‘Happy Hands’ was established four years ago in Newry by a small group of parents who are deaf or have deaf children.
The purpose of the training was to raise awareness of the ‘Healthy Steps for Life’ programme, developed by the Southern Investing for Health Partnership (SIHP) and funded by the Public Health Agency.
The training, which was delivered by DELTA – the Early Years programme aimed at developing everyone’s learning and thinking abilities, is designed to develop parents’ knowledge and practical skills in encouraging greater physical activity among young children.
Orlaith Moley, Project Manager with the Public Health Agency explains: “The foundations for a healthy life are heavily influenced by what happens in the first few years. This new initiative aims to encourage a range of healthy habits at a young age, including the importance of physical play and movement.”
Briege McCann who attended the training in Orana Family Centre, Newry commented: “The information received during the training was excellent. It can be used by parents to engage children in physical activity that will impact on all areas of their development providing parents with practical ideas to help keep children active, especially over the summer holidays. Some of the games can be played on the beach or in the back garden!”
Participants also received ‘Start to Play’ resources containing lots of play equipment, games, activity cards and books encouraging parents to engage with their children through play while at home.
‘Happy Hands’ parent and toddler group meet on a monthly basis in Orana Family Centre, Warrenpoint Road, Newry. Anyone interested in attending can contact Briege McCann on tel: (028) 3083 9115.
Issued on behalf of the Southern Investing for Health Partnership
Parents and Toddlers from the ‘Happy Hands’ Parent and Toddler Group, Newry pictured with (back left) Orlaith Moley, Project Manager ‘Healthy Steps for Life’.
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