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Winter Wonderland Event Handbook DECEMBER 2009 1 Contents P3 Introduction P4 Organising your event P6 Promoting your event P7

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Winter Wonderland Event Handbook DECEMBER 2009 1 Contents P3 Introduction P4 Organising your event P6 Promoting your event P7 Powered By Docstoc
					Winter Wonderland
 Event Handbook
     DECEMBER 2009




                     1
Contents

P3         Introduction

P4         Organising your event

P6         Promoting your event

P7         Pre-event press release template

P9         Post-event press release template

P11        Media factbox




                                               2
INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the fourth in a series of DCSF Event Handbooks. This handbook aims to help Sure
Start Children‟s Centre leaders generate publicity for their centres to promote the services and
facilities on offer to the local community. Children‟s centres are invited to refer to these
handbooks for ideas and inspirations if they wish to host an event in the coming weeks.


December‟s theme is Christmas and this handbook provides easy to follow advice and
guidance to put on fun winter festivities that will appeal to families from all cultural and religious
backgrounds and gain coverage in your local media.


If you have any feedback on these documents, or have any suggestions for future themes,
please      contact     Rajinder      Sahota       in     DCSF       Marketing       by      emailing
Rajinder.Sahota@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk.



Don‟t forget that additional information about how to publicise your centre throughout the year
can be found in the Sure Start Children‟s Centre Communications Toolkit. You can find it online
by clicking here.




                                                                                                    3
ORGANISING YOUR EVENT


Once you have set a time and date for your celebration you can start planning activities that will
help spread some festive cheer around your centre.


Below are some suggestions to get you thinking:


Winter Wonderland
Ahead of your event, enlist the help of the children to decorate the rooms and turn the centre
into a winter wonderland; adorn the walls with children‟s wintery drawings and make paper
chains of snowmen and icicles.        Ask every child and parent to make their own hanging
decoration for the Christmas tree. Baked slices of apple and orange dusted in cinnamon and
glitter are easy to make and look really effective.

Snow Ball
Invite parents and children to a Snow Ball - ask them to come along dressed in white to dance
to their favourite songs. Even if it isn‟t snowing outside, making a snowman inside can be just as
fun as children will enjoy decorating life-size cut outs in cotton wool and glitter. Once your
snowman is made, children can settle down to listen to Raymond Briggs‟ The Snowman.


Winter around the World
The festive season is about Christmas celebrations and a whole lot more. Celebrate the cultural
diversity at your centre by encouraging families from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds to bring
in traditional dishes to share with other mums, dads and children.

You could teach parents and children about other festivities that happen at this time of year
around the world and encourage families to share their own experiences and traditions.


Some other festivals you might like to mark at your centre could include:


Hanukkah - the Jewish Festival of Lights is an eight day holiday which starts this year on 12
December. Families light a candle each night, sing hymns and exchange gifts. Traditional food
like latkes (a kind of potato fritter) and games played with a dreidel are also an important part of
this celebration.



                                                                                                  4
Kwanzaa - this week-long celebration honours African heritage and culture and is observed
from 26 December to 1 January each year. Participants gather with family and friends to
exchange gifts and to light a series of black, red and green candles which symbolize the seven
basic values of family life: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility,
cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

Festive food
Encourage families and staff to bake a festive cake for a Yuletide baking competition. You could
suggest they make mince pies, Christmas log cake or cookies with a snowy dusting of icing
sugar. You can inspire children to tuck into healthy snacks too by stocking up on festive fruit
such as satsumas and dried cranberries.




                                                                                              5
PROMOTING YOUR EVENT

Pre and post event press releases


We have provided templates for a pre event press release (found on page 7 of this document)
to let people know what‟s happening and also a post event press release (found on page 9 of
this document) that you can send out after the event, showcasing its success. We have left
spaces for you to fill in your own information and contact details.


Once completed, you can email the press release to local journalists, remembering the key
considerations for doing this (see page 27 of the Sure Start Children‟s Centre Communications
Toolkit).


As it is unlikely that journalists will cover information on the event twice, we recommend that you
only use the pre event press release. If for any reason you are unable to do this, use the post
event press release as a back-up.


