Queen's Park Families
A free community-led drop in session for local families with young children, babies and toddlers in London. Every week parents/carers meet for creative play, singing, maternity and peer support. It is held in an area with high levels of social deprivation, and cuts to early years services.
Queen's Park Families (QPF) is set in an area of London with high levels of social deprivation with many families being categorised as 'hard to reach'. As a result many parents and carers with young children are not using the local services due to a lack of knowledge about them or self-confidence in seeking them out.
We provide local residents who have babies and small children (under 4) with a safe, inspiring and overall 'welcoming' environment in which to meet, learn and play. Due to the free (no cost) and regular occurrence of these weekly sessions (even running over school holidays) Queen's Park Families, which is community-led, encourages parents to develop peer support networks and friendships within the local community. One parent has called the project ‘an absolute life line.'
To give young children a safe, inspiring and social environment to learn and play creatively.
Activities» Provide specialist early years musicians to hold creative workshops so that children and adults can learn the songs. And also to promote "free play".
Organising 6 special events/performances a year for the QPF group to attend and recording full numbers at them. Already we have had a string quartet and an immersive theatre piece.
To encourage parents to develop peer support networks and friendships within the local community.
Activities» Elect community leaders and volunteers to run the sessions giving them a sense of autonomy over the project.
» Bring tea and cake (and fruit for the little ones) to each of the sessions for everyone to share and socialise over.
Collecting data on how often the same people return to the sessions, and providing feedback forms and questionnaires at select sessions.
We hope that with the success of Queen's Park Families it will become a model for other community-led projects in Early Years settings. There are plans underway to replicate a similar project in one other area of London. Also a project aim is to support, nurture and give confidence to 'hard-to-reach' families. Feedback supports our efforts so far as parents have on record stated that the sessions make them feel more connected to the community in which they live.
Running out of funding is always a risk. To combat this we have launched a crowdfunding campaign and written applications to new funding bodies to cover the running costs. As the QPF sessions are free and we cater for a large group of babies and young children the cost of supplying specialist musicians and artists, venue hire and administration need to be looked after and we are working hard in finding sustainable ways to do so.
There is a Creative Futures newsletter that is sent out monthly, which we can add the donors to so that they receive regular updates on our charity's progress. Also via telephone, e-mail or face to face meetings, whatever is most convenient for them.
Budget - Project Cost: £13,750Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £1,750 Venue hire 50 weekly sessions p/a £35 per session. £4,500 Musicians 50 weekly sessions p/a £90 fee per specialist trained musician. £900 Events 6 special events p/a £150 for each. Inc. art, theatre, music, etc. £2,100 Community host 50 weekly sessions p/a £42 per community project host pay £1,000 Equipment & insurance Safety toddler mats, instruments, fruit, insurance, etc. £3,500 Administration Admin for the project p/a inc. marketing, accounting, etc.
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Queen's Park Community Council £2,500 Guaranteed
Queen's Park in north west London is an area with high levels of social deprivation, and cuts to early years services.
The 'hard to reach' families who live in the area and some of whom are already attending. Out of a sample of 22 parents who completed feedback questionnaires in May 2016, 53% reported that as a result of QPF they had attended the local Children’s Centre for the first time, which indicates that our aim of introducing parents to other local services has worked. 76% now attend the Children’s Centre either sometimes or regularly.
Queen's Park Families started as a grassroots project set up in 2013 by local residents with help from Creative Futures to fill a gap in local provisions for parents of very young babies to meet and form peer-support networks. With help from Paddington Development Trust's Maternity Champions, we have worked together to deliver high-quality, inspiring and accessible multi-arts programmes for young children and their parents/carers and we will continue to do so using our artists and resources.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Community project host. She is there at every session to help set up, talk to the parents and kids during, and then also to clear up afterwards.
“It's wonderful, fun, stimulating and supportive place, run by fab caring people”