In January 2015, The Sarah Groves Foundation was approached about the possibility of funding, on behalf of Home-Start Guernsey, a weekly drop-in centre for ‘parents and toddlers’ under the age of five. The board of trustees unanimously supported the proposal. It was agreed that the drop-in centre would be named 'Dragonflies', after one of Sarah's drawings of a dragonfly (that is also featured in The Sarah Groves Foundation logo).
Dragonflies 1 opened in April 2015 in Roseville Community Centre, Le Petit Bouet. Due to its resounding success, Dragonflies 2 was subsequently opened by Home-Start Guernsey, funded by The Sarah Groves Foundation, in January 2016 in the St Martin's Community Centre.
So, what exactly are the Dragonflies drop-in centres all about?
No-one understands the stresses of being a parent better than another parent. Home-Start Guernsey recruits and trains parents as volunteers, some of whom help to run the weekly Dragonflies drop-in centres. Children take part in various activities that they may not otherwise get to experience at home such as arts & crafts, sing alongs, snack/meal times, learning about healthy eating, etc... The children get to have fun while they learn important life-skills whilst their parents, often single parents, can relax for a few hours and socialise with the other parents.
A few key observations of children that have been in attendance over an extended period include dramatic behavioural improvements, an increase in general happiness and confidence and greatly improved social skills. There is no doubt that Dragonflies is proving incredibly beneficial to the children.
In addition, it has proven of great benefit to the parents. They are able to meet new people, seek out advice from others in a similar position and often build their own confidence. Friendships are formed and some of the parents even go on to volunteer for Home-Start Guernsey because of the good work being done.
The Sarah Groves Foundation has committed to funding the operation of Dragonflies 1 for an initial 3 years (until April 2018) at a total cost of £18,000.
Dragonflies 1 is located in the Roseville Centre, Le Petit Bouet and meets every Tuesday morning from 9.30am until 11.30am. For more information, please call Home-Start Guernsey on 720382 or visit home-startguernsey.org.gg