Gwcc october newsletter 2014
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GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER Issue 1
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES TEAM UP FOR BETTER SERVICES FOR FAMILIES DECEMBER 2014
There is some exciting news for families living in the West Greenwich area. GWCC (Greenwich West Childrens Centres) are a group made up of 5 providers across West Greenwich. These are: Quaggy Childrens Centre Rachel McMillan Childrens Centre Robert Owen Childrens Centre Invicta Childrens Centre Sherington Childrens Centre
The reason for this partnership is to improve and coordinate services for families living in Greenwich. Read all about it in the Royal Greenwich Time newspaper http://goo.gl/hP6HCF This newsletter will provide you with information on regular activities and events taking place at the centres and also new and upcoming services and courses that are developed. We want you to be able to access as many services as possible that are relevant to your needs as a family. There will be a regular newsletter for
you to receive either by email or through your local centre. There is also be a TWITTER @GWCC5 account and a FACEBOOK page http://goo.gl/4QqPnH with updates to let you know what is happening across the centres. Please follow us on TWITTER and like our FACEBOOK page. If you receive the online version of this newsletter you can click on the relevant link to go to an online calendar of events at each centre. Simply click on the event that interests you for more details. Or you can always pick up a timetable from your local centre. If you would like to subscribe to receive an online newsletter you can request this by sending an email to [email protected]
Mothers, Fathers and Carers Get Involved
We want to hear what you have to say about our services so feel free to contact us with any feedback positive or negative. You can also get involved by joining a Parents Forum for your local centre. You can then have a say and shape services and help develop the work that is taking place. There are also personal development opportunities when you join a Parents Forum such as training and courses. If you are interested in finding out more you can either talk to the staff at your local Childrens Centre or email [email protected]
GWCC Greenwich West Childrens Centres
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 2
Online Calendar If you would like to see what is happening using our online calendar then you can access it by clicking http://goo.gl/YK2TJk Then if you click on the agenda button on the top right hand section of the calendar you can see a list of each event for each day at each centre. This is the simplest view. Each entry shows where the event or activity is being held. Then simply click on the event that interests you for more information.
Children's Centres offer all families with children under five a range of services, information and support in their local community.
The support varies according to local needs but most centres offer the following:
advice during pregnancy and when your baby is born
home visiting family drop-ins parenting support information about your child's
health needs training courses to improve your
life skills or help you back to work help finding specialist groups and
Centres work closely with other local organisations, so if there is something they can't help you with themselves, they will usually be able to give you details of an organisation who can.
Healthy Start scheme
Under the Healthy Start scheme, you
can get free vouchers which can be
exchanged for fruit and vegetables
and milk and infant formula.
You may get help under the Healthy
Start scheme if, for example, you:
are pregnant and you or a member
of your family receives Income
Employment and Support Allowance
or income-based Jobseeker's
you are receiving Child Tax Credit
(but not Working Tax Credit)
are aged under 18, even if you are
not receiving the above benefits and
are a mother of a child or children
under four years old, and you or a
member of your family receives one
of the above benefits.
How much are the vouchers worth?
Qualifying pregnant women and
children between one and four years
old will get one voucher every week.
Children under one year old will get
two vouchers a week. Vouchers can
be spent at participating retailers,
including small businesses and
milkmen as well as larger
supermarkets and chemists.
Vouchers are sent automatically by
post every four weeks.
How do I claim?
Claims must be made in writing
using the HS01 form which must be
signed by your midwife or health
Forms are available from your GP or
Health Centre or online from the
Healthy Start website.
Where can I get free vitamins?
Vitamins are available from
maternity clinics, health centres and
all Royal Greenwich Children's
What is a Childrens Centre?
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 3
CONTACT DETAILS OF CHILDRENS CENTRES
Quaggy Childrens Centre Orchard Hill Lewisham London SE13 7QZ Tel: 020 8465 9785 Rachel McMillan Childrens Centre McMillan Street Deptford London SE8 3EH Tel: 020 8692 4041 Robert Owen Childrens Centre 43 Commerell Street Greenwich London SE10 0EA Tel: 020 8858 0289 Invicta Childrens Centre Invicta Road Charlton London SE3 7HE Tel: 020 8293 5037 Sherington Childrens Centre Wyndcliff Road Charlton London SE7 7JP Tel: 020 8305 3140
In the support we offer to families in the Greenwich West Area we use Family Star as a method of seeing whether the support we are offering is making a difference.
