​This week saw three events celebrating Runcorn Family Hubs at Brookvale, Halton Lodge and Windmill Hill – previously known as children’s centres. Family Hubs support families with children and young people aged 0-19 or up to 25 years with special educational needs and disabilities. They bring services together in one place making it easier for families to find the information and support they need, when they need it.

Over 300 local families came along to enjoy lots of fun activities and find out more from a wide range of local services and community organisations.

The official unveiling to mark the celebration of Runcorn Family Hubs was carried out by the Mayor of Halton, Cllr Val Hill together with local mum, Heather Roberts and her daughter Aurora.

Also attending were representatives of the many partner organisations that are coming together under the Family Hub banner. Talking on their behalf, Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Tom McInerney said:

“Today, I would like to recognise the significant impact that partnership working can have on our communities. In a time when families are facing unprecedented difficulties to make ends meet, and trying to navigate their way through a mass of information and service directories to find what they need can make life really challenging. Having a place like this family hub where services from a range of organisations can be found in one place is to be welcomed and celebrated.”

Local health services are 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.

Karen Worthington, Associate Director of Children’s Services from Bridgewater Community Healthcare, NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Having a baby brings a lot of joy as well as a lot of challenges. Everyone has their ups and downs and getting good advice and information when you need it can really make the difference to families. Our ‘start for life’ service is there for your family, right from the very beginning with friendly and knowledgeable staff guiding and supporting you every step of the way.”

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.

In Halton, the Start for Life offer includes services and sessions supporting:

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

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

Family Hubs will also deliver a range of other services and sessions for Halton families which will over time include:

  • 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.