Families Matter Bitesize E-bulletin - December 2021, Winter activities and food, online safety, school applications, Covid-19 update for children over 12

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FM E-Bulletin

Welcome to your monthly Families Matter E-bulletin from the Parent and Family Support Service.

Each month we share information, advice, and opportunities for you to join our networks, support groups or parenting sessions.

Read on to find out how you can connect with other parents and carers, participate in family activites, share your experiences and learn together.

To find out more about the Parent and Family Support Service and access our termly Families Matter magazine, visit our website.


2. Christmas FIS

Family Information Service – Christmas opening hours

The Family Information Service operates a telephone and email helpline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on 020 7364 6495. 

The telephone lines will be closed on Friday 24 December and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

3. Owls

Wondering what to do this Christmas?

Head over to the Local Offer website and explore all that’s on offer over the Christmas holiday period including family activities, events, music, dance and much more.

Visit the Local Offer >

Winter 2021

Holiday Activities and Food Programme

The programme, funded by the Department for Education, is for children and young people aged five to 18-years-old who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

Alongside the food, fun activities will be provided with opportunities to try out new things or get involved in physical sports, games or creative activities.

Local winter activities >

5. NHS Card

Healthy Start vouchers are going digital

If you are more than ten weeks pregnant or have a child under four, you may be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers to help buy food and milk.

The vouchers are changing from paper to a pre-paid card, which you can apply for online.  Whether you are applying for the first time, or currently receiving paper vouchers, you must go online now to apply for your pre-paid card.

If your application is successful, you will normally receive your card within seven working days.

Apply here >


Need support applying for a Nursery or Reception school place for September 2022?

To support families with the Nursery and Reception school application process, the Transition Support Service in partnership with Pupils Services are offering free online advice sessions.

Applying for Reception

Wednesday 5 January 2022, 10am

Delivered online through Zoom

*Closing date for Reception applications is Saturday 15 January 2022

Joining details here > 


Applying for Nursery

Tuesday 11 January 2022, 10 am

Delivered online through Zoom

*Closing date for Nursery applications is Wednesday 16 February 2022

Joining details here > 


7. School

Platform to Talk: School attendance

This discussion based virtual session provides a safe space for parents to come together, share their experiences and get reliable information. 

Regular school attendance gives children the best possible start in life and helps them reach their full potential. January’s Platform to Talk will explore ways parents can encourage good attendance so that children don’t miss out on valuable learning.

Platform to Talk: School attendance and the impact on learning

Friday 14 January 2022, 10am-11am

Delivered online through Zoom

Joining details here >

8. Safe Online

Free online safety sessions for parents in January

The internet is amazing and opens a world of possibilities for children; but do you worry about the amount of time your child is spending online, using social media or playing computer games?

Would you like to find out more about your child’s online world and pick up some useful tips to help keep them safe?

Join January’s ‘Keeping Children Safe Online’ sessions by emailing:


9. Separation

Is separation affecting your family?

The Parenting Team have a course to help support separating or separated parents. You will discover ways to support your child through change and pick up some useful tips so that you co-parent effectively with your ex-partner.

Triple P Family Transitions for Separated Parents

Delivered in person at the Parents Advice Centre, E1 5LX

Fridays, 14 January – 11 February 2022, 10am-12pm

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

Support for Separated Parents > 

12 to 15 Second Dose Covid Vaccine

Children aged 12 and over can get a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Children aged over 12 years are now eligible for two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, following latest advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation – this means that all 12-17 year olds are now recommended to have two doses.

To get the second dose, children and young people will need to wait at least three months after the first dose, or 12 weeks after a positive Covid-19 test. 

Children and young people can get vaccinated in two community clinics in Tower Hamlets for their vaccines – all bookable through the national booking system.

For more information or support, visit the council website or call the council helpline on 020 7364 3030.

Local vaccination information here >

Leisure Services

Have your say on leisure services in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council want to hear what you think about leisure services in the borough and how they could provide services through a new leisure contract starting in 2024. 

The consultation is now live and it will close to responses on Monday 3 January 2022.

 Share your views here > 

11. Proud

Tower Hamlets Civic Awards nominations now open

There are special people who live, work or study in Tower Hamlets who are dedicated to serving their community and improving the lives of others.

The Tower Hamlets Civic Awards are a great way to thank the borough’s unsung heroes. Make sure their contribution gets recognised and nominate your special person by Friday 7 January.

Nominate here >  

Thank you for reading

The Parent and Family Support Service offer information, advice and support services 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.

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