Our parent engagement activity has found a new voice in the form of parent newsletters created and written by Parent Champions. The volunteer parent representatives have been going above and beyond, with the newsletters letting other parents in their areas know about the exciting things they have been getting up to as well as upcoming activities.

The newsletters are already underway in two of the different parent forums: Kursaal and the Cluster Parent Forum (Milton, Victoria and Westborough), while plans to launch an engagement newsletter by the Shoebury Parent Forum (covering Shoeburyness and West Shoebury) are well underway.

With new editions published every two months, the newsletters are coordinated by parent editing teams in each ward and supported by Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS) as part of their parent engagement contract. Newsletters can be found in key community venues across the A Better Start Southend wards.

Michelle, one of the editors for the Cluster area newsletter, says: “I have found working on the newsletter an amazing experience. I love that we can fill it with positive, encouraging and useful information to celebrate and share with everyone.”

Meanwhile, the Parent Engagement fund continues to attract new parents to the Better Start Southend programme, with 254 parents taking part in its activities since it began in May last year.

In other parent engagement news, we are now holding regular coffee morning sessions within our wards, aimed at promoting our services to existing and new parents. The relaxed sessions are for parents to come and have a ‘chat and a cuppa’, meet new parents and if they have any ideas they would like to discuss for engagement activities they can feel free to do so. Though there isn’t a crèche provided, parents are welcome to bring along their children we provide toys and a safe environment.

And for parents who would like to submit their engagement idea for their area at any time, we are creating an online version of the parent engagement activity idea form.

If you would like to be involved with a parent newsletter, a coffee morning session or be part of any of our parent engagement activities, contact Georgia: ttengage2@savs-southend.co.uk 01702 356069.

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