Local charity, Every Child Our Future (ECOF), has released its first impact report on Bright Beginnings, which reflects on progress made against the aims and objectives set out by the charity.
Bright Beginnings Children’s Centre and Nursery opened in 2017 and offers free services in the Children’s Centre and a combination of free and paid for services in the nursery, all of which are informed by the 1001 Critical Days Agenda ethos – for all children to receive sensitive, appropriate and responsive care from their main caregivers in the first years of life.
ECOF has worked at the forefront of the Agenda in the island since it was announced nationally in the UK parliament. The vision for Guernsey’s first children’s centre, Bright Beginnings, was born from the realisation that families needed a place to ‘be’, free from stigma, where they are able to seek support and friendship and where a range of activities are available to support them in ensuring their child has the best possible start.
The impact report highlighted that Bright Beginnings welcome between 80-100 families to the Children’s Centre each week and of those families, 98.8% felt their needs were being met by the Centre. The services available range from antenatal classes through to groups supporting toddlers and their care givers, in addition to 1:1 work, signposting, perinatal and mental health support, a nursery and preschool and an onsite café. 98.8% of families reported the staff to be helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive and 97.3% felt they were receiving a quality service.
Huw Evans, Chair of ECOF Guernsey said: “Our objectives when launching Bright Beginnings was to work together with families to support the development of a secure and loving relationship between parent and child. It is great to see the outcomes positively reflect what we have all been working towards. The impact report provides validation that we are moving in the right direction and has been a fantastic way to highlight and celebrate the achievements of all the staff and volunteers involved in running the Centre and Nursery”.
Like many charities this year, ECOF were instrumental in providing essential support for the community throughout lockdown. In line with States of Guernsey guidelines, The Bright Beginnings Nursery remained open to support children of families with additional needs and key workers’ children.
The Children’s Centre were determined to continue delivering their support to the wider community, so by embracing the lockdown regulations they adapted their usual programme to offer virtual support groups and initiatives. All the groups available were hosted on Zoom or Facebook Live, with links being made available through the Bright Beginnings Facebook page. The page was open to the public, however additional private groups were created, for new and expectant parents to ask questions, share tips, post photos and support each other in a safe place.
This Summer, through a very generous donation from the Sarah Groves Foundations, Bright Beginnings will also be able to offer extra sessions to a number of Children who attend their Nursery to continue to prepare them for school.
Rachel Copeland, who sits on the Board of ECOF commented: “We are incredibly proud of, and thankful to all the staff and our amazing volunteers who put their hearts, time and energy into ensuring families continued to receive support throughout lockdown. The impact report reflects the dedication of the team and the importance of Bright Beginnings’ work to families”.
The Impact Report 2019 is available to read here: https://www.brightbeginnings.gg/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20470-BB-20pp-Report-web.pdf
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Bright Beginnings, the Centre would love to hear from you. For more information please contact Rachel Copeland on 07781 429515.