Building Strong Community Families
“This is an invaluable service to so many: we would be lost without it.” (Parent)
Community Families is Creative Futures’ flagship families programme in north Westminster. We reach around 100 families every week through 7 free music-based sessions in Family Centres and community venues across northwest Westminster. Of these:
2 sessions per week are for parents with pre-crawling children
2 sessions are for families referred by the Family Centres (these Nurture Groups provide small-group support as a pathway into the larger sessions)
3 sessions are open to families with children aged 0-4 years
The project grew from a resident-led pilot in 2013, to flourishing weekly sessions attended by hundreds of families every year. Residents remain at the heart of the programme and help us steer the project’s design. Music, creativity and play remain central to the sessions – led by Julie Isaac, our expert early years creative practitioner – enabling children to interact socially, and learn and develop through carefully planned music-based activities.
Trained volunteer ‘Maternity Champions’ from PDT are often on hand to support parents, make them tea, introduce them to other families, and offer support, signposting and friendship.
“Thank you for all the fun sessions during lockdown. It was a genuine life saver, mental health saver - so many people are benefitting from it. It’s such a valuable and wonderful thing you’re doing.” (Parent)
View flyer here
If you are expecting a child, or have children aged 0-4 years, and you live in Queen’s Park, Westbourne, Harrow Road or Bayswater wards please check the timetable and come along and join us at a session near you. We look forward to welcoming you.
Current music drop-ins (Term-time sessions)
Mondays 10.00-11.30am for pre-crawlers only: at Queen's Park Children's Centre, 88 Bravington Road, W9 3AL
Tuesdays 10.00am-12.00 at Westbourne Park Family Centre, Porchester Rd, W2 5DX (term-time only)
Wednesdays 10.00-11.30am at The Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, W10 4JL
Wednesdays 1.00-2.30pm at the Portman Early Childhood Centre, 12-18 Salisbury Street, NW8 8DE
Fridays 10.00-11.30am for 0-12months only, at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES
If you would like to find out more and join in email email@example.com with your name, your child’s name and age, and your postcode.
What parents have to say
“I was made to feel welcome right away. I met other mothers and the maternity champion told me about other services. I got to learn how to relate to my baby, how to talk to her, songs to sing her.” (Parent)
“Being a single parent, I find the sessions brilliant for integrating into the community and to talk to other parents.” (Parent)
“Invaluable means of giving me and baby energy and motivation to get on with the day. These sessions are VITAL to encouraging good mental health as well as physical health condition.” (Parent)
We are pleased to publish our full project reports from our independent evaluators.
Read the full reports here:
Building Strong Community Families FINAL REPORT 2020 - 2021
Building Strong Community Families FINAL REPORT 2019
and an executive summary here.
“This exceptional initiative addresses some of our society’s most fundamental challenges such as social isolation and equity. By consistently widening access to opportunities it has transformed the experience of parenting for hundreds of families improving well-being, helping parents to bond with their child, feel part of a wider community, and be empowered through information and support networks. This work has the power to radically shift life chances of children from vulnerable backgrounds as well as reduce anxiety and social isolation.” (Independent evaluator, 2021)
What the evaluator has to say
Listen to our free albums on Soundcloud
These albums include some favourite songs that our families have enjoyed singing with Julie at the drop-ins together with some new songs to discover together at home.