Families across Berkhamsted, Tring and further afield are helping to raise much needed funds for three local charities, by attending free online baby and toddler signing sessions with Little Signers Club, South Herts.
Members of Little Signers Club South Herts, which is running live online classes as part of its #stayhome #staysafe programme, are taking part in a campaign called Sign for Good. The aim of the campaign, which will run throughout the lockdown period and beyond, is to help people feel connected, bring some familiarity and routine to little ones’ days and give parents a friendly face and supportive group to regain a sense of belonging – whilst raising money for Open Door, Citizens Advice Dacorum, and BURPS Neonatal Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Anna Foster, who runs the group and is passionate about her local community and the people within it, says the Sign for Good campaign gives her families a chance to feel that what they are doing is not only having a positive impact on their lives, but is also an opportunity to make a difference to many others who are struggling in these uncertain times.
‘Supporting these worthwhile causes gives everyone a special focus and real motivation to stay connected. For many members, being able to make even a small donation is a great way to feel like they are a part of something – a movement for good. At Little Signers Club, we pride ourselves on the care and support we give each of the families we work with – we’re known for our dedication to helping people feel connected – so when we started talking about raising money for our nominated charities across the UK, and what we could all do together with our amazing families, we knew there would be no stopping us.’
Shelley Ensor, founder of Little Signers Club, hopes the generosity and compassion of the families attending online classes will help other families to know that Little Signers Club is a safe and welcoming place for any parent trying to find their new online community. She says:
‘This lockdown and social distancing could go on for a long time and everyone is starting to feel the strain of the uncertainty, feeling off kilter, missing friends and family. But as soon as we opened up our online membership to the wider public, we started seeing people smile again. We’ve seen children signing for the first time, we’ve seen, and heard, squeals of joy as little ones have seen their favourite class leader on screen. We take comfort in the familiar and we feel privileged to be able to support not only our members, but also a range of vital charities across the UK in this truly unprecedented time.’
Donations from the campaign will be split between the three charities equally:
- Open Door, Berkhamsted – the wonderful community venue where Anna’s classes usually take place – a vibrant space where there’s always something to enjoy for everyone in the community, run entirely by volunteers – they are currently working with Berkhamsted Food for Friends to make and deliver meals to the vulnerable.
- Citizens Advice Dacorum – a fantastic local charity, of which Anna has been a trustee for several years, offers local people free and impartial help and advice, with any issue they may be facing.
- Baby Unit’s Relatives & Parents Support (BURPS) Neonatal Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital – a charity close to Anna’s signing families’ hearts – they support the families of the babies on the Neonatal Unit with advice and information, or simply to offer someone to talk to that understands the difficult situation in which they find themselves.
Joan Fisher, Manager at Open Door says:
‘Everyone at Open Door is so grateful for the support of Anna and her signing families – we miss them coming in each week so it’s wonderful to feel connected in some way again. The funds raised through this fantastic initiative will go towards towards the cost of hot meals we’re cooking and delivering to the homes of people at risk during the Coronavirus pandemic.’
Anyone wanting to join Little Signers Club; South Herts is welcome to contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.littlesignersclub.co.uk/babysigning-berkhamsted-tring/ for information about class dates and times.
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lscsouthherts.