In Leeds we are hosting our very own Baby Week which has been created by Lucy Potter who is currently a Family Outreach Worker for a community project in Holbeck and Beeston. I have had the pleasure of knowing Lucy for a long time now as she was one of the Family Outreach Workers I used to manage when I worked for a children’s charity in Leeds.
So where did the idea for baby week come from?
Baby week is an adaptation of the Semana do Bebe in Brazil bringing together a wide range of services to support families in our city, provided by voluntary and statutory organisations. Baby week will also provide a platform for the recent Best Start plan, a new policy being implemented throughout Leeds. Since October last year there has been a steering group with representatives from Leeds Beckett University, Child Friendly Leeds (Infant Massage by Emma has signed the pledge), Children Centre Services, Health Visitors, Social Workers, and Home -Start making this the first English speaking country to replicate Semana do Bebe.
The week has been designed to actively engage children and families in their own communities raising awareness of a baby’s important growth and development stages; both brain and physical.
Here at Infant Massage by Emma I have had the opportunity to be involved in the week by encouraging parents across the city to come and access my baby massage courses. I also had the opportunity to attend two lectures at Leeds Beckett University by Robin Balbernie in relation to ‘Relationships, Risks and Repair’ & ‘Circuits and Circumstances’. Such an inspiring lecture which demonstrated the important work our Children’s Centres in Leeds. I know I can be a tad biased on this subject (I manage a children’s centre in Leeds) but it really did show the importance of early intervention with infants and how supporting parents in those initial stages can have a significant impact upon a child’s development and their future. Robin reiterated how important it is that we keep our children’s centre to offer those universal services for all to ensure we can identify those families who may require extra support instead of trying to target families which in turn can have the opposite effect (they won’t engage with the service).
Why not check out the Baby Week Leeds 2016 website to see what fun activities are available for you to access.