Accrington Family Champion
1845. Wendy Schofield
Wendy Schofield, from Accrington, is a schools liaison officer who runs a free community breakfast club every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving local families in need the opportunity to meet with others and join a support network.
Wendy works with five schools across the local area, and realised the benefit of setting up a club before the school day to allow families to connect with one another, and provide a safe space for signposting towards other services, such as helping parents access Adult Carer support, foodbanks, school uniform banks, and charities. Hundreds of families have joined Wendy’s network, which has provided a lifeline throughout the pandemic. Wendy is also an expert on social and emotional wellbeing, friendship issues, signposting for grief and loss, parental separation, and parenting, and sometimes offers support sessions to those who need it.
In a personal letter to Wendy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for your fantastic work setting up your weekly community breakfast clubs, which have supported so many families in need.
“You have created a true community hub which gives advice and support to so many people and often signposting them to other services. Your work day in and day out, from providing grief counselling to being a friend, is more important than ever.”
Sara Britcliffe, Wendy’s local MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, said:
“Wendy dedicates her life to supporting our local community and I have had the pleasure of meeting her and seeing her work and passion first-hand. Many people recognise this and Wendy is very well-deserving for this award.”
“I would just like to say how humbled I am to receive this award. My role as a home/school liaison officer is a privilege not a right. When people share their story with me and require support, as somebody who has been there myself, I feel honoured to be in a position to provide it. I feel that every person has the right to feel valued.
“My faith both drives me and is at the core of everything that I do. I absolutely love my job and I will continue to support the families of the community. I would like to thank all of the services I work with, such as HARV and Young Carers. I would also like to thank the schools, the Baptist Church at Clayton-le-Moors and Tesco Supermarket at Great Harwood.
“Again, thank you for this amazing award and recognition that I do not seek but I am so grateful for.”