Families Matter Bitesize E-bulletin - June 2021

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FM E-Bulletin

Welcome to your monthly bitesize e-bulletin from the Parent and Family Support Service.

We offer early help, targeted services and family support in partnership with schools and community venues and most recently due to the Coronavirus our services are available online through webinars, virtual meetings and forums.

Here you’ll find regular updates, information, advice, and opportunities for you to join one of our virtual networks, support groups or attend a virtual parenting session to meet other parents and carers, share your experiences and learn from each other.

For more information about the service, visit our website

If you like this e-bulletin please share on social media, through community networks or your school website using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email.

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Important information Tower Hamlets Local Area SEND inspection: parents and carers views

The inspection of London Borough of Tower Hamlets local area’s effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of, and improving outcomes for, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) will take place between 28 June and 2 July 2021.

More details can be found on the Local Offer and SEND IASS websites, including a letter from the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspector inviting parents to complete a survey to share their views. 

The survey closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday 29 June.

Have your say >

Summer Activities

Help towards the cost of children’s summer activities

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working families that they can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for their childcare costs over the summer.

Tax-Free Childcare – a childcare top-up of 20 per cent for working parents – can be used to help pay for accredited holiday clubs, childminders, or sports activities. It’s available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability.  For every £8 deposited into an account, families will receive an additional £2 in government top-up.

Find out more >

Summer Childcare

Childcare for the Summer Holidays

The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme will take place at St Mary & St Michael Primary School, Sutton St, E1 from Monday 26 July to Friday 20 August. 

Places are limited. Bookings for the scheme opened this week for working parents.  Bookings for non-working parents will open on 6 July at 12 noon.

More information >

Debt Advice Service

What should debt advice services look like?

Toynbee Hall is working on a research project with Debt Free London, to create accessible debt advice services that support people who may be struggling financially. They are recruiting people with experience of debt to participate in workshops that will help shape the project.

The workshops are two hours long and are scheduled for July 2021. Participants will receive a ‘thank you’ of £25 for their time.


Register your interest >

Secondary School Transfer

Have you got a child in Year 5? Get information on their move to secondary school

Attend a virtual workshop for parents to find out about the secondary transfer process, delivered through Zoom by Tower Hamlets Transition Officers.

These interactive sessions will provide key information and explore how to support your child’s next steps on their learning journey. 

Upcoming sessions

  • Monday 28 June, 1-2pm
  • Wednesday 30 June, 10-11am

Book your place >

Platform to talk

Platform to Talk - Change and New Beginnings

Platform to Talk - the discussion based virtual sessions from the Parental Engagement Team continues to provide a safe space for parents to come together, share their experiences and get reliable information.

The next Platform to Talk is on the theme of change and new beginnings. The session will explore the concept of change and reframe it as an opportunity for growth and personal development.

Platform to Talk - Change and New Beginnings

Friday 9 July, 10am-11am

Book your place >

Somali Parents Network

The Somali Parents and Carers Network

The Parent and Family Support Service have a support group for Somali parents and carers.

The Somali Parents and Carers Network meet once a month either virtually or at different locations in the borough. The network provides a safe space for parents to share experiences relating to education, parenting and safeguarding.  

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 13 July, 11am-1pm, delivered via Zoom.

Booking details here >


Volunteer with Praxis

Praxis is a human rights charity, based in Bethnal Green that supports migrants in crisis or at-risk, ensuring that their basic human needs are met and that they are supported to overcome the barriers they face.

By volunteering with Praxis, you will be helping deliver much needed services.

The charity is looking for dedicated individuals to volunteer in a variety of interesting roles.

Learn more >

Online sessions for parents

Online drop-in sessions for parents

Now more than ever, parents need a safe space to come together, share their experiences and get support. That’s why the Parental Engagement Parenting Team have created handy lunchtime drop in sessions for parents and carers.

Join these sessions to pick up useful parenting tips, connect with others and form a network of support. You’ll also find out about local support services available.

Next session

Monday 19 July, 1.30-2.30pm

Delivered online, through Zoom

Register here > 

Covid-19 Vaccine

Q&A with experts on COVID19 vaccine

Tower Hamlets council will be hosting a free online event on Thursday 24 June, 6-8pm. The event is open to all residents, particularly those from Black African and Black Caribbean communities.

A panel of Public Health professionals, senior clinicians and faith leaders will discuss vaccine hesitancy, misconceptions and provide accurate information.

You can register to submit questions to the panel in advance here.

Zoom Meeting ID:726 6621 6639

Zoom Passcode: 68ELwU

Zoom link here > 

Parent sessions

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities online taster session

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (in Bengali) is an evidence-based parenting programme that explores child development, the causes of conflict, community involvement and family values.  

The full programme is normally delivered over 13 weeks, but now parents have a chance to gain an overview of the programme, meet the facilitators and ask questions with this online taster session. Tower Hamlets parents with children aged between three and 18-years are welcome to attend.

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Taster Session

Thursday 15 July, 10.30am–12noon

Delivered in Bengali through Zoom

For more details and to book your place email parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk,

Include - your name - email address - and, contact telephone number.

National Week of Play

National Week of Play

The Early Years Alliance has launched its National Week of Play (21 - 27 June) aimed at encouraging professionals to put play at the heart of their practice and supporting parents to explore new play ideas.

As part of the week, there will be engaging online sessions as well as a play panel featuring experts in the field of play.

Register here >

Emotional First Aid

Emotional First Aid taster session

Emotional First Aid, delivered by the Parental Engagement Team, is an emotional wellbeing programme that helps parents identify early warning signs of anxiety and equips them with effective coping strategies - leading to better emotional health and resilience.

The full programme will take place over five sessions in September, but parents now have a chance to gain an overview of the course, meet the facilitators and ask questions with this online taster session.

Tower Hamlets parents with children from birth to 18-years are welcome to attend.

Emotional First Aid Taster Session

Wednesday 14 July, 10am–12.30pm

Delivered through Zoom

For more details and joining information email parenting@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Families Matter

Families Matter Magazine – Summer 2021

Alongside the monthly Families Matter e-bulletin, the Parent and Family Support Service also produces a termly magazine full of local and national information on services to support families.  

The latest edition is out now. 

Read now >

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  See the list and sign up!