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First Five Festival

Knowsley celebrates its young residents

by Alison Cornmell

Parents and families with children aged 5 and under are invited to get involved in the First Five Festival – a celebration of children’s early years in life.

From Monday 13 – Friday 17 June children’s centres across Knowsley will host a range of fun activities developed especially for the needs and interests of little ones.

First Five Festival is a collaboration across the Liverpool City Region and is being delivered by the First Five Collective, a network bringing together charity, voluntary and community organisations that work with families and their children from 0 – 5 years.

The objectives of the First Five Festival are to:

  • Encourage parents and carers to ‘Take a Moment’ – enjoy time with your children and also make time for yourself.
  • Hear your opinions on bringing up children in the early years, to help us shape our plans for our early years’ children. You can share your thoughts by taking this survey to be in with a chance of winning a £50 shopping voucher: https://mvrp.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/firstfivesurvey
  • Provide fun events for families where they can learn more about the children’s services available to them and their young children in their local area.

Cllr Margret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:

“The first few years of a child’s life are crucial for their development and so it is vital that we work collaboratively with partners to create these opportunities to shine a spotlight on this important life stage.”

Anna-Louise van der Merwe, Director of the Foundation Years Trust also commented:

“Foundation Years Trust initiated the First Five Festival because we know that by working with partners across the city region we can build an important network of parents and childcare professionals and providers.  Not only are we ensuring a range of fun activities for young children, but we are also keen to share key advice with parents/carers and better understand their thoughts and feelings and ensure their voice and experience is central to our work.”

WHAT’S HAPPNEING IN KNOWLSEY

Monday 13 June
1 – 2.30pm
Southmead Children’s Centre, Whiston

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo
  • Early Years Activities including arts, crafts and messy play.

Tuesday 14 June
1 – 2.30pm
Hilltop Children’s Centre, Huyton

  • Early Years Activities including arts, crafts and messy play
  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo

Wednesday 15 June
1 – 2.30pm
New Hutte Children’s and Family Hub, Halewood

  • Early Years Activities
  • Ark 2 Ewe Petting Farm
  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo

Thursday 16 June
9.30 -11am
Jubilee Children’s Centre, Huyton

  • Early Years Activities
  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo

Thursday 16 June
9.30 -11am
The Star Centre Children’s, Kirkby

  • Early Years Activities
  • Ark 2 Ewe Petting Farm
  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo

Friday 17 June
10 – 11am
The Pride Children’s Centre, Kirkby

  • Face Painting
  • Glitter Tattoo
  • Early Years Activities including arts, crafts and messy play.

TAKE A MOMENT

The First Five Festival wants to encourage parents and carers to enjoy time spent with little ones. They aren’t little for long and the first five years of a child’s life are crucial to their development.

It can be little things – why not take a moment…

  • For your child to think and reply when chatting. Learning language is hard, and their brains need a little more time to think about what you said and decide how to respond. Don’t be too quick to jump in with an answer, let them have a go even if it takes a longer moment.
  • Spend time outside splashing in puddles, feeling sand between your toes, going on the swings, or just enjoying a walk. Being outside connecting with sights and sounds can give the whole family a wellbeing boost.
  • Offer your little one choices. Even babies like to make choices – offering options helps build confidence as they grow.
  • See good – say good – feel good. Giving your child praise for their big and small achievements is a lovely way to make you both feel good.
  • Have a chat with your child. Notice what your child notices and comment about it. Whatever their age, you can describe what it is they are focusing on in that moment. ‘You can see the dog…he’s running very fast’ ‘You’re pointing at your teddy? Shall I get it for you?’ Is your baby babbling? Then chat back as though you are reading their mind.
  • Stop and listen together…what can you hear? Listening is an important part of their communication skills. Chat with children about what you can hear, and use your imagination….I wonder what colour that bird is? ‘I hear a bus, I wonder where it’s going?

TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF
Here we share support services available to Knowsley residents to help them look after their mental health:

Building Attachment and Bonds Service (BABS) – Knowsley
This national award-winning service supports parents to build secure attachments and loving bonds with their babies, whilst breaking negative life cycles.

Find out more on their website – https://www.improvingme.org.uk/mental-health/building-attachment-and-bonds-service-babs-knowsley/

Knowsley Family
Here you can find a range of information and advice on topics including Play and Leisure, Health, Wellbeing and Care and Knowsley’s Early Years Service – visit their website for more details  www.knowsleyinfo.co.uk/

 Knowsley Social Prescribing Service
Currently, one in five GP appointments are for non-medical problems. Issues like loneliness, isolation, poor mental health, debt, poor housing or family problems can make us feel unwell.

Social Prescription Link Workers are new members of the Primary Care Network and are able to work with patients using a personalised and centred approach to support you identify what is important to you, see the positive things you have in your life and help you to find out what support you feel is missing in terms of your own health and wellbeing.

Find out more on their website – https://oneknowsley.org/social-prescribing/

The Lee Cooper Foundation
Providing mental health support to young people in Knowsley and surrounding areas.
Find out more on their website – https://theleecooperfoundation.co.uk/

Butterflies
Butterflies is Listening Ear’s award winning specialist support programme for children and young people aged 4 to 15 years experiencing bereavement, divorce/separation, domestic abuse, suicide, murder or other family loss. The service helps with bereavement, dying, death, divorce, emotional problems, family breakdown, parental separation, and terminal illnesses.

Listening Ear also has a wide ranging service of support for adults with mild / moderate mental health issues.

Find out more on their website – www.knowsleyinfo.co.uk/content/butterflies-project