Ziggies is an after school club for parents and kids, where 3 to 8 year olds and their families come together to enjoy a fun and free story club. It is run after school for an hour once a week, a different story is told, followed by fun and exciting creative activities, games and adventures.

Ziggies has a team of friends who work with schools, libraries and other groups to enable them to start their very own Ziggies club, where parents are in charge! Together with the school and other Ziggies group leaders, we offer training and qualifications, a fantastic support network and a highly rewarding opportunity for both children and adults.

Ziggies sessions are now established in over 30 schools within RCT, Caerphilly and Monmouthshire. Over 50 volunteers support these sessions and are supported by the Ziggies Co-ordinators, Gemma Baker and Jo Thomas.

It can also be run through local libraries, mother and toddler groups, community centres and as a fantastic volunteering opportunity for organisations with a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

As a proven family engagement tool, it gives parents the confidence to encourage and support their child’s love of stories and physical literacy, irrespective of their own literacy abilities or confidence levels.

Ziggies Volunteers

Volunteer support from staff and students is invaluable at Ziggies groups. Volunteers enjoy getting involved with planning, story telling and activities.
 
The groups are easy to run using school resources and cheap craft ides which are easily accessible through the website and Ziggies handbook, managed by the co-ordinator and supported by volunteers.


"It's really good for my kids to see me involved in their school and to see me achieving something. I think they are quite proud. I'm quite impressed with myself too if I'm honest!" Volunteer Heol y Celyn
 
Volunteers run their very own Ziggies sessions and play an important role in the development of Ziggies, sharing new ideas and supporting each other. Each parent volunteer has listed a number of benefits to running a Ziggies group including building their confidence and giving them the experience to transition into the world of work through training and work experience.

"Since starting my Ziggies group, my confidence has really grown. I never thought I would be able to stand in front of a big group and talk, let alone read a story, use silly voices and joke around! I'm not just a Mum any more...I've really enjoyed having something to work towards every week. I have loads of ideas and can't wait to share them with my Ziggies group."  Volunteer

Our Successes so far

Careful marketing means that Ziggies engages with a wide spectrum of parents, and has a proven track record of engaging with those who were hard to reach.

  • Dads love Ziggies: More than 20% of adults who attend Ziggies are male.
  • Ziggies Camp. We have developed a three-day residential course available to all Ziggies members where the whole family can enjoy quality time together whilst also enjoying meaningful and exciting activities cleverly designed to engage the whole family. This year, our first camp, attracted over 200 people.
  • Training. All Ziggies training days are accredited by the Open College Network. Volunteers can gain valuable experience while improving their CV.
  • Sustainability Ziggies groups attract up to 35 people every week, sustaining these numbers, and through a great reputation, new families to the school in the new school year also joined in with the fun and are now regular attendees.

Pupils at young Wales are responsible for researching, designing and photographing a bank of creative resources for parents and volunteers to use in their sessions as well as at home with their children, which will be accessible to Ziggies families at www.ziggies.org. This enables the pupils to make a real contribution to the project and develop skills while using the tasks to gain qualifications.

 

For more information please contact the Ziggies Coordinators:
Jo Thomas
T: 07917736926
E: jot@grew.org.uk
Gemma Barker
T: 07920451969
E: gemmab@grew.org.uk
or visit www.ziggies.org