Quaggy Development Trust

Quaggy Development Trust

Annual Review 2021 - 2022

Chair's Report

I hope that this finds you all well and safe after the experience of the last 2 years. It has been a difficult time for everybody and the year from April 2021 until March 2022 has been another very challenging one for Quaggy Development Trust – challenges with which staff have coped excellently.  Our nurseries remained open throughout the pandemic for children of key workers and vulnerable families and have been able to open up for all children during the course of this year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all QDT staff for their continued commitment and loyalty to QDT, The Royal Borough of Greenwich for its valued support and all QDT volunteers.
We are very excited this year to be able to offer you a digital Annual Review as a web page and hope you enjoy the new format and the opportunity to listen as well as read.  This is just one of our steps towards a greener Quaggy! We hope you enjoy reading all of this review but you can also jump to each section, by clicking the icons below, to see the achievements over the year. 



A Parent’s View of our Nurseries

The year presented many challenges with the pandemic raising issues. However, we have remained open and continued to provide a service for local families. The implementation of safety procedures around COVID-19 were embedded into practice for the safety of children, parents and staff which meant that COVID-19 cases were low over the period.
The staff and children took part in live performances of familiar stories such as Giraffes Can’t Dance, Stickman and acted out an environmental story on looking after our planet. 
Quaggy Nursery had an OFSTED inspection in August and received a grade of GOOD. Below are some quotes from the Inspection Report.

What Ofsted Say

Nursery Children's Portrait Project

The children worked on painting portraits and got inspiration from an artist Margo in Margate. We loved the colours she uses and big long marks. After the project finished we showed Margo in Margate the children’s pictures and this is what she had to say.

‘OMG that is just the most amazing thing!!! I love it so much!!! Art saves children!!! It saves us all!!! Thank you xx

The Outside Learning Environment

During the pandemic we worked with the children to develop the outside area. We introduced a mud kitchen as well as planting crops that could be harvested by the children. They grew potatoes, runner beans, strawberries and created a herb garden to support their sensory development. The children harvested the fruit and vegetables. these were prepared by our cook and were able to enjoy their produce as part of a mealtime. 
We purchased live, potted Christmas Trees that are displayed in the Forest Area, These were bought into the centre for Christmas and then returned to the Forest Area which helped the children understand about looking after nature. 
The children devised their own mud kitchen recipes which encouraged their early handwriting skills. 

Quaggy Community Counselling Service

Quaggy Community Counselling Service (QCCS) was paused at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020; those clients who were receiving counselling at the time were offered the opportunity to complete their therapy on-line.  In March 2021 QCCS re-opened with two practising counsellors; clients on the waiting list were contacted and offered either face to face or on-line counselling; the waiting list re-opened in April, and the recruitment of a new counselling team began, to replace those who left whilst the service was not operational. The aim, by the end of 2022 is to have 11 counsellors, in addition to the Counselling Lead, with a combined capacity to work with at least 36 clients per week, with a continuing focus on providing accessible, low cost therapy.  
97 referrals were received from April 2021 – March 2022; to meet increased demand created by the impact of Covid-19, and to utilise resources whilst the counselling team is being re-built, QCCS offered 12-week, as opposed to 24-week counselling contracts. QCCS made the offer of face to face counselling to all clients in recognition of the importance of human contact for mental health following successive lock downs. However, the service also adapted to on-line counselling, which proved useful in increasing accessibility, particularly for those with challenging childcare demands who were unable to attend the service for sessions. The service also adapted to on-line counselling which is useful in increasing accessibility, particularly for those with challenging childcare demands. 57 Clients were seen in the year April 2021 to March 2022, 31 completed therapy, 22 were accessing support at the year end, and 4 dropped out. In March 2022 the service had a waiting list of approximately 3-4 months. Over half of clients who engaged with the service in the year were from BAME groups; in the year ahead, QCCS will continue to try and ensure that the counselling team is as reflective of the local community as possible. 

Listen to feedback from a Counselling Student on the experience of a placement at Quaggy Community Counselling Service. 

QCC logo 28 Jan 22



Received Counselling


Completed Therapy


Continued Therapy

Perinatal Groups

Mum’s Space, a perinatal support group for new and expectant mums at Quaggy Children’s Centre, provided weekly face to face support throughout the year whilst following social distancing protocols. During the pandemic the group provided a vital opportunity for new mums and their babies to have contact with others, share experiences and receive emotional support. In March 2022 a Mum’s Space Group opened at Robert Owen Children’s Centre. 
In April 2021, Dad’s Space was launched, a 12 week therapeutic group for new and expectant fathers to support mental health during the transition to fatherhood. The group provided the participants with the opportunity reflect on their experiences and those of their peers and develop skills in managing their new roles.

