Charity Singing Jo and Co has received a grant of £32,750 from Manx Lottery Trust to allow it to extend its sessions and support even more families.

The funding will give the charity an opportunity to offer sessions to more children, and also provide support for parents and carers.

Also provided during the sessions will be fun learning activities to do at home to help to continue development.

Established in 2018, the charity offers a programme bringing communities together and providing important early learning opportunities and musical fun for newborns up to five-year-olds supported by parents, grandparents, great-grandparents or carers.

The free-of-charge musical sessions are structured around developing vocabulary, language, communication and social skills, simple counting, and fitness which help build self-confidence and self-esteem in children.

The charity says it is ‘particularly mindful’ of the impact following Covid-19, and wants to ensure the sessions address the effects on social interaction and language development skills, particularly in babies and toddlers.

Jo Jackson, head of singing Jo and Co said: ‘We were all impacted by Covid-19 in different ways, and it was a very difficult time for children not being able to socialise with other children.

‘Our sessions provide valuable pre-school learning and we’ve seen how they can positively impact on children’s development. We have incredible fun at our sessions, and we’re proud of our strong community spirit which actively promotes the wellbeing of everyone in a relaxed and friendly setting.

‘The extra funding from Manx Lottery Trust enables us to offer sessions in a wider variety of venues and locations across the island, and ensure that every child has the opportunity to benefit.

‘We can continue to support a growing number of parents and provide the best possible future for their children.’

Stephen Turner, chairman of Manx Lottery Trust, said: ‘It’s clear to see the impact which Covid-19 has had on all, but in particular the youngest of generations. We’re more than pleased to support Singing Jo and Co with this new initiative, which will certainly make a great difference to many families across the island.’

This grant is from Manx Lottery Trust’s Community Awards Programme. Manx Lottery Trust has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money from The National Lottery Community Fund.

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