News Feed

Stay up to date with what is happening with our chief roving reporter, Cai.

Chat and Play

Chat and Play is a free play group that runs once a week at our centre in Old Colwyn. This group has helped parents create friends, chat and socialise. We offer a variety of different toys each week for children ages 0-4 years old. This group has our regulars who attend, and new faces often come along from time to time which is lovely. This group has been great for getting local people out of their houses and socialising with others. Even mums with new born babies come down just to get out the house and chat with Tania. Parents/Guardians love the social aspect of this group and being able to have a space to just chat and speak with others about their day to day lives. We also have a few that just come for the last thirty minutes of the sessions each week due to their little one’s nap time and other personal commitments. It's a very flexible group

Play Through Sound

Through Sound was created to help little ones grow through music. Tania, our Play and Activity Coordinator, designed these sessions to help parents cut the costs of buying toys and to help parents gain ideas by using household items to make music and get creative with their little ones. There are different themes each week and this allows space for the children to be free and express themselves through music and play. This group is very popular, so we run a morning and afternoon group due to the high demand. The children always come out with huge smiles on their faces, singing and dancing. Tania is looking at introducing a new theme to these sessions soon as she is always expanding on her ideas and tries to find new ways to keep the children engaged and encourage learning.

Volunteer Training.

Our new volunteers recently completed a six-week Volunteer Preparation Course. The course went very well, and we were encouraged by the positive feedback we were given. Two of our long-standing volunteers and a parent came in to talk about their experience of Home-Start, and provided an opportunity to ask questions at the end, which was very well received by our new volunteers.

 

‘I thoroughly enjoyed how the course was delivered in a very professional, interactive, and light-hearted manner, ‘especially given that some of the topics can be heavy and triggering’.

Another volunteer said the course had helped her to ‘Revise aspects of working with families, safeguarding, and confidentiality. Feel positive about being part of a team and volunteering’

Pantomime

The CBeebies Panto came to Venue Cymru and the BBC very kindly offered Children in Need projects including Home-Start Conwy the fantastic opportunity of free tickets to watch the dress rehearsal show. Many of the families we support were extremely grateful for the opportunity to take their children and the feedback was that they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Some quotes from families

Thank you so much for the tickets we appreciate it. 

Hi we went to the panto it was amazing……loved it and watched the whole thing!

 Thanks so much for arranging the tickets for the panto. The boys loved it and I enjoyed it too.

Thank you so much for the tickets last night the kids really enjoyed themselves (so did I) x

Bronwen thank you for getting us the tickets for the panto, we all really enjoyed it, Thanks again.

Afternoon tea

Our volunteers were invited  for afternoon tea. This was our way of showing our appreciation for everything our volunteers do to support us. The feedback from the get together was that everyone who came really enjoyed it! There was a mixture of long served volunteers as well as our newest recruits & they enjoyed the opportunity to chat & gain some peer support. They also met Sue, our lovely Trustee, who chatted about her time at Home-Start Conwy. We are looking forward to holding another get together soon 😊   

This is a very popular group and is part of our outreach programme.  Contact us if you would like more information 01492 515477

Toy appeal

As Christmas was approaching, we were very aware that many of our families needed additional support as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. We used our social media presence to establish a Toy Appeal, which would provide our families with new toys for their children. We approached some local shops & asked if they would be a donation point for people to drop their donations off, & they very kindly agreed 😊 We also received some very generous donations from BT Openreach, for which we were extremely grateful. Our families were overwhelmed with the kindness that people had shown during these challenging times for everyone.

Christmas hampers

We are very grateful to Shavonne from Catherine & St John the Baptist, Old Colwyn for coordinating a collection of food from several Churches in the Aled Mission area and putting some lovely Christmas hampers together for us.

The Christmas hampers contained mince pies, selection boxes, hot chocolate and other edible goodies, as well as a £10 gift card to help with the increasing cost of living. 

The Christmas hampers were put together and beautifully wrapped by volunteers from Catherine & St John the Baptist’s, Old Colwyn, as well as our own volunteers at Home-Start Conwy.  They were then collected from our centre by our volunteers and delivered to the families they support. 

