Over the past fortnight, representatives from Cheshire East Council, NHS, schools and community organisations have celebrated the opening of more Cheshire East family hubs.
Ash Grove family hub, Macclesfield, opened on Thursday 16 November, while Congleton family hub celebrated its opening on Thursday 23 November.
Both will offer support to children and young people from birth until they reach the age of 19, or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and will bring council, health and community services together, so that families can access the right support, at the right time.
The Ash Grove family hub opening saw students from Ash Grove academy demonstrate their commitment to climate change, performing a presentation on global learning before making a series of pledges to help preserve the environment.
Daven primary school choir attended the opening of Congleton family hub and helped attendees get in the festive spirit with Santa hats, while singing three Christmas songs.
These family hubs follow the October opening of Monks Coppenhall family hub, Crewe, which is also the SEND centre of excellence. Oak Tree family hub in Crewe and Oakenclough family hub in Wilmslow, also opened in July.
Core services at family hubs include:
- Midwifery appointments, health checks, breastfeeding, weaning and nutrition advice;
- Start for life activities including early years play education and sensory development;
- Support from health visiting and school nurse teams;
- Tailored and intensive support for families who may need a little extra help;
- Family help and support for children with disabilities or additional needs;
- Practical support around finance, housing and supported learning;
- Youth support services; and
- Mental health support for children, young people, families and new parents
Family hubs aren’t just about physical buildings – their services will be available in a variety of ways including using community spaces and online, so services can be accessed in the best way to suit families.
The hubs have been made possible due to the £1 million awarded to the council last year from the Department for Education. Cheshire East Council were one of the first 12 local authorities to receive the funding, having until 2024 to implement this new way of working.
Councillor Carol Bulman, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council, said:
“I am delighted to see the opening of another two family hubs, this time in the north of the borough, extending our offer further to more children and young people within Cheshire East.
“It’s been so rewarding to hear some of the positive feedback we’ve received so far about our family hub programme, and the benefits our young people have received by visiting and having greater access to a broader range of services.
“This is a fantastic initiative and I’d like to not only thank the students who dedicated their time to offer a performance or presentation on the day, but to our colleagues at the council and our partners, whose collaborative approach and commitment have made all this possible.”
Sally Veale, head of school at Ash Grove Academy in Macclesfield, said:
“Having the Ash Grove family hub on our doorstep allows us to continue working in partnership with a range of community services in the best interests of all of our children and families.
“We were honoured to be invited to the official opening, and it was wonderful to see the year four children speaking confidently in front of such a large audience and being proud to represent their school and community.”
Jennifer Gosling, headteacher of Daven Primary School in Congleton, said:
“We were delighted to be involved at the launch of Congleton family hub, and I am so proud of the children, who did an excellent job entertaining the guests and getting them into the festive spirit.
“It’s so important to have a hub next door, meaning that support is on hand for our families. It also helps us to keep our local community connected and enables families to access the right support, at their convenience.”
More information about family hubs can be found here:
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