ArKe Sure Start

  Address: Unit 13
Armagh Shopping Centre
Thomas Street
Telephone: 028 3751 8569



ArKe Sure Start is both an urban and rural based project established in 2007 and services 900+ children. The project provides a service to the families living within the Keady, Callanbridge, Downs, Abbey Park and parts of the Mall and Observatory wards.  ArKe SS aims to provide a central point for children’s services/programmes (antenatal -4) across the area.


Wards Covered:

  • Abbey Park
  • Callan Bridge
  • Downs
  • Keady
  • Observatory
  • The Mall


Services on Offer:

  • Outreach and home visiting services
  • Support to families including family support and parenting information
  • Services to support and promote good quality play, learning and childcare experiences for children
  • Health care and advice about child health and development and parental health.

Programmes on offer include Baby Massage, Incredible Years, Messy Play, P2YO, Weaning Workshops, Baby Yoga, Ante-natal Pilates, Toy Exchange, Rumble and Tumble (physical activity programme), Wiggle and Giggle (music and rhyme programme), Nurturing Programme and Bookstart.

Specialist support is also available with child-minding queries, antenatal advice and dietary queries.

A more detailed menu of services is available on request.


Who is responsible for Sure Start?

ArKe Sure Start is  a multi-agency partnership consisting of representatives from the following voluntary, statutory and community organisations:

Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SCHST); Northern Ireland Child-minding Association (NICMA); Early Years Organisation (EYO); Home Start; St Vincent’s de Paul (SVP) Lisanally and Alexander Project(LA).

This partnership provides strategic direction and financial accountability for the project.


What happens once I register with Sure Start?

Our Parenting Worker or Health Visitor shall complete a home visit with you to complete the registration forms and explain all of our services on offer.  Your details are placed on a secure database and if you have asked to be booked onto services you will receive details of the relevant session – when they will start, location and timings etc.  You may receive a reminder via text the day before a course is due to start.

You will receive regular newsletters and other programme information via post. Programme schedules are forwarded on a regular basis and if interested in attending you phone the office and book onto the activity (s) of your choice.

It is very important you keep the office updated of any change of address, change of telephone number or change in circumstances.


Comments from families on Sure Start:

  • Messy Play participant – “A great opportunity to play with things I wouldn’t have thought of trying”
  • “Staff always make us feel so welcome and there is such a friendly atmosphere”
  • Baby Massage participant – “Both my children attended Baby Massage and really enjoyed it, it really helped with their colic”
  • “Home from Home has allowed me to meet other polish speaking mums and I have made new friends and tried new things” (Home from Home is a weekly drop in session for newcomer families in the area).


Newsletters:  Yes