Free event on early childhood in Derry to mark end of key project

A free event for families with babies or parents to be will be held at the Maldron Hotel in Derry on Monday, November 1, to mark the end of the Shaping Ourselves and Our Children (SOOC) project in the north west.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:34 am

Almost 2,000 parents from Derry and the surrounding areas have taken part in the project locally since SOOC was launched back in 2018.

SOOC is a programme that supports parents understand how important child development is in the early years.

It also focuses on embracing diversity within our families and within local communities.

September 2021 L-R Veronica Keenan, Project Support Worker, SOOC, Sharleen Boyle, Recruitment Officer, SOOC, Kenda Summerville, Programme Officer, Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), Jnr. Minister Gary Middleton, The Executive Office, Prof. Siobhan O'Neill, Ulster University, Jnr. Minister Declan Kearney, The Executive Office, Dr. Pauline McClenaghan, Executive Director, The Lifestart Foundation, Mary Holmes, Project Coordinator, SOOC, SOOC, Ursula Burthistle, SOOC Steering Group, Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer, Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), Dr. Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, Ireland, Paul Boylan, Programme Manager, Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) at a SOOC conference in Derry.

Supported by the EU’s PEACE IV programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) it was delivered in conjunction with the Dunluce Family Centre, The Junction and Lifestart Foundation.

A spokesperson for the project said: “The free event day on Monday is for parents or parents to be.

“We will be talking about the importance of early childhood development and how what we do as parents impacts on how our children see themselves and others.

“If you would like to ensure you have a place on the day you can pre-book your free place by emailing [email protected] OR come along on the day. Numbers will be restricted so come early to avoid disappointment.

“You can also check us out on our Facebook Page @shapingourselvesandourchildren.”

The event on Monday takes place from 11am to 1pm with registration from 10.30am.

The Lifestart Foundation is a charitable body with 30 years’ experience in the delivery of quality parenting education and family support. Its mission is to produce better child development outcomes by making available to parents evidence based knowledge and information on how young children develop and learn.

A spokesperson said: “Our mission is implemented through the delivery of the Growing Child programme and home-visiting service to the parents of children from birth up to pre-school or school entry.

“The Growing Child is an evidence-based and outcomes focused programme grounded on strong empirical research on child development and parenting.

“It was designed by child development experts and it was empirically tested in Ireland through an independent Randomised Controlled Trial involving 424 parents and their children.”

For more information on Lifestart see the website