Well, what a year this has been for us all! We had to stop our play sessions in March but we stayed connected with our families with online coffee drop-ins and craft packs for home creativity.

Growbaby continued to function from Claire’s spare room! Generous donations via our Amazon Wishlist and funds from the London Community Response Fund have enabled us to support newborn babies and their families throughout the year. We have since moved Growbaby out of Claire's spare room and into the offices of Hoxton Trust, a local Legal Advice charity, another temporary home for us until our building is ready next year.

A small baby sits on a red mat and plays with some small plastic toys. He holds a rattle up with his right hand.

In September we re-opened our sessions in a marquee in St Johns church gardens. Socially distanced play sessions have their challenges, but it was great to be able to offer something for people to do, and our families were so glad to get out and meet others in the same boat.

We were alert to the fact that many people had given birth during lockdown and were missing out on the normal socialisation with other new parents, so we launched Lockdown Babies and gathered together new parents and their babies to meet and share experiences. It was the first time many of the Mums had met anyone else in their situation. What a joy it has been to provide a safe space for these families to meet and find support and friendship.

Alongside all this our building is making amazing progress. The old pub front is still standing, but everything else has come down. We have a new basement and ground floor going in as I write. Please go to Our New Home page for more information and how you might help us achieve a new home for Ivy Street.

A wide shot of the building, the front wall is propped up with scaffolding, but the rest of the building has been demolished. The sun shines on the site which is surrounded by fencing to keep everything safe.

So we head towards 2021 with so much uncertainty, but glimmers of hope, and faith that we will get through this by pulling together. Lockdown Babies will continue in the New Year and we look forward, perhaps, to some more outdoor play and fun as the weather improves.

We wish you a safe and happy Christmas with many moments of joy for you and your families.

The Ivy Street Team x