Two art therapists worked with children at Invicta Schools – Deptford and Blackheath – during the year. Their work was critical in supporting vulnerable children manage and navigate the complex challenges created by successive lockdowns and the return to the school environment.

'A big thank you for providing this service. It has been a game changer for me'!

'Thanking the therapist…for showing kindness and empathy and sensitivity'.

'Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help'.

'I would just like to offer a huge thank you …for facilitating my sessions (both in-person and online) and for the benefits reaped having used this affordable counselling service'.

Children's Centres

Our Children’s Centres have continued to provide sessions, services and support throughout the year even though the pandemic restricted the way we delivered our services to local families. We introduced a new digital booking system as places were restricted. We adapted to deliver some services online such as Confident Parenting and Bouncing Babies. Parents were kept informed via our website and social media regarding any changes to rules and restrictions because of COVID-19. In December 2021 we ran a satisfaction survey and there was 90% overall satisfaction for the services we delivered. 

Our centres host a variety of sessions to support the health and wellbeing of children and families. From drop-in stay and plays to courses on parenting and baby massage our sessions provide the services needed for families to socialise, learn and receive support. Over the year we developed our new centre services at Pound Park Children’s Centre. We continued to  deliver story time online and also  delivered creative and wellbeing sessions over Zoom. We continued to provide our breastfeeding support sessions. Places were booked to ensure sessions were safe and we also moved the session to it’s new home at Parkside Community Centre adjoined to our cafe.

Attendances at Children Centres

Breastfeeding Support

Quaggy have been providing a breastfeeding support group for over 10 years. Parents and carers can come along and get expert advice with issues they may have around breastfeeding. No issue is too small or too big. The group offers a place where issues are validated and support is offered in the way of advice or signposting to other services. The highly experienced Breastfeeding coordinator gives expert advice to local parents and carers and strives to ewpower parents to deal positively with their issues. Watch our video about the breastfeeding group to find out more. 

Protecting the Environment

Over the year we have been changing the way we work across all of our services. From simple things like reducing the use of paper through to changing the way children see and care for their world through the provision of ‘green’ activities. We recognise that this is a long journey, but it is one we have to make to make a difference to our world. We believe that there is no action too small to recycle, reduce and reuse and we are continually reflecting on our environmental impact. We want to provide an environment where children and families not only recognise our commitment to these issues but also see us as a way of supporting them to change the way we live and help protect the world we live in. 

Over the year our dedicated green expert Alison has been working with the children on our allotment and within centres. The children have been growing vegetables and fruits that have been prepared by our cook. Children can then eat them.
Watch this video to find out what we have been doing together and why she volunteers her time. 

Staff ECO Training and Environmental Policy

In July 2021 we held an INSET day with the staff team. The purpose of the day was to look at QDT within the context of the environment and to look at ways in which we can be more ecologically responsible Staff were encouraged to look at the organisation as a whole and how each staff member can reflect on their own practice in order to work towards our environmental policy and make QDT a greener place. Staff committed to actions that would effect their practice.

'Speak to the children about recycling and to role model reusing paper and packaging'.

'To create a herb garden that the children can help manage'.

'Helping the children not to use so much soap, use less water'.

'Recycling, giving excess food and clothes to the less fortunate'.

'Write a tally of how much recycling I have done in the week'.

'Check that the children are being proactive in turning off taps /not wasting resources'.

'To talk to the children about the reason we need to look after our environment'.

ECO Schools Green Flag Accreditation

Quaggy are working to achieve the ECO Schools Green Flag Accreditation. Children are part of a committee that are involved in decision making around making our service more green. The children had to choose 3 topics to focus on over the period and the following were chosen:

Watch our Quaggy Eco Committee in Action

One of the first tasks set by the committee was to appoint water monitors in the nursery to ensure taps are turned off in the toilet facilities areas.

Family Support

The Family Support Service aims to support parents to make positive changes for their children when things are difficult.
The difficulties may be due to parenting concerns such as managing children’s behaviour, mental health illness, domestic abuse, substance misuse or isolation. One of our workers will complete a Family Star with the parent to find out more about the family, what their needs are, their strengths and the difficulties they face. A plan will be made in partnership with the parent with the aim of making changes for positive outcomes for the child and family. The plan and support will be based on the children and family’s individual needs. Support varies depending on the family’s needs. Support includes parenting, housing and benefit advice, signposting to other agencies, support to children’s centre groups and much more.

