A CHILDREN'S gymnastics programme in York is celebrating its first birthday by offering a giveaway to support two local families.

The Little Gym, which offers children’s physical, social and emotional development, celebrated a "successful" first year on April 12, after having opened mid-pandemic after a delay.

The gym offers a programme of developmental gymnastics classes designed to build the bodies, brains and life skills of children of all ages from 4 months to 12 years - which is based on nearly 50-years of research into child development and physical literacy.

And now, to mark the venue's first birthday, the team are giving away a block of 10 classes to two local families with a child under the age of three.

Kate Henebury, owner of The Little Gym Harrogate, Leeds and York, said: "The Little Gym York is a safe space in which children can experience a sense of freedom to play and learn. A place where they can interact with other children, explore at their own pace, learn, take risks, be challenged and be allowed to fail.

"We are passionate at The Little Gym about the importance of quality movement in the early years, so we’re not shocked to read how the pandemic has delayed the development of younger children in this way.

"We know that our classes are excellent at helping babies and toddlers meet important physical, social and emotional milestones whilst also allowing new parents to establish those important friendships. So, we wanted to use our first birthday celebration to give the gift of movement to two local families who will benefit from it the most."

To enter the birthday competition, comment on the Little Gym York's First Birthday Facebook post letting them know why you’d like to win classes for your child. You can also tag a friend as there are two prizes available.

Speaking on Little Gym York, one of their members, Rach Marie, said: “My little girl started coming in June 2021 at 14 months and by August she took her first steps in The Little Gym’s Birds class. Lockdown was so depressing as my little girl had minimal contact with other children. She was born in 2020 so this was her first class ever. Her health visitor was concerned about her gross motor skills.

"Taking her to The Little Gym has made a massive difference in her gross motor skills and she is now so confident. I would not take her anywhere else."

The gym classes welcome more than 450 members each week.

"We’ve felt that parents really understand how crucial movement, social development and interaction are for their children now more than ever, following the pandemic," Kate Henebury added.

Further information can be found on the website at: https://york.thelittlegym.co.uk