The Clondalkin-based programme has just been shortlisted for an Irish Healthcare Award in the Child Health and Wellbeing category for 2018 Parents from across Clondalkin and Lucan graduated from the Blue Skies Initiative funded and Irish Health Care award nominated UpTo2 Programme in Balgaddy on Wednesday morning.

The participants were awarded certificates for completing the course with one first-time mother praising the course for the “unbelievable support” offered over the last four months. The UpTo2 Programme, designed by Archways, is a free eight-week course delivered in partnership with HSE Public Health Nurses and Deansrath Family Centre. The programme is aimed at guiding mothers in their role as a new parent and has been specially designed to offer supports to parents from pre-birth until their baby reaches two-years-old.

Delivered by trained facilitators and public health nurses, the programme is on one morning every two weeks and is designed to provide valuable information, advice and support to mothers living in the Clondalkin area (specifically North and South West). The course offers a suite of programmes which includes Incredible Years Baby Programme, five sessions of baby massage, a one-day workshop on Paediatric First Aid, a weaning workshop and is followed up by the Incredible Years Toddler Programme.

Karen Costello, Manager Blue Skies Initiative, said: “This is a fantastic programme and it is great to see another group of mothers and babies complete it. We are delighted to provide funding for this very important and essential community initiative which so far has been delivered to over 200 mothers in the Clondalkin area.” She added: “We also want to thank staff from Deansrath Family Centre and the very dedicated Public Health Nurses for facilitating the course – their insight and experience is an invaluable resource for parents.”

One of the aims of the Blue Skies Initiative is to support the overall well-being of children and families by using evidenced based programmes. The UpTo2 Programme has been nominated for the Child Health and Wellbeing Award at the Irish Healthcare Awards 2018 taking place on March 9th.  Places on the next UpTo2 Programme, starting this March, are limited so parents are asked to
express their interest by contacting Karen Costello (kcostello@archways.ie) or Sarah Thornberry (sthornberry@archways.ie). Falling under the Area Based Childhood Initiative, Blue Skies is funded by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies and overseen by the Centre for Effective Services and Pobal. The initiative is managed locally by a Consortium which is made up of members from several statutory and community organisations in the area and is led by Archways.

Pictured:  Karen Costello, Blue Skies Initiative with Alison Bradley, Deansrath Family Centre and Public Health Nurses Nora Slevin and Orla Sheehan along with the 2018 participants in Balgaddy.