Read our family support case study

Case Study
Families receving support

Older People

The lunch club provides an essential service where older people, often isolated, can get together, socialise and enjoy a home cooked hot meal together cooked on the premises . Over the year the lunch club faced challenges due to the lockdown. We continued to keep in touch with our club members by regularly telephoning them to check they were doing well and to see if there was anything that they needed. 
We also started to deliver hot meals to the older people while the lunch club could not operate face to face.  This enabled our workers to, not only deliver a hot meal, but also to check up on members and have important contact to see if there was any issues that needed addressing. It also provided social contact with the older people which they really appreciated.
The older people’s lunch club reopened properly in it’s usual space in December 2021.  

'Thursdays are like ‘Red letter days’ (a special, happy and important day that you will always remember) and that she always looks forward to the doorstep chats.'.

'Through COVID we got a hot meal delivered to us, that was brilliant!'.

'If you don’t come to the group they find out why you are not here and this encourages you to come'.

'During COVID they were calling us and seeing how we are and bringing food to us.'.

'All the support they gave us over COVID is why I have come back. It is our club!'.

Members of the Lunch Club give feedback on coming to the club. They discuss attending the club, going on outings and how they were supported during lockdown. 

Young People

Although the pandemic restrictions presented challenges for delivering services for young people we worked hard to develop opportunities for young people to engage in our provision. 
In this period we received funding from BBC Children In Need to deliver projects which support the Mental Wellbeing of Young People. We delivered this project in partnership with Invicta School (Blackheath and Deptford) and through our own Youth Club Summer Scheme.
We were able to deliver a comprehensive suite of services for the Children and Young People involved in the projects, helping them to become more resilient and to develop coping strategies. We have worked in partnership with Invicta School to deliver the group sessions as well as the 1:1 counselling sessions and the school report that they have been so successful that they also intend to look for funding to be able to continue the delivery of these sessions for the children.
We delivered a 16 day summer programme for Young People with 15 children attending every day. 

Case Study
Young People
Therapeutic Sessions
Young People
Receiving Extra Support
Day Summer Scheme

Quaggy Community Cafe

Quaggy Community Cafe were pleased to open it’s doors on 12th April 2021 after being closed due to the pandemic. We ensured there were safety measures adopted in line with COVID guidelines. We have been welcoming old and new customers to the cafe. We employed a new cook in October 2021 who provides delicious specials and a wide menu. 
The cafe space was used with the lunch club for a period to ensure that we could make it as safe as possible. The space allowed us to seat our older people in groups. 
The cafe continues to provide locally sourced food, all our meat is purchased from Drings in Greenwich. We offer home cooked meals, cakes and pastries and fresh coffee and herbal teas.

Digital Strategy

Quaggy are committed to developing digital systems across the trust to ensure that we keep up to date with ways to deliver services, optimise the way we connect with families and to reduce our carbon footprint. Over the year we developed different systems to enable our services to be delivered more efficiently. This is all part of our overall digital strategy that will help us move forward in a changing world where digital is embedded in the heart of practice. 
We created a Wellbeing Hub that complemented the delivery of sessions such as Mindfulness, Laughter Yoga, Healthy Living and more. You can visit our Wellbeing Hub here.
We also developed our Environmental Hub on our website to show how Quaggy are working towards a greener environment. Visit the our Environmental Hub here.

Digital Forms Online

We have introduced digital forms on our website for Job Applications, Registration and other contact forms. 

Online Booking

We have developed online booking systems to help with ensuring safety during the pandemic. 

Wellbeing Hub

We created a Wellbeing Hub on our website with information and activities to encourage wellbeing.

Environmental Hub

We developed an Environmental Hub on our website to track caring for the environment with the children.

Our Partners

Academy Training
Bromley Healthcare
Big Lottery
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Catherine Rushforth Associates
Charlton Athletic
Charlton Triangle Homes
Cheralee Memorial Fund
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
Docklands Light Railway

EEA Emergency Exit Arts

Glyndon Community Centre

Greenwich Community Hub

Greenwich Branch NCT

Greenwich Domestic Abuse Advice Service

GLL – Greenwich Leisure Limited

Greenwich Integrated Support Children and Families

Greenwich Music School

Greenwich Oxleas NHS Trust Music Therapy

Happily Clappily Ever After

Home-Start Greenwich

Hounslow and Richmond NHS Trust

Impact Matters Community Interest Company


Invicta Primary School

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

Lewisham Council

Lewisham Donation Hub

Lewisham Social Care

London Youth


Pound Park Nursery School

Ravensbourne Ministry

Rachel McMillan Nursery School

Robert Owen Nursery School

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Safe Neighbourhoods – Greenwich and Lewisham

Sherington Primary School

Skills for Growth



Wash House Youth Project

Youth First

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