Flying Start Newsletter Issue 7
September 2016

Articles in this months newsletter:

This month's introduction is from Kulwinder Bola, Chair of Luton Parent Carer Forum.  Kulwinder has been involved with Flying Start from it's inception, working alongside the team, and in the community.      

I have been a member of the Community Partnership since the early days of Flying Start, feeding in the views of families living in one of the Luton wards. Now, through the reach of the Luton Parent Carer Forum (CIC), many more families from across the town can share their views and benefit from the training provided by Flying Start.
I feel very fortunate to be part of the Flying Start initiative because it looks at what is working well and then expands on the success that has been achieved. This ‘plan, do, evaluate’ approach is one which, as a Researcher makes perfect sense to me, and means that only the very best practice will flourish and be used. In years to come, I firmly expect to see more of our Luton children being ready for school at age five. In addition I can see this work helping parents to better cope with the challenges that life may present as they support their children to grow. It has already helped me and my family. Personally, the various training programmes on offer have enabled me to better understand the importance of early years – mainly through the Five to Thrive initiative and the work of the Flying Start workers. This in turn has helped me in my role as Forum Chair, to plan and share what has been learnt with our families.
I’m very proud that as a town, through joint working, sheer grit, and hard work, Luton has created a clear vision for our children, underpinned by professionals from across the spectrum of different departments (covering Health, Social Care, and Education) supporting our children from 0 to 5 years of age and helping them to thrive and have a brighter future.

Kulwinder Bola
Chair, Luton Parent Carer Forum

Health, Exercise, Nutrition in the Really Young - HENRY
Supporting a healthy start for families in Luton

The HENRY group programme is an 8-week family programme which provides the tools and skills parents need to provide a healthy family lifestyle and meet the physical and emotional needs of babies and young children. The programme is universal and targets those families with the risk factors associated with obesity, for example parents that are: overweight or obese; anxious about feeding a child (e.g. fussy eaters), have poor family eating habits or concerns about their child’s weight.
This programme will be starting from September 2016 at the following locations:
  • The Mall Children’s Centre, The Mall, 3g-4g The Gallery, Town Centre, Luton, LU1 2TW, Tuesday 13th September 1.00-3.30pm for 8 weeks (not running during the school holidays)
  • The Meads Children’s Centre, Sawtry Close, Luton LU3 2UE. Wednesday 21st September 9.30-12.00 for 8 weeks (not running during the school holidays) 
For more information or to refer a family please email (secure email) – See referral form.
Programmes will be available across Luton throughout the year and will be listed on our website at:
Pregnancy Plus Update 

Pregnancy Plus is an 8 week community-based healthy lifestyle programme aimed at obese pregnant women. The programme launched in April 2016 at Hatters Children Centre. Since then we have welcomed over 45 women onto the programme, at four venues across Luton.
The aim of the programme is to provide women with consistent, evidence-based information to raise awareness of the risks of obesity and excess weight gain in pregnancy. Sessions include healthy eating during pregnancy, infant nutrition, risks of obesity and excess weight gain during pregnancy and active birth with alternative weeks including gentle exercise delivered by a qualified coach to encourage the women to try new activities.
It is expected that women attending the programme will make positive, sustainable, dietary changes and have increased confidence to engage in physical activity.  
For further information, or to make a referral, please contact Jenni Wood (Public Health Specialist Midwife) at

Please note that these sessions are on a first come, first served basis, so women must be pre-booked to avoid being turned away.

Preschool Incredible Years Parenting Programme®

New Incredible Years® groups will be starting in Luton in September.
Incredible Years Preschool Basic Parenting Programme® is an evidence-based programme which focuses on the strengths of parent-child interactions and attachment, reducing harsh discipline and fostering parents’ ability to promote children’s social, emotional and language development.
Parents learn how to build school readiness skills and are encouraged to partner with teachers and early years professionals so they can promote children’s emotional regulation and social skills.
This programme has been designed to strengthen parent-child interactions in families with children aged 3-5 years who are experiencing early onset behaviour problems.
Preschool Incredible Years® was designed to build on existing parenting skills and improve aspects of child behaviour. Weekly group sessions focus on parent-child interactions, positive strategies for good behaviour and managing challenging behaviour. Group sessions last for around 2 ½ hours, running for fourteen weeks.

The new groups will be starting on:
  • Tuesday 20th September, 9.30am - 11.30am at ABC Children's Centre, The Mall 
  • Thursday 22nd September, 12.30pm - 3.00pm at Community Link Children's Centre, Community Room, Gill Blowers Nursery School.
To access referral information and forms please visit the Flying Start website:
© 2015 The Incredible Years®, Inc. All rights reserved. "THE INCREDIBLE YEARS®" and all related trademarks are owned by The Incredible Years®, Inc. USA. Limited use of trademarks and copyrighted material is by license from The Incredible Years®, Inc. All program materials must be ordered through
Spotlight on Peep
Peep Learning Together groups provide an opportunity for mums, dads and carers along with their children to access activities to support children’s learning in everyday situations. This is carried out through fun, interactive activities using listening, talking, playing, singing and sharing books.
Peep groups will be running across Luton from September 2016 onwards.

The Peep Learning Together Programme is based around the ORIM framework which recognises that children benefit from:
  • Opportunities to learn, play, explore and experience different things
  • Recognition and valuing of their early efforts and achievements
  • Interaction with adults – playing, talking and singing together, having fun and doing those things together that the child will gradually be able to do independently
  • Modelling by adults of activities, behaviour and attitudes, so that children can replicate these in later life.
The Learning Together Programme aims to help parents and carers to value and extend learning opportunities in everyday life. It seeks to help to improve the quality of the home learning environment. It supports parents in the development of secure attachment relationships with their babies and children. In some groups, participants can gain credit-rated qualification units based on supporting their child's learning and development.
By supporting parents and carers, this programme aims to improve outcomes for children including their personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, early literacy development, early numeracy development as well as health and physical development.
Please check the Flying Start website for further information about Peep Learning Together groups being run from September 2016 in Luton. 
Eat, Sleep, Learn  and  Play

“Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!” programme provides essential household items to low-income families with young children in Luton
July saw the introduction of a scheme supporting families with young children living in the most severe poverty in Luton. The “Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!” programme provides essential household items during a child’s early years to support their wellbeing and development, contributing to a positive home learning environment.
Developed and managed by Save the Children, the scheme provides crisis grants for household essentials, such as a child's bed, a cooker, or toys and books to low income families who simply can't afford to buy these items themselves.
For more information
Click here for more information about “Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!”
If you would like to find out more about the “Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!” programme, please contact Becca Lawson at Save the Children on 020 3763 0884, or see their website at:
Further information on all of these articles can be found on our website. Please visit
Flying Start   
Tokko Youth Building
7 Gordon Street

Tel: 01582 548356   

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Flying Start · 2nd Floor Tokko Centre · Gordon Street · Luton, Beds LU1 2QP · United Kingdom

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