The first ever celebration of babies in Leeds has been hailed as a hugely positive event #BabyWeekLeeds

It’s Monday morning, the early start, the jammed-pack roads and the touch of wind to highlight that Summer is over…October has begun!

So last month, from the 12th – 16th September, Leeds hosted the first ever Baby Week! The inaugural Baby Week in the city has just taken place with an array of events celebrating maternity and children’s services.nigel-richardson-sadiya-salim-lucy-potter

The Baby Week concept first began in Brazil and Leeds was the first English-speaking city to run the event, which aims to work with communities to raise awareness of a baby’s growth and development stages, both mentally and physically. The week was also promoting the UNICEF baby-friendly initiative, the Best Start Plan in Leeds, which is designed to give every baby in the city the best possible start in life. Lucy Potter (Director of Baby Week Leeds), who worked with Prof Nick Frost, from Leeds Beckett’s School of Health and Community Studies, and the council’s Child Friendly Leeds team to develop the programme, added that Baby Week was a simple idea which could help influence policy.

Activities held through the week included sensory storytelling, baby massage and messy play for tots at venues including children’s centres and Trinity Shopping Centre. Had an opening conference and lecture by world famous Robin Balbernie and a closing ceremony with a Pram Parimg_0308ade in Millennium Square. Groups for parents were held, such as a breastfeeding support session, while there was also event to discuss the Leeds Maternity Strategy. We also hosted a competition with schools for all children and young people and with over 80 entries, we had 2 fantastic winners!

We always encourage partners and ambassadors to support the work of child friendly Leeds and Baby Week Leeds demonstrated how well we are working together! Baby Week Leeds attracted a great deal of interest on the social media campaign, we had over 500 tweets from over 150 twitter users reaching 335,146 individuals including several positive mentions from other local authorities as well as individuals from the United States as well as Leeds Evening Post and Made in Leeds.

Over 400 professionals and parents attended the events during the campaign week with many more babies and children present at the suitable activities and over 75 positive evaluations were received during the week with 100% stating it was good, inspirational and/or outstanding with a third pledging to be involved in the next campaign – with many mentioning it made them confident bringing their babies into the city centre! So thank you to all those involved!

For more information and if you would like to get involved, visit: http://www.babyweek.co.uk

Have a great week!

S

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