Some of you reading this post may be wondering “what exactly is Early Help?”. So firstly, let us explain!
We all know that parenting is hard work, children don’t come with their own instruction manual on how to parent them, and at times, families might need a little bit of a helping hand. This is where you may consider some Early Help. Early Help is about identifying support needs of families as early as possible to ensure the best possible outcomes for them, with a focus on the best interests of the child at the forefront. Early Help is all about being proactive in providing preventative support to families before circumstances worsen.
Are you searching for some additional support for your family? Or maybe you’re feeling strains on your relationship with your partner? Worcestershire Children First Virtual Family Hub is a great source of information, guidance and support for all families in the county of Worcestershire. All pages on Worcestershire Children First’s website can be translated into 24 different languages to make it accessible for all (click the image below to visit the website).
For advice on housing, debts and financing, there are many professionals you can seek out for support. From Citizens Advice Bureau for longer term budgeting advice and carrying out a financial health check; Money Helper where you can calculate any benefits you may be entitled to to support your family further, or, access the government website to seek support with the cost of living. Worcestershire county council also offer a household support fund, find out if you’re are eligible and apply here: https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/council-services/environment/sustainability-and-carbon-reduction/warmer-worcestershire/household
For families with children between the ages of 5 – 15, who are eligible for free school meals, the Department for Education funds free activities for children in the school holidays, this is known nationally as the HAF project. “Ready, Steady, Worcestershire” is the county’s HAF project, watch a video here to see examples of all the wonderful things on offer for your children during the holidays. READY STEADY WORCESTERSHIRE
Harmony at Home is the county’s approach to reducing parental conflict at home. It is natural for all relationships to experience conflict at times, Harmony at Home offers advice to parents on “how to argue better” to reduce the negative impact on your children’s outcomes, as well as advice and support with co-parenting.
Along with Worcestershire Children First, your local Starting Well Partnership Family Hub will be able to offer you more support and guidance on parenting life. They offer support in early parenthood with things such as breastfeeding, parenting courses, safe sleep and the health visiting service, as well as support for parents who have multiple children. It is easy to request support from them by filling in a quick online form on their website here: https://www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk/request-support
The Starting Well Partnership is passionate about all things well being! It has a dedicated page supporting and recognising the importance of parental health and wellbeing. To ensure that parents feel that they are fully supported throughout their parenting journey they offer an array of courses to help enhance their educational welfare and support them if they wish to regain employment or partake in volunteer work. The site itself is easy to navigate, with simplistic, yet effective features to help parents gain the information they require. https://www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk/
Your local Starting Well Partnership can offer friendly advice and support with breastfeeding, and offer guidance from a breastfeeding support worker for those parents who may be struggling to adjust to breastfeeding their little ones. There are even options for you to attend “breast buddies” support groups as well as hire breast pumps, speak to your local family hub to find out more.
How can I access a food bank?
You can ask Citizens Advice to refer you to a food bank. They’ll usually make an appointment for you to discuss your situation with an adviser first. The adviser will ask you some questions to check you’re eligible for the food bank. If you’re eligible, they’ll give you a voucher for your nearest food bank.
These are some of the support you can access to support you and your family: https://supportbromsgrove.com/foodbank-details/
The Basement project is an independent local charity that helps young people with any issues or problems they are experiencing. The Basement is a safe, secure environment and offers some stability and guidance to young people. The Basement project has lots of options for support and also has a food bank on site. If you are struggling to make ends meet, the team can provide a food and toiletry parcel to see you through a few days. Self-referrals are accepted for food parcels, as well as from other agencies who are already working with you. Call or drop in during opening hours if you need a food parcel.
Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm
If you would like to donate to the foodbank, you can drop items in to: Hanover House, 1 Hanover Street Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm.
We also have an Amazon Wish List here
The Bromsgrove Methodist Church also gives information of collection points in the local area.
Mental wellbeing is about how you feel right now, and how you cope with everyday ups and downs. Looking after our mental well-being isn’t just something we should do when we’re struggling – it should be a daily habit. That’s why it’s an important lesson for children, young people and their families.
In Bromsgrove and the local area, there are a variety of providers that offer support to families and young people.
The Wellbeing tree is a truly community-focused Holistic and Wellbeing centre offering a range of therapies to support families, individuals and local companies. They offer lots of parent groups such as baby massage and dad and baby massage.
Worcestershire county council gives lots of information of who to contact and where to access support in the local area, it gives details and contact details for people who need urgent help.
If you are new to the area, first time parents or are just looking for something different to do with your children, there are a variety of groups etc to give you and your children the opportunity to socialise with other children and parents/carers.
https://clubhubuk.co.uk/clubs/rhythm-time-bromsgrove-monday-and-thursday/ – gives children wonderful opportunities to develop their communication and language skills and their hand eye coordination.
https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/council-services/worcestershire-libraries/library-events-and-activities?field_area_target_id=639&field_service_area_target_id=All&field_location_target_id=729&field_event_category_target_id=816&field_date_value=&field_date_end_value= Bromsgrove Library have a wonderful environment for children to explore and enjoy a wonderful selection of books that they can begin their life long love of books and reading. The library also offer various groups ranging from Bounce and Rhyme, Story Train (2-4yrs), Lego Club (All ages) and Active Tots (2-4yrs)
There are local MIUs across Worcestershire in Kidderminster, Malvern, Evesham, Tenbury and Bromsgrove. https://www.hacw.nhs.uk/miu/ Opening Times: Walk-in service 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. X-ray opening times: Monday to Thursday: 9am to 6pm.
There are many benefits of being in the outdoor environment such as https://www.marylim.co.uk/walk-and-talk-counselling-bromsgrove https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/things-to-do/parks-and-outdoors/allotments.aspx#list gardening is a great way to keep fit and also to plant and watch seeds grow.
Bromsgrove Junior Parkrun is a free, fun and friendly 2km event every Sunday at Sanders Park, Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove, B61 7JP
Other useful resources:
Worcestershire Children First
If you feel you may wish to seek further support from Worcestershire’s district teams of family support workers, you are able to independently request help and support directly from your relevant district team. They are open: 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays), and 9:00am – 4:00pm on Friday. Call them on: 01905 843339 or email at: FamilySupport@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, supporting others is everyone’s responsibility too!