FAMILIES are beaming after the launch of a village children’s service.
Little Smilers baby and toddler group has been formed by parents Holly Brewis and Emma Lowes to support families in Widdrington Station.
The not-for-profit group provides play for children aged 0 to five years, but it also offers help for parents, organising sessions with health visitors and providing healthy living advice from childcare experts.
Mrs Brewis, who lives in Lynemouth, but is originally from Widdrington, got the idea for the group after working on the Connected Northumberland bid to try to secure up to £50million from the Big Lottery Fund’s Better Start programme to improve the lives of children aged 0 to three years.
She said: “I have been helping the girls who run a group like this in Lynemouth and it seemed to be something that was a bit lacking in Widdrington.
“We offer parents tea and coffee facilities and support, promote healthy living and help them to play with their children more.
“Working with Better Start, I realised that sometimes families need a little bit of help. Things have changed over the years and people keep themselves to themselves a lot more so we want to bring the community together and develop a little support network.”
Fliers and Facebook notices have been posted to spread word of the group and a recent open day was held at Widdrington Community Centre in Grange Road.
Children from the nearby Grange View First School nursery attended, along with familiar faces Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam, and a raffle was held to boost start-up funds and buy toys.
The group runs at Widdrington Community Centre on Thursdays, from 9.15am to 11.15am. It costs £1 per child, or 50p per child where parents attend with more than one, to cover costs. For information call 01670 861685.