Tak­ing some time out

Fa­cil­ity gives worn out mums and dads chance to mix with oth­ers for a chat

Rutherglen Reformer - - Out & About - Mur­ray Spooner

Hard work­ing mums and dads know that get­ting out and about is not only good for them­selves, but also ben­e­fi­cial for their lit­tle ones.

But some­times you can­not seem to get your foot out the door when there is just so much to do around the house.

Well that’s where the Par­ent Cafes in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang come in.

De­liv­ered by Healthy n Happy Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust, the groups spe­cialise in help­ing par­ents meet other par­ents to give each other help­ful tips and ad­vice. It also gives them the chance to en­joy time out­side the house with their chil­dren.

Louise James and her vol­un­teers play an out­stand­ing role in giv­ing a young­ster the best pos­si­ble start in life through a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties which help with a child’s de­vel­op­ment.

The Re­former was in­vited along to the Par­ent Cafe follow on group ses­sion held ev­ery Fri­day at

Whit­law­burn Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre.

Lousie (be­low) ex­plained the main aims of the cafes. She said: “The idea is not only to look af­ter the chil­dren, we put on the ac­tiv­i­ties round a theme and it’s the par­ents who are the ones who do it with the wee ones.

“We are here to make sure they all feel wel­comed, in­cluded and take the worry out of coming along to a group. And it al­lows the par­ent to spend time with the wee ones rather than have them run­ning about and they’re stuck mak­ing tea.

“It’s about sup­port­ing the par­ents and help­ing the chil­dren reach their de­vel­op­men­tal mile­stones. All the ac­tiv­i­ties help the de­vel­op­ment of the chil­dren’s love of learn­ing and cu­rios­ity.”

Speak­ing to some of the par­ents who at­tend the weekly classes, we soon got to re­alise that many come along to meet with their own friends as well as let­ting the chil­dren play with their own.

Each group in­volves a craft ses­sion, a healthy snack (a task the chil­dren help to pre­pare), a Play@Home ac­tiv­ity, some phys­i­cal ex­er­cise and a Book­bug ses­sion.

The craft ses­sion is linked to a theme and gives ev­ery­one the op­por­tu­nity to use ba­sic ma­te­ri­als which can be found around the home to cre­ate a mas­ter­piece.

Chil­dren also get the chance to help make a healthy snack and Louise is al­ways on hand to show ev­ery­one the ac­tiv­i­ties that are lined up.

Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity helps en­cour­age move­ment and pro­motes healthy liv­ing while the Book­bug ses­sion com­bines books and songs to help with a child’s lit­er­acy de­vel­op­ment.

Chris­tine Rodger and her lit­tle ones, Han­nah, 3, and Olivia, 18 months, at­tended the baby group on a Wed­nes­day be­fore mov­ing to the Follow on Group.

The Cam­bus­lang mum told how the ses­sion made it eas­ier for her to get to know peo­ple in the com­mu­nity which could have been dif­fi­cult when she moved to the area four years ago.

“We like this toddler group be­cause there’s lots of dif­fer­ent things for the chil­dren to do,” she said. “It’s just re­ally re­laxed and very wel­com­ing.

“I took Olivia when she was a baby to the Wed­nes­day group and then to the follow on group. So it’s quite nice to see the mums you met there and meet them again here.

“The kids are happy and oc­cu­pied which is nice, It’s a good way to get out in the morn­ing and they are better out do­ing fun stuff than stuck in the house and it keeps them en­ter­tained.”

Ni­cola Ewing from Cam­bus­lang, says the group is handy be­cause it is within walk­ing dis­tance from her home.

She said: “I think it’s quite good be­cause you get to know the mums and dads and get a cof­fee and a chat. You get to bring the kids who get to make friends too.

“I come along to see my friends and my son Adam, 3, comes along to see his.

“Louise al­ways has a theme on the day and has arts and craft sec­tion and messy play so you are able to do things that you might not be able to do in the house.”

Emma Mur­doch and Ni­cole McFad­den from Burn­side and Cam­bus­lang both work at Tesco Bank.

Ni­cole said: “It was the health vis­i­tor who said to us when we had ba­bies. There’s a baby one and we started go­ing to that un­til they grew up a bit and started coming to this one.

“The kids love it, it’s a place to play and so­cialise and there is lots of dif­fer­ent toys and crafts.

“It’s good for us to get out and meet peo­ple. You get good tips. The baby one was better for that be­cause you get to know how other ba­bies are get­ting on be­cause you don’t know any ba­bies to start with.”

Any­one want­ing to at­tend is en­cour­aged to just show up on the day. The cafe, which takes place on three days through­out the week, is free although a £2 do­na­tion to help with the run­ning costs is en­cour­aged.

•The Par­ent Cafe Baby Group meets Wed­nes­days, 11.30am-1.30pm in Whit­law­burn Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre.

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All smilesMum Chloe Coyne with Har­ri­son Camp­bell, 17 months and Han­nah Rodgers, 3, with vol­un­teer Chris­tine Ward

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Family af­fair Chris­tine Rodger with daugh­ters Han­nah, 3, and Olivia, 18 months.

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Bub­bles There is lots of ac­tiv­i­ties for kids to do which can be ap­plied at home

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Meet­ing friends Derek Mor­ton and Ni­cola Ewing

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Par­ent cafe A lovely morn­ing was had in the Whit­law­burn Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre

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Ac­tiv­i­ties Some of the chil­dren have fun blow­ing bub­bles

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Follow on group Con­nie Mor­ton, 4, with Char­lie Purse, 8 months, mum Gil­lian Purse and Ol­lie Purse, 4.

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Rolling One boy takes a turn on one of the many toys avail­able at the cafe

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Grow­ing up Chil­dren who at­tended the baby group on a Wed­nes­day can move onto the follow on group when they’re older

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