Wiltshire Publications

Special event on growing up in the community

MUSIC, mince pies and the chance to cuddle a virtual baby will all be on offer when Westbury Area Board hosts a special event about growing up in the community.

The one-off event at the Laverton on Thursday 13th December is all about children, families and young people and will offer a wide range of lively presentations as well as information stands, demonstrations and advice.

Everyone is welcome to join in, with the 5.30pm start making it easier for children and young people to come along too.

The idea for the special event came about following the Westbury Forward event earlier this year, which highlighted issues and statistics affecting local youngsters. This latest event will show what action has been taken by the area board and its partner organisations to tackle a wide range of issues, from Westbury’s high teenage pregnancy numbers through to poor dental health in pre-school children.

Lots of local organisations are involved in showcasing their work with children and families, and people will be able to browse a wide range of information stands before the meeting starts, as well as tucking into seasonal refreshments and even trying their hand at making their own healthy snacks with help and advice at the Anybody Can Cook stall.

Once the meeting starts at 6.00pm, people will hear a range of short talks and films including Matravers School highlighting its work with the community, about healthy eating and activity projects ongoing with vulnerable families, about a campaign to raise awareness of dental health in pre-schoolers, the work of the children’s centre and about action being taken to reduce the high numbers of teenage pregnancies in the Westbury community area.

People will even get the chance to see and hold a virtual baby supplied by the local Mothers Union. Virtual babies, which are programmed to need feeding, changing and soothing, are used as a hands on opportunity for young people to experience the realities of parenthood.

Area board chairman Mike Cuthbert Murray said, “This event really promises to be an invaluable but informal fact-finding session with lots of opportunities for people and parents to chat and get help and advice. We really hope as many people as possible will come along and join in. Children and families are a priority for the area board and it will be great to see the good work being done across the community.”

The meeting, which will be held at the Laverton in Westbury, will be open to the public at 5.30pm for browsing stalls and enjoying refreshments. Presentations start at 6.00pm. The children and families event will be followed by a shortened area board meeting at which grant applications will be decided.

Westbury Area Board is one of 18 area boards across Wiltshire and covers Westbury and the villages of Bratton. Dilton Marsh, Coulston, Heywood and Edington.  Four Wiltshire councillors make up the board: Mike Cuthbert Murray, Julie Swabey, Russell Hawker and David Jenkins.

For more information on how to contact your councillor, find out about the work of the board, view the latest newsletter or to find out if your organisation might be eligible for a grant, please visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/areaboards or call the community area manager Sally Hendry on 01373 864714.