The Flying Start team have been busy adapting their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many parents and families will be aware, Ceredigion Flying Start had to stop delivering the usual packed activity timetable due to COVID-19 back in March 2020. Although group sessions and face-to-face services are no longer taking place, the Flying Start team have been busy adapting their services and are continuing to provide support by phone, text, email, group chat messaging, Zoom and via our social media pages.
Whilst Health visitors’ ability to support families face to face has been reduced, all elements of the Healthy Child Wales programme continue to be delivered virtually with staff making best use of channels such as WhatsApp and Skype. Both Health Visitors and Speech and Language Therapists are now trialling a new ‘Attend Anywhere’ resource offering an online appointment system. Family Support Workers, Speech and Language Therapists, Parenting Officers and Childcare Staff have adapted to offer various 1-1 and group parenting, language and communication courses virtually.
Since face to face activities were halted, 23 parents have accessed the 5 group courses trialled to date, including baby massage, Helping Me Helping You, Toddler Incredible Years and Family Links courses, with books and other resources sent to families to support them to engage with the course content. Other parents have preferred 1:1 support and parenting courses have been delivered in the evening in order to fit around people’s childcare or working patterns.
One parent who participated in a virtual parenting course said, “This course really helped me during lockdown. Being able to talk to other parents did wonders for my mental health and it was nice to share ideas. I was given great advice on how to deal with tantrums and potty training my little girl. I would recommend anyone to do it.”
Teuluoedd Ceredigion Families Facebook Page posts various tips, activities and resources daily, including healthy recipes, speech and language activities and arts and crafts ideas to do at home. Ceredigion’s Flying Start Team are continuing to offer a Keeping in Touch service, whereby parents and families can chat to their Family Support Worker or Health Visitor every week for advice, information and support. In addition, the team have prepared activity bags for Flying Start families ready to be distributed in time for the Summer Holiday.
Rhian Rees, Flying Start Manager said, “This is a challenging time for all – staff and parents alike, but may be particularly challenging if you are a new parent or if you have young children at home. I am so proud of our Flying Start team, who have adapted really well, and have shown great commitment and compassion for our families. Parents who have requested our ‘Keeping in Touch’ service have commented that they have found this really useful and have taken comfort in knowing that the team are there to talk to and to offer advice and support as requested. Our social media page has also proved successful in sharing resources and ideas that parents can do with their child at home.”
To see more of what goes on, visit Teuluoedd Ceredigion Families Facebook page for daily updates or you can contact us via email at email@example.com