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Expansion of successful Flying Start programme celebrated

31 October 2017

Ten years after the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme was launched in Wales, Bridgend County Borough has celebrated the success of the scheme by officially opening two more facilities dedicated to helping young children get the best possible start in life.

As one of the Welsh Government’s top priorities for tackling poverty in Wales, Flying Start provides free, high-quality part-time childcare for two to three year olds, as well as an enhanced health visiting service, help with early language development and access to parenting programmes.

Families in 13 areas of Bridgend County Borough are currently benefiting from Flying Start services, with the centres in Lewistown and Garth the latest to receive the ‘ribbon-cutting’ treatment during a visit by Bridgend County Borough Council Cabinet Members, Mayor Pam Davies and Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies.

Councillor Huw David, the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “Flying Start is all about enabling and equipping families to be able to provide better opportunities for their children, and more than 1,500 children currently benefit from Flying Start in our local communities.

“Although they have both been up and running for a little while, the centres in Lewistown and Garth are the newest Flying Start facilities that we have opened in Bridgend County Borough, joining those that are already benefiting residents in parts of Betws, Blackmill, Brackla, Cefn Glas, Caerau, Cornelly, Maesteg Park, the Oakwood Estate, Plasnewydd, Sarn and Wildmill.”

The support for both mums-to-be and new mums who have already given birth also includes an extensive midwifery service, breast feeding advice, weaning groups, baby massage sessions and potty training advice.

Partnership has been central to Flying Start’s success, as the council’s Deputy Leader Hywel Williams said: “This is not something that any one organisation can provide in isolation and partnership with the likes of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has been very much at the forefront of how Flying Start has been able to have such a positive effect.”

Ogmore AM Huw Irranca-Davies added: “As a big supporter of Flying Start it was a pleasure to ‘cut the ribbon’ on the successful flagship Welsh Government scheme and join in the celebrations. The dedication and hard work of the staff and family support workers is clearly making a huge difference to children’s lives whilst continuing to help and support families in Ogmore.”

The Flying Start programme has been so successful that the Welsh Government had to increase its original target of 18,000 beneficiaries across Wales to 36,000.

For more information about Flying Start in Bridgend County Borough, contact Tina Haddon, Flying Start Team Manager, on 01656 815168.

Last Updated: 01/11/2017
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