SJ's Little Ones
Going into our second year of Little ones we feel positive about the impact the groups have had in supporting families in our immediate and wider community. With carefully planned and creative weekly play sessions and a welcoming social space we have many families who are now regular attendees. Through this growth we have seen strong friendships, support and a sense of real depth of community as a network has developed. We encourage all our parents and carers to make return visits and get involved.
Our Thursday group continues to be a small and very precious group for mothers (sometimes dads too) and their new babies up to nine months. We love to celebrate new life and support parents with the ups and downs, joys and challenges of looking after a new baby. We give a hand knitted set of hat and booties to each new parent along with words of encouragement and offer ‘meals to bless’ if needed.
Throughout the other three busier sessions in the week we share our Christian faith, through singing, dancing, stories, crafts and activities. Four times a year we have special celebration events for the little ones and their carers. (Autumn Light party, Christmas party, Easter Celebration and End of the year celebration and farewell) . We enjoyed hearing about baby Jesus when scruffy the puppet visited at Christmas and we gifted each school starter with a beautiful Children’s Bible and said a special prayer for them as they moved on at the end of year. Every child receives a new story book for their birthday and we love to celebrate each child in our circle time in this way.
We loved putting on a Royal Wedding party in May and held a stand at Party in the Park, offering free play space, cake and face painting.
We held our first Little Ones Christmas market this year, which was a great outreach to our community. All stall holders live in the village and are mostly parents themselves. We offered people the opportunity to shop local and support small businesses as well as the work of Little Ones.
We are supported by a team of very dedicated volunteers, who bake cakes, make teas and coffees and help with all the clearing up. They are all very much valued and appreciated! They all have such servant hearts and work hard to offer everyone who comes to our groups encouragement and support. We hope to create a greater culture of prayer and deeper understanding of what it is to have a faith this year as we help helping families to feel better equipped and supported in their roles as parents.