We hope you are surviving Lockdown 3.0 and have found joy in small moments to keep you going. It certainly feels like a long slog through the winter days at the moment.

We have been unable to re-start our lovely Lockdown Babies and Messy Play groups this term and we are heartbroken not to be able to provide that safe space for parents and their little ones to meet, socialise and find support and friendship.. However, we are offering telephone and online support which is certainly helping our families to feel less isolated, but it far from ideal. We hope that we can get back to face to face sessions after Easter. We will probably be outside, so I hope the weather is kind to us again!

We love a story at Ivy Street. Whether it's our toddlers huddling round to hear about a Bear Hunt, or a baby snuggled up on a lap feeling the tactile bits of a board book, stories in books are so important to us. We also love to hear stories of how Ivy Street has helped and impacted our families. We thought you would like to get to know our team a little better, so here is Chloe’s story of how Ivy Street has been a big part of her life since becoming a Mum.

"Being a first time mum and just 20 years old I was really nervous about going to any playgroup as none of my friends had children yet, so I would be going alone. It took me a year to build up the courage to finally walk through the doors of Ivy St and when I did everyone made me feel so welcome. Me and my daughter had lots of fun experiences together there. I was sad when my time there came to an end when my daughter went to school, but, luckily for me my son came along, and I got to go back. When it was his time to go to nursery I decided that I would love to stay a part of Ivy St so I volunteered for a while until my third child came along, and then, just as it was her time to go to nursery, a job opportunity came up at Ivy St. I had no doubt in my mind that it was my dream job, working at a place that I loved. I’ve been a part of the Ivy St family for nearly 16 years now and I hope to be a part of it for many more years to come."

Chloe and her husband with their three children and their Jack Russel terrier, all dressed in dark blue. stand in a group in the dappled light of surrounding trees.

Chloe runs our play sessions and is a calm and friendly presence for all the toddlers, their parents and carers. She loves to look up new activities for the children to do, the messier the better as far as Chloe is concerned! With a background in Nursery Nursing and three lively children of her own, Chloe is the perfect person for planning engaging and fun activities for our little ones. She is partially furloughed at the moment but continues to support families over the phone and at our online Coffee morning. She is also helping to keep Growbaby running by sorting out starter packs of items for new mothers and their newborn babies. We, also, hope that Chloe will have many more years at Ivy Street!

Talking of stories, the lovely Victoria has been making videos of songs and stories for our families, you can check them out on our Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/TheIvyStreetFamilyCentre/videos/?ref=page_internal

Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones in these strange times. We will get through this.