At the heart of digital family life
Parent Zone was founded in 2008 to make a difference.
At the time, the UK was rated one of the worst places in Europe to raise a child. Our mission was simple: to improve outcomes for children in an increasingly digital world. But we wanted to do it differently.
The parenting sector had become exclusive and out of touch with real families.
We challenged the status quo – not for the sake of it, but because challenge was needed. We wanted to test assumptions and stereotypes around family life – to understand what parents and families really needed.
Once, Parent Zone was our CEO and founder Vicki Shotbolt, an office and a desk. Today, we are many (not forgetting Teddy, the office dog), with stations across the UK and teams across the planet.
We know every family needs support sometimes
Simply because parenting is hard. Parent Zone sits at the heart of digital family life: the struggles, the magical moments, the times when things seem complicated or confusing.
We are a parenting organisation – but we are also parents. We are here for ordinary parents – not for the loudest and most powerful.
We maintain our independence and values. We adapt to the needs of all parents – and the digital world – so we are agile enough to cope.
We base our work on expert academic research. But we listen to everyone: parents, professionals, young people, and children.
Our aim is still to challenge, to take risks, to ask awkward questions. What’s happening in the real world? What do families really need? And are we really helping ordinary families with ordinary – or sometimes extraordinary – challenges?
Research and resources: from local to global
Parent Zone is a social enterprise – offering free services and resources to parents, families and professionals who work with them.
To misquote Ginger Rogers, that means we do everything a charity does, except we do it backwards and in high heels.
We receive no core funding and any income we generate has to cover the cost of running projects and generate enough profit to run our operation and the free services we offer.
If we do end a year with a surplus, we are required (by virtue of our governing documents) to invest that surplus in projects that support families and parents.
We trade to achieve our social mission and we continue to learn. We work locally, nationally and internationally, and our partners range from individual schools and local authorities to government departments and multinational tech firms. We continue to push for change, from consulting on government legislation to our independently funded research into the effects of digital on family life.
We deliver our work in a variety of ways: in-person training, individual family support, physical and virtual resources, live events, podcasts and much more.
Be Internet Legends – in partnership with Google, delivering free online safety resources, events and activities for UK primary schools. This includes a new, digital-first curriculum, adapted to respond to teacher feedback.
Ollee – in partnership with Children in Need’s A Million & Me initiative, bringing children and parents together to share wellbeing advice and emotional support.
Research – exploring the digital issues affecting families, as well as collaborating with organisations, academics and professionals to provide services, information and help to families.