The NSPCC in Swindon threw a party for all local families who took part in their parenting programme over the last two years.

Baby Steps has been run by the NSPCC since spring 2012 and aims to help participants to set a pattern of good parenting for life.

The programme comprises of six antenatal and three post birth sessions. The course covers subjects such as infant development, how parenting can affect relationships, health and wellbeing and practical lessons on how to care for a baby and where to get support after birth.

NSPCC practitioner Jan David-son, who runs the course said: “Supporting vulnerable parents to prepare for the roles and responsibilities of parenthood is one of the best ways to get families off to the best possible start.

“Pregnancy and the weeks immediately after the birth of a baby offer a golden opportunity to work with parents who for various reasons are in need of extra support.

“The first weeks after the baby is born are also a critical point within which to begin challenging attitudes that could lead to a baby being harmed.

“The reunion party was a great chance for all the parents who have taken part in our Baby Steps programme in Swindon to get together and have fun.

“We were pleased to see so many of the parents there with their children and babies, and to hear how they have been implementing the things they learned on the course.”

The service has now been adopted by Swindon Council who will now take over its running in the town. This frees the team at the NSPCC to look at different services to help local families which they can then look to offer up to the council in the future.

NSPCC Swindon service manager Ingrid Anson, who was at the celebration event at Chirst Church Community Centre, said: “Baby Steps is a major innovation in the UK and offers a golden opportunity to work with and support vulnerable parents in the critical few weeks before and after the birth of their baby.

“We will share our learning with governments and ultimately want to roll out the programme with others so that every baby has the best possible chance in life.”

Team manager Anouska Inns said: “It has been so nice to see the babies and their parents again – we’ve had lots of dads come along as well as the mums, and grandparents too which is lovely.

“Some of the babies are just six weeks old and some are over two, and some of the parents have gone on to have more children since they came to us so it’s been great to have everyone together.”

Lucy Anello, 19, from Highworth, attended the reunion with boyfriend Dan Elderfield, 20, and four month old Keelan.

She said: “I was referred to Baby Steps by my midwife because I live in Highworth and there was just nothing for me to do, and all my friends live elsewhere.

“I was nervous about coming because I didn’t know anybody but luckily Dan came with me.

“It was good because it gave me something to do, and it helped get me out and about, otherwise I would have been stuck at home.”

Megan Strange, 18, also went along to the reunion with her 14 month old daughter Grace.

“It was like ante natal classes, but they were much more tailored to our needs,” she said.

“It was nice to meet other people in the same situation and now our babies are all a similar age.”