Exhibition celebrates early years partnership project

parents and infants
Brixton Wings in Angell Town was one of many local organisations working with LEAP

A project that has helped more than 15,000 local families with young children will celebrate its work with testimony from the families in words and images at an exhibition in Brixton.

Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) has reached more than 15,300 early years families since it was launched in 2015. The project is run by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) charity with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

It is a partnership of parents, early years practitioners, Lambeth council, nurseries, children’s centres, the NCB, NHS trusts and local community organisations.

Its aim is to have a positive impact on diet and nutrition, social and emotional wellbeing, and communication and language outcomes for children aged 0 to three.

The LEAP and Me exhibition celebrates nearly 10 years of work with local families. It is open to the public on Wednesday and Thursday 29 and 30 May at the Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre, 9 Mostyn Road, SW9 6PH.

It brings together a collection of images, and spoken and written testimony, that captures what it feels like to be part of the LEAP community from the perspective of children and families.

LEAP worked closely with a local artist, Blossom Carrasco, to mount the exhibition.

LEAP has funded and supported more than 20 local services to meet the needs of families through pregnancy and the early years of childhood.

The programme is approaching its planned closing date of September. Most of LEAP’s services will continue to be provided by Lambeth council and others.

“We are proud that, over the lifetime of the programme, LEAP has reached a total of 15,374 families,” said director Laura McFarlane.

LEAP has engaged an estimated two thirds of the under-fives in the areas of Lambeth where it works, she said.

“Families have participated in the wide range of services and activities we offer to help improve outcomes for very young children, and to support parents and carers.

“Participation in early years services is particularly beneficial for children facing disadvantages. Outreach and engagement with local families is a core aspect of our work.”

Like many first-time mums, Kimberlin – a parent who participated in LEAP activities – felt “quite anxious and isolated” when her baby was born.

“When my daughter was a few months old, I was introduced to a weekly ‘stay and play’ session and then later attended St Stephen’s Children’s Centre where LEAP-funded activities were offered free for parents with babies and toddlers.

“My baby daughter’s early experiences with LEAP helped her develop into a confident child who loves reading.”

The LEAP and Me exhibition is free and open to the public between 10am and 4pm.

LEAP is one of five local partnerships which make up A Better Start, a national 10-year (2015-2025) “test and learn” programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund that aims to improve the life chances of babies, very young children, and families.


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