Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Goodbye Baby Week 2020

As Baby Week clicked it’s final farewell to a digital week of celebrations 9th -16th November 2020. We reflect on the success of the week in helping to bring updates from maternity and early years services to families in Leeds. This year was always going to be different due to the pandemic, so to reflect this with the Baby Week tradition the theme; ‘Stay Safe Stay Connected’ seemed relevant in the current climate. By hosting Baby Week virtually, we reached more families with over 1,300 tuning in to our live opening evening event on our Facebook page on Monday 9th November.

View all the partners involved and what went on here >>>

The week had been built up through weeks of promoting a fun schedule of free taster sessions, conference’s and webinar’s. Leeds Museums took us on a virtual tour of lactating mammals hosted by Natalie and Melanie with their fascinating presentation using resources at the museum. Moo with Music entertained the families in the morning and again later in the week. Baby Week founder Lucy Potter and the first baby champ Ayrton and mum Leila to officially open the event. We were thoroughly entertained by Faye from Boom Chikka Boom finding objects in the house to dance and move with. The manager of Leeds Baby Bank Will, gave us a guided tour of their warehouse; walking us through the process for distributing much needed donations for vulnerable families during lockdown. And ‘Made with Music’ settling us down with rhymes and songs before Mumbler representative read a bedtime story. =]

All these can still be savoured and enjoyed again and again because they are saved and shared on our Baby Week Facebook page!


Baby Week Highlights 2020
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Online Conference

Our online conference on Tuesday 10th November attracted over 150 participants from across different sectors in the city with a variety of speakers representing a wide scope of services. The first half was introduced by Cllir Rebecca Charlwood Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults. Janice Burberry Head of Public Health captured some of the work completed around the impact of Covid-19 on families in the city.

Baby Week helped provided a platform to present survey findings from public and voluntary sectors with Emily Turner from Women’s Friendly Leeds presenting their survey given to 800 women in the city with the topic of maternity being an area of concern amongst most women. This was complimented with the findings from chair of Leeds Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) Aneira Thomas reporting on level of engagement since March – August 2020 highlighing the gap in how the pandemic is effecting BAME communities in health inequalities. This reflected the national perspective of findings from Best Beginnings whom Leeds have been an active role since 2015.. Child Friendly Leeds hosted the conference attracting over 130 participants which was a record for our professionals with a broad representation of professionals including social workers, NHS, academic.

Cllr Fiona Venner Executive Member for Children and Families opened the second part following the break with Keir Shillaker representative from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership giving updates from the Local Maternity System and the investment they have made into the community perinatal mental health service, alongside him was Josie Dickerson from Born in Bradford. Then we had a totally different experience with the amazing Dr. Michael Fernando Consultant Paediatrician from Yeovil & Rotary International with The Magic of Helping Babies Breathe & International Representative from Pakistan. We saw how an intervention method was used to roll out in rural areas of Pakistan. Following the breakout sessions many people stayed to enjoy the rest of the presentations including Heather Nelson from Black Health Initiative looking at inequalities in the outcomes for pregnant women from BAME backgrounds. Midwives Laura Walton, Holly Essex and Debbie Johnson midwives from Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and their experiences working as a healthy professional during a pandemic. And last but not least our regular 0-19 services Amanda Jackson and Lynne Farr talked about how they stayed connected and working collaboratively with families in Leeds during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The breakout sessions were equally engaging focusing on areas such as Adverse Childhood Experiences with Oxford Brain Story, Inequalities in the outcomes for pregnant women from BAME backgrounds, BHI Leeds, Zest introducing Healthy Start vouchers, Speech and Language The Futures Team and Barriers to Digital Learning by 100% digital.

View the presentations and key links here >>>

Writing Letters to your baby/child with the #DEARFUTUREYOU campaign

Graphic designer Helen BarlowScott from One Line Design, and a Women Friendly Leeds Ambassador has curated this digital exhibition of handwritten letters during the Covid19 lockdown in Leeds. Parents who have had babies during lockdown have experienced appointments, scans, and time in hospital before and after birth without their partners or other loved ones. Once written, please take a picture to share on social media using hashtags #DearFutureYou#BabyWeekLeeds or email to

Read more here >>>

Taster Sessions throughout the week

Throughout the week Baby Week hosted a range of taster sessions on the website brought to baby week through independent organisations – a first time for us! Families that were new to Baby Week contacted the host directly to take part in antenatal and postnatal fitness classes, hypnobirthing classes preparing for your baby before and after and understanding the transition of becoming a parent. We had baby massage classes and healthy nutritional classes. We had the wonderful Bosom Buddies join Baby Week on the Wednesday for their Big Latch On event with almost 40 participants including new mums that heard about it through Baby Week. Mumbler hosted a coffee and chat and would like to try the same thing on a more regular basis.

Ask the experts event

Every year Baby Week holds a public event with professionals to speak to parents about their services. This was delivered as an ‘Ask the Professional’ Webinar with questions fielding through the Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVP) and the Baby Week Facebook page. We had representatives from Public Health on breastfeeding support, Midwives from LTHT including the Haamla team ( the midwives who care or BAME women communities) Clinical Commissioning Trust, A GP, Mental Health support and Neo Natal nurses. This year has been challenging for maternity services in Leeds and the questions surrounding changes to the services including attending scans without a partners and birth choices been restricted. However this was the first time since the pandemic that this amount of professionals had all been present to speak to the families.


Children’s Centres

The family services at the children’s centres hosted a whole range of activities within the communities in Leeds from; Messy Play at Ardsley and Tingley, Starting Solids at Armley, Multiples group at Burley Park, Baby Sensory at Otley, Baby Yoga taster session and New Lives Group at Cottingley for baby led activities using the 50 things before 5 app (launched in 2018 Baby Week). Mandy Quayle from North West One family service team have been inspired with the connection they have had with families following lock down and are currently applying for funding develop some perinatal mental health baskets, then once engaged with women and their babies can distribute to help lift their mood as well as offering support.

Thank you!

Throughout the week Baby Week we promoted our competition prize draw which we announced on Sunday 15th November with three winners taking home a wonderful set of hamper perfume. An overnight stay at the Crowne Plaza and King Lionheart toys! Well done to Becki Howcroft, Emily Fullarton and Charlie Triggs!