News

 

As usual our Early Years sessions have been very busy with parents and babies. The Connecting Parents group had a fun trip to the Science Museum, stopping off on the way to watch the skaters outside the Natural History Museum and enjoying a hot chocolate in the snow! Many parents tell us they don’t always have the confidence to travel into central London with their children on their own, so it was brilliant to open up the City to our group.

The Connecting Parents Christmas party was lots of fun and buzzing with playful parents, excited staff and toddlers and a good few sleepy babies all celebrating the end of a great year, with many lasting friendships made and helpful information and memorable experiences shared. Parents and their little ones got stuck in to festive crafts, cake decorating and singing and each child that came was given a Christmas present to take home, kindly donated by Little Village.

A wonderful time was also had at the Cradles to Crawling Christmas Party.  We had a festive Bring and Share and play time for babies, whilst the Games Room was turned into a mini spa for the parents, with head massages, reflexology and spiritual healing.

 

On Tuesday 19th December we were lucky enough to get a taste of what our young researchers for our Take Back The Power programme have been working on in a small, sharing event. The Participatory Action Research project has focused on the effects of the education system on the lives of young people, with the researchers visiting the May Day rooms and participating in a range of sessions from a poetry writing to a visit from Sian Berry (Greater London Assembly Member for the Green Party). The sharing event gave staff an idea of the passion and hard work which has already gone into the project, both from young people and staff. Young people talked through their processes and findings so far, as well as showing some visual work they have completed and performing some spoken word poetry written themselves for the project.

 

We were very happy to be joined by students and parents from The Hall School to serenade people in Swiss Cottage market area with carols on 8th December. We had a lot of fun and got many passers-by into the Christmas giving spirit, raising £236.86 from the event. Thank you to all who attended!

 

Our Play team and After School Club children really got into the Christmas spirit with some amazing decorations in the play room and lots of activities and events. The Christmas trip this year saw our team take 64 (!) children to Vue cinema to see Paddington 2. They were accompanied by 4 lovely Starbucks Finchley Road staff who came to join the fun.

On the 6th December, 4 staff volunteers from Bank of America came to host a Christmas party. The Bank of America staff cooked up a storm in the kitchen making naan bread with green houmous and chicken. The staff were kind enough to provide all the food for the event and all the activity supplies. Children decorated their own Christmas baubles and made beautiful paper chains with lots of different colours. The event celebrates the end of our 2 year partnership with Bank of America over which they have made a huge difference to our children and the work we do in Play. They have left us with many happy memories and a Christmas present of a sand and water tray to go in the playground.

Our Play children were very excited to benefit from the Angel project with the American School, through which each of the Play children got a present. The project is coordinated by parents from the American School and presents were wrapped by some of our lovely volunteers, led by Annette. This year we asked for books and stationary and we are very excited to see all our lovely gifts on Christmas morning!

We met a really kind supporter at the Hall School football festival who has bought a new football kit for our Play teams (Winch FC), which is very exciting. We will be showing off the kit at our matches from January. Thank you to Ace sports who made the kit and gave us a discount and free kit bag!

 

We would like to say a big thank you to St John’s Women’s Club who raised £1,063! The donations will be used to replace some of our toys in Play and bring lots of joy to all our after school club and Playscheme children.

We are proud to say that our Big Give Campaign went over target raising an amazing £11,637.50 over the week. Thanks to all the generous supporters we have now funded our planned summer 2018 activities for Play and Youth.

 

We had a great Christmas Party for our Transitions youth group on Tuesday 12th December. The young people loved playing the new Fifa 18 game, which they played for the first time at the Christmas party. They also took part in a talent show including dancing from young people who have never danced before, singing, and one young person who played the guitar. We wrapped up the party (and ourselves!) with a tremendous game of Twister.

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