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Family Support

Family Support Programmes

(gentle moves in pregnancy)

This 4-week programme will be gentle on your body as we focus on:

  • Increasing your strength & improving your energy levels
  • Relaxing your mind & body
  • Preparing your body for labour
  • Can help with common ailments of pregnancy such as back pain, heart burn, poor sleep.

Antenatal Yoga programme is a lovely way to deepen your connection with your baby & to meet other mums to be!

The class is suitable from 14 weeks onwards

Baby Massage is a 5-week programme.

It is a lovely way to enjoy time and bond with your baby!

Before babies can understand language, we often communicate and comfort them through touch.

If a baby cries, we will hold, cuddle or stroke them.  Baby massage is part of this natural impulse.

Baby massage is the gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body using your hands. As part of a massage routine, you will gently massage your baby’s ankles, wrists and fingers. You might also talk softly, hum or sing to them while massaging to create a sense of calm and reassurance for your baby.

All you will need to bring to Baby Massage Class is a blanket to lie your baby down on & your usual baby bag!

Our Baby Yoga programme is for babies (Age 3 months – 9 months) and their parents.

Baby Yoga moves, have a huge range of benefits for infants and their parents; for babies it can help aid digestion, ease constipation and help relieve gas and colic, it promotes better circulation and helps tone and strengthen the muscles. It also helps to improve sleeping patterns with the soft yoga movements.

Baby Yoga enhances the communication between parent & baby through the positive stimulation and interactions, therefore helping promote bonding between parents and their babies building confidence for parents when handling their babies.

A lovely social programme that is also full of fun!

This Baby Yoga programme is for babies (Age 9 months – Age 18 months)

These Baby Yoga moves help with providing an opportunity for parents to exercise and have fun with their child.

This programme promotes physical development for crawling and walking, by promoting strength & flexibility, assisting to tone muscles and also help aid better circulation.

The positive interaction & stimulation between parent and baby enhances the communication and bonding, again building confidence for parents, when handling their baby!

A programme full of fun and positivity!

Health Promotion Programmes

This accredited course for parents will give you more peace of mind by teaching you essential first aid skills to help you cope with any medical emergencies. Research has indicated that most accidents for under 5’s can happen in the home environment.

Topics included are; Recovery position, CPR for child, CPR for Adult, choking, scalding, burns, sprains and breaks. Emergency response training which is accredited and valid for 2 years.

You must attend each of the weekly sessions to receive accreditation.

Fun Fast Food For Less

The Cook It Programme is a practical course based on the Public Health Agency’s Healthy Eatwell Guide. It is delivered over 6 sessions and includes group discussion alongside hands on cooking experience with an opportunity to sample the dishes at the end of each session. Perfect for those who want to eat healthily while managing their budget. 


Our Mental Health and Wellbeing programmes are aimed at anyone who is experiencing low mood or anxiety, as well as those who are just feeling stressed by the demands of parenthood and family life in general.

We offer a menu of holistic programmes which promote better mental and physical health, including:

  • Take 5 steps to wellbeing
  • Aware – Mood Matters
  • Relaxation, mindfulness and stress management techniques
  • Structured exercise programmes to promote better mental and physical health
  • Nutrition awareness for better mental and physical health
  • Budgeting and financial wellness
  • 1:1 individual support with particular issues is available, and we can also signpost to other services such as counselling etc if needed.

Programmes can be offered in short 4 week blocks or as one off events and all Sure Start parents are welcome to participate.

Our programmes aim to promote healthy minds and healthy bodies, so that Sure Start parents are equipped to be the best parents they can be.


An early introduction to safety in the water. Splish Splash is a 4 week programme for Parent and Baby or Parent and Toddler in the pool. It covers all aspects of pool safety, swim holds and early introduction to independent swimming delivered in a fun packed session of songs, rhymes and water games.

Outreach & Family Support Services

The Outreach Team in Newry Surestart consists of 9 family support workers. Each worker has a particular focus on a specific area i.e. Antenatal support, Postnatal, Health Promotion, Mental Health, Volunteer Support Services and Parenting supports. Family Support help families access a broad range of services and supports and can support families in the home environment.

Why is family support important?

Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. From their first moments of life, children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs. Children thrive when parents aim to actively promote their positive growth and development.

Home start volunteers provide home visiting support through offering friendship and practical support to families who are facing challenges at that time. Every family is different and the level of support needed is assessed individually with each new family by the home start team before being matched with a volunteer. Relations built between family and volunteer determines type of support given and guidance is offered throughout too both volunteer and family by home start staff.

Newry Family Group provides 1:1 support to families and children in a group setting targeted to meet the need of people in local communities. These include breast feeding support, post-natal illness, help for asylum seekers and refugees, social isolation, child behavioural concerns and many more.
The family group is a small structured group providing stimulation for children and to reduce isolation for parents.

Very isolated groups who don’t have the confidence to meet others can slowly build a support network and take the first steps to building links into their own communities.

Parenting Programmes

For parents / carers of babies aged birth to 12 months.

This is an 9-week programme which focuses on promotion of your baby’s positive emotional health and brain development.

Session approximately 2hours.

Evidenced based Parenting Programme that spans 12-week programme. The IY provides parents and carers with some simple tips, advice and support to help manage the big and small issues of family life.

Each session runs for 1hour 45 minutes, booking is required and limited crèche places are available.

This parenting programme is focused on children between 2-4 years. Parenting is so rewarding however, we can all find it challenging at times. This 4-week programme can provide you with tips and ideas on building on your relationship with your family and supporting your children’s behaviour and development.

Each session is approximately under 2 hours once per week over 4 weeks, this programme offers some Limited Creche to support parents attending.

The Family Links Nurturing programme is a 10-week tried and tested programme which builds on our Self-awareness, appropriate expectations of ourselves and our children, empathy and positive discipline. Topics include: understanding children’s behaviour, recognising feelings behind behaviour and the importance of looking after ourselves. Getting the best out of Family life.

Each session approximately 2 hours once per week and offers a Limited creche availability to support the parents attending.

Who You'll Find Here

Elaine Fearon

Parenting & Family Support Team Leader

Mary Rafferty

Parenting & Family Support Worker
MaryRafferty Resize

Denice Nixon

Parenting & Family Support Worker

Frances McAteer

Parenting & Family Support Worker

Charmaine McCorry

Parenting & Family Support Worker

Debbie McLoughlin

Parenting & Family Support Worker

Siobhan Gibson

Parenting & Family Support Worker
Deirdre Carson

See other programmes and services Newry Sure Start offer. 

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