View this email in your browser

 Flying Start Newsletter
December 2016
Introduction from Cllr Mahmood Hussain
Update on Luton's Children's Centres - Chris Rogers, FS Implementation Manager
Flying Start Pregnancy Club Pilot - Dawn Jones, FS Midwife
Let's Talk About Food - Louise Morrissey, FS Diet & Nutrition Lead
Nurturing Programme - Gillian Smith, FS Parenting Co-ordinator
Tubes of Life - Elaine Ainsworth, Child Injury Prevention Co-ordinator



Introduction from
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Portfolio Holder for
Children & Young People


I’ve been involved with Flying Start since its inception, through to the current position with the imminent launch of the Flying Start Children’s Centres. During the public consultations on the changes to Luton's children’s centres I have learnt to appreciate just how much value parents give to the early year’s help they receive. I strongly believe that investing in early years benefits families and their children in the long term, not only for their health and wellbeing but also their later academic achievements. For that reason Luton Borough Council is committed to investing in the ever growing future of Flying Start to improve outcomes for families and their children.

Children’s Centres in Luton are entering an exciting time!
From the 1st January 2017 Children's Centres will become Flying Start Children Centres, providing services for families from four geographical neighbourhoods within the town.
The commitment to the provision of integrated services has never been higher, supporting the Flying Start Strategy, whilst further developing services which have a strong evidence base to ensure outcomes can be measured.  
Children’s Centres in Luton are well placed to support the delivery of the Flying Start Parenting Offer as they are a trusted and valued service by parents and professionals alike.  The emphasis on early intervention remains key, and also the need to provide support for families at all levels of identified need, from the ante-natal period onwards, with a particular focus on the Healthy Child Programme.  Building on the well-established professional relationships the centres already have with partner agencies and with the added benefit of the Flying Start vision, our Children’s Centres will continue to support improved outcomes for families and children in Luton.

                        Flying Start Pregnancy Club Pilot

Flying Start launched the second pregnancy club on the 1st November, 1.30–3.30, at CYCD* in Luton.

The Pregnancy Club is a universal monthly session for mums-to-be, from the first trimester through to the end of their pregnancy.

The benefits of the Pregnancy Club are to raise the confidence of newly expectant mums regarding the birth of their baby, provide the chance to meet other pregnant mums to build support networks, deliver key health messages for every stage of pregnancy and provide information on family events and health programmes in Luton.

Each 2 hour session is  delivered by a midwife, a changing programme of health visitors and children’s centre early years practitioners, and a variety of community professionals.

For more information please call Flying Start on 01582 548356 or have a look on our website:

*CYCD Luton, 94 Leagrave Road, Luton LU4 8HZ

Let’s Talk About Food
Teaching families how to cook healthy meals on a budget’

The Let’s Talk about Food cookery programme is a 5 week healthy cooking programme run in children’s centres. Each session is 2 hours long with a different theme each week. The programme includes how to plan healthy meals on a budget and reduce food waste. It aims to improve knowledge of healthy eating and confidence in cooking healthy family meals.  The programme covers a range of culinary subjects from improving knife skills to cooking various healthy family meals from scratch.

The cooking sessions will help to boost confidence in the kitchen, allowing families to make popular dishes at home whilst keeping them healthy and on budget.
Cooking within a group also gives families the opportunity to share ideas, make new friends and get to know the local children’s centre.

This programme is available for all parents wanting to improve their cooking skills and learn about healthy eating.

We would encourage professionals to refer parents where families:
  • Struggle with money for food bills
  • Have used the food bank
  • Have unhealthy eating habits or rely heavily on takeaways and ready meals.

To refer make a referral please email:
The Nurturing Programme is a universal parenting programme which is currently being delivered in children’s centres.  It aims to help parents understand and manage feelings and behaviour whilst becoming more positive and nurturing in their relationships with their children and each other. The Nurturing Programme encourages an approach to relationships that gives children and parents an emotionally healthy springboard for their lives and their learning.

Research carried out by Family Links in 2015 showed, on average 8 out of 10 parents attending groups report significant improvements in their children’s behaviour and family life.

Feedback from a Luton parent attending the Nurturing Programme:
‘Less than 24 hours after the first nurturing course session, me and my child are already having so much more fun together! We just made a game of putting all the books back on the bookshelf and she's so proud of herself! Huge thanks to parent group leaders, very excited for the rest of the course.’
Flying Start is also working with Family Links to explore the implementation of some specific Nurturing Programmes including Working with Parents of Children with a Disability or Special Need. This programme has been adapted for parents of children with a wide variety and spectrum of disabilities.
Another programme Flying Start will be implementing in 2017 is the Nurturing Programme Islamic Values, using the Parenting Puzzle tool for practitioners working with Muslim families. This mirrors the ten sessions of the Family Links Nurturing Programme and draws on extracts from the Quran and some sayings (hadiths) of the Prophet Mohammed.   

For information on how to make a referral visit the website: or for further information contact

                                            Tubes of Life  
 because oxygen matters to your baby 

Public Health and Safe at Home have developed an innovative programme unique to Luton called Tubes of Life.  Aimed at practitioners, pregnant and new parents it raises   awareness of the effects of oxygen deficiency in infants from conception and after birth using a new, easy to understand method and unique resources relating to three key messages:-

·     Reduce smoking – smoking during pregnancy or passive smoking takes oxygen away from baby
·    Encourage breastfeeding – breast milk protects the baby’s natural arousal response and is a protective factor against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
·     Safer sleep and positioning of baby for all sleeps, day and night – laying baby flat on their back in their own cot/crib with NO added softness, additional products or toys, protects the baby’s airway (TUBE)

By raising awareness of how a baby receives oxygen both in utero and after birth will not only help protect long-term healthy brain development and growth, but also reduce risk of infant suffocation including SIDS.   A practitioner video and resource pack which uses simple ‘did you know’ prompts and information has been produced to accompany a training programme. Parents also have the opportunity to learn more about keeping their baby safe, and the Tubes of Life programme by attending the Choosing & Using Nursery Equipment workshop as detailed on the Flying Start website (monthly sessions available). 


If you would like further information about how you can access Tubes of Life training or have any other queries please contact Elaine Ainsworth:  07553348485 or



Copyright © 2016 Flying Start, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp