Sutton Council’s Cultural Services (SCCS) have been shortlisted for the ‘Children & Young People Award’ in the Libraries Connected Awards 2021. Sunshine Rhymetimes support families in Sutton who have been denied social experiences, conducted safely from the risks of the pandemic. The service advanced beyond over 100 nominations, and the winner will be decided by a panel of judges by the end of September 2021.
SCCS delivers public library services for the community, including Rhymetime – which are informal learning opportunities that encourage singing songs, rhymes and sharing stories with 0-5 year olds.
Freeya, a local resident, has attended Rymetime events and said:
“We enjoy [Rhymetime] lots, it’s a great resource for local families. It’s a lovely thing to come to. It’s lovely because they can sing with other children and with other families and it gives that sort of community feeling to it that you don’t get just singing rhymes at home with your child.”
COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions presented a range of challenges in the delivery of the popular Rhymetimes within library buildings. A simple, but effective solution was to move Rhymetimes outside to places like Manor Park, Grove Park and other green spaces in and around the borough. Over 1,000 families booked to attend Sunshine Rhymetimes during Summer 2021, providing babies and young children with the opportunity to read for pleasure and take part in activities that improve their wellbeing.
Councillor Steve Cook, the lead member for Sutton Council’s Cultural Services said:
“I am delighted that Sunshine Rhymetimes have been shortlisted for this prestigious national award. It’s a great example of our services joining up together to deliver Sunshine Rhymetimes in green places to families in Sutton. The application clearly demonstrated that Sunshine Rhymetimes have had a positive impact on families with babies and young children. The staff in cultural services have gone beyond what is expected, demonstrating innovation whilst widening the reach of our libraries. Well done to everyone involved.”