Improving Me is delighted to share some of the fabulous activity happening across Baby Week in November so you can get involved locally or just be inspired to do something too. Improving Me can share event and poster templates to advertise your activity and the Baby Week logo. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and get involved.
Sefton are Celebrating Baby Week 13-17 November
Kim Evans writes, ‘Join Us. We are really excited to celebrate Baby week in Sefton from 13th-17th November 2023. This is an opportunity to celebrate this miraculous stage of life and to present parents with helpful and consistent information to support their child’s development. We are planning 3 Market place style events and we like to invite you to join us to enjoy a fantastic networking opportunity and information exchange.’
They will be offering short taster sessions that parents can engage with for example baby massage and story time.
The events are:
- Monday 13th (1pm-2:30) Litherland Family Wellbeing centre
- Wednesday 15th (9:30-11:30am) Seaforth Family Wellbeing centre.
- Friday 17th (10am-12pm) Southport library/The Atkinson
If you are able to exhibit at one, two or all of these events, we would be grateful if you could complete the google form on this link:
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Kim
Kim Evans - Early Years Partnership and Project Coordinator - Kimberley.Evans@sefton.gov.uk
Spotlight on perinatal mental health in Knowsley
Improving Me is delighted to share details of a brand new project for mums with children under 2 living in Knowsley, offering weekly creative sessions to help support and improve the mental health and well-being of mums and mums-to-be; proudly supported by One Knowsley and funded by Improving Me, the Arts Council and Renova.
Improving Me Director Catherine McClennan said, Our NHS Cheshire and Merseyside women’s health and maternity programme is founded on a belief in the immense value of asset based working and collaboration. It pays off. And the invaluable work with One Knowsley and Singing Mamas is a case in point. But we also need to say thank you to Arts Council England for their belief in this local partnership and their investment in our local communities. All together is undoubtedly better for everyone.’
Racheal Jones, CEO of One Knowsley said, ’This programme is a model of excellence and a powerful example of what can be achieved
through collaboration. The mobilisation of the partnership, development, and capacity building of the voluntary and community organisations by One Knowsley has resulted in investment into our arts-based community and voluntary groups. Thank you to all our partners and the investment support received to unlock creativity, wellbeing and enable connected resilient communities.”
If you would like to make a referral to one of the creative health sessions or would like flyers for your setting, please email KnowsleyArts@gmail.com
Baby Week spotlight on SINGING MAMAS
Singing Mamas are teaming up with One Knowsley to deliver a specific perinatally focused programme in Halewood, alongside Creative Writing with Dramatic Recovery who are delivering in Huyton and a book club with Creative Spaces in Kirkby
This is the link to book a place: https://KnowsleyArts.eventbrite.com
AT HOME WITH SINGING MAMAS
The UK's first digital singing on prescription service!
With Improving Me’s support and funding from Arts Council England Singing Mamas have partnered with Liverpool Women's hospital to develop a singing at home programme that improves maternal wellbeing. It is available to pregnant women and women with babies under 1 living in Cheshire & Merseyside.
FREE sign up here https://www.singingmamas.org/offers/j5Snsoro/checkout
Singing Mamas Community Groups
Women, everywhere, are waking up to the joy of singing.
Singing Mamas is a wide network of singing groups, specialising in supporting women and their mental health during the perinatal period. They bring women together; to meet, connect and experience the freedom, energy and pure magic of harmony singing. They accept women of all ages because they believe that it takes a village to raise a child. They also support other women supporting and nurturing mothers because this can be so vital for their sense of wellbeing.
Holistic Harmonies delivers Singing Mamas Community Groups in Wavertree and Crosby. Take a look at the website here for more information.
A couple of bursary places are available - send any mums over to me who might fit the bill.
What’s more there are other singing mamas groups across Merseyside starting to pop up everywhere -so watch this space.
Awards For All - Care Home Project
Holistic Harmonies has also been successful with an Awards For All grant (Arts Council England). This grant allows Holistic Harmonies to deliver weekly sessions at Christopher Grange Care Home for a whole year. They will be working with local health care professionals and also using self referrals to recruit 10 families to join the group and create an Intergenerational Music & Movement Community. We are looking forward to reporting back on this work.
New digital resources to promote perinatal mental health and family wellbeing
Improving Me, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside women’s health and maternity programme is delighted to share a new set of resources developed in collaboration with Live Music Now in response to COVID -19, through co-production with women in Cheshire and Merseyside. These new resources are being shared with libraries as part of a commitment to improve and increase digital access for local communities.
