Talk, Play and have Fun

Our September message of the month is: “Make our home language number one so we can talk, play and have fun”

Encourage parents to interact and communicate with their children in their home language. This is very important for and supports attachment, identity, understanding and self-esteem.

Communication is essential for a young child to build relationships; therefore it is particularly important that they can communicate with their primary caregiver and key adults around them.

When a child has moved from his/her home country, maintaining their first language helps to keep that important link with their home culture and strengthen their sense of personal identity.

Please use the link below which will take you to:

  • Message of the month video
  • a PDF version of the poster (to be displayed in setting or shared via email, Seesaw or another platform)
  • some additional ideas for how to put this message into practice


Furthermore, Check out this video which also supports our message this month: 

Don’t forget about our training for parents and anyone working with babies up to school aged children: You can access the Help Kids Talk Basic Awareness training via the link above, there are dates available for September & October at the moment. I would encourage you to sign up for level 1 training only when you have completed the Basic Awareness.


Derry, Limavady, Strabane & Waterside LPG News – August 2022

Welcome to the August 2022 edition of the locality news for Derry, Limavady, Strabane and Waterside Locality Planning Groups with lots of the latest information on training, programmes, events and resources across the local area.

Download your copy – Derry, Limavady, Strabane & Waterside LPG News – August 2022

(Note: LPG News will download directly to your device.  Look out for the pop up box and click on open file when it appears).


Help Kids Talk – July Message

We have a lovely July message of the month: “Less watching, more talking… put everything away and just sing, talk and play”

This month we want to encourage parents and families to minimise screen time and spend time playing and talking with their children.

Please use the link below which will take you to:

  • a video explaining the message of the month
  • a PDF version of the poster to be displayed in setting or shared via email, Seesaw or another platform
  • some ideas on how to put this message into practice.


Please share the message of the month information with your staff team and also with your parents/families. We will be sharing more tips and advice linked to the message of the month on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Please also note that free training for parents or anyone working with children between 0 and 6 years old is available and can be booked below. (July dates available, keep an eye on the HKT Facebook page for Aug/Sept dates). ‘Basic Awareness’ around speech, language & communication is the first session and Level 1 is a next steps session looking at speech & language milestones, referring a child to Speech Therapy and tips for supporting children with difficulties in the home or their setting:


Annual Family Support Hub Report Card 2021/22

FSH Annual Report Card 2021/22 and Family Samples 2021/22 are now available on the website under Family Support Hub Monitoring on the Family Support Hub page or downloaded here.

It has been another very busy year for the Family Support Hubs and referral numbers have risen each year since monitoring began. Hubs continue to meet the needs of families across all 29 Hubs and ensure families are able to access early intervention services to best meet their needs. The annual report reflects the hard work and dedication of the Hub Coordinators and members through the year and reaffirms the effectiveness of the Hubs.

Assistive Technology for Children with Vision Impairment

We’re excited to share that applications have now re-opened for free iPads for children aged 3-18 with a vision impairment, for use at home.

The devices have excellent accessibility features built-in, and online guides and tutorials will be provided to help them get started and to ensure that they know how to stay safe online. The devices will be completely free of charge, with the only requirement being proof of vision impairment.

We know how important technology is for children with a vision impairment; if you are aware of any children who could benefit please do share the information with families.

Stocks are limited so we would encourage interested applicants to apply as soon as possible. More information, including how to apply, can be found on the following webpage:

There is also a webpage detailing the eligibility criteria: Eligibility criteria (

We are planning some social media posts on the Guide Dogs UK social media channels later this week, so please share these if you would like to. I have put the links to our Facebook and Twitter channels below:

Guide Dogs (@guidedogs) / Twitter

Guide Dogs UK | Facebook

Tech for All is just one of many services Guide Dogs provide for children and young people. We offer buddy dogs, a well behaved canine companion for children with sight loss; our ‘My Time to Play’ Programme for children with sight loss aged 0-4, learning through sensory play in a group setting led by our habilitation specialists; and much more.

We have also recently launched an online customer panel, for all people with sight loss, or parents of children with a vision impairment. It’s completely free to join and participate in. Members will be invited to take part in interesting research activities. It’s a great way for people to get their voice heard and we hope they will find it personally rewarding.  The system is fully accessible so that the experience will be as frustration free as possible. To become a member, people should complete a short 10 minute survey on the following link:

If families would like to find out more about our services, they can visit our website or contact Guide Line on 0800 781 1444.