A flying start for youngsters in the Vale

By Neil Speight

22nd Jan 2023 | Local News

From next month children up to the age of four in the vale of Glamorgan will be given the given the opportunity to join a series of free, fun family events designed to boost their communication skills and confidence.

Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded initiative aiming to provide support to families to give children a 'flying' start in life, and it is running four events for children and their families throughout the month of February.

From a Teddy Bears' Picnic to a Natter and Nibble, each event will offer various activities filled with storytelling, songs, and socialising for children.

The activities are being held as part of the Talk With Me Siarad Gyda Fi campaign, which aims to share speech, language, and communication skills advice with parents and those caring for children aged up to five.

The events are free and are open to families eligible for Flying Start support within the Vale of Glamorgan who have children aged four and under.

Each session will be led by Flying Start Speech and Language Therapists to help children develop their vocabulary, boost communication skills, and to support parents in connecting with their children through every-day activities and routines.

In addition to the events, the Talk With Me programme is encouraging all parents and carers in Wales to make its activities a regular part of their children's daily routines at home and when out and about.

Talk With Me's Parent and Carer Pack is freely available online https://www.gov.wales/talk-with-me and is packed with top tips, activities and guidance to help get your little one talking and communicating with confidence.

Kath Clarke, Vale of Glamorgan Flying Start Manager, said: "Helping children to become confident communicators is one of the most beneficial things parents and carers can do. There are many simple and fun activities that families can really boost these skills.

"Our events will provide great opportunities for parents and carers to access support from our fantastic speech and language therapists, who will be on hand to answer any questions and give some useful tips.

"We're also encouraging all families to make use of the guidance and advice available from Talk With Me as part of their daily routines."

Events taking place include:

  • • Teddy Bears' Picnic, 2 February (multiple sessions) Community Enterprise Centre in Barry, and the Byrd Crescent Community Hall, Penarth.
  • • Let's Play Throughout the Day, 7 February (multiple sessions) Community Enterprise Centre, Barry
  • • Natter and Nibble, 13 February (multiple sessions) Community Enterprise Centre in Barry, and the CF61 Building in Llantwit Major.
  • • Walk and Talk, 21 February (multiple sessions) Victoria Park, Barry

For further details of all Flying Start events and to book your place, visit eventbrite.co.uk/o/flying-start-31949541143

Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, said: "The events being run by Flying Start, and the wider Talk With Me programme, are all designed to provide parents and carers with invaluable opportunities to better help children to develop their speech, language, and communication skills.

"Many parents will be familiar with a lot of the activities we're promoting, as experts know that using the simplest tips will have really positive effects.

"I hope that as many children as possible from Flying Start areas will have the chance to take part in the events to meet others their age to have fun while learning. Many more will benefit for the top tips and guidance offered by Talk With Me."

The first in the series of events is the Teddy Bears' Picnic, taking place in Barry and Penarth on Thursday 2 February.

The picnics are a chance for children, parents and carers to share the fun while singing songs, learning rhymes, and enjoying story time. Parents and carers are asked to bring along a snack and a teddy or soft toy for their child. Three separate sessions are available throughout the day, with morning events at 9.30am and 11am, being held at the Community Enterprise Centre (CEC), 7 Skomer Rd, Barry CF62 9DA.

An afternoon session will then be held at 1.30pm at the Byrd Crescent Community Hall, 41 Byrd Crescent Penarth, CF64 3QU.

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