What is Family Star?
Family Star is a way of working with and supporting families. We use it in the Childrens Centre to help support families. Family Star is a tool to support Mothers, Fathers and Carers without judging them.
Family Star is about measuring change around a certain area of your life. Parenting is a difficult job and the things life throws up at us can make this even more complicated.
It is simple to use and is presented in an easy way with images and pictures to help it come to life. It provides a way to track changes and parents can easily see the difference that is taking place.
The great thing about family star is that it provides a way for the parents to be involved in the whole process of support, from planning to review. Mothers, Fathers and Carers are empowered to reflect on their situation and develop an action plan to improve the things they want to change and develop more control over their lives. They are also involved in the evaluation, so it truly is a tool that can be used in partnership with mothers fathers and carers.
If you feel that you need support in your current situation you can talk to a member of the Childrens Centre team at your local Childrens Centre.
Points on the Family Star
Home and Money
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 4
Local families said a fond farewell to the Blue Bungalow with a Fun Palaces event at Invicta Childrens Centre. More than 100 children braved the rain to get involved in all the free activities. They brought their scooters to whizz around a track stopping off to get active and creative.
The Blue Bungalow will be making way for the exciting new journey towards a new home for Invicta Childrens Centre within the new school building due to open in February 2015.
In the meantime, some sessions will be moving to new venues.
Story Rhyme Time and the Baby Group with the Health Visitor Drop In sessions have already successfully moved to
Mycenae House Community Centre. 90 Mycenae Rd, London SE3 7SE
We have extended the Forest School extended sessions and will continue to run from Invicta School on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. An opportunity to have fun learning in the outdoor environment, be prepared to get messy. Dress to stay warm.
FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice
Stay & Play sessions
Bouncing Babies will continue in the Blue Bungalow for as long as possible and will move to Invicta School hall in the interim period so that families continue to have a valuable community resource on their doorsteps.
Our Bouncing Babies Course continues to be well supported by parents with their babies. The course promotes communication using actions, gestures and rhymes.
Bye-Bye Blue Bungalow
Invicta Childrens Centre
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 5
Rachel McMillan Childrens Centre runs a variety of activities and services for parents. Baby Massage will be starting again on Friday 16th January 10-11.30am for 5 weeks, then 27th Feb for 5 weeks, 17th April for 5 weeks and then 5th June for 5 weeks. Bouncing Babies starts 13th January 1.30-3.00pm for 5 weeks Music and Movement is every Monday 11-12.00pm (term time) To find out about any activities call 0208 692 4041 or come in to the reception
Rachel McMillan Childrens Centre Childrens Centre
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 6
Crafty coffee club
The craft club has been busy this term. We are currently busy getting ready for the Christmas fair on Friday 5th December from 11 - 3. Next term we are planning to commission in some craft workshops. If you have any ideas or requests please let us know by emailing
We held a parent forum meeting on Thursday 24th November in the enchanted coffee pot. It was well attended and a good sign for getting more parents actively involved in our Childrens Centre. We would like to grow the membership of our Parent Forum and as a start one of the Parent Forum members will be available to answer questions Weekly parent forum coffee mornings will be held every Monday during term time in the enchanted coffee pot. Someone will be on hand to answer any queries you may have.
Enchanted Coffee Pot
We are delighted to announce that our cafe space has been
refurbished and us now open. It currently serves fresh teas and coffee, freshly made cakes and lunchtime snacks. The enchanted coffee pot is
open from 8-4....why not come along for a cuppa and a cake?
Food Bank Appeal
We held a harvest food bank appeal across the centre to mark the harvest festival. It was a huge success so we have decided to collect Christmas foods for the food bank. You can bring donations into RO as we are a registered collection point. All donations are collected and distributed by the food bank service.
