Building Foundations for life through Baby Week Leeds
Baby Week is back in Leeds with over 100 events across the city! 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. Now in its seventh year, the theme for 2022 is ‘Back to Basics’, which is all about rediscovering the opportunities, services and support available to expectant parents, parents and carers as well as connecting professionals together.
The pandemic saw a shift in access to services and people may not know what is available and what already exists in Leeds. Whether ‘Back to Basics’ means finding a new parent group, going to the library, enjoying play and sensory experiences or accessing support services for you or your babies health and wellbeing, it has something for everyone. An example of bringing sectors together is was our opening event, which is open to parents and carers, babies and professionals and has speeches, over 20 stalls and workshops.
The initiative launched in Leeds in 2016 and is now happening in several cities across the United Kingdom including, Bradford, Cheshire and Merseyside all hosting events! Please share the campaign and find out our key messages during 2022. Baby Week is a charity which campaigns and promote the best start and the importance of the first 1001 days. It also allows us to work with and connect people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors whilst listening to parents and carers to enhance the way we work in maternity, health and early years. The week focuses on promoting:
- Promoting the amazing places and services available in maternity and early years
- The importance of the 1001 days & celebrating babies
- The support available to parents, carers and families
- The education and awareness around good health and wellbeing
- Training, education and partnerships amongst professionals
World Children’s Day is UNICEF’s annual day of action and this year their theme is ‘Inclusion, for every child’. As a child friendly city, we want every child and young person growing up to know they have a voice. Over the last few years, we have listened to the ideas by parents and carers and children to put on the range of events throughout Baby Week including this free family friendly event at The Tetley with many partners across the city including Leeds Mumbler.
“We are delighted that Baby Week Leeds is back, bigger than ever and it’s great to see that there are over 100 events all across Leeds that are either free or low cost. 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 our Child Friendly Leeds ambition which 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.”– Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships, Leeds City Council
“Here at The Tetley we’re more than just an art gallery. Our building is open to everyone, and we’re thrilled to be getting involved with Baby Week Leeds and encouraging parents, carers and parents-to-be to head down and enjoy our fantastic warm Yorkshire welcome.”– Sam Neary, Deputy Director, The Tetley
“Baby Week is such a great event for our local parents and carers, giving them a fantastic opportunity to understand all the local services and activities available to them in what can be an incredibly difficult and lonely stage. The Leeds Mumblers (whose websites provide lots of information for parents & carers in Leeds) are so pleased to get involved. Through connections, we can really be on the path to build foundations for the best start.”– Rachel Nelson-Girtchen, North & South Leeds Mumbler
Does your city want to get involved in Baby Week?
Baby Week Leeds began in 2016 then became a charity through the success of the initiative. Since then we have shared and co-hosted events with several other cities and regions. Two big success stories are that Bradford Baby Week is now in it’s fifth year and Cheshire and Merseyside Baby Week is now in it’s third year. With Child Friendly Leeds, we are running a best practice event. This event will provide an overview of Baby Week Leeds and the innovative approaches that have been developed in Leeds to give every child the best start.
We hope to share the story of how Baby Week came to Leeds from Brazil (Semana Do Bebe) and is currently supported by UNICEF there. We will explore how sectors have worked together including maternity, early years and specialist services to engage with professionals and families and support the best start.
There will be presentations as well as Q&A sessions delivered by colleagues around the objectives of Baby Week:
• A partnership approach to working with maternity, health and early years
• Launching initiatives over the years in Leeds
• Sharing best practice amongst professionals working with parents and parents to be
• Increasing awareness of the critical 1001 days and child development
• Working in collaboration: (hearing from other cities who started Baby Week)
• Toolkit to launch your own Baby Week and the benefits it has had in Leeds