Message from Surestart Coordinator – Pauline Wilson
Welcome to our Surestart Ards webpage. We have been so looking forward to going live with our website and I had hoped for a more exciting launch. However with this ongoing crisis , it is essential that we are able to link with you and share details of the great services we are still able to offer you.
The SureSart services that are still available are as follows –
The main phone lines in both areas are available Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm. This is for any queries about your family or if you need anything that we can help you with . If the phone is not answered immediately please leave a message and someone will contact you.
Family support – we are providing a telephone service for families requiring ongoing guidance and support at this challenging time.
Early Years – staff will be contacting the families with children attending Dakota Tots, Country Tots, Little Buddies, Little Blossoms and Peer interaction programmes to maintain links with the children.
Health visitor – support is still available for any antenatal mums, new mums and those requiring breastfeeding support or guidance.
We will be offering video links on this site for activities such as Rhythm, rhyme and story time, arts and crafts etc. so please have a look and join in with your children.
If there is anything else that you think we can offer please contact us –
Maxwells Courtyard, Kircubbin – Tel. 02842739322
Dakota Avenue, Newtownards – Tel 02891819722
In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands and stay at home. We look forward to seeing you when this is all over. Pauline Wilson
Please scroll down for more information
Now that the children are back to school would you like to book a place onto a parenting course via zoom – please see below for more details
Men’s Health Week 14 – 20 June 2021
Please click on link below for more information about free courses for parents
Please click on link below for information about returning to school after lockdown
Click on link below to read ‘How to stay calm in a Global Pandemic’ by Emma Hepburn
For information on Promoting Mental Health Well Being click on link below
Action Pack (full version inc training resource): https://view.pagetiger.com/cfvaiep/1
Online Training resource: https://view.pagetiger.com/cwxyhdo
Please click on link for more information on Mental Health and Money Toolk
This booklet is intended to offer helpful suggestions and recourses for families to support parents, children and adolescents deal with stress and strengthen meaningful connections together. Please click on the link below picture
Dealing with Worry in Difficult Times
Dealing with worry in difficult times is a booklet from Health Development on dealing with worry and uncertainty. It gives practical suggestions for reducing worry in these challenging times, promote wellbeing and provides links to resources that people have found helpful.
Please click on this link to view a video version of this booklet
If you would like some information around weaning please click on the links below
this link is from NHS Lanarkshire, it contains several videos that link in well with the content of ‘solid start’- e.g. discussing buying shop bought baby food vs homemade, they discuss when babies are ready for weaning and have short videos on making weaning foods.
There are also useful videos on Public Health England’s Start for life page
First steps nutrition have good photo resources-
Wire Me Happy Information
Parenting can be challenging at any time and just when you think you have mastered it another challenge arises. Parenting NI have a range of one hour online sessions offering support with a range of topics including parenting in a pandemic, managing challenging behaviour and managing transitions.
Please click on the link below for information and guidance on fuel, food, finances, volunteering opportunities and other useful contacts
Children and Young Peoples Resource Pack
This resource pack was collated in April and has recently been updated. Clink on the link below to find out information from 50 simple activities to do with your child to coping with mental health and well being to printable colouring in sheets and a section on resources and activities for children and young people with a disability (pge 7-10).
BookTrust have launched a new digital hub , BookTrust Home Time which it packed with reading advice, ideas, activities and resources. Their recent addition – the Northern Ireland page will feature local authors, illustrators and initiatives. This portal highlights amazing local talent and shares what other organisations are doing to support families across Northern Ireland. Each week there will be a new video or interview – kicking things off Malachy Doyle reads his book Molly and the Whale. Please cllick on the link to make use of this resource https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/ni/
The BookTrust NI facebook page is www.facebook.com/booktrustni
Something for the older children
Libraries Ni is delighted to announce details of Silly Squad, Summer Reading Challenge 2020 produced by The Reading Agency and delivered by Libraries. The Silly Squad , Summer Reading Challenge is free, exciting way to keep young people aged 4 – 11 years reading through the summer months. Due to the current circumstances in relation to COVID-19 and with school life disrupted, this years Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge will be even more beneficial in helping parents and carers to find fun, family-friendly activities to support children in maintaining and developing their reading levels. Click on www.librariesni.org.uk to sign up for free.
Rhythm Rhyme and Storytime
Please click on link to watch Rhythm Rhyme and Storytime with Deirdre
Remember ‘What is in the bag today?‘ Please click on the link below to learn how a simple activity can bring great opportunities for communication development with your child. https://www.facebook.com/308606839264367/posts/2017590515032649/
Learn how you can help to develop your child’s understanding of words through play. Click on the link to find out more
Help Kids Talk
April Message of the Month
Its never too early to introduce children to books and it is important to include access to books throughout the day for your little ones. Books help with vocabulary and language development. Babies love books. Use them any time during the day – getting babies to holding books an sharing stories at a young age helps prepare them for reading as they get older. It also helps them learn new words, as they see the picture at the same time as they hear the word. Check out the libraries NI rub a dub hub website for ideas
Please click on Advice page for Speech and language useful links
Staff News (for a bit of light relief!!!)
So remember during lockdown 1 Sharon aka Dr Doolittle befriended a pheasant and had it eating out of her hand? Well here she is again this time making friends with some wild kittens – how cute are they and look at their lovely fur. I can see a new career in the horizon Sharon!!
Congratulations to Cheryl and Kurits on their recent engagement. Cheryl’s beloved dog Harley played a very important role on the day by retrieving a ball on the beach saying ‘will you marry me’. How romantic. Wishing you both every happiness. 2020 not such a bad year Cheryl!
The beautiful ring
And the other handsome male in Cheryl’s life
Hello Lockdown 3!!!! As a way of keeping in touch with our families we have been encouraging everyone to send in photographs of how they are spending their time while at home. Thanks to everyone who have participated so far
Cant decide who is the cutest – Sarah or her lambs
Please click on link to see Shea Braniff singing Old Macdonald – great to hear your singing voice Shea
Recipes to make
60g cocoa powder
sweetner to your desired sweetness
6 eggs separated
tsp vanilla essence
Whisk egg whites to soft peaks
Mix egg yolks, cocoa powder, vanilla and sweetner together (if too dry add a little water, milk or melted margarine.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites
Place into a lined square baking tray
Cook in oven for 20-25 mins at 180
Scatter some crushed white chocolate or drizzle with caramel
Here at SureStart Ards we would like to extend our support and gratitude to our colleagues in the NHS. We have watched day by day, hour by hour how this situation is changing and how they are doing their utmost to help us, our family and our community. Please support this by staying at home, stay safe and protect our NHS. Staff at SureStart Ards are still working to support families – some are working from home while others this week will be working in First Steps Day Nursery in Lagan Valley Hospital and Ulster Hospital and First Steps Afterschool in Down Hospital Downpatrick. Support has also been given to the Family Support Hub Trustwide* in offering telephone services to families requiring additional support.
- for referral send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- or telephone Karen Otley Tel no. 02892501357