Media factbox


We have provided you with a media factbox at the end of this document that does not need
amending. The only thing you need to remember is to mention to your journalist contacts that
this document will accompany the press release, and ask them if they can arrange for it to
appear next to the main story.


Photography


Remember to send a photograph with your post event press release, for example, children and
their parents in festive outfits decorating the Christmas tree or making a snowman.


For more hints and tips on how to take the perfect photograph see page 36 of the Sure Start
Children‟s Centre Communications Toolkit.


It is also vital to make sure you have the necessary permissions from parents for taking photos
at your event (see page 37 of the Sure Start Children‟s Centre Communications Toolkit for more
details and a template consent form.)

                                                                                                 6
PRE EVENT PRESS RELEASE TEMPLATE


For immediate publication


                    FESTIVE FUN AT SURE START CHILDREN’S CENTRE


It is the season of good will and <SSCC name> Sure Start Children‟s Centre in <Town name> is
throwing open its doors to welcome families to their winter wonderland on <Date of event> at
<Time of event>. Parents, guardians and carers are invited in from the cold outside to take part
in the festivities and discover more about their local Sure Start Children‟s Centre.


Staff at the centre will be hosting <Brief description of event, e.g. a Snow Ball> to get families
into the spirit of the season. Parents and children are invited to come in their festive finery to
take part in fun activities such as <Detail of what children will do on the day, e.g. snowman
making and Christmas cake baking>. Parents will also able to chat to centre staff and learn
about all the facilities on offer at Sure Start Children‟s Centres.


<Insert quote from spokesperson or parent/supporter. This could be along the lines of the
following:>


<Spokesperson name>, <Job title> at <SSCC name> believes that the centre has lots to offer
the local community not just at Christmas but the whole year round, and urges more parents in
<Town name> to come along and discover the services that are right on their doorstep.


“Christmas is a fun time for the whole family and we want to encourage local parents and
children to come along, join in the wintery festivities and meet other families in their area. At the
same time we want them to use the opportunity to talk to centre staff to find out about the wide
range of services and support that our centre has to offer them.”


There are now more than 3,100 centres in England, providing access to services for over 2.4
million children under five and their families. The Government plans to expand the total number
of Sure Start Children‟s Centres, by March 2010, to 3,500 – one for every community in
England.




                                                                                                   7
Each centre provides access to the following services:
   o   Childcare, play and early learning for babies and toddlers [Delete as appropriate
       depending on if your centre offers childcare]
   o   Expert advice on healthcare run by midwives and health visitors, e.g. breastfeeding for
       new mums or immunisations as well as advice sessions
   o   Advice on parenting for mums and dads
   o   Brushing up on skills and learning new ones
   o   Links to training and job opportunities
   o   Family fun and meeting friends


Many centres also provide a range of additional services, such as storytelling classes, baby
yoga, rhyme time sessions and dads‟ groups.


For more information on the event and the breadth of services that the <SSCC name> offers,
parents can call <Contact name> on <Contact number>.
                                           --- Ends ---

For more information, please contact:

<Media contact name, email address and phone number>

Notes to editors:

   1. <SSCC Name> is open between the hours of <Opening Hours>

   2. There are now over 3,100 Sure Start Children‟s Centres across England and by 2010
      there will be 3,500 centres – one for every community. Sure Start Children‟s Centres
      support children under the age of 5 and their families. They provide easy access to
      health services, parenting and family support, advice and support for parents (including
      drop in sessions), outreach services, integrated early education and childcare, and links
      to training and employment opportunities.

   3. For more information about Sure Start Children‟s Centres in your area, free early
      learning for three and four-year-olds and details about further financial help available
      for childcare costs, phone 0800 2346 346 or go visit www.direct.gov.uk/childrenscentres




                                                                                                  8
POST EVENT PRESS RELEASE TEMPLATE


For immediate publication


                    FESTIVE FUN AT SURE START CHILDREN’S CENTRE


It is the season of good will and <SSCC name> Sure Start Children‟s Centre in <Town name>
threw open its doors today to welcome families to their winter wonderland. Parents, guardians
and carers were invited in from the cold outside to take part in the festivities and discover more
about their local Sure Start Children‟s Centre.


