Blackpool is one of 14 areas chosen to receive additional funding from the Government’s Family Hubs and Start for Life programme with £2.8 million being targeted on early years services in the resort over three years.
Three Family hubs were launched in July, North, South and Central Family Hub.
The Blackpool Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PaIRs) are integrated into the Family Hubs and were instrumental in accessing, planning and supporting multi-agency training for “Art at the Start”, these sessions are now offered universally across all Family Hubs to Blackpool families and proving to be extremely beneficial.
The Art at the Start project (developed by Dr V Armstrong and Dr J Ross, University of Dundee), describes how making art together builds wonderful moments of connection between babies and their caregiver – these moments are the key building blocks of strong relationships and self-esteem. The PaIRS team had the opportunity to be able to share the benefits of programmes like this for Blackpool families when they were recently invited to attend a partner meeting in the company of Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, the Government’s Early Years Advisor.
Tracy Greenwood, Service Manager for PaIRs, said: “It was a great opportunity for not only our service but our partner organisations to share with Andrea the importance of programmes like Art at the Start, how they support early relationships and the impact art can have upon the social well-being of infants, how shared art experiences may help to build strong attachment relationships.”