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Kids club launched by healthcare innovator Stephanie O'Leary
A new after-school club is the latest in a string of ventures aimed at improving the health of the community to be launched by one of the area’s busiest social entrepreneurs.
Krafty Kidz is the brainchild of Stephanie O’Leary, the woman behind Community Healthcare Innovations of Eastwood Close in South Woodford.
Co-ordinator, Sandra Wood, said it aims to focus more on arts and crafts activities than most.
She added: “As well as testing their manual dexterity, we are also looking at the children’s imagination and creativity.
“We also teach them about what they are doing – for example we told them about how birds need feeding in the cold weather.”
One of the group’s most successful projects has been the Growing Kids allotment in Woodford Green, which has given many youngsters their first taste of gardening.
Mrs O’Leary said: "There isn’t anything like the Growing Kids allotment in the UK that provides a place for children to explore growing food outside of the home and school environment.
“We have had children use the allotment who have started eating new vegetables as a result.
“We are about getting the local community involved, and coming up with ideas on how to improve healthcare where they live.”
As well as the after school club, and the allotment, the group offers healthcare advice for homeless people in Ilford, and quit smoking sessions across Redbridge.
Mrs O’Leary, who has 30 years experience as a nurse, said: “Many years ago myself and a friend were just throwing out some whacky ideas on doing something different with healthcare in the community, and that’s how Community Healthcare Innovations was born.”
Mums who signed up to the latest venture seemed pleased with the results.
Julia Dandy, the mother of Ilya, six, said: "I’m not very arty so this was a perfect chance for Ilya to get stuck in and try it."
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