We had a very successful fathers brunch on Saturday 15th November. The children had lots of fun exploring their nursery environment with their dads and grandads. There were lots of activities and storytellers not to mention bacon butties. We carried out a survey of the kinds of activities that Dads and Male Carers would like to see Childrens Centres running across Greenwich West. The consensus was to provide 3 outdoor activities over the coming year and invite dads and male carers from all 5 of our Greenwich West Childrens Centres. Look out for information in future newsletters on how you can get involved.
Christmas fair Friday 5th December from 11 - 3 gifts, raffle, cakes, stalls, children's activities, Christmas party day is Tuesday 16th, 11.00 - 1.00, 2.00 per head paid in advance. There will be party food and a group visit to Santa. There will be letters by next week for you to complete and return. There will no bumps n babies group on this day. .
The last date for bumps n babies is Tuesday 9th December The last date for Toddler group will be Wednesday 10th December & 11th December The centre closes on 22nd December and returns January 6th If you are interested in any courses or would like to comment on anything, share ideas please contact [email protected]
Robert Owen Childrens Centre
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 7
Dads News On 13th December Men in Sheds will be coming in to Sherington Childrens Centre Dads Saturday Club. They will be running an arts and craft session where the children will work with their dads/male carers to make wooden Christmas decorations.
Christmas Decoration Making Workshop All male carers with
children under five from the Charlton area
welcome. Come and join the fun and make something
special together. 10am-11:30am
WEDNESDAY Dads Stay and Play
Are you the male carer? Does your partner/wife go to work and youre a stay at home dad with child care duties? Do you have weekly contact with your child(ren)? Are you at a bit of a loose end and looking for something to do with your child? Weve got the ideal session for you and your children.
Dads Stay and Play EVERY Wednesday 9:30-11:30am
We have messy play, arts and craft, cars and bikes, planes and trains, baby corner, home corner. Let their imagination fly. Singing and/or story time at the end of the sessions. Share your own tips with other dads/male carers, meet new friends and share your experiences. For children aged 0-18 months.
Hush a Byes Session Every Monday we run a Hush a Byes group for parent carers with children 0-18months. This is a fun and interactive session with your baby. Lots of baby mobiles, blocks, baby cradles, soft toys, and soft mats. If your child is at the crawling stage they can explore with confidence and you can watch them develop in a safe and caring environment. There will be regular visits from health professionals where you can ask about weaning, crawling and
teething along with other issues you may want advice on. Kashmir is our Early Years Worker who will be in the session with you, shes there to support you and ensure you have an enjoyable session. Shes fantastic and the babies agree. You will always get a warm welcome from the staff of the centre. The Hush a Byes session is a place to support your babys development through play. Its also a place to meet other parent and carers to share your experiences.
Sherington Childrens Centre
GREENWICH WEST CHILDRENS CENTRES NEWSLETTER | Issue 1 8
Legal Advice Sessions
In partnership with Powell and Co Solicitors we are holding monthly advice sessions for mothers fathers and carers. Advice is available on the following: Contact with Children Disputes between Couples Domestic Violence Legal Advice Disputes with Social Services The sessions are free and run on the first Wednesday of every month. Places must be booked in advance as there are time slots that are allocated.
Young Parents Group Quaggy Childrens Centre hold regular sessions for Young Parents. The group offers the opportunity to do some fantastic activities, learn new skills and to meet other Young Parents. There is a free crche available for you while you attend the group. So if you are a young parent under 25 and want to get more involved in
your community and meet new people then why not come along? Tuesdays 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Saturday Dads Group From January we will be holding a regular group for Dads and Male Carers with children under 8. The sessions will run on the 3rd Saturday of every month. There will be loads of exciting activities and projects for you to enjoy with your child. Some of the things we will be doing include science experiments, outings and other interesting events. Along with other Childrens Centres in the area we are trying to meet the need for Dads and Male Carers so that there is a service that meets the needs of men as well as women. Come along and meet other Male Carers and enjoy the fantastic activities we have planned. There will always be a warm welcome for you and your child. The group is free and there is free food and drink supplied for all who attend.
This is a social group for parents where you can come and meet other mothers, fathers and carers and do some great activities ranging from crafts activities to outdoor events. The session costs 1 to attend and there is a free crche for you while you are in the group. The group runs every Friday morning between 9.30 and 11.30.
Quaggy Childrens Centre