Following the closure of the Kidlington Children’s Centre at the end of March 2017, the Kidlington Community Hub was born, primarily at St John’s but also at St Mary’s Kidlington.
Following the success of Little Acorns (begun in the September of 2016) we developed the following groups, which ran up to the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 (all in St John’s except Bouncing Babies). We look forward to restarting these activities, in some form or other, as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.
- Little Acorns – Tuesday morning for 0-5 year olds throughout the year apart from 2 weeks at Christmas and 1 week at Easter
- Bouncing Babies – for 0-1 year olds on Wednesday mornings in St Mary’s Refectory
- Little Bunnies – for 0-5 year olds on Monday afternoons
- Little Stars – a small group for families with children with additional needs (previously known as Special Stars at the Children’s Centre) continues on Tuesday afternoons
- Now I Am Two – a more structured learning environment for those preparing for nursery/preschool. This runs during school term time on Wednesday afternoons
- Friday morning drop-ins – twice a month which have included First Aid Training, Messy play and informal meeting for parents and carers, running alongside the health visitor sessions
- Saturfun – once a month on a Saturday morning giving the opportunity for whole families to come and enjoy more of a cafe environment as well as story time
In addition to this we have been hosting the Midwife and Health Visitor sessions at St John’s on Friday mornings (twice a month), and various antenatal training sessions run by the Health Visitors.
We also run Family Links Parenting Courses.
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To enable all this to happen we employ three part-time children and family workers and rely on lots of volunteers to help setup, run craft activities, serve refreshments and so on.
We began this project with OCC transition funding after the closure of the children’s centres; we have received a number of generous donations and we are now working on seeking additional funding to sustain this work in the coming years.
In addition to all this we have transformed some of the outside area at St John’s into a safe, educational play area, with rubber flooring, a wooden gazebo and play equipment. This will be much in use once Covid-19 restrictions permit.