Staff at the centre held <Brief description of event, e.g. a Snow Ball> to get families into the
spirit of the season. <Approximate number> local parents and children came in their festive
finery to take part in fun activities such as <Detail of what children will do on the day, e.g.
snowman making and Christmas cake baking>. Parents were also able to chat to centre staff
and learn about all the facilities on offer at Sure Start Children‟s Centres.


<Insert quote from spokesperson or parent/supporter. This could be along the lines of the
following:>


<Spokesperson name>, <Job title> at <SSCC name> believes that the centre has lots to offer
the local community not just at Christmas but the whole year round, and urges more parents in
<Town name> to come along and discover the services that are right on their doorstep.


“Everyone had a brilliant time at our event. Local parents and children, new and current, came
along and took part in the festive activities and met with other families in their area. They also
had the opportunity to talk to centre staff and find out about the wide range of services and
support that our centre has to offer them.”


There are now more than 3,100 centres in England, providing access to services for over 2.4
million children under five and their families. The Government plans to expand the total number
of Sure Start Children‟s Centres, by March 2010, to 3,500 – one for every community in
England.




                                                                                                9
Each centre provides access to the following services:


   o   Childcare, play and early learning for babies and toddlers [Delete as appropriate
       depending on if your centre offers childcare]
   o   Expert advice on healthcare run by midwives and health visitors, e.g. breastfeeding for
       new mums or immunisations as well as advice sessions
   o   Advice on parenting for mums and dads
   o   Brushing up on skills and learning new ones
   o   Links to training and job opportunities
   o   Family fun and meeting friends


Many centres also provide a range of additional services, such as storytelling classes, baby
yoga, Rhyme time sessions and dads‟ groups.


For more information on the breadth of services that the <SSCC name> offers, parents can call
<Contact name> on <Contact number>.


                                           --- Ends ---

For more information, please contact:

<Media contact name, email address and phone number>


Notes to editors:

   1. <SSCC Name> is open between the hours of <Opening Hours>

   2. There are now over 3,100 Sure Start Children‟s Centres across England and by 2010
      there will be 3,500 centres – one for every community. Sure Start Children‟s Centres
      support children under the age of 5 and their families. They provide easy access to
      health services, parenting and family support, advice and support for parents (including
      drop in sessions), outreach services, integrated early education and childcare, and links
      to training and employment opportunities.

   3. For more information about Sure Start Children‟s Centres in your area, free early
      learning for three and four-year-olds and details about further financial help available
      for childcare costs, phone 0800 2346 346 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/childrenscentres




                                                                                                 10
MEDIA FACTBOX


   SURE START CHILDREN’S CENTRES – THE FACTS:

   1. Sure Start Children‟s Centres are „one stop shops‟ for parents with children under five –
      providing services including childcare, healthcare, parenting advice, family support and
      opportunities to get back into work or training

   2. Most services, except childcare, are free and even then, families on a low income can
      often claim tax credits that help them meet this cost

   3. Most Sure Start Children‟s Centres are open from 8am until 6pm, all year round, and
      some offer services in the evenings or at weekends

   4. There are over 3,100 Sure Start Children‟s Centres across England which provide
      support to over 2.4 million children under five and their families

   5. Sure Start Children‟s Centres offer high quality services that are open to everyone in
      the community whatever their background or circumstances

   6. The Government‟s vision is that every child or young person should have the
      opportunity to fulfil their potential, and the Sure Start Children‟s Centres programme is
      at the forefront of this vision

   7. By March 2010 there will be 3,500 Sure Start Children‟s Centres – one for every
      community in England

   8. Research shows that 92% of parents are satisfied with the services on offer at Sure
      Start Children‟s Centres

   9. Independent research by Birkbeck College, University of London, found that parents of
      three-year-olds who live in Sure Start Local Programme areas have more positive
      parenting skills, while their young children showed better social development,
      behaviour and independence

   10. The Government has committed over £7 billion to the Sure Start Children‟s Centres
       programme since 1999. Current funding tops £1 billion a year




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