Halton has been nationally recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) for excellent progress in rolling out the Family Hub offer for local children, parents and families. Halton, was one of 75 local authorities announced on 2 April 2022 as eligible to receive a share of a £301.75 million investment from the Government to establish a Family Hubs and Start for Life programme. There are now four family hubs in Halton – Kingsway, Brookvale, Halton Lodge and Windmill Hill with others to follow by March 2025.

Local partners including the Council, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Halton Citizens Advice have worked together to bring a wide range of services together in one place, making it easier for families to find what they need and get the right support at the right time.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan visited Halton’s Kingsway Family Hub in Widnes this week, meeting parents, children and staff to hear first-hand the how the services on offer are already making a difference to the lives of local families.

The Minister attended one of Halton Family Hub’s regular ‘baby shower’ event – where parents and families can drop in and get advice, information and support on all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood as well as meet up with other parents.

She also met with a group of local parents who have completed one of the Hub’s support programmes to learn how to navigate the ups and downs of bringing up children, improving knowledge and skills as well as sharing experiences and tips. Several parents have gone on to start other courses with the Adult Learning Service also part of the Family Hub and are looking at keeping their group going to support each other and people within their own communities.

Cllr Mike Wharton, Leader of the Council said, “We are pleased that Halton has been recognised for delivering family hub services to our local community and are proud of our staff and local partners who have all worked really hard to get Halton Family Hubs up and running. This has been achieved despite significant financial challenges that we, and many other councils face due to an overall lack of Government investment in local public services.

Local health services are also available from family hubs, making it easier for parents-to-be to navigate pregnancy and get support when they need it with the many challenges that parenthood can bring.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Operating Officer, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said, “We’re committed to the local communities we serve and are delighted to be partnering with other local services through the Family Hubs.

Early, personalised support, based on the needs of families, has a hugely positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Through our Family Hubs we can provide the best provision, right from when people might be thinking about having a baby, through to pregnancy and birth and as children grow and progress.

It’s a privilege to be able to share key life moments with local families in our community and support them in this way.”

Services at Halton Family Hubs include:

  • Early language development
  • Infant-feeding advice and specialist breastfeeding support
  • Parent infant relationships and perinatal mental health
  • Parenting guidance and support

These sessions will compliment services like Midwife appointments and Health Visitor drop ins.

  • Activities for children aged 0-5
  • Debt and welfare advice
  • Domestic abuse support
  • Midwifery and health visiting
  • Housing advice
  • Family support
  • Mental health services
  • Nutrition and weight management
  • Services for children who have or may have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families
  • Support parent relationships
  • Youth services (universal and targeted), to name a few

For more information on Halton’s Family Hubs visit www.haltonfamilyhubs.co.uk or contact the team by e-mail – familyhubs@halton.gov.uk or drop in at any of our Family Hubs/Children’s Centres in Widnes (Kingsway, Ditton, Upton and Warrington Road) and Runcorn (Brookvale, Halton Lodge, Windmill Hill).