their interpersonal/social skills in communicating with others both at work and socially underpinned the continued delivery of support within the community. The training was delivered as an accredited course by the Awarding Body Consortium (ABC), through partnership with O The Record (OTR), a young person’s counselling service catering for ages 13- 28 and based in Tameside, Glossop and Oldham; an established training provider. 15 group members obtained their level 1 introduction to Counselling Skills. The courses were delivered by Alicia Mike, David Spence-Madden and Manley Campbell.

Since the rst training sessions, further courses were delivered which included non group members, with a TA course accredited through MANCAT (Manchester College of Arts and Technology). The fth course, delivered in May 2003 resulted in eight candidates obtaining their certi cate in Listening Skills in October 2003.

An exciting development in S4P work has been facilitated by the e commitment of volunteer members who participated in training and volunteering their skills in supporting others. New members pursued mainstream programmes and S4P is proud to report that members went on to gain employment a result of their involvement in S4P. Others went on to college/university or felt able to change their career paths.

Over the past years, as people have become aware of Support4Progress they continue to access our services despite the lack of nancial funding for paid positions losing core sta : Alicia Mike (Henry), Velma, Fumi and Laura Fisher to ensure a strong foundation of expertise to run the services. This has meant some radical changes in the way that S4P does the work and the structure to the primary training service o ered. Recently there have been changes to the construct of the board of trustees as external pressures have taken precedence; altering the depth of expertise available to the charity. Thankfully volunteers continue to bridge that gap and keep the core services going through these lean times.

As we are based at The West Indian Sports and Social Centre Training Annex, Moss Side, S4P had given birth to an independent training company; Manchester Counselling Training Centre, which is an accredited centre for training with CPCAB, led by Alicia Mike.

The low cost counselling service initiated by S4P is still available o ering; – person centred, CBT, integrated therapy, talking therapy and life coaching sessions. The therapy and training with individual support through disruptive life balance bridges an aspect of advice and direction to other services which is currently not available elsewhere.

Support4Progress is still supporting other projects; such as Emancipation Day, and a variety of workshops run by local entrepreneurs within the community.

More recently S4P o ers trainee placement positions for trainee counsellors to achieve their chosen quali cation, Person therapy, Cognitive Behavioural therapy and Life Coaching.

As S4P enters into it’s second decade it is revisiting services previously o ered, strengthening links within the community and other community organisations.

Rejuvenating the Trustee Board and applying for grants.

Support for Progress aims to continue to provide training and a counselling and support service to enable black people to continue to achieve their best potential, return to wellbeing and become proactive resource for their community

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