Baby Week Leeds
Baby Week is a registered charity and aims to bring sectors and services together to promote the best start in life.
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Baby Week Leeds returns with packed events programme

Baby Week Leeds returns next week with an exciting programme of events to help babies get the best start in life possible.

Free and low-cost events include baby-friendly film screenings, sensory and messy play and baby first aid courses. This is the sixth year Leeds has hosted a Baby Week and the theme for 2021 is ‘Strengths and Struggles’. There are now around 9,500 babies born in Leeds every year. Babies who have the best possible start in life will be more likely to benefit from successful futures.

Baby Week Leeds is supported by Leeds City Council, the NHS, Leeds Bid and Leeds Community Foundation, and works to improve the health and care services in Leeds for parents-to-be and new parents. There’s a week-long programme of both digital webinars and face to face events for parents, carers, families and professionals kicking off on 15 November.

This year’s theme reflects strengths and struggles in the world of maternity and early years and addresses the added challenges of experiencing pregnancy, birth and first steps during a global pandemic and how families were supported with the added power of social media.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children and families and adults and health partnerships; and Councillor Salma Arif, executive member for public health said:

“We are delighted that Baby Week Leeds is able to celebrate its 6th anniversary. It is brilliant that parents, professionals and families will be able to come together (virtually and in-person) to share ideas and good practice. 2021 has continued to be a challenging year for so many people and many have struggled during pregnancy due to the impact of Covid and the restrictions this placed upon them.

“As a city, we are working hard to deliver on our ambition for Leeds to be the best city for children and young people to grow up in. Baby Week shows we are committed to placing children and young people at the heart of everything we do and this includes from the very start of their lives as new born babies. We are delighted that other cities and areas in the UK are working with Leeds and hosting Baby Week in their locality.”

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of connecting parents and carers to services across Leeds and bring sectors together more effectively. As part of the week’s celebrations, there will be many free and low cost events including an ‘Ask the Professionals’ webinar where parents can book on a ‘closed’ Zoom call and submit questions to many experts in the world of maternity and early years.

There will also be a free half-day conference for professionals focused on the best start, mental health, attachment, and the exciting developments of the brain in a baby. To find out more about this and other events taking place and to book your place on the webinar, visit the Baby Week Leeds website: www.babyweek.co.uk

Baby Week Leeds’ success is grounded in its strong city-wide partnership approach from across all sectors. Many of our partners will be holding free events throughout the week and our Children’s Centres will also be offering a selection of free activities to support their local families.

Baby Week Leeds launched in September 2016 and is an initiative aimed at bringing sectors and services together to promote the best start in life. Baby Week was inspired by a research visit to Canela (Brazil) by Churchill fellow Lucy Potter (Founder) in 2014 and this led to Leeds hosting the first English-speaking week. It aims to raise awareness of services that advocate for early intervention, existing support available and brings sectors together to promote all things maternity, early years and wellbeing.

Baby Week Leeds is supported by Child Friendly Leeds, Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups, Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Leeds Community Healthcare sharing the initiative across UK. This year it has also been sponsored by Leeds Bid and Leeds Community Foundation.

Baby Week Bradford is back for a fourth year and takes place from 15 – 21 November 20201. There will be many amazing events which will kick off with the Big Beginning event and Live Music Now. For details of the week please visit: www.betterstartbradford.org.uk Cheshire and Merseyside Baby Week host their second Baby Week from 15 – 22 November 2021.

Their programme of events can be found at www.improvingme.org.uk includes a virtual arts exhibition called The Birth Rites Collection (BRC) which will be led by BRC curator and founder, Helen Knowles.

For further information about Baby Week Leeds, please visit www.babyweek.co.uk

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