You can plan for everything but you can’t plan for the weather for an outdoors event. Stalking the BBC Weather for days on end, Tuesday 12 May was looking so promising until 48 hours before when it all changed and solid rain was forecast.
So here we were, the Riverside Cares gang had been discussing Sunnies or Wellies for days on end and now it looked to be galoshes and a So’wester hats (my only conciliation being that yellow is fashionable this year)! We’d invited Mumsnet Tower Hamlets to partner with us for our very first Jumping Jacks Jamboree taking place at Stepney City Farm, a place dear to our hearts and it looked to be a washout. 9.30am solid rain. Yikes!
I needed to be collected by car from Rinkoffs Bakery who had made adorable lamb and piglet shaped biscuits, in case they got damp (that says it all). And then something happened… inexplicably … well it is London so it’s always inexplicably, it stopped raining. The sun peaked through, and by 10am we were all good. By kick-off at 11am the weather was mild and by midday it was ‘coats off.’ The grass was super green as a result and the plants likely grew inches.
Call me a big fan of the East End, Jill and I first dreamed up what was to become Riverside Cares way back in 1989, pre-dating Canary Wharf (cheater alert here, we did know it was coming). It’s a terrific place for families with heaps to do, especially if you are artistic and creative. The heart-beat of the arts and digital creative community and industry of the UK is here in East London. Having our first event Jumping Jacks Jamboree in the East End was a no-brainer for us. Our next free Riverside Cares event will be on July 12th at JW3 at the Parent and Baby Fest featuring one of our very popular Feed Your Children Well sessions with the terrific Dr Emma Haycraft c0-creator of the Child Feeding App speaking together with Riverside Cares, co-founder Jill Wheatcroft. Emma and her team’s research is used by the NHS and British Heart Foundation. The day long event is going to include the launch of JW3’s summer beach and they’ll all sorts of fab stuff happening. I digress…
Must be something about the East London air, my my we do have bonny babies in our neck of the wood and they came out in force so see the farm. Looking fab, as did their mums and a granny and grandpa. Floral is de-rigueur for town and country jaunts and pattern on pattern works perfectly if your feet are tiny …..
Hippy 70’s chic is also making it’s mark with flowered headwear setting off rose printed mini dresses, and woodstock inspired mini flower prints.
Maybe Chelsea Flower Show is adding to the flower-power inspiration?
Well prepared mums, armed for any eventuality, joined us for bite-sized session delivered by Jill Wheatcroft our very own in-house childcare maven and Lecturer in Child Health to so many London nurses for many years. Young listeners snacked during the sessions and mums noshed on some fab food with a decidedly international flavour.
Jill showed us all what to do if a baby or toddler is chocking. The session was packed full of sensible advice illustrated with holding techniques. Her many years not just teaching nurses but also having worked on children’s wards at senior level meant she had lots of extra underpinning information to share. Jill often teaches the 3 hour family first aid session, an invaluable resource for anyone who will be left alone with a child. Here’s a bit more about it.
Jill’s second session was about encouraging babies to speak. So many tips and ideas plus how to manage the situation in a bilingal household. Jill loves meeting and working with parents and can arrange special sessions for private groups in our training rooms or in private homes. Her Parent Consultancy Practice allows for one to one sessions on a wide range of topics too.
Finally she rounded off the day with another excellent session for parents about managing behaviour with time for questions and answers.
Gulnora Boymurotova of Mumsnet put together a whizzy quiz which definitely left me wondering at certain points hmmmm ‘who-knew’! and a fun and informative demo about effective ways to cleanse fruit of impurities with a whizzy piece of gadgetry.
Riverside Cares began life as a childcare provider service for family homes, we continue to do that and wrap-around care of the whole family, supply nurseries and day care alongside delivering training to schools, early years settings and individual families. We find it hugely rewarding to hear what new mums think and care about, it entirely influences the services we deliver. We constantly adapt our programming around the needs of parents and Jumping Jacks Jamborees are a perfect way for our team and parents to get together have fun, learn and exchange ideas.
Choosing the farm for the first event mattered to us. The farm was as brilliant as can be. We are such big fans. There’s loads to see and learn and where else can one say this morning I saw a black lamb and a golden haired pig and I’m here in the middle of hipster london’s East End. We are based locally, close to Canary Whalf (we actually supply across the whole of London with carers based in most London postcodes). Our local community is hugely diverse with a real international flavour about it. The farm has been part of community life for very years and is a gem in out midst. It was an easy choice.
If you know someone we should collaborate with for our Jumping Jacks Jamboree events who is a great fit for us we’d love to hear about it – drop us a line.
We loved these moments captured the spirit of the event
How big did you say the farm was?
As every mum knows there’s so many ways to encourage a baby to take a spoonful!
Some yummy flavours still on the lips!
Feeling super secure in mum’s arms
Riverside Cares, Jayschree and Nahid checking out the livestock….
Grandpa and grandchild holding hands in the gentlest of fashions
Love that floral heart …..
Interested in everything!
You can never be too young to learn
Who says parking in Tower Hamlets is a nightmare
Double-bobbles are the way to go ……
There’s loads of ways to keep in the loop. Like us on facebook, join the conversation on twitter at @riversidecares and @nannytraining . We love to instagram and check out our constantly updating Events page on the website.
Need help? Our team are available Monday to Friday 730am – 6.00pm (first two ours are set aside for on the day emergency cover) Contact us
Our next public training event is 6 hour Paediatric First Aid on Saturday 23rd May in Holborn. Find out more here