Springers parent and child group awarded for services to community

21 May 2012

A weekly group for parents and carers with young children launched by a local church has announced it has won a prestigious national award for its services to the local community.

Created by two members of Lapford Congregational Church, both with young children themselves, Springers offers a relaxed setting in which parents with young children can meet on a regular basis and receive support and friendship from the community.

Such is the impact of the project that is has won a coveted Congregational Federation Award and prize money of £2,000.

After starting the weekly group four years ago with just two regular attendees, Springers now welcomes up to 16 children under the age of four and their parents or carers, to partake in play, craft and music activities as well as listening to age-appropriate bible stories.

The project is run by 12 volunteers from Lapford Congregational Church and offers more mature members of the community the chance to offer advice, support and help to younger parents, whilst also teaching important social skills to the children through stimulating activities.

Caroline Gilpin, Head of Children’s Work at Lapford Congregational Church, attended the 40th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in Dunfermline to receive the project’s award and £2,000 prize money.  

She said: “We’re so happy to win this award from the Congregational Federation and Congregational Insurance. I’ve been amazed at how God’s plan has come together and how Springers has enlivened the church fellowship.

“Not only does the project offer much needed support and help for parents of young children, but it has also empowered older members of our community to feel that they have something valuable to offer younger parents through their own experiences. It’s wonderful to see multiple generations come together and strengthen community ties.

“We will continue to offer this service and with the prize money, we hope to run some additional short courses that parents might find useful. Springers has been a great success and we look forward to it going from strength to strength.”

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational, said: “We’re thrilled to present this award to the Springers parent and baby group. It’s clear that the work that volunteers do at Lapford Congregational Church provides an essential resource for the community.

“The wide range of people who mix together and build friendships within the group is really something special, especially in a rural community such as Lapford. The children that attend will also learn valuable skills during the play sessions.

“We’re confident that Springers will continue to grow, enabling more families to experience the warm and friendly atmosphere that the church volunteers provide.”

The Congregational Federation Community Awards seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community. The awards are sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance which has run a community award scheme for the past fifteen years.