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News story

Babbling in Birmingham: Over 600 families receive support to develop children’s first words

01 Sep 2023

184 First Words Together Summer Party - Lakeside Centre

Throughout August, over 400 local families joined First Words Together at a series of summer parties. Organised in partnership with Birmingham Forward Steps, these free community events took place at Holloway Hall Community Centre, Lakeside Children's Centre and Handsworth Baptist Church Centre.

Families were invited to chat with the First Words Together team and local practitioners and learn more about the programme’s five talking tips, which are designed to help parents support their children as they learn those important first words. As well as discovering more about each of the talking tips, families enjoyed a fantastic storytelling session, met special guest Maisy Mouse and played games outside in the sunshine.

A NHS speech and language therapist was also on-hand for families to seek immediate advice and feedback on their child’s development, whist Birmingham Library Service attended to support families with signing up to the service and explaining how the library works. NSPCC, Home Start, local health visitors and early help teams were also available on the day to support families.

To round off each event, everybody received a free ice cream and gift bag, including a book which parents were encouraged to take home and read with their children, along with further support and advice for parents and guardians to help children learn their first words. Over 550 books were gifted to families across all three events.

As well her appearance at the summer parties, Maisy also joined the First Words Together team on a series of visits to children’s holiday kitchen programmes, libraries and community events across the city. Here, an additional 240 families received free books and guidance to support their child’s early speech and communication.

Local families who are looking for further support with their baby or toddler’s speech development can read and watch our five tips on the Words for Life website. Each tip has been translated into 12 additional languages. Here you can also learn more about future First Words Together sessions taking place in the area.

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