Daniel's Den Toddler groups


Daniel’s Den celebrates its achievements, milestones and more importantly people. Be inspired, reflect and reminisce because together we can walk towards the future …

Daniel’s Den was launched in November 1996 as a parent and toddler group. From very small beginnings it has expanded in many ways. 

It was founded by Joanna Gordon. She started teaching in a Brent Primary School in 1987 and soon became very aware of the need to support families. Parents would send their children to school and tell her that it was her job to teach their child discipline/manners. She felt that by the age of 5 a parent should have laid the foundations – many days she would go home thinking ‘if only I could work with the parents half of the time and the children half of the time things would be so much easier’. Basic skills tended to be neglected and being a ‘good parent’ meant making sure their child was dressed in top designer clothes etc and had everything the parents never had when they were children. In many cases parents forgot to pass on the thing they had had. But many had never known the security of a stable family home.

Joanna’s own childhood was in a close knit community in North Yorkshire, with lots of her family were around. She had the benefits of a Christian home – something she took for granted at the time. When she had her first child in June 1996 she began to think about the context in which she would be raising her family – she was very aware of the challenges of city life. Having grown up in a very close-knit community in North Yorkshire she was also very aware of the transient nature of people groups and the lack of community in London. She wanted her child to know and be known by people in the community. She initially thought that her family would move back up north after the birth of her son but after much thought and prayer she stayed in London and the seed of Daniel’s Den was sown.

Having been in full time employment Joanna had never really had the time to get to know her neighbours etc. Being at home with a child, meeting health care professionals opened a whole new world to her. But she wanted something more…hence Daniel’s Den. With her professional experience as a primary school teacher for 12 years, along with her experience of being mum to three children, Joanna brings a great deal of experience to Daniel’s Den. What initially started as a small group of people from her church meeting once a week for a chat is now a dynamic organisation, which is expanding to meet the needs of the community. Her initial objectives have been met and surpassed. The sense of belonging one gains from being a part of Daniel’s Den is what makes it unique and contagious.