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New support for families thanks to The Guinness Partnership and REEL CIC

A new stay-and-play baby club as well as a family club designed to support parents and children, have opened up in Oldham.

REEL Community Interest Company REEL CIC is running the new clubs. They give children opportunities to play and learn, while giving parents access to advice, essential baby items and clothing (the REEL Rack), and courses on practical skills, budgeting, and more.

The difference the clubs can make is described as ‘astronomical’ by the project’s director Charlene Burns who has been awarded a British Empire medal as well as a Points of Light Award from 10 Downing Street for her work.

“Providing these services will have a massive impact on the wellbeing and mental health of people and there is far too little support around,” said Director Charlene Burns.

“We couldn’t do it without The Guinness Partnership and we’re really thankful. It’s helped us provide this support, provide a safe space, and tackle social isolation.”

“The difference these activities can make to families’ lives can be astronomical.

“Oldham is a deprived area and a lot of services are still suffering the impact of COVID with a lot of provision having closed down, and so funding like this is needed more than ever.”

The two new projects started in May 2023 and will run until 20 July, including sessions during the May half-term school holiday.

The stay-and-play baby club includes baby sensory activities, music and dancing, tips on child development, and mental wellbeing support for new parents.

The family club enables children to play with friends, and make new ones, and also includes  a homework club. Parents will be able to meet other parents, share their experiences  and offer each other support. They will also  be able to ask for advice and support with parenting and  other support if they need it.

Brian Hamlin, Senior Community Partnership Manager at The Guinness Partnership, said: “REEL CIC do amazing work which is changing young lives as they develop and grow – giving them opportunities they perhaps never would have had otherwise.

“The help it gives parents, and how it enables them to support each other is invaluable. Investing in what they do is part of our work helping communities across the country to thrive – improving the life chances and wellbeing of those involved. ”

Local families can contact the centre at to find out more and book a place.

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