My Family Week 2020


Monday 12th to Sunday 18th October 2020

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My Family Week is the concept of international Early Years trainer, author and consultant, Laura Henry – creator of the characters of BBC's CBeebies Jo Jo and GranGran. Laura has worked with children and their families for three decades and has recently reflected on what we mean by family in the modern sense of the word.

On a personal level, Laura’s parents divorced when she was young and she remembers the stigma attached to belonging to a single-parent household. Fast-forward 40 years, and although there is less of a stigma, certain types of ‘non-conventional’ families still find themselves struggling to fit in to what is regarded as ’normal' society.

Every family is unique and this uniqueness should be celebrated. With this in mind, Laura created My Family Week in 2017.

Traditionally, we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which may trigger for some children a sense that they don’t belong. My Family Week aims to celebrate all families, irrespective of a child’s circumstances, including children with same-sex parents, those who are fostered, who are young carers, have step families or half brothers and sisters, are bereaved, blended, those who are adopted or who live with grandparents and other family members.

It is important that every child, wherever they are in the world, is able to tell their own story in their own voice about their family, irrespective of whether this is their blood family or not.

Laura will share a range of open-ended activities, experiences and provocations that Early Years settings, schools and parents can use to support children to tell their personalised story. We will also share stories and connect with each other via social media.

My Family Week song 'My Family is Special to Me'

Here is a special song I wrote for My Family Week; you can either watch and sing-a-long with Amanda or you can play or download the MP3 file from below the film clip.

To download the MP3 (sound file) to your device, click on the downward pointing arrow to the right of the player

My Family Week Resources

We have created some special resource packs for you to download to help you celebrate this special week. You can also download the My Family Week banner in a PDF or image format so you can share on your website social media, newsletters or special documents to show that you are taking part.

All of the downloads are available by clicking on the buttons below.

Family Love Stories

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For My Family Week 2020, I have interviewed a number of diverse families from across the UK for my podcast, Family Love Stories.

Feel free to listen and share with your networks. Family Love Stories is an inspiring and thought-provoking listen about modern family life. It also provides informed free professional development for anyone who works with children and their families across different sectors such as education, Early Years, health and social care.

These special recordings will be released daily during the week and you can see the details below as they are set live.

To access these special podcasts, please click on the link below:

Episode 1: John Warren 

John is in a blended family with his partner of two years and her two children. Together they are the primary carers of the two children 80% of the time with them seeing their biological father every other weekend.

Released Monday 12th October

Episode 2: Nazma Meah

Naz’s amazing family consists of herself, her husband, her two daughters and three sons. Against all the odds, she formed this magical family, which laughs, cries, fights and celebrates together. 

Released Monday 12th October

Episode 3: Elliott Rae

The Rae family is Elliott and Soneni (dad and mum), Eleni, and Jesse, their five-month-old puppy and newest addition to the family! They love to have fun and dance

Released Tuesday 13th October

Episode 4: Garry Ratcliffe

Garry and Kyle are two (gay) dads who have four awesome kids, all of whom have been adopted. Hear about how they have deal with challenges they face, have adventures together and live life to the full.

Released Wednesday 14th October

Episode 5: VV Brown

VV’s family is husband Dan, and Effie-Grace, born 2015, and Josephine, born in 2018. They are a vibrant family – always on the go, embracing mess and wild fun and are deeply passionate about creativity and cultural discovery throughout their daily lives.

Released Wednesday 14th October

Episode 6: Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke grew up an indoorsy child, the eldest of four sisters, in north London and now lives in Northumberland with her outdoorsy husband Jonny and their two-year-old twins Scout and Kipling.

Released Thursday 15th October

Episode 7: Immy Gunputh

Immy lives with her husband, Alvin, and her daughter, Ava, who will soon be three. During the week, she and Alvin work full time and they rely heavily on their parents to help look after Ava.

Released Thursday 15th October

Episode 8: Andy Szebeni

Ffion and Laszlo were 3 and 4 when their mother died in 2016 and the last thing on Andy’s mind was what sort of family life they might have in years to come. Now he and Esther have brought their families together. 

Released Friday 16th October

Episode 9: Wendy Turner

Wendy is a grandmother who is bringing up two of her five lovely grandchildren. The eldest is Callum, who is almost 14 and who has lived with her since he was just 20 months old. His sister, Willow, who is 8, was placed with her when she was born in 2012.

Released Friday 16th October

Episode 10: Leon Wenham

Leon is a 41-year-old single adopter living in London. He adopted his beautiful son in April 2019 after two decades of wanting to be a father. He always knew he was going to be a single dad and fully embraced it.

Released Friday 16th October

Episode 11: Serlina Boyd

The Boyd family are Darren and Serlina, who have been married for 10 years and have been together for more than 18 years and have two beautiful children: Faith (7) and Solomon (3). They love to spend time every morning praying and singing songs.

Released Saturday 17th October

Episode 12: Nikki Hughes

Mum (Nikki), Dad (Michael) and their three sons (Malakye, Jayden, Nikolai) are a Romani family from South London, UK. Nikki is a Disability and Autistic rights activist and Michael is Nikki and the children’s full-time carer. Nikki, Jayden and Nikolai are all Autistic.

Released Sunday 18th October

My Family Week Supporters

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"I have supported Laura since she first introduced this fabulous initiative back in 2017 and we are now in the 4th year! For me, it is extremely important that the Early Childhood sector celebrates the uniqueness of all. In today's society, families come in all 'shapes and sizes' and My Family Week provides a voice for diversity and promotes inclusiveness for all, which is how it should be. One of the most important aspects is providing the sense of 'belonging' and celebrating the very fabric of our society, the family structure."

Juls Davies, Founder, EY Matters

Connect with EY Matters

Twitter @EY_Matters
Facebook @EYMatters 
Instagram @eymatters

COVID-19 Pandemic Disclaimer

Laura Henry Consultancy takes your safety seriously and due to the current Coronavirus pandemic would like to draw your attention to the following:

Whilst participating in any events/celebrations/activities to celebrate My Family Week please ensure that you adhere to the following as appropriate to the activity to reduce the risks of exposure to COVID-19 which is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact.

Please note: Despite publishing these guidelines Laura Henry Consultancy cannot be held responsible for any participant becoming infected with COVID-19 during the My Family Week activities,

The most important thing we can all do in fighting coronavirus is to stay alert. We must control the spread of the virus, in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

This is national guidance that applies to England only – there’s different guidance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local restrictions have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local restrictions guidance to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

You should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble – even inside other people’s homes.

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

Further information and guidance in regard to symptoms, self-isolation, meeting with family and friends, childcare provisions, schools, businesses, venues, visiting public places, going to work and clinically vulnerable people can be found on:

For the latest updates and restrictions, please refer to:

We have created these guidelines, to include the links as a PDF Document which you can download from the button below to share with families and colleagues who may also be taking part in My Family Week

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