Libraries have always been key in connecting people with information and knowledge. Now a days this means digital channels are as important as books and publications. For those in our communities without digital skills and or access to broadband, there is a new role for libraries in supporting digital inclusion. That’s why the NHS is working with libraries to improve their engagement with communities too. Libraries are working nationally with the Good Thing Foundation and in Cheshire and Merseyside that means more IT skills courses and the distribution of free data sticks.
The National Digital Inclusion Network provides access to free preloaded SIM cards through the National Databank, enabling participating services to give data to the people that need it most in their community.
The National Databank is providing free data to 500,000 people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of community partners, in partnership with Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.
Improving Me has established a library working group to look at how the NHS can work with libraries to support better health conversations and work with communities to co-produce some new resources to improve wellbeing. These are just a selection of resources anyone can now access.
The Lullaby project pairs new mums with professional musicians to work together to create their own unique lullaby, which is then professionally recorded and performed at a live celebratory event. Informed by ten years of research and based on a model established by Carnegie Hall in New York, Lullaby Project supports maternal mental health, early childhood development and family wellbeing. During Lullaby, the musician gets to know the family caregiver and invites them to write a letter to their baby expressing personal hopes and dreams for the child.
The caregiver is encouraged to think about their own musical history, then works with the musician to pull out key phrases and words to form lyrics, speaking the words out loud, thinking about emphasis, rhythm and melody.
Using this groundwork, the musician will work to develop melodies and harmonies until the caregiver feels happy with the song, at which point the musician will arrange the piece, record it and share it with the caregiver as their own unique lullaby for their baby. The process is caregiver-focussed, with the musician acting as a facilitator of the caregiver’s musical creativity. The Improving Me funded programme was evaluated by Dr Kerry Wilson and recently shortlisted for a Royal College of Midwives International Award.
We are therefore delighted to share a set of 8 new lullabies written by women from across Cheshire and Merseyside working with some very talented professional musicians from Live Music Now, developed in partnership with the women's health and maternity programme. The Lullaby Project is an initiative of Carnegie Hall, New York delivered by Live Music Now across the UK.
The lullaby project has an award-winning formula which is spreading. Having developed a model in Cheshire and Merseyside Live Music Now has been able to partner with families connected with Flying Start in Menai Bridge, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. Families worked with musicians over an adapted programme to write their own lullaby for their child, promoting attachment, creativity and wellbeing. This project was funded by Welsh Government via Isle of Anglesey County Council.
The beautiful lullabies are here :
Family Music Time
During COVID Live Music Now went online and developed a series of family music workshops and videos to help support those families struggling with social isolation. These videos were then shared with families for Baby Week 2021. We thought Baby Week 2023 provided a good platform to make sure we were able to spread these resources further. There is a lovely selection for families to choose from and we challenge you not to start to tap your foot and feel the joy. They include:
Jazzy Nursery Rhymes. https://youtu.be/muHyXJd5TRI
Wiggle and Shake https://youtu.be/muHyXJd5TRI
Adventure in the Jungle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR2K-VwqiSc&list=PLff9wYQdEudhByEUxgfy7TN8-O5o7012C&index=3
Improving Me commissioned a series of bespoke family sessions called Including Me at the height of the pandemic, working with Live Music now and capitalising on the substantial Live Music Now infrastructure and talent base.
Including Me is a 10-week programme of fun, interactive, family-focused live music sessions brought to participants’ homes by LMN musicians in partnership with Improving Me and the Cheshire and Merseyside Women and Children’s Partnership.
Including Me was designed to respond to COVID 19 pressures by:
- Supporting ‘stronger families together’ with music
- Providing an antidote to ‘lockdown blues’
- Combating increased risk of social isolation and exclusion
- Boosting good mental health and resilience.
Improving Me referred the families and provided support to ensure they could take part – from language support for those whose first language isn’t English, to sourcing technology.
Live Music Now At Home
Building on the work with Including Me Live Music Now then released a further series of interactive videos to support families who had support needs. We are now sharing these videos to mark Baby Week 2023 and our amazing library partnership. By making these freely available as part of a wider family wellbeing offer we hope to support more face to face early years and rhyme time sessions and increase family engagement in warm welcoming library spaces. That si also why we are programming in more face to face opportunity to also meet women’s health specialists.
Take a look:
Filkin’s Drift https://youtu.be/XXP1cFvZn2s
Songs from the Bell Tent https://youtu.be/BHpwl82D6fU
Rise Trio on Full Beam: https://youtu.be/xMf54s4nPO8
At Home with Chroma Harp https://youtu.be/BHpwl82D6fU
Improving Me is currently considering how this creative health work can support the retention of the NHS and wider healthcare workforce in response to the NHS People Plan. Watch this space.