KidsZone • London

Wednesday 29th June 2005
St. John's Church, Hackney

Hip HIP Hurray!!!
Party at Hoxton Sure Start

As this year's National Sure Start month draws to an end, Hoxton celebrated with a final party in the grounds of St. John's Church on June 29th. This was the fourth celebration in a series of events held every Wednesday throughout June, for this East London centre. Each of these events featured and highlighted different community services on offer.

‘Tots Football’

The emphasis on this occasion was ‘Tots Football’. Aimed at gaining the interest of fathers, Sure Start is hoping that they will become more active members of the centre. This will lead to a more balanced environment, with both mothers and fathers playing vibrant roles, not only in the community but in the child's life. These football activities will also provide for the fathers, opportunities to meet other fathers and to share and discuss experiences

HIP Café

If you haven't heard of the new dynamic organisation HIP, you soon will. HIP (Hoxton Independent Parents) is a brand new social enterprise, soon to be opened at St John Church, Pitfield Street, off Old Street in East London. Set up earlier this year by a group of parents based in Hoxton, with the backing of Hoxton Sure Start, they currently offer crèche services for ‘Training For Life’ and Sure Start.

This truly ambitious and remarkable project aims to turn the currently disused church into a vibrant, purpose-built child friendly café with a breastfeeding area. This multi-functional centre will also include, a play area, a learning centre for parents and a pre-school upstairs. They are hoping in the next few months this innovative “HIP Centre” will act as a focal point for the local community. Log onto KidsZone-London for news of its official opening!!

‘Jed the Jester’

This event included face painting, temporary henna tattoos, a bouncing castle and “Jed – the Jester” who enthralled the tots by manufacturing wondrous animals and shapes from balloons. The musical play time was supplied with music by the Albion Kids Show. This is a mobile play resource based in Hackney, enabling children to learn through safe, exiting, and imaginative activities with an emphasis on non-competitive.

Free baby massages were being offered, with the teacher also guiding the parents on simple massage and yoga techniques, which can be done at home. This will make you and your baby feel healthier and more relaxed.

This event was the climax of a remarkably active month for the workers of this Sure Start, whom I'm sure, are all looking forward to putting their feet up and relaxing in the sun (well at least until the next event!!!).

reviewed by Siobhan Tattan
(KidsZone • London)