The way in which our local community pulled together and the kindness and generosity people have shown has made such a positive difference to families this Christmas, and we are very grateful to all of those involved.

Food Share

Our partnership with the North Wales Food Share programme continues to be an important community service.  We provide free and subsidised food to anyone finding the cost of living crisis challenging. There is also an environmental aspect in that a lot of food goes to waste from supermarkets as it approaches its sell by date.  The food share programme helps divert this into the community.

Youth Groups

With the expansion of our youth programmes, we have decided to create our own youth charity alongside Home Start Conwy to manage and develop this new and exciting opportunity. 

In the last six months we have been working to separate the youth services aspect of Home Start Conwy into its own entity. The new charity has been driven by Home Start Conwy’s desire to provide the best service for the local youth community. It was felt that a new model with exciting new initiatives needed to have its own independent management and board of trustees to focus specifically on youth work.  The two charities will work together from the community centre to integrate their support in the community.

Sewing Group

Our sewing group of Fridays continues to be very popular.  This provides an opportunity for people to learn to sew and make new garments, but also recycle clothing and materials as part of an environmental project.  We always know when this group is in the centre due to all the laughter and high spirits.

Build & Play

This is a new group and it's proven to be a huge hit. Its part of our outreach program in the community. This group is very different, and it offers toddlers a chance to use equipment some have most likely never seen before. It's designed to help toddlers burn off some energy, whilst learning lots of new skills and supporting them with their motor skills development. Each week we have seen a huge difference in the children when they come into the room, they now run in and are so happy to be given the freedom to be free in a big room. They run around, build, dance and play together. Parents socialise and it's such a happy uplifting group. One parent commented that it gives her a boost of energy and picks her up to face her day after she attends the group. We have had parents asking to please keep this going as they love this group so much.

Makaton Level 1 course

 

We held a Level 1 Makaton course in June for staff, volunteers & people working in the community. Nic, our tutor from Stand NW, a community organisation that supports parents, carers & families of children with additional needs delivered the training and we’re happy to say we all passed with flying colours. Home-Start Conwy can now be registered as a Makaton Friendly venue, promoting inclusivity in the workplace & in the local community.

Wee 1s meet Wise 1s,

 

In association with the Conwy Wellbeing Team, we have begun a new intergenerational group, Wee 1s meet Wise 1s, bringing young & older people together at our centre. Research suggests that older people who are experiencing loneliness & living in isolation are far more likely to suffer from Depression, which can lead onto other health issues. Many young families who are referred also have similar issues & sadly, many don’t get to experience the joy & wisdom that grandparents can bring into family life. This lovely fun group addresses both these issues & allows older people to spend some time with young families, playing, chatting & just enjoying each other’s company in a lovely, relaxed environment.   An abundance of tea & biscuits is always available for the Wise One’s & lots of fruit for the Wee One’s (sometimes a biscuit too if Mum’s happy).  

These take place at the centre every second Tuesday of the month.

Play through sound

This is an extremely popular FREE group that is for 0–4-year-olds. The high numbers of this group meant we had to introduce a morning group too, so we now run this every Monday morning and afternoon. This group focuses on the feelings we get when we make sounds and music rather than the actual sounds that are created. We don't play nursery rhymes as we create the music ourselves. It's also been a fantastic way of helping the children who were born during lockdown to socialise and communicate through music.  We have seen a huge difference in the children’s speech development and some parents have commented how much confidence it has given their little ones to express themselves more freely. We find parents join in as much as the children in this group and you see them connecting to their inner child and to their own child through the music we create. We have lots of fun at this group and each week has different themes such as Animals, Transport, Under the sea, Cooking etc. This is so important to us as it introduces different sounds to the children at an early age and helps cognitive development.

Baby bank

 

Working in collaboration with St Catherine and St John’s the Baptist, Old Colwyn, we have established a Baby Bank.  Expectant or New Mums can receive baby bundles consisting of pre-loved excellent quality newborn vests, baby grows and blankets which we utilise from our clothes share. The church very kindly donates toiletries to complete the packs.

Cost of Living Event

 

We held a Cost-of-Living Event in June to provide information & support to local families who are worrying about the cost-of-living crisis.  Organisations attending included Citizens Advice, Welsh Water, Warm Wales & more.

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