Andover Events FamilyLife

Free Courses and Workshops For New Parents in Andover

Written by Carole Payne

Hampshire Healthy Families is a partnership between Southern Health (NHS) and Barnardo’s They are based at Tidbury Farm near Sutton Scotney but travel around to different local venues to deliver FREE courses and workshops to support parents of newborn babies up to pre-school age.

The workers who deliver the courses and workshops are trained in using the Kate Cairn Five To Thrive approach to parenthood. .This is based on five key areas of activities to promote healthy communication and brain development.

The five building blocks to help achieve this are

  • RESPOND Responding and assessing needs
  • CUDDLE. Connecting and engaging
  • RELAX Self-regulating stress
  • PLAY. Playing to activate the right side of the brain
  • TALK. Starting a conversation to stimulate the left side of the brain.

A course Five To Thrive to promote these activities and help parents to understand their child’s healthy brain development is available for first-time parents or carers, or anyone recommended by a health visitor. The course is 4 weeks long (1.5 hours each session) and aimed at babies aged 6 weeks to 6 months and is FREE.

A one-off FREE 1.5 hours workshop BABY TALK is available for parents and carers of babies aged 9 months to 2 years. During the workshop you will be shown different ideas to encourage speech and listening skills for your baby through play and conversation. This is also a good opportunity to meet other parents and share ideas and develop friendships.

Leading on from this is another one-off 1.5 hours FREE workshop for parents and carers of children aged 2 to 3 years. This explores ways of developing listening, attention, understanding and communication skills through reading , playing games, conversation and singing.

Also for parents and carers of 2 and 3 year old children there is a one-off FREE workshop lasting 1.5 hours FAMILY FOOD, FUN & FITNESS. This explores good values, portion sizes, making lunchboxes exciting, healthy family exercising and how to make mealtimes a pleasure rather than a battlefield.

When your child is approaching school age there are two options available for parents. Firstly there is a FREE 1.5 hour workshop, SCHOOL READINESS WORKSHOP, explaining how school ‘works’ and tries to answer as many of your questions as possible about your emotions and fears at this very important milestone in yours and your child’s life SCHOOL READINESS COURSE is a follow-on FREE course, 1.5 hours for 4 weeks covering the topics explored in the workshop in much more depth.

To find out more about venues near you or to book a place on any of our FREE courses, If you are a venue that would like Hampshire Healthy Families to deliver a course or workshop please get in touch on or google Hampshire Healthy Families. Alternatively you can ask your health visitor who will give you details.