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Royal visit to Ballymena and Little Steps Sure Start


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently visited a Sure Start project in Ballymena where they learned about a range of parenting programmes which supports families facing challenges like parental isolation or mental health issues.

The Sure Start project is fully funded by the Department of Education, through the HSCB.  The day to day management of the project is driven by a management committee supported by the Lead Body,  Action for Children which is a leading children’s charity and an Accountable Body the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Attending the event, Marie Roulston, Director of Social Care and Children’s Services said; “The Board is delighted to be involved in the 38 Sure Start Projects in Northern Ireland, including Ballymena and Little Steps Sure Start. The event signifies the successful collaboration between the many organisations and people involved in delivering a service in the heart of the community that really makes a difference to the lives of children and families.”

Action for Children Director for Northern Ireland Dawn Shaw said;  “The focus is on learning through play to support children’s development and this visit is an exciting opportunity for parents and children who participate in activities at the Ballymena and Antrim Sure Start centers to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They themselves are parents so will have an affinity with parents of young children. The Duchess is the Patron of Action for Children, so this is a chance for our staff to show the practical support offered to parents and children within the Ballymena and Antrim area.”